The Return of Barry Allen
Team Arrow prepares to storm a house where Captain Boomerang is allegedly located. Before going inside however, Oliver takes a peak in and notices that the doors are booby trapped. Undaunted, Roy and Oliver set off the bombs (from a distance of course) but once they get inside they find that they just missed their killer. Seconds later, several armed men enter whom Oliver quickly identifies as agents of A.R.G.U.S., leading him to conclude that Captain Boomerang’s victim was an agent as well. The A.R.G.U.S. agents leave but not before warning Team Arrow to stay out of their way (which Oliver naturally ignores). Now that the team knows A.R.G.U.S. is involved, Oliver has Diggle try to get some information from Lyla.
Meanwhile, Felicity is surprised by the arrival of Team Flash members Caitlin and Cisco while at her job. They showed up under the pretense of getting a DNA sample from the one of the arrows that killed Sara but Cisco also admits that they also want to see “The Arrow-cave.” Once inside the Arrow HQ, Cisco being Cisco can’t help but drool over Oliver and Roy’s gear.
Meanwhile at the local A.R.G.U.S. building, Diggle tries to get some information about Captain Boomerang from Lyla but she assures him they have it handled. That assurance proves to be dead wrong when Captain Boomerang walks in and takes out several agents without breaking a sweat. Oliver and Roy eventually show up to provide backup but even they aren’t able to defeat him. Just when it looks like Captain Boomerang has the drop on Oliver, Barry Allen AKA the Flash is able to pull a last second save before Captain Boomerang makes his escape (much like when Oliver saved Barry during the previous episode of The Flash).
Lyla finally admits that Captain Boomerang’s name is Digger Harkness, who had been a member of ASIS before becoming a mercenary and was eventually caught by A.R.G.U.S. He had then served as a member of the Suicide Squad until an operation went wrong and Lyla ordered Harkness’s team to be eliminated. Unfortunately, Harkness managed to survive and has come to Starling City to get his revenge against Lyla. Oliver figures that because of Harkness’s A.R.G.U.S. background, the only place that Lyla can hope to be safe is back at Team Arrow HQ.
After Barry accidentally reveals his secret identity to Lyla, he reassembles the pieces of Harkness’ exploding boomerangs which Cisco recognizes as the work of Klaus Marcos. After some help from Captain Lance, they find Marcos at a building owned by the Russian mob. Team Arrow gets ready to take down the thugs guarding the building but Barry saves them the trouble (he had eight seconds to kill). Oliver gives Marcos his usual interrogation (much to Barry’s dismay), who finally gives Oliver an encrypted cell phone from Harkness.
Felicity manages to decrypt the phone and traces the location of Harkness, though an A.R.G.U.S. spy satellite shows that he’s not alone. Barry and Oliver make their way over to Harkness with Diggle, Roy and Cisco following behind in a van. Oliver and Barry make short work of Harkness’ hired goons but Harkness is nowhere to found and the whole thing turns out to be a trap. While the guys are busy figuring this out, Felicity finds out too late that Harkness used Marcos’ phone to trace the location of Team Arrow HQ. Felicity manages to scare him off with a grenade but not before hitting Lyla in the chest with a boomerang. Barry is able to get her to the hospital but she remains touch and go.
After Oliver spends some time blaming himself for what happened, he admits to Barry that every time he tortures somebody like Marcos he feels like he loses a part of his soul, which has him fear that eventually there won’t be anything left. Barry calls bull crap on that theory and insists that Oliver determination to hold on to his humanity is what has helped him survive this long.
Screw You, Captain Boomerang
Oliver and Barry track down Harkness at a train station but before they can take him in, Harkness reveals that he has set five bombs all over Starling City as a contingency plan. He tells him that they can either stop him or the bombs but they can’t do both (yeah it’s not like Barry has super speed or anything). Barry goes to stop the bombs while Oliver stays behind to take on Harkness. Oliver successfully defeats Harkness but he seems content with watching Starling City go up in flames. Cisco is able to give Barry the bomb locations but warns him that the bombs are linked and they all need to be disarmed at the same time. With that in mind, Barry super speeds Roy, Felicity, Caitlin and Cisco over to the other bombs. They are all able to successfully disarm the bombs with Cisco quipping “Screw you, Captain Boomerang.” Meanwhile, back at the train station, Harkness tries to get one more hit in on Oliver while his back is turned but since Oliver isn’t a complete idiot, he sees it coming and puts an arrow through his hand.
Lyla appears to be making a full recovery at the hospital and when she wakes up, Diggle asks her to marry him and she accepts. Maybe he was getting tired of having to explain to people that they weren’t married, considering he had to do it more than usual this week.
Back at Arrow HQ, Caitlin finally gets around to collecting that DNA sample to help find Sara’s killer and says that she will call Felicity when she knows more. Meanwhile Oliver tells everyone that Harkness is now joining Slade Wilson at the island prison and also reveals to Barry a new spot reserved for Barry’s costume should he ever come back to Starling City. Caitlin and Cisco have a gift of their own for Oliver. They redesign his Arrow costume which Cisco says is considerably lighter and can hold more gear.
Before Barry leaves town, he and Oliver decide to duke it out so they can know once and for all which one is better. The smart money says the writers have seen the ending of Rocky III since the screen cuts to black before we can find out who wins.
Amanda Waller orders Oliver to interrogate a guy named Katsu Cheng to get the location of a bomb he set in Hong Kong. Oliver is less than enthusiastic about his new assignment since he’s never tortured anybody for information. Oliver tries to get the information peacefully but Cheng doesn’t budge and goads Oliver with his obvious lack of experience with interrogation. Before Oliver can resort to more extreme measures, the bomb goes off in front of Oliver’s eyes.
At the bomb site, Waller criticizes Oliver for his failure (why couldn’t she use Maseo for this job exactly?) but still believes that Oliver has the potential for interrogation. She gives Oliver a chance to redeem himself by questioning by an associate of China White.
While both of the Flash/Arrow crossover episodes were pretty good, I have to give the edge to the Arrow episode. The heroes don’t bicker as much and we don’t get the same kind of self-righteousness and lack of trust from the Starling City crew that we got from Detective West and Dr. Wells on The Flash. The other thing that made this episode better for me was Digger Harkness. Unlike Bivolo, who didn’t even get an onscreen fight against Oliver and Barry, Harkness proved himself to be a much more credible threat and it truly took the combined efforts of Arrow and the Flash to take him down. Since Harkness is now going to be cellmates with Slade Wilson, I won’t be surprised to see the two team up in a future episode to get revenge on Oliver.
This episode also does a pretty good job at analyzing the differences between the way the two teams operate. Oliver’s team have become accustomed to dealing with the worst of humanity which has made them rather cynical. Barry’s team on the other hand, relatively new to the game, are still busy wrapping their heads around the meta-human concept and dealing with more fantastical elements in Central City allows them to keep their lightheartedness and optimism mostly intact (for now anyway).
Next week, we’ve got the fall finale as Team Arrow finally experiences the wrath of the League of Assassins in ‘The Climb’.