Supergirl: Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part One

"Lyla? What's with the suit?"

A surprisingly terrific hour of television. The expected big action scenes were nicely balanced with personal moments, many of which were deeply emotional.

As we've been told many times by now, a wave is coming to destroy the multi-verse and in this episode, it finally arrived on Earth-38. Harbinger, also known as Diggle's wife Lyla, gathered our Berlanti-verse heroes from the other shows and deposited them on Supergirl's earth. Argo City was destroyed first, and sadly, Kara lost her mother, Alura. Fortunately, Clark and Lois and their baby son Jonathan survived.

After a delightful conference room scene that contained most of the Justice League, J'onn led the effort to evacuate an entire planet full of people to Earth-1. (And I'm immediately going, what about the animals? They're all going to die!)

There were several lovely scenes between two characters, starting with cousins Kara and Clark talking about the death of her mother Alura, and how guilty they have both felt for trying to have a private life. As her tears fell, Kara said some nice things to Clark about how their home planet Krypton now lives on in spirit on Earth-38 – except that by the end of the episode, so much for that.

The less enjoyable two-character scenes were Alex and Lena exchanging technobabble while working on a transmatter portal to help evacuate Earth-38. You know, I've always liked Lena until this season, and it's encouraging that she still seems okay with saving lives, but she's losing me. Maybe they simply haven't set up a good enough reason for Lena to flirt with going dark side the way she has.



The emotional scenes that weren't centered on Supergirl characters were about Oliver Queen, who is central to this particular crisis. In several lovely bits that signaled clearly that he was about to die, Oliver bequeathed his Green Arrow persona as well as a new costume to his daughter Mia, and told her to tell Felicity and William that he loves them. When Lois, Brainy and Sara Lance went to Earth-16's Star City in 2046 to retrieve baby Jonathan, Sara said a moving goodbye to a much older and sadder alternate universe Oliver, her former lover. That got to me big time, when Sara talked about the Gambit – yes, let's go back to the beginning of Arrow – and told Oliver that he was a hero, a father, a husband. What a lovely moment, and again, a clear signal that Oliver would die.

And Oliver actually died, his quiver finally empty, dropping his bow to the ground. Oliver saved a billion – a billion, with a b – lives by refusing to leave with the Monitor, by sacrificing himself. It sounds like Oliver might have also saved Barry by changing his own fate. What an exceptional death scene it was; I cried for Oliver. Hey, I've spent eight seasons with the guy. I'm not sure how I feel about Oliver dying on another show and not his own, but there are still crossover and Arrow episodes to come. We shall see.

Earth-2 and Earth-38 universes are gone, wiped out, but the Monitor said that the ending he had seen coming for Oliver is now different.



I can't imagine how difficult this episode was to film, and there are four more to go. The multiple character action sequences around the quantum tower where the heroes fought the "shadow demons" were all pretty amazing. And yet, as I said, it was the small, personal moments that made this episode work. Bravo.

The opening vignette deserves a section of its own, because it was exceptionally cool:

— Earth-89, Gotham City: Robert Wuhl as the reporter from the 1989 Tim Burton Batman movie;

— Earth 9, San Francisco: featured Alan Ritchson as Hawk and Curran Walters as Jason Todd/Robin from Titans. Ritchson also played Aquaman on Smallville;

— Earth-X: the return of Russell Tovey as The Ray from last year's crossover;

— Earth-66, Gotham City: Burt Ward, who was Robin in the 1966 Batman series;

— Earth-38, National City, where most of tonight's action took place, gave us Wil Wheaton wearing a Doomsday sandwich card from Superman II. Wheaton has done an enormous amount of voice work, mostly Titans.

Bits and pieces:

— The Superman/Lois scene as they put baby Jonathan in their ship, "We will never leave you, even in the face of our deaths," wasn't just an echo of the Superman movie. My son tells me it's right out of the comics. And I just realized Clark and Lois named their son after Jonathan Kent.



— I liked Supergirl one-upping her cousin in the early heat vision scene.

— Argo City's Alura was of course played by Erica Durance, Smallville's Lois Lane.

— Tom Cavanagh, no longer Nash Wells, showed up in the end as Pariah, doing penance for freeing the Anti-Monitor.

— Nia Nal and Kelly got a few seconds of this busy episode where Kelly saved a civilian with Guardian's shield.

— Brainy was excellent comic relief, and I thought the way Ray outnerded him was great. Batwoman was surprisingly funny, too.

— Where will Earth-1 put three billion extra people? And what will they live on, since I assume they will arrive broke and without possessions? (I hope some of them brought along their pets. I wouldn't evacuate to another planet without mine.)

Quotes:

Burt Ward/Robin: "Holy crimson skies of death!"

Batwoman: "That rabbit was about to talk!"
Brainy: "This one speaks to rabbits."

Kara: "Can you track its trajectory?"
Brainy: "Absolutely. We'll find that bouncing bundle of Kryptonian joy faster than a flying flackurian..."

Oliver: (to Mia) "There should always be at least one Green Arrow."

Batwoman: "I'll take that upgrade now."
Ray: "If I can have one of those without losing an appendage? (she gives him a batarang) Cool, incredibly balanced. Carbon fiber?"
Mia: "Your friend talks a lot."
Oliver: "Yeah, you get used to it. Ray! Focus!"
Ray: "Focusing."
Ray actually did improve the batarang.

Sara: "You became a hero, a husband, a father, and I'm flying through time happier than I've ever been. And none of that would have ever happened if I didn't get on that boat with you. It was destiny."

The Monitor: "He fought to his last breath, knowing every moment was another life saved."

Oliver: (to Mia) "You keep me in your heart, okay?"

What a terrific death scene. Last night, Stephen Amell posted this on Twitter.



Four out of four crimson skies of death – and here's a link to Crisis, Part Two,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

13 comments:

Victoria Grossack said...

Thanks so much for reviewing this episode!

Billie Doux said...

It was a pleasure. Terrific episode.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks for reviewing this episode.
So, I was wondering: I watched the first 4 or 5 episodes of Arrow, got really bored and gave up, I watched one episode of the Flash, got bored and gave up, and I watched one episode of Supergirl, and gave it the "Worst Show I've Seen Since Manimal" award, before giving that one up, as well. So, considering that, can I watch this and the rest of the Crisis storyline and understand what's going on? I am familiar with the heroes, at least as far as their comic book counterparts, and I watched and loved every episode of Smallville (I know it isn't officially part of this shared universe, but any heroes or villains on that show, I am familiar with). Will I be lost trying to watch this, or do you think it's something I can pick up on? Thanks again!

Billie Doux said...

Anonymous, I have no idea whether you could follow it or not. But you could try the first one and see. You probably know, or maybe you don't, that Smallville is included in this crossover.

Mikey Heinrich said...

Robert Wuhl!!!!

There aren't words for how happy that made me. SO unexpected!

Anonymous said...

Hi Billie,
Thanks for your reply. I do know that Tom Welling and Erica Durance are reprising their roles; that is the number one reason I want to watch this. I'm also looking forward to seeing Brandon Routh as Superman and Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne. And I heard a rumor that they may throw in a shot of Christopher Reeve as another alternate Superman, as well, which would make me scream and probably cry a little. I love Smallville and I've always liked most of the different incarnations of Superman, but Reeve will always be the personification of him to me.

Patrick said...

I do hope they have more planned for Oliver. The showrunners said that since they had telegraphed his death last season, the only way they felt they could make it surprising was with the timing. Everyone expected him to die in the big climax, so they moved it earlier. I totally get that, but I think not having him die on his own show is an absolutely terrible decision. Hopefully the Arrow episode of Crisis will offer more closure. Of course, there was also the scene at the very end of last season, with the Monitor taking Felicity to be reunited with Oliver, so I'm fairly confident there's a better ending for him coming.

Phyllis Strickland said...

Why do pets matter when so many worlds were extinguished??? And billions of people died. Seriously? It’s fiction but still, where are your values?

CoramDeo said...

Phyllis, I would argue that caring about pets and caring about people are not mutually exclusive, and that mentioning the pets here specifically was more because they are unlikely to be mentioned elsewhere. I see your point, though.

Patrick said...

Putting aside the issue of what would happen to Earth-1 if it's population doubled in size overnight, it IS possible to prioritize saving people while still being distraught over all the doomed animals.

Billie Doux said...

CoramDeo and Patrick, thank you. It is indeed possible to prioritize saving people while still being distraught over all the doomed animals. Plus, fiction. :)

Profe said...

It was a very cool beginning. I didn't think about the pets (Which makes me feel like a terrible person). I guess the real question is whether the pets on Earth 38 are the same animals we have or would you be introducing animals that seem docile but have no natural predator on Earth 1 and may become an invasive species. Kinda makes me think of Captain Marvel's Goose who looks like a normal Earth cat but can actually be quite dangerous to humans.

Katie Hart - Pinterest Manager said...

Was a little behind on the Arrowverse (we still have to call it that, right?) shows, so I decided to wait and watch the whole Crisis together. Very promising start. I agree - making time for those little character moments is so key. I'm sure they put the Lena stuff in there because they don't want to alter her current arc with the Crisis.

Sara telling Oliver he's a hero on every Earth. My brain goes, "Except Earth-X."

Didn't think of the pets. I'm sure people grabbed them if they were able - it's not like there was any sort of regulation while trying to get as many people onto the ships so quickly. I hope they brought the lizard-dragon. But more than animal species, Earth-1 just received not only billions of humans, but plenty of aliens as well, which other than showing up in an earlier crossover, didn't seem to exist like they did on Earth-38 (perhaps a better alternate refugee planet?).