The Flash: Elseworlds, Part 1

“Oh no, Barry, what have you done this time?”

So far so good. It's already shaping up to be an exceptionally fun crossover.

Starting this story with The Flash was probably a good choice. It allowed the more scientifically-minded group to work on the problem first to answer the most obvious questions before delving deeper into the meta-physical and mystical. It also established the rules of this situation, that the switch is reality-based, transferring Barry's and Oliver's powers and even scars, but not memories or personality. Eventually, the two grew frustrated with Team Flash and turned to Kara, hoping whatever was going on was limited to just their own dimension.

The transition to the Kent farm was amazing, with the Smallville farm set almost perfectly recreated (or maybe the farm is still just there waiting to be filmed) with "Save Me" setting the scene. The idyllic setting and the very Smallville wardrobe made it feel familiar. Although not a direct tie to Smallville, it does kind of hint that this particular Clark went through similar events in his past, and by making that connection it grounded this Clark in a history without having to detail out that history.



I wish I could say I loved Lois right away, but she didn’t blow me away. She wasn’t bad, but she doesn’t hold a candle to Erica Durance. Thankfully, our Superman is just as wonderful as he was in his other two appearances. Mixing confidence with geeky awkwardness makes him feel like the best Superman since Christopher Reeve. I will admit his chemistry with Lois was pretty good too, so that’s a strength.

What really worked for me was the way Oliver and Barry learned about where their true power comes from. For Barry is comes from a place of light. When he’s happy, his powers work better. Oliver draws from his darkness, utilizing his hatred and need for vengeance as a source of inner strength to keep going. Each of them eventually embracing the other’s source of strength helped our switched heroes to best capitalize on their new abilities.

We also finally got Amazo, which was first hinted at in the second season of Arrow with Dr. Ivo and his ship, the Amazo. I guess he finally made his creation, and as a CGI monster Amazo was more successful than, say, King Shark or Grodd. Having Superman, Flash, Green Arrow and Supergirl work together was kind of like having a small version of the Justice League fight one of the great villains. Unfortunately, the fight was a touch underwhelming and Amazo defeated too easily.

Bits:

With the casting of Lex Luthor, I wonder if they really are setting up a Superman series instead of the Batwoman series that has been rumored since the announcement of her character.

Speaking of Batwoman, we got a small glimpse of her at the end of the episode.

I wonder how much homework The Flash writers did? Because it seemed like they overused “You’ve failed this city,” which Oliver doesn’t say that often anymore.

Nora didn’t appear in this episode at all, which is a shame. I would’ve loved to see Oliver’s reaction to having a daughter.

At the beginning of the Smallville scene, Clark was picking up a truck that looks very much like the one baby Clark lifted up off Jonathan Kent in the original 1978 Superman movie.

Clark and Lois visited Argo City, and their descriptions of their visit were lovely; for the first time they both felt like strange visitors from another planet.

Quotes:

Oliver: “You have failed this city?”
Cisco: “Pretty sure that’s not your line.”

Barry: “Man, what a total Freaky Friday. No wait, we didn’t switch bodies. It’s more of a Quantum Leap. Where’s a mirror?”

Barry: “You woke up in bed with Iris?”
(Oliver nods)
Barry: “We have to fix this. Right now!”

Caitlin: “So Barry and Oliver were mind swapped by a guy with muttonchops?”
Dibny: “Man, it’s not even Tuesday.”

Three and a half out of four superhero Quantum Leaps. (And here's a link to Part 2.

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

4 comments:

Billie Doux said...

All that beard stubble in the middle of the Flash costume just looks wrong. :)

I really, really liked this first part, mostly because of how personal it was. Barry and Oliver are completely different people, and it isn't just their powers that are different. Trying to take over for each other was truly difficult for them.

And I am in love with Tyler Hoechlin as Clark/Superman. He's perfect. I really, really want them to give him a series.

Juan Alberto Roche Rodríguez said...

Maaannn! That was amazing!!! The moment I heard the music I almost faint! Somebody Saaavvveeeee meeee! I smiled so hard. That took me back.

I don´t know about you guys, but I didnt know they were doing this. For a second there I thought I would see Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum again! Man I wish they did!

It make me realize how much I miss Smallville. Specially the firsts seasons when they used to film much of it in the Kent Farm. Man! Those were the days. Now I want to see the series again.

That was a great homage to the series that definitely inspired and influensed the Arrowverse! They practically canonized Smallville as part of the Arowverse multiverse. I read somewhere that they also used tones fron the Super Friends animated series in the episode as well.

Great review J.D. Balthazar. I agreed with you that Erica Durance is the definitive Lois Lane, but this one seems cool too I guees. I would have to see more.


JayB said...

The Smallville shout out was amazing, with Somebody Save Me and returning to the well loved set (which made an appearance on Riverdale last week actually, which I immediately recognised). Hopefully Lois can make guest appearances on Supergirl, she'd have a vested interest in the current season arc and it would flesh her out as a character.

The episode did a nice job of expositing the general what's going on with all three shows while keeping it naturalistic. It means you get an idea of what's happening for Team Arrow, Team Flash and Supergirl without sidetracking the main plot and how it feeds into the characters as they are for the crossover. It's a good thing the Legends are sitting this one out, as it would have overcrowded the episode even without the more CGI-intensive characters (most of whom seem to have been written out of the show anyway by this point).

Alex Ray-Snyder said...

If you have a subscription, I think a all of Smallville is on Hulu.