'The Flash' Boss Reveals Secrets to the Next 'Arrow' Crossover!

by Philiana Ng 4:15 PM PST, January 26, 2015
Photo: CW

If you haven’t heard already, another Arrow-The Flash crossover is headed our way!

In episode 18 of The Flash, appropriately titled “All-Star Team-Up,” Arrow’s Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) and Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) will pay a visit to Central City when Ray – in the throes of his ATOM project – needs help with his suit from the science and tech-minded folks of S.T.A.R. Labs.

Helpfully, their visit also comes at a time when Barry (Grant Gustin) is having an internal crisis.

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“It happens to come at a particularly bad moment for Barry, but that’s partially why we did it. The first episode with Felicity in episode four, she really came along in a time when her experience in being a part of a crime-fighting team definitely helped Barry overcome what he was facing that week,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg told a handful of reporters Monday. “Similarly when she comes [back], he’s having a crisis of conscience that in some ways only someone like she can help him through.”

It was also an opportunity for Kreisberg, who does double-duty as an EP on Arrow, to try his hand at writing some of Ray Palmer's trademark quips.

“I haven’t gotten to write much Ray this season on Arrow. I got to write him in the comic book in Season Zero, so getting to write him – he’s just so much fun,” he said, describing the upcoming Flash episode as – what else, “fun”!

Not surprisingly, Ray finds a confidante in Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes), who he becomes best friends with almost immediately.

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“There’s even a line in the script where Felicity says, ‘Ray is like Barry in Oliver’s body,’” Kreisberg said with a laugh. “And went, ‘Oh god, did I say that out loud?’ Ray – even though he looks like Brandon Routh, he’s a tech geek at heart so he and Cisco quickly bond.”

There is one aspect to the crossover that’s keeping Kreisberg up at night. An unforeseen airdate change is causing the writers to finagle the script so the timeline makes sense when Ray and Felicity drop by. “We’re trying to square the circle on what was happening on Arrow when they come to Flash, so hopefully it won’t feel too much like an evergreen episode,” he admitted, sharing that the main villain in the episode is the Bug-Eyed Bandit.

Though the two DC shows belong in the same universe, Grant Gustin revealed that the Central City gang isn’t aware of Oliver’s disappearance in Starling City and Kreisberg explained why to ETonline.

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“When you have these shared universes, sometimes it’s the coolest things ever and there’s an upcoming thing in a Flash episode that feels like a throwaway but it actually describes an event in the flashback story this season on Arrow. When we do stuff like that, hopefully the audience finds it fun, like all the particle accelerator and Channel 52 mentions last season on Arrow,” Kreisberg said. “And then sometimes it’s a real hindrance.”

Logistically, Kreisberg and the writers couldn’t figure out an organic way to incorporate Barry and his friends into that particular arc without it feeling forced.

“Even in the room, we’re like Oliver’s missing, call Barry, he can run to Nanda Parbat and run all over the place and find him,” Kreisberg said. “Sometimes when it serves us it’s absolutely great but the more we talked about it, bringing all that upon the Flash side of things – especially given all the Flash stories – and knowing that Oliver is missing, it sort of created more problems than it was worth.”

He continued, “If you address it on the show, they seem a little unsympathetic if they’re not throwing their S.T.A.R. Labs resources to finding Oliver, so sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.”

Are you excited for the next The Flash-Arrow crossover? Tell us your thoughts by tweeting Philiana Ng at @insidethetube, and don’t forget that #ETnow hashtag!

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.