To Gotham, we go!
After much teasing and name dropping over the course of the season, the Arrow-verse has finally taken us to Gotham in part 2 of the Elseworlds crossover. And we’ve finally gotten our introduction to Ruby Rose as Batwoman (aka Kate Kane), not to mention the reason why neither Oliver (Stephen Amell) nor Barry (Grant Gustin) has crossed paths with Batman throughout these past seven years.
Designed as the Arrow portion of the crossover, this episode set up two key elements: establishing Batwoman as a potential spinoff series, and explaining The Monitor’s motives enough so that when part 3 of the crossover aired, it wouldn’t feel like an info-dump when it came time to reveal all.
In those aspects, ‘Elseworlds‘ Part 2 was an impressive feat. Props to writer/executive producer Marc Guggenheim for keeping the narrative clear and concise throughout the episode. Batwoman was given a fantastic entrance in the scene where the inmates escape Arkham Asylum, and the final few minutes gave incredible insight into not only part 3 of the crossover but also a crisis that could potentially alter the Arrow-verse as we know it.
Because the Arrow portion of the crossover juggled so many narrative elements, Arrow’s supporting cast got the same treatment that The Flash’s did in part 1, although it’s arguable that Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) were better integrated here than in their own episode. The takeaway here is that the bulk of the episode sets up a possible backdoor pilot for Batwoman, or maybe even a smaller scale take on the Arrow-verse reiteration of the Justice League. It’s more than just an episode of Arrow.
And it works in the episode favor. Not only does it carry over the humor of part 1 with Grant Gustin’s retelling of Stephen Amell’s usual Arrow introduction, but it also establishes Oliver’s steadfast insistence that Batman is an urban legend concocted by the Gotham City police, and the introduction of Batwoman gives us some pretty damn cool fight scenes around Arkham.
Although it doesn’t exactly make sense that Barry would see Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) and Oliver would see the Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanagh) when hit by Scarecrow‘s fear gas, it’s a great little aside that enables our heroes to see things from the other’s perspective, and so that Batwoman can knock some sense into them after realizing what happened. Still, it’s a bit eye-roll inducing to have the villains explain Barry and Oliver’s backstories to each other.
The episode’s final moments reveal the Monitor’s plan and give us an intriguing tease of part 3: he’s trying to prepare the universe for an imminent “crisis.” The terms have major implications for the Arrow-verse, most notably Barry Allen, as it seems that there are multiple realities on the verge of colliding.
All in all, this episode managed to continue the momentum set in part 1 of Elseworlds, bringing with it some hilarious and sobering moments. While The Flash felt more like a stand-alone episode, Arrow felt more like a crossover: multiple heroes from multiple Earths coming together to set things right. Oh, and of course, the introduction of Batwoman brought with it the implications of a possible spin-off series for the caped crusader.
Photo Credit: The CW