Felicity and Ray Visit 'The Flash', 'Arrow' Says Goodbye, Chaos Ravages 'Bates Motel'

The CW
The Flash | Felicity and Ray headed over to Central City for an “Arrow” crossover and to get some help with the A.T.O.M. suit from the geniuses at Star Labs, and the results were pretty stellar. Ray and Cisco hit it off as hilarious double entendres and brainy banter abounded. Ray, like Felicity, gels incredibly well with the energy of “The Flash,” which is a more lighthearted, upbeat, and enthusiastic series.

If the A.T.O.M. spin-off doesn’t get picked up, the CW might be better served to cross Ray Palmer over to “The Flash” full-time instead of having him return to “Arrow.” The same could be said of Felicity. “All-Star Team Up” was engaging, well-paced, and comical in all areas.

On the romantic front, Iris and Eddie struggled amid his newly kept secret. Eddie is apparently very transparent because Iris has zoned right in on the fact that he’s hiding something from her, while she cannot sense that her father or Barry is. The ultimatum she laid down at the end of the episode might soon spell the end for the once nascent duo. Meanwhile, the awkward 5-way dinner was Barry’s breaking point as knowing Dr. Wells's truth self-proved torturous.  

Side Notes/Burning Questions: Ray and Cisco were TV’s best new buds last week. How can Cisco remember Dr. Wells’ killing him if it did not happen in the current timeline? His mind should be just as wiped as everyone else’s. When did this episode take place in terms of the “Arrow” timeline? When we left with Felicity and Ray before the hiatus, their relationship seemed to be in limbo, and all hell was breaking loose in Starling City. They wouldn’t jet off at a time like that.

Arrow | Team Arrow said goodbye to one of their own, Roy Harper. The resulting farewell played out with a few surprising twists and turns, though the result remained the same. Roy never really fit in with the team. No matter how many attempts were made to reboot the character, whether he was the cocky street kid, the heart of gold rascal, the drugged-up superhero, or the kick-ass normal guy, none of it worked.

Similar to Laurel, finding a definitive characterization for Roy has been a difficulty the series has had since his introduction. With the door closed on him for now, his absence should give Team Arrow some much-needed breathing room and allow the writers to focus more on the characters on the canvas who do the work. 

Now to the episode’s big cliffhanger, Thea was left for dead after a brutal altercation with Ra’s Al Ghul. According to the previews, a Lazarus pool might bring her back from the underworld. “Arrow” has always been a show heavily based in the gritty “real world,” so its fling into the supernatural seems a bit out of character. Obviously, the show has hinted that Ra is a never aging, immortal, and the only way that would be feasible is if he’s a supernatural entity or the product of one’s interference. Any hope that the show will side with a scientific explanation is dimming exponentially.  

Side Notes/Burning Questions: Oliver couldn’t even hug Roy goodbye? How emotionally crippled is he? Why can Thea not know that Roy is alive? Why is Felicity still giving Oliver longing looks? If she breaks Ray’s heart, that will be tough for her to return.


Bates Motel |
For the past 3 weeks “Bates Motel” has been delivering the most riveting television of the year, and they didn’t let up on the streak with last week’s installment, “Norma Louise.” As the title suggests, the episode centered on Norma and the aftermath of her leaving town, attempting to shake off her identity. In light of her absence, there was a giant vacuum on the home front, and Norman came unglued over his mother’s departure.

Dylan and Emma worked together to manage the situation as Norman plunged to the depths of his illness. Meanwhile, Sheriff Romero was shot and, after confronting his rival, managed to rally out of his hospital bed and dispatch his nemesis.

As Norma headed back home, she stopped off at the residence of the hipster professor who’s been pursuing her. After sharing her dire fears for Norman’s mental health, they shared a tryst, and Norma explained she was headed back to her sons.

In a wildly accurate monologue to explain her decision, she used the giving tree story as a metaphor for parenthood, offering the best quote of the week: “Parents do not have needs. Have you ever read the book “The Giving Tree”? It’s about a tree, and this kid keeps coming and taking stuff from it until there’s nothing left but a stump. And then the kid sits on the stump. That’s being a parent.”

Surprising her sons with her return, she agreed to fulfill their wishes and meet with her brother. Their reunion would be the most powerful scene of the episode. A hyped-up Norma pounded on her estranged brother’s bus doors until Caleb answered. The flash in Vera Farmiga and Kenny Johnson’s eyes conveyed it all.

The history, the hurt, the pain, and the heartache melted away, with only this sad connection left between them. It was a moment two seasons in the making, and Farmiga and Johnson made it remarkable. Another episode is packed to the gills with action, drama, slight comedy, brilliant monologues, and phenomenal performances.  

Side Notes: Sheriff Romero’s first call after regaining consciousness was to Norma. Can you say, soul mates? Dylan and Emma bonded, and it seemed as though Emma might be figuring out that she’s been falling for the wrong Bates brother.