Season 3 Episode 8, Crisis on Earth-X Crossover Event Part 4 Review
We’ve made it, the culmination of one of the most breathtaking, exciting, well crafted live-action comic book events yet! Its all on the table; the fate of Earth-1, our heroes, the Reich of Earth-X, the future of the multiverse as we know it. When we concluded Part 3 on the Flash, Martin Stein was shot while attempting to activate the portal breach from Earth-X to Earth-1, with the rest of the heroes, pinned down by Nazi gunfire unable to help him. We open Part 4 with the revelation that Stein, while heavily wounded, is alive! He continues to make his way towards the lever, only to be shot a second time. As he falls to the ground his fingers manage to grab the handle and activate the breach for Earth-1, transporting a significant amount of the Nazi soldiers to Earth-1 in the process, giving our heroes a chance to fight back. Outside, after numerous thwarted attempts to stop the Red Tornado General Winn Schott unleashed an effort to destroy the breach station; Flash and The Ray combine their powers and short-circuit the Red Tornado. They rejoin their friends in the bunker to battle the remaining Nazis and discover they can transport Stein safely if he merges with Jax into Firestorm.
Back on Earth-1, Kara resigns to her fate as Thawne prepares for the scalpel to hit bone. (His favorite sound, side note, can we cast Tom Cavanagh as a serial killer in a movie stat? He plays sociopathic creepy waaaayyyy too well to not utilize that gift to its fullest potential)
Dark Arrow watches on as Thawne is unable to cut intoKara’s skin with the scalpel. Its revealed that ATOM in his shrunken state is standing on Kara’s chest intercepting the scalpel, the Legends have arrived! Palmer restores to his normal size, catching the Earth-X-ers by surprise, blasting Thawne and Oliver-X, before freeing Kara. Elsewhere in STAR Labs, Nate opens the Accelerator Prison Cells, while all Mick cares about is if ‘Pretty’ brought beer. Freed and regrouped, the Legends, and members of team Flash and Arrow, wage assault on the Nazis occupying STAR Labs. Cisco and Dinah are pinned behind a wall by Metallo-X, which evokes a ‘Terminator’ reference, and Cisco bursting into laughter, as pop culture references at the time of imminent danger are his favorite thing, which may actually be the single greatest thing that happens the entire crossover event. As phenomenal as every second of all four hours were; Cisco is time and time again my spirit animal, and this 10-second scene it made me laugh harder than every other joke and funny moment we had.
Earth-1’s Heroes, (We need to come up with a combo team name for the Crossover Good Guys, they’re more than the Legends and the respective hero’s teams, they’re not entirely the Justice League, Super Friends, JSA, etc. We need to get an official ruling on that), converge on Metallo-X blasting him with everyone’s array of powers and weapons. Finally, he sub-comes to the onslaught and explodes; another beautifully choreographed and shot scene, the production team for this event put in their hours and it unquestionably paid off! Dark Arrow, Thawne, and Overgirl escape, along with some of their Nazi soldiers. The heroes previously on Earth-X arrive through a breach and Stein is immediately taken to Gideon’s med bay. Alex embraces her sister, Rory thinks he’s seeing Snart’s ghost again and is mortified to learn his Earth-X doppelgänger died helping the police he has such disdain for escape from a fire. As our heroes begin to recover, we learn that Jax is acting as a living life support system for Stein, sustaining immense wounds of his own every moment they are psychically linked. Despite Caitlin and Gideon’s best efforts, there is no hope for success due to Stein’s age and injuries. Martin has a beautifully touching conversation with Jax, thanking him for his adventure, his friendship, and being his family. He begs Jax to save himself, and let Stein go by taking a version of the Firestorm removal serum that Gideon had modified. After a bunch of tears, from Jax, Stein, and the audience; Jax finally agrees, and we lose the wise Martin Stein. Everyone is crushed by the loss, tears and symbolic memorials run rampant throughout the Wave Rider, with a loving kiss on the forehead from Sara breaking anyone else watching at home who isn’t as emotionless as Eobard Thawne.
Jax goes to Stein’s home, breaking the news to his wife and daughter inciting more tears. Our grieving heroes receive a message from Dark Arrow, a true offering, give them Kara and they leave, refuse and prepare for war. Oliver, the ‘father figure’ to our heroes, answers by telling Dark Arrow that the difference between them is he doesn’t give up on his friends and carries out the angriest Time Travel Ship Hologram Communicator Hang Up ever. It’s everything that we want it to be. A rousing speech from our team; we cannot bring Stein back, but we can protect the world he loved, the family he left behind, for Marty. Our epic band of heroes, vigilantes, misfits, and legends prepare for a final battle against the Reich of Earth-X, for the safety of our free world. Wave Rider against Wave Rider, Archer against Archer, Speedster against Speedster, and an army of incredible united heroes destroying droves and droves of Nazi Soldiers. I thought last year’s Crossover finale battle was amazing. I thought the multiple team battles throughout the previous episodes were off the charts, but the caliber that the cast, crew, choreographers, writers, directors, effects team, and everyone else involved went through with this final battle was magnificent. Crisis on Earth-X contained battles on par with the best we’ve seen from any of their respective individual shows, from any show on any network, from any to date Marvel or DC film, group battle to group battle, DCTV, the Super Flarrowverse of Tomorrow, the Super Friends, whatever moniker we give them. There is absolutely no question that this comprehensive event; a four-hour nonstop vehicle of story, action, emotion, and triumph is at a level that none of us could ever anticipate seeing on a television network.
The attention each of our characters receive, from Alex and Sara taking out as many bad guys as ATOM and Heatwave, the episode to episode intermingled team-ups continue and get better and better. HOLY CRAP Killer Frost’s Ice Slide was even better than before, Caitlin Snow is coming for you, Bobby Drake!
Kara calls out Overgirl with an Easter Egg lines straight from a Superman movie, “General, would you care to step outside?”. Meanwhile, Frost, Zari, and Amaya ice slide over to break in and lower the Earth-X Waver Rider’s shield; allowing Cisco, Wells, and Felicity to take out the weapon. Flash and Thawne battle across the city, while Oliver and Dark Arrow match punch for punch and arrow for arrow. As Barry gains the upper hand and prepares to phase his hand through Thawne’s chest; Eobard goats him on, telling him to do it, but Barry hesitates, instead of telling him to leave. Thawne ponders what face he’ll be wearing the next time they meet and disappears. The one thing, the one thing, that bothers me the entire Crossover, come on Barry, just kill the guy! It’s great that Thawne can be a threat again in the future, but really? I would’ve slammed my phase hand into his chest and grinned while doing it after all the chaos throughout the seasons, worlds, and timelines he’d caused.
As Overgirl battles Kara the sickness she’s afflicted with causes her body to begin a critical mass meltdown. Wells tells Supergirl to take her “up….up….and away” (another Easter Egg) which she does, avoiding a cataclysmic explosion impacting Earth. Supergirl falls from the massive blast, she is caught by Steel, “The man of steel should catch the girl of steel, plus I had a lot of help”, and Dark Arrow loses it, declaring his intent to kill everyone. He turns to fight and is met with an arrow to the heart from Oliver. Good for you Ollie, good for you! The intensity of the battle subsides and following our team’s well due celebration, we take a moment to have a funeral service for Stein, with a beautiful eulogy given by Jax. Can you stop making our ‘allergies’ act up, writers? Following the service, the heroes begin to return to their respective posts. Alex and Sara have a good talk before the Legends depart on the Wave Rider, with Mick wanting to know if Sara “hit that” which she responds to by hitting him in the back of the head. Alex and Kara share hugs with Barry, Iris, Oliver, and Felicity before returning to their Earth. As Crisis on Earth-X subsides, Barry and Iris decide on doing a Justice of the Peace for the official marriage since they had already done ‘most’ of the ceremony part. Oliver and Felicity say they have a friend who is ordained, Barry speeds to Star City and grabs Diggle, who promptly vomits before having Barry and Iris exchange vows. But right before the ‘I Do’s’, Felicity interrupts, professing her love for Oliver and asking him to marry her, the beyond amazing Crossover Event ends with a double wedding, Barry and Iris, Oliver and Felicity, vows are exchanged, kisses are had, and we fade into the ending credits, Crisis averted, mourning in progress, but happiness on the horizon with newlywed superheroes.
To balance action, story, humor, sadness, victory, loss, character introductions, storylines, and a million other incredible attributes; across so many different characters, in such a chiseled, succinct, attentive fashion is truly an amazing accomplishment. The cast, crew, and family of Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, have given fans one of the greatest cinematic adventures yet. For me, unquestionably the best crossover event and story arc for any of the shows, it rivals the huge success of the Agents of SHIELD LMD/Framework storyline, and the Netflix seasons, all of which are singular shows and spread out across even more episodes. In all honesty, for me, after riding the exciting rollercoaster of this Crossover, as much as I enjoyed the film; I feel like Crisis on Earth-X was more successful and a better-finished product than Justice League. It stands in line with the best of the X-Men films and the Avengers team-ups. The attention to the characters, the well flushed out primary and secondary storylines, the beautiful choreography and effects, the exciting writing and hilarious improv, the balance of comedy, drama, victory, defeat, gaining new characters and losing beloved ones, the creation of truly frightening and threatening antagonists, the triumph over the enemy while existing threats retreat to lurk in the shadows for another chance to strike. This four-episode event was a true masterpiece of work and for me, revolutionized these shows and their presence within the live action comic universe, making them an even greater force to be reckoned with than they already were.
Thank you DCTV, and a huge thank you to the cast, crew, and brilliant teams behind Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, the masterminds that crafted this unbelievable Crossover Event. You truly knocked it out of the park. You have provided something wonderful to the fans that will resonate across not only the shows and the blogs for a long time to come, but across the universes that run parallel to these shows. If it wasn’t already there, the mark in comic book cinema has been established, and I for one cannot wait to see what you bring to use for the remainder of the respective seasons and I’m already geared up and excited for next year’s crossover! For those of you reading along with me, tune in next week as we jump back into the regular lives of our heroes and see how the experiences from Crisis on Earth-X continue to impact their lives.
I’ll leave you with one last Easter Egg that Arrow fans will especially love. Susanna Thompson, who played Moira Queen, Oliver’s mother, had a very small but memorable role in the crossover. She voiced Gideon-X on the Earth-X Wave Rider!
Until then, keep it nerdy!