After the first half of the “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover event, the battle between Team Superheroes of Earth-1 and the Nazis of Earth-X was not in the good guys’ favor at all. Dark Arrow, Overgirl and Dark Flash had their adversaries locked up on Earth-X or in Star Labs, with Supergirl in their hands to take her heart to save the evil Kara.
This was the darkest The Flash episode that I can remember both figuratively and literally. Though each hour of the crossover ran cohesively together, this one felt the darkest, because the time spent on Earth-X and was more like an hour of Arrow than any of the other three shows. (That also could be due to the use of the Arrow Bunker on Earth-X).
Oliver, Sara and others were dropped on Erde-X to be dealt with, and they got a good glimpse at that gloomy world. The imprisonment of gays and Jews was reflective of the Nazi regime, yet also provided social commentary of today — and the use of the pink triangles and stars on the prisoners reflected that. The introduction of The Ray, however convenient, allowed for an instant emotional connection to the character shown by the troubled look shared between Alex and Sara.
But some of the best moments in second night of “Crisis on Earth-X” came when characters unexpectedly showed up at the exact moment they were needed to “save the day.” On Earth-X, Leo Snart, aka Citizen Cold, arrived just in the nick of time to save his love, The Ray, and the Superheroes from Earth-1. And in keeping with the “Earth-X is opposite of Earth-1” theme, this Leo was a good guy with an honest heart. Wentworth Miller portrayed this version of Snart well with humor, wit and heart.
The Earth-1 Superheroes then joined Citizen Cold and The Ray in the resistance against the Nazis. In another surprise, Winn was the leader of the resistance: General Schott! This was intriguing transformation to see. The usually reserved, super-friendly Earth-1 Winn was nowhere to be found, instead the General was fierce, stubborn and committed to his cause over the people close to him. He was willing to sacrifice the one option to get the Earth-1 folks home in order to prevent the Fuhrer from ever returning to Earth-X. He didn’t have a heart to to interfere with his plan. It was all achieving his goal to destroy the temporal gateway.
Things didn’t go according to plan on Earth-X, though. Red Tornado set out to destroy the facility, while The Flash and The Ray went after him, and those inside fought off Nazis to secure the breach to get home. Both battle scenes were engrossing to watch. They weren’t without casualties though, as Stein was shot, yet still he found it within himself to crawl to the control panel and save the day by activating the breach. A real hero.
Back on Earth-1, Thawne used artificial red sun to weaken Supergirl in order to harvest her heart to save Overgirl. The interactions between Kara and Overgirl were outstanding. It was a reminder of the deep evil within Overgirl in contrast to Kara’s good and kind heart. Melissa Benoist did an outstanding job playing against herself in these scenes as the good and evil Kara. Ultimately, the Fuhrer and his wife were willing to kill as many people as possible to achieve their goal, and that was something that Kara couldn’t comprehend.
Meanwhile, Felicity and Iris worked to save their friends and get Supergirl away from Dark Arrow and Overgirl. They kicked ass, but ultimately failed. The Nazi presence in S.T.A.R. Labs was more than they could overcome. Felicity encrypted access, though, and when Dark Arrow threatened her life for the code, Supergirl gave herself up to save the others from death. Kara’s heart and desire to protect others superseded everything else.
Just as Thawne attempted to cut open Kara’s chest, another hero showed up at just the right time. Tiny ATOM prevented the knife from cutting Kara and then he popped up to regular size to take on Thawne. This was another surprise appearance and moment that elicited cheers.
The Earth-1 Superheroes were able to get away from the Earth-X foes, which led to a Superhero gathering on the bridge of the Waverider. This gathering was promoted leading up to the crossover, and it was disappointing. Instead of an epic showing of the characters, they looked like they were all lined up for the annual class photo while communicating with Dark Arrow.
When Oliver refused Dark Arrow’s demand of Supergirl for a truce, it was time for an ass-kicking, as Sara said. The actual face-off before the big battle began was a much more epic showing of the characters and the team facing off against the Nazis. They looked fierce, ready for the fight and positioned to take back their Earth. And, that’s what they did. They fought and they won.
Green Arrow took out Dark Arrow. Supergirl took out Overgirl before she could go supernova. And, Barry took out Reverse Flash …. Oh, wait, he didn’t. Barry being Barry, he let Thawne go instead of killing him. The Earth-X Nazis were eliminated, but Thawne is sure to show up again at some point.
In addition to the action, outstanding fights, and battle scenes, the heartfelt interactions between characters brought out the tears. Alex and Sara bonding over their lost loves, and their love for their sisters showed a connection between them beyond their one-night stand. They may not be a long-term romantic match, but they were both what the other needed at this time to help them both move on.
The same was true about Stein and Jax. Their love for each other was deep, and their emotional connection as strong as their Firestorm one. The declaration that they are father and son while on Earth-X was touching in itself. It was only topped by Stein’s decision to die so that Jax could live. This was a heartbreaking and crushing moment.
The crossover brought everyone together for Iris and Barry’s wedding, and they were brought together again for Stein’s funeral. From joy to devastation. Stein has been a pivotal member of the Legends and his loss will be crushing for the team. Now the question becomes whether Jax will return to the Waverider or not.
“Crisis on Earth-X” began because of a wedding and it ended with one as well. In the last surprise appearance, Barry ran to get Diggle to officiate their wedding, and this time they said “I do” — with a twist. Tragedy and crisis tend to help people to reflect on their lives. Barry and Iris weren’t the only ones to get married, Felicity came around and asked Oliver to marry her too. A double wedding.
Olicity fans will certainly be happy about the wedding. It’s great that they have resolved their issues, but their co-opting of Iris and Barry’s wedding was a little disappointing. Why couldn’t they let their friends enjoy the moment after all they have been through?
The “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover was leaps and bounds better than any of the previous crossovers and played like a four-hour movie rather than four separate shows tied together by a common theme. It set the standard high for all future crossovers in story, character interactions and fight scenes. There were consequences in both love and loss. And, hopefully we’ll get the pleasure of seeing some mini-crossover interactions between some of the newly introduced characters in addition to those we’ve seen before.
Rating: ★★★★★ Excellent