Action, fun, superheroes, and super villains – this year’s crossover had it all!
Every year for the past four years, The CW has done a crossover of its superhero shows. It started with just Arrow and The Flash but has since included Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. While last year’s crossover involved aliens invading Earth 1, this year’s crossover had a much darker tone: Nazis.
Although this story isn’t based on any existing storylines in any of the shows, it does take elements from the DC Universe. Example: an Earth where Nazis won World War II, turning the heroes into a Nazi version of themselves. This year’s crossover will have the heroes of the Arrowverse take on what could be the most dangerous enemies in the multiverse: themselves.
Crisis on Earth-X Part 1: Supergirl
This year’s crossover started much differently than lasts. Invasion featured Supergirl as its own stand-alone episode where the end led to the unfolding of events. This year, Supergirl played a much more pivotal role. We see everyone getting ready for Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris’s (Candice Patton) wedding, and get a glimpse of a very dark and very foreboding Earth-X.
With its dark tone and red sky, Earth-X looks like a far worse place than Earth-1. James Olsen’s (Mehcad Brooks) Guardian makes a surprise cameo fighting Dark Arrow. After his defeat, the episode moves into revealing how everyone needs to RSVP for the wedding on Earth-1.
The first half hour of Supergirl focuses on getting the heroes all in one place, AKA the wedding. We get some great character interactions, like Sara (Caity Lotz) and Alex (Chyler Leigh), and see how different storylines play out for those characters. And although many of these early storylines are just for kicks, there are some wonderful touching moments as well, especially for Stein (Victor Garber) and Jax (Franz Drameh).
With that being said, the second half of the episodes find us knee-deep in battle when the Nazis from Earth-X make their first move during the wedding. We have heroes fighting Nazis for a good five minutes before Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) finally fends them off and causes them to retreat with a sonic blast that knocks out her dark doppelganger. The heroes manage to capture Earth-X Prometheus, giving them a slight advantage.
The Supergirl episode of Crisis on Earth-X is a strong opener. It showcases the dangers of Earth-X and manages to balance out the seriousness with a little fun. On the other hand, the CGI is heavy and a bit overused when it didn’t have to be and tensions between characters escalated too quickly making the episode feel rushed.
Crisis on Earth-X Part 2: Arrow
Part 2 starts off with the big (and shocking) reveal of Earth-X Prometheus’s identity: Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell). Yes, TOMMY MERLYN, as in Oliver’s best friend from season one, as in the man who sacrificed himself to save Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) during the Undertaking. Oliver and Tommy have a touching moment at the beginning of the episode, but it’s all for naught. Tommy reveals that he still believes in his cause and kills himself.
Throughout the episode, we find out more about Earth-X and its place in the Multiverse. Earth-X is a 53rd Earth that no one talks about because of how dangerous it is. We also find out that Dark Archer, Overgirl, and Reverse Flash came to Earth-1 for reasons other than to conquer it. Overgirl is dying and needs Supergirl’s heart to stay alive.
So why go to Earth-1 to find a new heart for Overgirl? How could they have possibly known Supergirl would be there at that exact time? And how could Jax not know there was more than one earth? He met Supergirl in last year’s crossover after Barry went to ask for her help.
There were more unanswered questions that came up during this episode. The most pressing of all: How is the Reverse Flash still alive? Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) killed himself in the finale of season 1 of the Flash in order to erase him from the timeline. On top of that, Reverse Flash was killed yet again in last season’s finale of Legends of Tomorrow.
The episode ends with the heroes trapped in a concentration camp on Earth-X while Supergirl is stuck on Earth-1 with the evil doppelgangers. The cliffhanger leaves you wanting more and gets you excited for the next two episodes and how the heroes are going to stop their evil selves from conquering their Earth.
Crisis on Earth-X Part 3: The Flash
The third installment of Crisis on Earth-X adds to the already intense emotional roller coaster ride that is this year’s crossover. The heroes are still trapped in an Earth-X concentration camp but are luckily broken out by The Ray (Russell Tovey) and Earth-X’s Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) (Leo as he prefers). They bring the heroes back to the rebels’ base camp where it’s revealed how they arrived: a Nazi portal.
The heroes want to get home through the portal, but General Winn Schott (Jeremy Jorden) of Earth-X won’t allow it. Instead, he wants to blow up the portal with Red Tornado, stranding Dark Archer, Overgirl, and Reverse Flash on Earth-1. With some convincing from Ray and Leo, he does give the heroes an hour to go through the portal but ends up cutting their time short. They try to use that time to fight their way to the portal, but Stein gets shot by a Nazi soldier in his attempt to open the breach.
Back on Earth-1, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Iris try to free the heroes trapped in the Anti-Meta chambers in order to stop Dark Archer, Overgirl, and the Reverse Flash. As the Reverse Flash is about to perform surgery on Supergirl to take her heart and give it to Overgirl, Felicity cuts the power, shutting everything down just in the nick of time. She and Iris try to save Supergirl but are stopped by Metallo. Supergirl allows herself to be captured when Reverse Flash threatens to kill Felicity.
This episode showcased and explored the many different relationships and showed how they had evolved throughout the crossover. Sara and Alex share a touching moment where Sara reveals how she’d already lost her sister and that she won’t let Alex lose hers. Jax and Stein come to a major understanding that brings them closer than ever. And Iris and Felicity show how they’re not just dead weight, but can actually help out and even kick a little Nazi ass on their own.
Crisis on Earth-X Part 4: Legends of Tomorrow
The climax of Crisis on Earth-X culminates in a flood of action and emotion. It was known for a while that Victor Garber would be leaving Legends of Tomorrow to star in a revival of the play Hello Dolly! Unknown was how the show would address his absence. Most people assumed he would retire in the mid-season finale, but that’s not what happened. Instead, Martin Stein was killed. He took the vial Cisco (Carlos Valdes) gave him to separate his life force from Jax, allowing himself to die while Jax lived on.
All the heroes grieve his death and vow to stop the Nazis once and for all. They come together to take down the Nazis while the Flash, Supergirl, and Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) deal with their evil doppelgangers. In the end, Supergirl and Green Arrow deal with their counterparts permanently while Barry lets Reverse Flash go.
Barry flashes off to Star City to retrieve John Diggle (David Ramsey) for a nice little cameo as their officiant for the tiny riverfront ceremony. In a surprise twist, Oliver and Felicity also get married.
Crisis on Earth-X had a little bit of everything: action, suspense, laughs, and heartache. It took characters on emotional journeys and allowed them to grow stronger. While this crossover could have just been played off as a political message about current events like what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, it managed to evolve the characters in very powerful ways.
The episodes of the crossover have a political undertone telling Nazis they are not welcome on Earth-1, but that’s as far as it goes. Crisis on Earth-X managed to tell a great story. It also will surely have long-lasting effects on the rest of the Arrowverse.
For fans of the Arrowverse, I highly recommend watching this crossover for not just the action, but the great storytelling as well.
Photo Credit: The CW