Starling City’s Felicity Smoak and Ray Palmer visit STAR Labs when Ray’s suit begins to malfunction. Meanwhile, Brie Larvan, the Bug-Eyed Bandit, unleashes a swarm of robotic bees unto Central City.
Felicity and Ray’s team-up with the Flash and his crew marks the second full crossover with Arrow. Unlike Team Arrow’s contrasting nature with the Flash’s world, however, Ray fits in the much lighthearted and science-oriented tone of The Flash much better than in his native show. It was great to see him genuinely considering naming himself “The Atom”, as well as bonding with Cisco in general.
Despite the lighter mood of the show, the events of the last episode are not ignored. Barry’s growing uneasy and paranoia regarding Wells, as well as its extension to Cisco and Caitlin, is the highlight of the episode. His discomfort is easy to relate to, and his doubts regarding Cisco and Caitlin make sense, since they have been working for Wells as long as he’s known them.
Another plus is the issue of Iris being in the dark actually being addressed. Considering how the cliche of keeping secrets to protect loved ones is drowning Arrow in melodrama, it is refreshing to see how it can harm relationships. The dinner scene was awkward to see, but it was necessary. Eddie, unfortunately, suffers as well from Joe and Barry’s decision, but the possible tension between the characters has potential.
Emily Kinney plays Brie Larvan well, being one of the few non-metahuman villains we see on the show, and a fitting adversary for the Atom, considering the Bug-Eyed Bandit is a member of the diminutive hero’s rogues gallery. However, her character invoked Queen Bee far more than Bandit.
“All-Star Team Up”, despite not having as much fanfare as the first crossover event, manages to be just as fun. Amusing humor, great character interactions, and superhero action are peppered throughout the episode alongside some genuine drama from Barry’s uneasiness with Wells and Iris being kept out of the loop. This is one of the more well-balanced episodes of the series and it continues the show’s strong streak of episodes.
What are your thoughts on this episode? Are Joe and Barry justified in keeping Iris out of the secret?
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