Well, I was wrong. I actually quite enjoyed this block of television. Probably top three or five Flash episodes and, I'd say, the best Arrow episode of the season. There is no doubt they take some heavy handed jabs at a couple of subjects they have no business taking, namely the very thin theme of torture, but overall it's the best of both worlds.
Starting out I was ready to hate but when that Arrow-esque music sting hit with it's own Flash score twist I totally popped. Follow that by the Arrow tinged opening credits and I was all in. I also popped thinking that we were seeing the debut of Psycho Pirate but it turned out to be jabroni scrub Prism. Eh, I'll let that one go. The Flash side of this is it's usual light hearted, colorful fare with a couple drops of Arrow darkness to grunge it up. Seeing angry Barry was great as Grant Gustin proved he can be truly intimidating as a heavy. The Arrow/Flash conflicts were great showing Ollie's ability to think faster than Barry can move and keeping the duo on pretty even footing. The final conflict between Ollie and Barry was a really solid fight, not only a top tier TV fight but something that could go up on the big screen. Obviously not as a main event but a page 20 action beat definitely. The episode is solid just not as "meaty" as The Brave and the Bold, but it's fun and engaging.
In The Brave and the Bold we have Barry coming to Starling City instead of the Arrow crew visiting Central City. Ollie seems a bit aggravated at this intrusion and the Flash crew and the Arrow crew interact in a different way then they did in Flash vs Arrow but it's also a much more entertaining way. Of course it's almost exclusively night time during their visit and they do take some great moments to talk about the tone differences in the two worlds. One is bright and shiny, the other dark and gritty. Flash crew gives their bad guys nicknames, the Arrow crew's bad guys give them funerals. It's all pretty on the nose stuff but it's handled well. One thing they didn't touch on that I wish they would was the fact that the Arrow team, Felicity in particular, is always dressed in the best, most fashionable evening semi-casual wear while the Flash team essentially wears the same sloppy nerd chic every day. A fact that was the most noticeable when the Flash team first go into the Arrow cave and Felicity is wearing some weird, fancy get up and Vibe is wearing a space t-shirt with an Apple arrow indicating Earth in a mess of stars.
The Brave and the Bold stands out to me due to the inclusion of Captain Boomerang. The reviews I read cited him as the source for this being so bad, that he was ridiculous. After seeing him in action I have to disagree. Cupid was ridiculous, Boomerang was badass. I mean they cranked the meter on this second tier baddie to 11 and let him go. He was a legit threat to both Barry and Ollie and every second he just oozed control, anger and competence. He laid waste to an Argus team, thwarted several attempts to bring him in and even mounted an attack on the Arrow cave. By the way, is there a single person who doesn't know where the Arrow cave is anymore? The Arrow cave is the Arrow's secret identity of season 3 in that it's the worst kept secret on the show. But they made him a credible threat and the boomerangs a dangerous weapon. The only stupid thing being no one ever learned to duck or dodge the returning boomerang. Once you see a couple of guys go down to new fangled "boomeranging stick" you'd think you'd learn to anticipate and compensate for that.
All in all well worth the watch, you needn't have been super invested in either show to enjoy these two episodes so if you've been on the fence or haven't found the time to catch either the fantastic Flash show or the middling Arrow season make time to give these a watch.