Top 25 Episodes of the Arrowverse
The Arrowverse started five years ago with the pilot episode of Arrow, over that time it’s evolved into its own universe spanning over 200 episodes spread over five live-action shows and one animated. Over the five years the shows have had their fair share of ups and downs. I’m going to count down my opinion of what the Top 25 Episodes of the Arrowverse are, this is in no way a definitive list and i’m sure yours will differ from mine. Beware if you’re not caught up on the shows as spoilers for Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl from this point on.
25. Rogue Air (The Flash 1×22)
Rogue Air was an episode that came out of nowhere, here we are with a story about Captain Cold teaming up with Team Flash in order to transfer prisoners and by the end of it we have Oliver Queen and Firestorm show up to try to help Barry stop The Reverse Flash. It was such a fun team up and the fight was so entertaining and comic booky that this episode needs to be on this list, the mini crossover is extremely tame considering what we’re used to now but at the time it had one of the best scenes to come out of these shows.
24. Flash of Two Worlds (The Flash 2×02)
Flash of Two Worlds is one of the most significant episodes in the entire Arrowverse, and with good reason. Flash of Two Worlds is also the name of one of the most famous Flash comics from the 60’s, that issue gave us the first meeting of Jay Garrick and Barry Allen and it also introduced us to the Multiverse, so fittingly enough that’s exactly what this episode does. We’re introduced to Jay Garrick, Earth-2, Zoom and Patty Spivot and this episode truly cemented the fact that we were now in Flash comic book territory.
23. Flash vs. Arrow (The Flash 1×08)
Flash vs. Arrow earns it’s place on this list because it’s the first real crossover between the shows, this also created the trend that every eight episode after this would be a crossover. Being the first one makes this one kind of special, it’s fun seeing the two casts interact, it’s great seeing Diggle and Cisco argue over whether Barry or Oliver would win in a fight and most importantly, we actually see them fight. While this crossover is a little unimpressive when you’ve seen the recent ones, when this first came out I couldn’t believe what I was watching.
22. Star City 2046 (Legends of Tomorrow 1×06)
If we’re being completely honest, Legends of Tomorrow’s first season was extremely mediocre, it never reached any impressive heights and it never reached any serious lows but this episode definitely stood out as the best the show offered at the time. Star City 2046 involves the Legends getting stuck in Star City of 2046, a city that was conquered 20 years before by the son of Slade Wilson. We were shown an extremely old and broken Oliver Queen, one that had given up on life and had felt his friends had given up on him, that story combined with Connor Hawke puts this episode on the list.
21. Dead to Rights (Arrow 1×16)
Okay, admittedly Dead to Rights isn’t in the same league as some of the other Arrow episodes but this one was a dark gritty show at it’s best. This episode was all about how Deadshot has returned to kill Malcom Merlyn and Oliver needs to stop it at all costs. This episode has some of my favorite fight scenes in the entire show, it gives us some amazing Tommy Merlyn scenes and we also see Malcolm’s identity revealed to Tommy.
20. The Justice Society of America (Legends of Tomorrow 2×02)
The first two episodes of Legends’ second season immediately had shown that the series had taken a huge increase in quality, this also helped that the Justice Society of America (arguably the first DC superhero team) had joined the cast. The opening fight scene between the JSA and the Legends was the best fight scene we’d seen on the show yet and it was also nice to see the formation of the Legion of Doom with both Reverse Flash and Damien Darhk joining forces.
19. The Adventures of Supergirl ( Supergirl 2×01)
All throughout Supergirl’s first season we had constant allusions to the Man of Steel, rarely an episode passed that we didn’t get a reference to him or something similar, at a certain point I kind of accepted the fact that my all time favourite hero would only be seen through his texts to Kara (that really happened), this all changed in the premiere for season 2 when Superman actually showed up and while seeing him was great, it was the cousinly bond that him and Kara shared that made this episode so great, The Adventures of Supergirl was a very fitting way to begin the Girl of Steel’s second season.
18. Versus Zoom (The Flash 2×18)
In my opinion, the second season of The Flash was almost better than the first one, I loved almost every episode but after episode 18 everything went from being amazing to being pretty mediocre, it was after this episode that the season started to fall apart. Versus Zoom however was an intense episode that gave us the rematch between Barry and Hunter (Jay), we got to see Hunter’s backstory and something that was so great about this episode was how much Hunter and Barry’s backstory’s mirrored each other, you really felt that if Joe and Iris weren’t there for Barry then it wouldn’t have been much of a leap for him to become Zoom rather than The Flash.
17. Checkmate (Arrow 5×16)
Season five of Arrow was a huge return to form after a season and a half of some pretty boring – bad stuff. Checkmate was the first time since mid-season 3 that I was in the episode and couldn’t wait to find out what happened next, this was the episode that changed the season from being good to amazing, it dialed everything up to 11, it introduced Talia to present day, it gave us the first evil Adrian scenes. Everytime both Adrian and Oliver are on-screen together in this episode is some of the best acting this show has produced. The following episode Kapuishon was also amazing but this was the episode that I realised Arrow was back.
16. Broken Arrow (Arrow 3×19)
While season three of Arrow was definitely not on par with the first two, it still gave us some very intense episodes, one of those was Broken Arrow. This episode included some huge game changers for the shows, Roy left for good, Thea was killed by Ra’s and this led to her Bloodlust arc, the revelation that Meta’s aren’t just in Central City and we even got our first team up between Ray and Oliver. The stakes were at the highest they’d ever been during this episode, and seeing Oliver after he hears Roy died still hits as hard now as it ever did.
15. The Promise (Arrow 2×15)
Arrow season two is one of the highlights of the Arrowverse and most of that is thanks to the craziness that was Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson. We had been building to the inevitable meeting between Oliver and Slade for a few episodes and The Promise was when it all came to ahead, most of this episode took place in the flashbacks on Lian Yu and it showed us how Oliver and Slade’s friendship fell apart, this episode set up what was quite possibly the best quality run of episodes for Arrow.
14. World’s Finest (Supergirl 1×18)
It was confirmed before Supergirl even started that the show and the character would remain secluded from the Arrowverse, this didn’t last long however as just after the mid-season premiere we got an announcement of a crossover between Supergirl and The Flash. This episode pitted Kara and Barry against Livewire and Silver Banshee and it was such a fun thing to see. Nothing will ever be like the first time these two characters met and honestly I think Kara and Barry’s friendship is my favorite friendship between two heroes in any of these shows.
13. Enter Zoom (The Flash 2×06)
After five episodes of hyping Zoom up, Enter Zoom was the episode that changed how we perceived him forever, it changed Barry and Team Flash forever, it even changed Central City in that now they knew that The Flash could be broken, he could be defeated and he could be killed. The final ten minutes of the episode is some of the scariest, most brutal scenes we’ve seen in these shows, it is a straight ten minutes of Barry being beaten, crippled and shown that he is not the fastest man alive.
12. Flash Back ( The Flash 2×17)
In Flash Back Barry travels back in time to season one (episode 11 to be exact), his intention is to talk to Harrison Wells before Harrison revealed who he really was to Team Flash, Barry needs the speed equation so that he can be fast enough to beat Zoom. This episode changed the timeline (very slightly) and those changes are still active in the Arrowverse today, seeing Eddie again was also really satisfying, this is an episode that I still love to watch even after seeing it half a dozen times.
11. City of Blood (Arrow 2×21)
City of Blood quite possibly has the least amount of action/ fight scenes out of any other Arrow episode and in way it’s what makes this one so great. This episode dealt with the direct aftermath of Moira’s death, Oliver’s given up on life and attempts to give himself up to Slade, Laurel joins Team Arrow (kinda) and we have our best Sebastian Blood scenes in the entire show, this episode focused more on the characters themselves than the looming conflict and it shines through every chance it gets.
10. The Odyssey (Arrow 1×14)
The Odyssey was the first flashback-centric episode of Arrow and what was originally just an experiment from the Arrow crew ended up being one of the best decisions they made on the show. Slade and Oliver met for the first time the episode before so this episode was all about the two getting to know each other and working together, it’s hard rewatching this episode knowing what the two brothers become but this episode was so good because of the emphasis it put on the two characters and their relationship with each other.
9. Fast Enough (The Flash 1×23)
Fast Enough was also an episode that relied more on character development than on the spectacle of a huge battle and it was all the better for it. Seeing everyone Barry currently cared about telling him that he should go back in time and save his mother really put emphasis on how much these people had grown and become friends and family to Barry, while it was sad to see Harrison/ Eobard go (not for long) the way it happened was amazing, and I couldn’t talk about this episode without mentioning the saddest scene in the entire show: Barry not being able to save his mother.
8. The Climb (Arrow 3×09)
While I really dislike the direction that Arrow goes in the second half of season 3, I absolutely love how the first half of the season was and ended and if the show-runners really wanted to then they could’ve made The Climb a series finale. This episode ended on the biggest cliffhanger that the show has ever had: The death of Oliver Queen, and yes this episode is just a Batman storyline but they executed it perfectly, the way they resolved this cliffhanger however was a huge copout and they should’ve done it so much better.
7. The Legion of Doom (Legends of Tomorrow 2×10)
I’ve already said how Legends’ second season was leagues above the first but this episode definitely pushed that bar so much higher. The Legion of Doom was an episode that mostly took place from the perspective of the villains, we get to see Eobard, Malcolm and Damien attempt to break Rip Hunter (or Phil) and gain the secrets to the Spear of Destiny, this episode also reintroduces Black Flash to the Arrowverse and we get an understandable answer for why Reverse Flash hasn’t been erased from the timeline.
6. Duet (The Flash 3×17)
Duet was an episode that could have gone completely wrong if it wasn’t handled with extreme care but luckily the creative teams of Supergirl and Flash made an amazing episode that I really hope becomes a yearly tradition in the Arrowverse. The best parts of this episode were the two songs made just for this episode preformed amazingly by both Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist, the two of them performing Super-Friends is such a fun thing to watch. This episode also was the first time that we see Supergirl characters other than Kara herself travel to Earth-1 and it’s something I hope we see more of in the future.
5. Three Ghosts (Arrow 2×09)
Three Ghosts is an episode that I’ll always put on any list of my favorite episodes, this episode came out on a day when I wasn’t doing so good, it helped me through it and it’s definitely my most watched episode of the entire show, it also raised the bar for what I thought Arrow could do in their episodes and it raised the stakes for the show as a whole as well, we get to see Barry before he comes The Flash, we see Oliver start on the path to becoming the hero he is supposed to be, we see the death of Shado whose death is still having effects on Oliver in season five and of course we get the revelation that Slade is still alive in present day and he’s coming for Oliver.
4. Arrow’s 100th (Arrow 5×08)
Yes this episode is actually called Invasion! and yes it is part of the four show crossover but I feel like this episode deserves its spot as a standalone and isn’t burdened by the crossover, we do have to thank the crossover though for giving us the unique circumstances we needed for this episode to happen. Arrow’s 100th included almost every single big character the show has ever had in at least some capacity, we got to see Robert and Moira again, Oliver get’s married to Laurel and we see Diggle as the Green Arrow.
3. Invasion! (The Flash 3×08, Arrow 5×08, Legends of Tomorrow 2×07)
This year’s crossover was the greatest accomplishment that the shows and the CW have ever been able to pull, it was such an amazing thing to watch and seeing all four shows come together for a three night crossover was even better than I imagined it would be, if you aren’t caught up on the four shows then jumping into the crossover can be a little daunting but I promise you it’s worth every second.
2. Welcome to Earth-2 (The Flash 2×13)
One of the best things that ever happened to the Arrowverse was the introduction to the Multiverse, it allowed us to see characters who were dead (Ronnie, Laurel, Deadshot) and it even is the reason why Supergirl is able to exist alongside the other shows. Our first real journey into the Multiverse came from this episode and they went all in with it. This episode was filled with Easter Eggs too, the phone numbers of the Justice League members, Deadshot and Tomahawk being good guys, we even got glimpses of Supergirl and Connor Hawke. This is hands down the most fun we’ve had come from an episode of The Flash and I hope we get more episodes like this with different Earth’s at some point.
1. Lian Yu (Arrow 5×23)
And here we have my number one choice. The thing about Lian Yu is that if you haven’t seen the previous 5 years of Arrow then this episode isn’t going to mean near as much to you or have as big of an impact. This episode brought Arrow full circle by completing the five-year flashbacks, this was more like a 100th episode than the 100th was. The first lines spoken in this episode are the first lines spoken in the pilot episode, we have the return of both Slade Wilson and Captain Boomerang, honestly if you are a fan of Arrow then there is very little you can hate in this episode because it has something for every kind of fan, and this is all without even mentioning the amazing acting from both Stephen Amell and Josh Segarra, Stephen gives some of the best performances he ever has in this very episode.
And there you have it, my top 25 episodes of the Arrowverse. I’m sure your list varies from mine so if you have an episode that you think needed to be on this list then let me know. Thanks for reading.
Connor Cunningham covers ENTERTAINMENT for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @Connoriscoolio