Mayhem ensues in this year’s three-part crossover.
This year’s ‘Elseworlds’ crossover kicked off with a body swap of sorts on The Flash. Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) became Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and vice versa. It was a fun prelude to a much darker storyline ahead. While amusing and sometimes downright hilarious, Part 1 of the crossover gave us an introspective look at The Flash and Arrow.
Bookended by scenes involving The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) and Arkham Asylum psychiatrist Dr. John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) that hinted at a much larger conflict, Part 1’s primary interest was in exploring the identity switch premise at the center of the episode. Watching Oliver and Barry switch lives with each other was a delightful bit of silliness in an otherwise dark storyline.
Although not as dark as last year’s opening to ‘Crisis on Earth-X’, ‘Elseworlds‘ Part 1 was a cheeky way for The Flash writers to poke fun at the state of the Arrow-verse shows. Oliver got to tease Barry about how overwrought and sensitive The Flash storylines often get. Barry got his revenge for Oliver shooting him in the back with two crossbow bolts. And then that scene where Cisco (Carlos Valdes) referred to touch as Barry’s “love language”… The look on Oliver’s face was priceless! It was pretty clear that the cast had just as much fun playing out the premise as the viewers had watching it.
‘Elseworlds‘ Part 1 wasn’t all fun and games, though. It gave us a deep look at how different Oliver’s and Barry’s lives were. The key takeaway for the body swap problem was that both men needed to embrace each other’s personalities, which meant Oliver needed to loosen up and have a little more fun while Barry needed to embrace his dark side.
We also got to meet Bitsie Tulloch’s Lois Lane and got some quality time with her and Superman/Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin). It was the small touches like introducing the Kent Farm scenes with the Smallville theme song that made it obvious this episode was meant to be fun and that everyone had a great time making it.
While it’s pretty awesome we finally got to see Lois Lane, the rest of The Flash’s supporting cast seemed to only be there to move the second part of the story along the Amazo attack on Central City, which played as a standalone villain-of-the-week type episode. The good thing that came out of it was Barry and Oliver being forced to take on each other’s personalities and powers in order to beat Amazo. Yet it was a pretty short fight for Green Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Superman to participate in together, but how cool was it to see how far we’ve come in the six years since Arrow debuted.
All in all, this was a great little introduction to ‘Elseworlds’, but it felt more like a stand-alone episode of The Flash or possibly even Arrow. We could have seen more of The Flash team working with Barry and Oliver, but instead, they ended up getting sidelined in order to move the body swapping story forward. Understandable considering it became a major player in part 2.
Photo Credit: Photo: Katie Yu/The CW