Elseworlds: Will Barry lose himself as the Green Arrow?


In Elseworlds, Part 1, Iris warned Barry, the newly-minted Green Arrow, not to become too much like Oliver. Will Barry lose himself to darkness and anger?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no one has ever referenced Anton Chekhov in an article about an Arrowverse crossover event, like this year’s Elseworlds, or in an article about the Arrowverse, period. But there’s a first time for everything, so here it goes!

"“If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired.”"

Chekhov’s gun, the principle that every component of a story should be essential to it, factored into last night’s crossover kickoff, which found Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Stephen Amell) switching abilities and even personalities.

The duo realized that for Barry to be successful as The Green Arrow and Oliver as The Flash, Barry would need to channel Oliver’s darkness and pain while Ollie would need to channel Barry’s light and joy. During the episode’s climactic fight scene, Barry vowed to send their opponent “straight to hell” and gruffly, angrily delivered the iconic catchphrase, “You have failed this city.”

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Afterward, Iris (Candice Patton) warned Barry not to let the darkness overwhelm him, and Barry promised that he wouldn’t. But will he be able to keep that promise?

Maybe. But it won’t be easy. It shouldn’t be easy. We still have two whole episodes of Elseworlds to go, and Barry is only just coming into his own as the Green Arrow. Barry’s darkness should be the gun on the wall, and it should go off before the crossover is over. He should lose control, or at least come close to losing control, and there’s a reason to think he will.

According to Entertainment WeeklyThe Flash‘s showrunner Todd Helbing confirmed at a screening of the crossover that the back half of Flash‘s fifth season will explore whether Barry has become too influenced by Oliver’s darkness.

"“There’s an episode a little bit down the line where Barry deals a little bit with that.”"

In order for that to work, Barry will presumably need to go rather “full dark, no stars” during the crossover. Otherwise, why wouldn’t he be able to just bounce back when he becomes The Flash again at the end of Elseworlds?

The real question is how far will Barry go as the Green Arrow? What lines might he cross? Oliver admitted in “Elseworlds, Part 1” that he’s “had to kill to survive;” and, of course, in season one, he straight up assassinated people.

Barry, like Kara, is generally against killing. However, he has technically killed before, if you count the Sand Demon from season two, among others. He’s never killed in cold blood, though. But another Barry Allen has.

In The Flash‘s third season, the villainous Savitar tried to murder Iris but was thwarted by HR (Tom Cavanagh), who sacrificed himself. As was revealed earlier that season, Savitar was actually a future time remnant of Barry, who had turned evil after Iris’ murder in a timeline in which HR had not sacrificed himself. In others words, time remnant Barry had been driven to murder the love of his life by the pain of losing the love of his life, who he had murdered.

Yeah, it was confusing. But it proved that anyone can become a ruthless killer under the right circumstances. Barry doesn’t have Oliver’s traumatic past, but he certainly has a traumatic past of his own that he is now drawing on as the Green Arrow.

Next. Elseworlds: What have the heroes been up to this season?. dark

As the crossover continues and that darkness becomes overwhelming, will Barry be able to save himself, to stop himself, before he does something he can’t take back?

Elseworlds continues tonight with Arrow at 8 pm and will conclude tomorrow at 8 pm with Supergirl. Have you been watching? What do you think so far? Let us know in the comments section below.