Here we are at the annual crossover event; something even the writers of the shows are conscious about as they constantly make jokes on how ‘we promised them no more crossovers’. Crisis On Infinite Earths is a direct follow-up to last year’s ‘Elseworlds’, which events have been teased since the very beginning of The Flash. Whilst every other crossover seems to be a throwaway story-line, intended to boost ratings, Crisis On Infinite Earths promises to change the Arrowverse – so much so – both Arrow and The Flash have dedicated their seasons to its build-up.
This crossover was promised to be the biggest yet, teasing the death of so many characters and the decision to have the biggest two shows in the universe; The Flash and Arrow have entire seasons dedicated to the build up. And there is no debate, the crossover is the biggest ever seen on TV and whilst it seems in every other comic-book adaptation, the writers try their hardest to make everything fit a narrative. If there is no reason for it, they won’t include even if it would seem cool. This crossover event throws that all out of the window, it is unequivocally a love-letter to its fans and quite frankly what everyone has waited the entirety of seven years to see – cameos we get to see were a pipe-dream a year ago. This is a much more event-driven crossover, an ambitious crossover intended to unite every possible character and Crisis is a spectacle, but its story is riddled with complexity and due to the sheer nature of the crossover the first three episodes don’t replicate what all the other Arrow-verse shows are so great in doing; character dynamics and the development between the characters. We get a little development between Kara and Kate but (again) because of how many characters their are, we are rushed into the story without a moment to reflect. Of course, there are still two episodes remaining and I would expect much more character development (especially considering where the episode finished)
A question must be posed? Can you watch this crossover without understanding where these characters are? And, in short – I would say if you were once upon a time a fan, you need not watch any other show bar the one you probably, already are (we all know- it’s The Flash) watching. I don’t watch Supergirl, and forgot Batwoman had started and I still understood everything perfectly. And – now, I do need to clarify that statement. You will be confused – hell; even if you watch every episode of every show you still won’t understand what is going on – and this is intended. The creators want to leave a little bit of suspense for the final two that will air at the beginning of next year. The episodes will pose questions and then try their hardest to not answer them, simply teasing ‘their fate is decided’. This suspense is created no doubt to mirror that of Infinity War, where we had to wait an entire year to see the outcome of that story line, and with this crossover you have to wait a month.
SUPERGIRL (SEASON 5 EPISODE 9): CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS PART 1
The very first episode of the crossover takes place in Supergirl. And, like I said earlier, from the very first moment the show wastes no time and jumps into the action. It is extremely fast-paced; which I can only presume would feel less rushed if you had watched every show. The very start of the episode introduces the audience to what is happening and whilst, widely confusing, from the very first moment (the Monitor’s voice-over), you understand the significance of the crossover and understand this is a spectacle you need to experience. And it grows from there, with multiple cameos and the team assembling. After most the team are united, Lyla – now ‘Harbinger’ (don’t ask; I have no idea) explains what is happening, and what needs to be done next.
I really liked the first episode of the crossover, but Lyla’s role is quite possibly the weirdest decision made by the writers, I am not a fan of the role she takes on. And it isn’t because she withholds information from the heroes in order to add confusion because as I said; I think that was needed to add to the spectacle. Because there is no time to settle, there is no time to see the heroes comprehend what their friend (or some) has become. But, whilst the writers get Lyla wrong, they perfect H.R Wells as ‘Pariah’ and he gets the (second) best dialogue as he hints that what he uncovered was in fact the Anti-Monitor and now he is a slave to see his actions.
It is worth pointing out that, although I don’t watch Supergirl, whenever I watch these crossover events I never see enough Manhunter. Nevertheless, quite possibly the best two moments of the show fall upon Oliver’s shoulders. The first is his showdown with The Monitor after a very touching scene with Barry; the only scene shared between the two of them (which I hope we get more of next year). And, we get a death I did expect we would get so early, and what a phenomenal final line to deliver; ‘Then it’s not time’.
BATWOMAN (SEASON 1 EPISODE 9): CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS PART 2
Part 2 is definitely the weakest of the three episodes, as the Monitor learns there are seven paragons from the Book of Destiny (which Lex Luthor is brought back to steal) who could save the multiverse, Sara and Kara are two, and the Monitor knows of two others – a Superman: Iris, Clark and Lois must find. And a Bat, of who Kate and Kara must find. These leads to one of the best cameos I have ever seen in my life, and something I had only hoped would one day come true. Tom Weiling cameos as Superman from Smallville; a TV show that defined my childhood and got me so invested in comic-book shows.
Furthermore, due to the Anti-Monitor’s growing powers – the Monitor cannot undo Oliver’s death. However, Barry and Mia cannot let Oliver die, and enlist the help of Sara and Constantine to bring him back via a Lazarus Pit. I really liked that this showed how important Oliver was, Mia and Barry know how dangerous bringing Oliver back can be but they don’t care. This is evident in Sara’s reaction too, knowing she should stop it but knowing they all need Oliver. I also loved how, Barry can’t lose Oliver knowing his death is as a result of a deal Oliver made to save him, mirroring The Flash season 2, where he saves his mother to create the Flashpoint in the season finale.
The actual part itself was slightly lacklustre, but I believe that is mainly because of how Batwoman hasn’t managed to find its footing just yet. The episode does manage to give some development between Kara and Kate, as Kate learns there is a fine line between hero and villain, something I assume she is struggling with as her arc in the show ( again, I don’t watch it so I don’t know).
THE FLASH (SEASON 6 EPISODE 9): CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS PART 3
The third part of the crossover, continues where the first left off, getting back into the action and progresses the crossover. The team must find the remaining Paragon’s who are Barry, Manhunter and a normal civilian named Ryan Choi. Barry and the rest of Team Flash find the anti-matter generator and see that another Earth’s Flash is powering it. Diggle makes it to the base and learns of Oliver’s fate and travels with Constantine and Mia to fix it.
Whilst Mr.Smallville’s cameo was amazing, this episode arguably manages to compete with it, as it has a cameo from none other than the devil himself: Lucifer. A cameo I couldn’t believe I was witnessing, they visit Lucifer to be able to cross over to Purgatory visit Oliver. Although, Oliver’s death scene was incredible, not having Diggle or anyone from the original show was a little disappointing and thus, when the two meet on Lian Yu, the embrace is truly heart-warming as Diggle and Mia come to terms with Oliver’s fate.
As I said at the beginning, Crisis throws everything but the kitchen sink at this crossover, and Black Lightening’s appearance was something a year ago, the creators said would never happen. I really enjoyed him and I loved how he seemed to be the only one who didn’t take the fact everyone died in his stride, actually taking a moment to think about what he wants to do. I can’t wait to see what we see from him when he next appears. All that being said, his actual appearance was so random as he just appeared at the right time with no context; but I presume if you watch his show you would understand it better.
Black Lightening appears to save the generator from going critical, whilst the Flash from another world sacrifices himself to stop the wave and destroy the generator meaning Barry isn’t the one who vanishes in the Crisis. I really do hope that, somehow Earth-1 Barry still has to face his fate to save the world, and potentially vanish in the crisis.