The whole point of a mid season finale is to set up the second half of the season. Whether this is to put the heroes into a predicament or introducing the big villain of that season. The Flash and Arrow do both of those things, but to very opposite effects.
The Flash began with the Christmas spirit and honestly, was kind of boring right up until the last 10 minutes. We got the return of Amunet, who kidnapped Caitlin to help fix up one of the meta humans that the Flash created on the bus. At the same time we had Devoe kidnap Barry and put him in a prison that he couldn’t get out of. Throughout the episode the emphasis was why the Thinker wanted Barry so much, why not just kill him? Admittedly I thought that I was the Thinker and had figured this out. Devoe clearly wanted Barry’s healing powers, which he has due to his speed, so Devoe could regenerate his body. Up until the last 10 minutes, I thought I was the genius but I was very wrong.
Out of absolutely no where, we find out that the meta Caitlin was forced to help was basically the ‘new Devoe. Devoe had transferred his mind and conscious to this new body, rendering his old body dead. A pretty cool twist which then twisted another 5 times when Barry goes back to his apartment to find the old lifeless body of Devoe, stabbed with a wedding gift knife, all to set up Barry. In keeping with the episode’s title, ‘Don’t Run’, Barry chose just that and stayed and got arrested. Through out this season we had got hints of The Thinker having a grand plan, but we never really knew what it was. Now knowing that the plan was to set Barry up for murder, it’s kind of, well, genius. It sets up a really interesting second half of the season, with Barry behind bars and trying to probe his innocence. It seems like the show is pulling from the comic story arc ‘The Trial of The Flash’.
In ‘The Trial of The Flash’, Barry is framed for the murder of Zoom and in the end him and Iris end up in the 30th century where they have fled too. Eventually Barry dies but not without having children and getting the happy ever after with Iris. Now the reason this is important is because the random waitress who approached a The Flash during the crossover at their wedding. Now a potential theory, one that I cannot take ownership for, is that she was Barry and Iris’ daughter who has run back in time to stop Barry from dying in the 30th century. Whether this happens or not is a different matter but as you can see, the potential for where they are going with this season could be an extremely exciting one.
Arrow is a very different story now. We open with Oliver and Felicity’s wedding party, eye roll. The only good thing about this is that we got a really good character moment between Lance and Oliver. Lance gave Oliver a watch that his father gave him on his wedding day. It was a small gesture but a touching one and a testament to just how far their relationship has evolved in 6 season’s, compared to the season 1 days with Lance hating when Oliver even breathed. The episode continues with Oliver finding out that someone from the team is standing witness in the trial to prove Oliver is the Green Arrow. This ultimately leads to the team being broken through distrust and hating on each other. Wild Dog, Mr. Terrific and Black Canary all leave the team leaving the original 3.
It feels like the team being all split up was meant to be this massive shock moment and a ‘oh no what ware they gonna do now’ moment, but it just wasn’t. In the past 6 seasons, we have had people join and leave like it’s a book club and it doesn’t really feel important when someone leaves anymore. At the start of this season, it didn’t even really feel important that Oliver left for a while and he’s the leader! One thing you can’t fault on this show, is the fighting. It is probably the best on television and it’s great seeing Arrow defeat a few bad guys every now and again. They just need to begin to back it up with a good reason for it. The episode then ends with the team torn apart, and a legion of enemies, (Arrowverse’s Legion of Doom?’), all working tougher seeing their plan come together. This includes James, Evil Laurel, for some reason Anatoly and the introduction of Richard Dragon. Now this Anatoly, I really don’t understand why he’s out to get Oliver, his character arc has gone all over the place the last 2 seasons. Richard Dragon is a different story though. Dragon is meant to be the big bad of this season and has a long history with the Green Arrow in the comics so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out in the second half of the season.
I’m curious with how Arrow plays out when it returns but I’m not excited about it. Nothing has really happened this season that is shocking or exciting, it’s all just very flat at the minute. I would be saying the same about The Flash but, the past 3 episodes and the massive twist in the mid season finale has got me really excited to see where the show is going to go. What is going to happen to Barry and will he prove his innocent!? Arrow, I’m calling it, the team are all going to be friends again come the end of the season and they’ll beat all the villains, yay… Hopefully there’s some twists along the way.
DIAGNOSIS – THE FLASH NEEDS SOME INPATIENT CARE, ARROW SOME MAJOR SURGERY
The Flash needs a few changes but I’m genuinely excited to see what happens when The Flash returns. How is Barry going to prove his innocence and is The Thinker going to win? Arrow needs a fresh new take and for something different to happen. I couldn’t care less about all these nobodies coming together to try and defeat Oliver. Hopefully I’m wrong though.
The Flash returns Tuesday 16th Jan. Arrow returns Thursday 18th Jan.