Spoilers through The Flash 2×11 – “The Reverse-Flash Returns” and Arrow 4×11 – “A.W.O.L.”
It’s no secret that the sophomore season of The Flash has been riddled with plot holes and character issues; and don’t even get me started on all the shenanigans going down on Arrow this year. Two shows that were once at the top of their genre have since fallen to the way side and that’s a damn shame, because when Flash and Arrow were good, they were so good.
That being said, the two DC comics shows aren’t the worst things on television (that title belongs to Shadowhunters right now–Sorry, Nicole!). There are some good parts to them: they’re mindless fun, don’t require much effort, and some of the characters are really well done. I adore Felicity and the Diggle family on Arrow and Joe and Barry’s relationship on The Flash is top-notch. Likewise, I can forgive many inconsistencies or suspend belief for the sake of the story. Sure, Arrow became popular because the show was grounded and gritty but he is still a comic book character.
However, the most recent episodes for both shows made moves that went beyond believing the fantastical and journeyed into the just plain idiotic for the sake of moving the story forward.
The Flash started the week out with the death of Turtle, the aptly named villain who could slow the speed of those around him. Contrasting perfectly with Barry Allen’s speed, the Turtle’s abilities seemed to hold the missing link for Team Flash to finally find a way to stop Zoom. Earth-2’s Harrison Wells wasn’t a fan of that because he’s still more interested in saving his daughter (understandable) and thus, killed Turtle via brain aneurysm, thereby halting their research and giving Zoom a greater edge, and no one on Team Flash suspects a thing.
No, seriously? Team Flash and S.T.A.R. Labs has this hi-tech vault make exclusively to imprison metahumans but they don’t have security cameras? The show made a joke out of how much the team has beefed up security since the start of the season but still it seems like anyone and everyone has been able to just show up unannounced. For some of the smartest minds in the world, Team Flash can be pretty dumb.
And I can’t get over how frustrating it was that Patty Spivot cried wolf to learn that Barry was the Flash. You’re better than that, Patty.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Team Arrow has been far to smart this season. More specifically, the show has relied too heavily on Felicity Smoak to do any and everything for the group of vigilantes, including controlling construction equipment wirelessly. I don’t doubt that Felicity is one of the best hackers in their universe, but at some point it has to stop. In MOMENTS, she is able to break into A.R.G.U.S.’s secured facility and unlock doors and computer files at will. The group of villains had to steal a dead agent’s eyeball to gain access. If breaking into A.R.G.U.S. was so easy, then why didn’t she just access all of Waller’s files on Shadowspire beforehand? Why haven’t they used this skill to learn all they can about Damien Darhk?
Or maybe it’s just Felicity who is too smart because Team Arrow chose to ignore valuable information for the sake of tension in the story. Andy Diggle straight up told the crew that the rail guns were a diversion for something bigger, something more dangerous, but because Oliver and Co. “know better”, they still put all their eggs in the “protect the rail guns” basket. And that decision led to the death of Amanda Waller.
Also, can we discuss how ridiculous it was that the leader of Shadowspire gave both Amanda Waller and Lyla 20 minutes each to decide whether or not they were going to give him the access codes to Rubicon? He didn’t give them TO access the codes; he gave them 20 minutes to LET Team Arrow come save them. That’s almost worse than the cliche villain monologue explaining every detail of his plan for evil to stomp out good.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoyed both of the most recent episodes of The Flash and Arrow, especially Felicity dealing with her inner demons, but the enjoyment is diminished by the fact that writing and plot development has been horrendous all season. At times, it’s hard to believe these are even the same shows from one year ago.