The Arrowverse has enjoyed some amazing growth over the past few years. What started as one series about a hooded vigilante has ballooned into a massive shared universe that touches on nearly every corner of DC Comics lore.
Between Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl, the Arrowverse is now several hundred episodes deep and still going strong.
Let’s take a look at some of the best episodes across the Arrowverse:
The Top 20 Arrowverse Episodes So Far.
20“Enter Zoom” (The Flash S2E6)
The Flash’s second season had a tall order to fill when it came to introducing a villain as compelling and frightening as Reverse-Flash. Fortunately, Zoom had no trouble making an impression in his first major battle with Team Flash.
By the end, viewers are left to wonder how Barry Allen can hope to outrun this twisted, demonic voiced speedster from another world. Fortunately, that darkness is balanced out by an entertaining storyline involving Linda Park being groomed to take the place of her evil Earth-2 counterpart.
19“The Runaway Dinosaur” (The Flash S2E21)
Filmmaker Kevin Smith has found a new calling as a recurring director on “The Flash” and “Supergirl”, and his Flash debut remains his strongest effort to date.
This episode banks again on Barry’s guilt over his mother’s death and plays out as a sequel of sorts to the Season 1 finale, “Fast Enough.” The episode also highlights the unusual nature of the Speed Force and its connection to Barry.
Season 2 didn’t end as well as it should, making “The Runaway Dinosaur” the last truly great installment of that year.
18“The Brave and the Bold” (Arrow S3E8)
Back when there were just two Arrowverse shows on the air, the annual crossovers were a little smaller in scope. That didn’t hinder “The Brave and the Bold” one bit, however.
This episode makes great use of the culture clash that comes when Team Flash heads to Starling City and butt heads with Team Arrow. From Cisco geeking out about the “Arrow Cave” to Diggle’s awkward reaction to metahuman powers, this crossover gave Arrow a much-needed injection of fun.
“The Brave and the Bold” also makes particularly strong use of Nick Tarabay’s Captain Boomerang as the villain.
17“Exodus” (Supergirl S2E15)
Supergirl’s second season focused a great deal on the tension between humanity and Earth’s extraterrestrial immigrants. The conflict was used as an X-Men-worthy metaphor for the immigration debate.
Nowhere was the topic handled better than in this episode, as Kara’s role as defender of the common man became ever more important. Two key scenes elevate this episode.
First, the emotionally charged reunion between Alex and her long-lost father, Jeremiah. Second, Kara’s heroic near-sacrifice in the climax gives the Danvers sisters a moment straight out of The Wrath of Khan.
16“Destiny” (Legends of Tomorrow S1E15)
Legends of Tomorrow went through a lot of growing pains in its first season, but when the show was on, it was on. The first season peaked in its penultimate episode, one that culminates in the heroic death of Leonard Snart.
That tragic moment caps off years of growth for the character, as Snart evolved from the selfish thief and antagonist to Team Flash. His death in this episode is an emotional moment, to be sure, but also one that’s continued to impact the series in numerous ways going forward.
The fall of Captain Cold merely paved the way for the rise of the Heat Wave.
15“Unthinkable” (Arrow Season 2 Finale)
The Season 2 finale, “Unthinkable,” sees Oliver and his team take on Slade and his army. The episode is filled with memorable moments as Nyssa al Ghus kills Isabel, Diggle enlists the help of the Suicide Squad, and Oliver takes down Slade.
Season 2 is one of the best the Arrowverse has ever produced as it expanded the Arrow mythology while showcasing Slade as the series’ best villain.
“Unthinkable” is the perfect ending to this groundbreaking season, delivering on the highly anticipated showdown between Oliver and Slade.
14“Unchained” (Arrow S4E12)
Although Arrow’s fourth season is regarded by many fans as the show’s worst, it had its moments. “Unchained” stands out for two reasons. For one, it features the return of several fan-favorite characters, including Celina Jade’s Shado and Colton Haynes’ Roy Harper.
With the latter, “Unchained” managed to deliver a much more fitting sendoff than Roy was allowed in Season 3. This episode also stands out for having some of the strongest action sequences in the show’s history.
13“Flash vs Arrow” (The Flash)
In the Season 1 episode “Flash vs Arrow,” Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity travel to Central City in pursuit of a criminal. While there, Barry falls victim to Roy Bivolo’s powers and ends up becoming rageful and aggressive, leading to a showdown between Arrow and the Flash.
Considering how early on in the show this episode occurred, it was one of the first and best Arrowverse crossover episodes. It delivered on the franchise’s potential; by delivering a fun episode and memorable fight between the two heroes.
12“Raiders of the Lost Art” (Legends of Tomorrow S2E9)
Legends of Tomorrow was in top form when it returned from its winter hiatus in Season 2. This episode sends the Legends back to 1967 to stop the Legion of Doom from killing a young George Lucas and harnessing the Spear of Destiny.
As usual, the sheer absurdity of that premise is enough to result in a fun, wacky time-travel adventure. But “Raiders of the Lost Art” managed to go deeper, using this oddball situation as a way of reflecting on Lucas’ filmmaking legacy. It successfully portrayed Lucas’ impact on the generation of geeks like Ray Palmer and Nate Heywood.
11“Sacrifice” (Arrow S1E23)
“Sacrifice” basically set the gold standard for season finales in the Arrowverse. The hero and their nemesis have to have one showdown with the fate of a city hanging in the balance. By the end, the hero must lose a loved one before victory can be achieved.
There’s a reason that formula has become so prevalent. “Sacrifice” capped off Arrow’s first year in fine form, culminating in the heart-wrenching death of Tommy Merlyn. It set the stage for even darker days to come for Oliver Queen.
10“Three Ghosts” (Arrow S2E9)
“Three Ghosts” was certainly an eventful way to wrap up the first half of Arrow’s second season. This episode loosely parodies A Christmas Carol as a hallucinating Ollie is tormented by the ghosts of past, present, and future.
The series paved the way for the series premiere of The Flash by wrapping up Grant Gustin’s guest role on the series. But most memorably of all, it gave fans the twist they’d wanted most to see, as Slade Wilson was revealed to be alive and plotting his revenge against Ollie.
9“Phone Home” (Legends of Tomorrow S3E4)
Very often, Legends of Tomorrow is at its best when the series worries less about the larger narrative and more about simply having a good time. This was very much the case with “Phone Home,” which dragged the team back to the early 80s to protect a young Ray and his new BFF, a baby Dominator.
The episode stops just short of being overly saccharine, serving as a wonderful tribute to Ray’s innate optimism and just delivering a steady stream of joy from start to finish.
8“The Odyssey” (Arrow S1E14)
Flashbacks to Ollie’s hellish life on Lian Yu have been a hallmark of Arrow from the very beginning. “The Odyssey” marks the first time the series delivered an episode focused almost entirely on those flashbacks.
We saw Ollie battle for his life in the present and the fans were treated to a closer glimpse of his struggles on the island. His growing bond with fellow refugee Slade Wilson caught the attention of fans too.
Were it not for this episode, the inevitable dissolution of their friendship in Season 2 wouldn’t have carried nearly as much weight. “The Odyssey” proves that flashbacks can be a huge boon to the series when handled properly.
7“The Trap” (The Flash)
The 20th episode of season 1, “The Trap,” sees Barry and his team try to lure Reverse-Flash into a trap. Reverse-Flash, however, is one step ahead of the heroes, escapes the trap, and takes Eddie hostage.
The episode is full of exciting twists and reveals as Gideon informs Barry about important moments from his future and Iris learns that Barry is the Flash. Additionally, the episode helps further prove that Reverse-Flash is one of the smartest and most powerful villains in the entire Arrowverse.
Slade Wilson is the best villain Arrow has produced so far, if not the best villain in the entire Arrowverse. That’s even though he only really qualifies as a villain for roughly one-half of one season.
Slade was certainly at his most evil and vindictive in this episode. He roared through Ollie’s life like a destructive hurricane and left ruination in his wake.
By the end, viewers could only wonder if there was room left for life to get worse for Ollie and Team Arrow. Sadly, the answer would turn out to be yes.
5“Duet” (The Flash S3 E17)
“Duet” is further proof that the smaller, more intimate Arrowverse crossovers are often better than the sweeps week-driven spectacles. This delightful episode reunites Barry Allen and Kara Danvers as the two find themselves forced by the Music Meister to act out an elaborate musical.
Fortunately, with both Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist being Glee alumni, the result is a terrific musical as well as a hilarious send-up of the genre. And this episode is just more proof that Barry and Kara are rarely better than when they join forces to battle evil.
4“City of Blood” (Arrow S2 E21)
Arrow’s second season peaked near the end thanks to “City of Blood.” It was a thoroughly excellent episode set in the aftermath of Moira Queen’s death at the hands of Slade Wilson. Here we saw a hero at his lowest ebb, finally undone by the villain determined to take everything from him.
But perhaps the real star of the show in this episode is Sebastian Blood. As much as Slade hogged the spotlight in Season 2. Blood’s evolution from outright villain to the remorseful, would-be savior of Starling City provided the season with some of its best drama. This episode serves as a particularly strong showcase for that character.
3“Fast Enough” (The Flash S1E23)
Bringing season 1 to a close, the season finale “Fast Enough” sees Barry learn the truth about his mother’s death at Reverse-Flash’s hands. This prompts him to create a wormhole to return to the past to save her before being warned not to by a future version of himself.
Ending with a massive cliffhanger as Barry runs into a black hole, the episode is full of shocking moments like Eddie’s sacrifice to wipe our Eobard. It is a great conclusion to one of the best seasons of any superhero show ever.
2“Beebo the God of War” (Legends of Tomorrow S3E9)
No other show on television has Legends of Tomorrow’s knack for blending ridiculously goofy situations with real, resonant humanity. When the series strikes that delicate balance between the two, the results are magical.
That was the case with this Season 3 episode, set in the aftermath of the “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover and the tragic death of Professor Stein.
On one hand, seeing the team travel back to Viking times and encountering a talking stuffed animal worshiped as a god was just the dose of inane comedy fans needed. But on the other, this episode balances that goofiness with a touching farewell to Stein and a strong character arc for his partner, Jax.
1“Lian Yu” (Arrow S5E23)
The season 5 finale, “Lian Yu,” features some of the show’s biggest and most dramatic action sequences. Oliver and his team battle against Adrian Chase and his supporters on an island rigged with explosives.
The long-awaited return of Slade Wilson is just one of many highlights in this episode, one that wrapped up the Green Arrow/Prometheus rivalry. But perhaps no moment proved more chilling than finally seeing the flashback storyline wrap up. The younger Ollie fires that fateful arrow that brought him back to the outside world way back in the first episode making the fans excited.
The episode benefitted from a dramatic cliffhanger ending that leaves many of the characters’ fates in jeopardy. There was a great balance of character moments and action. Accompanied by Adrian’s shocking death that sets off the explosives, it is not hard to see why “Lian Yu” is the best-rated episode in the entire Arrowverse.
The Arrowverse is an American media franchise and a shared universe that is centered on various interconnected television series based on DC Comics superhero characters, primarily airing on The CW as well as web series on CW Seed.
Set in a shared fictional multiverse much like the DC Universe and DC Multiverse in comic books, it was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast and characters that span seven live-action television series and two animated series.
Seven television series make up the bulk of the Arrowverse franchise: Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, Batwoman and Superman & Lois, along with two web series, Vixen and Freedom Fighters: The Ray.