The Flash: Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part Three

"I thought destiny could use a little rewrite."

By nature I love brevity: Easily the best of the Crisis episodes so far. I loved a lot of the choices they made, actually fixing things that I felt were missteps in the first two. Marvelous.

Okay, so... I totally called it! I mean, I was half-right, but still. There was no way Barry was ever going to be the Flash that died in Crisis. I thought it'd be Jay Garrick so as to have at least some impact on the show itself, but this worked very well, too. Plus, it's still John Wesley-Shipp. Part of me was hoping they'd actually have the guts to kill Barry off, but they've got too many stories still to tell with him and they'd lose too many viewers if he weren't on the show anymore. Actually, the moment he was named as one of the paragons the chance he was going to die went way down. But even still, the sequences between Barry and... Barry really clicked for me, and it felt right when he went out to a scene from the original Flash show.

Let's talk Oliver. I was about as skeptical as anybody else about killing him in the first episode and then bringing him back only for him to die again. But this choice is absolutely brilliant. Completely incomprehensible and random for anyone who doesn't know the Spectre from the comics, but brilliant. For those uninitiated folk, here's the rundown: the Spectre is the Spirit of Vengeance, a cosmic being that uses different people as his hosts. His past comic hosts have included Jim Corrigan - that's the dude from this episode - Crispus Allen, and Hal Jordan. And he wears a green hood. This is the absolute perfect thing to do with the dead Oliver, and I have no doubt that the writers of Arrow can nail the last two episodes of the show with the Spectre to work with.

We'll go small here for a moment, to talk about this as an episode of The Flash, before we get to the Crisis plotline and all that happened on that front. The Monitor has returned Cisco's powers, which he was very much not happy about. I get that he was really useful to the writers for Crisis purposes, but man, I hope that gets reversed once we go back to The Flash. The loss of Cisco's powers has done wonders for his character over the last season, and I really think they can do a lot more with him as Cisco Ramon than as Vibe. Also in the news, we got some Barry and Iris moments that made me go 'Awwwww!' and the sudden return of Ralph. Other than that, there were really not many connections to the world of The Flash. We'll see in the new year, obviously, what this all means for the show going forward.

Which, of course, brings us to the main event of the night: the destruction of Earth freaking One. This is farther than even the original comic book went, if memory serves. Obviously, there will have to be at least one Earth for the characters to inhabit at some point, so something wonky will have to go on in the back half of the Crisis. But the decision was made, and I think it was a wise one, to scale everything way down at least for a little while. The sprawling multiverse makes for some really cool cameos, from Birds of Prey to Lucifer, but to tell a compelling story, you need something a little smaller. The cast is now down to the seven paragons plus Lyla and the Anti-Monitor on the side of the baddies, and presumably Oliver as the Spectre. That's just a little bigger than the cast size of your typical CW superhero show. We also have at least one character from each of the shows.

Lyla's turn to the dark side was kind of abrupt, but also unsurprising. It's from the original comic, and they seem to be generally following the outline of that. The death of the Monitor is a story necessity at this point in the process, and in combination with the deaths of, er, literally everybody else, it served as a great 'black moment' to provide a cliffhanger. I will say that I'm not a big fan of the 'my beam of energy is stronger' type of battle. It always feels really cheap to me, but then, that's kind of how the Monitor's death always was, even in the comic. I am liking the use of Pariah, though. More of him.

So to recap, everything and everyone is dead. Literally the only people left in existence are Barry, Kara, J'onn, Superman Lex, Kate, Sara, Ryan, Spectre-Ollie, and the baddies. Now the seven paragons have to... figure out what the heck they're gonna do. I imagine they'll get help from somebody cool and cameo-ish.

Pensees:

-Ralph calls the team the All-Star Squadron at the start, which was the name of an offshoot of the Justice Society in the comics.

-That Lucifer cameo was... probably really cool for people who watch Lucifer! I did like that he mispronounced Constantine's name in the way it's actually pronounced in the comics. The cameos in this crossover have been really great, and they've pretty much all lasted just the right amount of time.

-I like Ryan Choi already. I tend to like family men on television. He'll probably replace Ray on Legends after the crossover, though, which I don't like so much.

-Black Lightning shows up, and his entire show gets written off with a few lines. RIP all of Black Lightning.

-Actual RIP to Harry and Jesse Quick, who may not be brought back after all this since their deaths happened before the beginning of the Crisis.

-Loved Supergirl holding Superman as he died, just like in the comics. I hope he shows up again, though. He's a ton of fun.



Quotes:

Caitlin: "Ignore him. It's his first crossover."

Cisco: "The... Anti-Monitor. Is that set in stone, or can we workshop it a little bit?"

The Monitor: "I cannot rewrite what is already written. I can only do what I can to save what remains."
Well, that worked out well for everybody, didn't it?

Cisco: "New name. New suit. Guess no one's consulting me anymore, huh?"

Ralph: "You're what's called a paragon, which is a fancy way of saying, 'We need your help to save the universe.'"

Flash-90: "Keep riding the lightning, son. I know you'll make us all proud."

6 out of 6 deals with the Lucifer. Here's a direct link to part four.

--
My name is CoramDeo, and when I watched this crossover, I was the most excited man alive.

4 comments:

William Russell said...

I love this crossover so much. I was legitimately upset when Lex replaced Superman at the end. The cameos are killer. I did not expect Lucifer at all. Amazing stuff.

wwkirk said...

Now that Oliver has become the Spectre, can we expect Amell to make occasional guest appearances in the new Arrowverse (or whatever they decide to call it)?

Dimo said...

I honestly feel that the weakest part of the crossover so far has been Lex.
The way he fumbled with the Kryptonite case when facing Smallville-Clark was just ridiculous and felt weak.
And the Superman vs Superman battle was also not needed at all.
And Kingdom Come Superman dying there at the end was really sad, although, if that was the only time Lex appeared, it would have been much better.

Thanks for the review, can't wait for the end....

Red Pearl said...

So far, I've enjoyed this crossover. The one thing missing was Oliver & Barry's interactions, which always made the crossover episodes fun.

Loved the cameos from other shows, especially Lucifer!

Kate Kane makes a better impression in the crossovers than in the regular episodes of her own show.

I haven't watched Black Lightning yet, but so far I liked him, seems to be a more mature hero than the other leads.

Cisco got his powers back, it seemed completely unnecessary to make him give it up in the first place.

Barry from Earth 90 died instead our Barry felt like a cop-out.

Sad to see both Superman died but Lex Luthor lived. This Lex is very petty and unlikeable.

Too much Iris, could do with less of her.