TV Rundown: Nov 30 - Dec 5 | 'Arrow' vs. 'The Flash' & more!

The Flash vs. Arrow | The highly anticipated crossover event between the superhero series delivered a dazzling two hours of television. Sharp and dramatically gratifying, the episodes soared with heartfelt humor, great action and terrific performances. The special event brought out the best in both shows; “Arrow” getting a much needed dose of levity and “The Flash” receiving a mild injection of solemnity.

The camaraderie between the cast was exceedingly palatable, each team complimenting the other. Apart they’re good, together they were great. Diggle especially benefited from the episodes, as he was given some of the best material he’s ever had to play. Barry brought the best out of Oliver, generating more animation and warmth from the verdant crusader than we’ve seen in a long time. 

Cisco’s infectious exhuberance and boyish wonder at Arrow HQ was a beyond enjoyable sequence that “Arrow” desperately needed. It’s been a long time since anyone acted excited about the cool gadgetry and action packed world of Team Arrow. There is so much darkness on the series, that light barely creeps through in most episodes and with characters like the ones on “The Flash” aboard, the level of luminosity was the equivalent of a disco ball and Christmas tree's lights combined.

The tenderness of the crossover was superbly anchored by the venerable Joe, Jesse L. Martin in a quiet performance that shined as Joe faced Barry’s personality altered fury. Martin’s changing expressions conveying how deep Barry’s brutal words had cut.

A marvelous episode that was nothing short of amazing, “The Flash” and “Arrow” need to team up more often. All of the plotlines moved forward and none of them were boring. The events of this episode will have season long consequences for both shows and it set up significant intrigue to see how it will all play out. With the series tied together, one can only hope this won’t be the last time they cross paths.

The Vampire Diaries | Ever since the season began, Bonnie has been trying to get back home to her loved ones in Mystic Fall’s and in “I Alone” she got closer than ever. After receiving a phone call from Elena and Damon, who had traveled to 1994 to bring her back, she made her way home to join them. Unfortunately, their reunion was ruined when Damon and Elena had to be ripped back to the present day.

It was in the crushing scene of Bonnie’s realization that her friends were gone that Kat Graham delivered her best performance to date. Approaching Elena’s childhood house, Bonnie’s face was filled with joyous anticipation only to dissolve with crumbling sorrow. Graham portrayed Bonnie’s waves of sadness with a definitive grace that was hauntingly authentic.

Reign | It was last week’s most controversial storyline. In its most shocking and disturbing plot line to date, Mary was raped by castle intruders. No matter you’re opinion on the storyline, one thing was inarguable, Adelaide Kane’s stunning performance as the regal Mary. The brutal scene saw an equally harrowing aftermath. Kane portraying Mary’s unraveling emotion as she breaks down while confiding to her mother-in-law and part time adversary.

Catherine first offers her comfort and then delivers a stirring speech to her traumatized daughter-in-law and Queen, urging her to defy her attackers by reassuring the members of the court of her safety. Kane’s broken demeanor then turned to defiance as Mary took her place on the throne to declare her wellbeing. As Catherine, Megan Fellows charged their interaction with equal parts compassion and impenetrable fortitude. It was a scene with a heart wrenching setup and Kane and Fellows gave it everything.

Photo Credit: "The Flash" & "Arrow"/The CW, "The Vampire Diaries"/The CW