The Flash: 4.08 Crisis on Earth-X, Part 3
Part three of this year’s DC TV crossover, Crisis on Earth X takes place on The Flash. Although not a conventional episode, it’s a brilliant feature that incorporates characters from all other CW shows, doing so extremely well. For an extensive catch up you should definitely read part 1 & part 2.
Briefly: Barry and Iris continue to plan their wedding during the ceremony Nazi invaders, led by a mysterious figure, halt everything, causing a fight that was epic in scale. We later discover the invaders are from Earth X, an alternative Earth where Hitler never lost the war. With development in technology his predecessor wants to conquer other Earths. Furthermore, we find out the mysterious villains are the doppelgangers of our heroes, Evil Arrow, Evil Supergirl and Eobard Thawne (Reverse Flash from season 1). Their goal is not only to conquer this Earth, but to steal the heart of Supergirl in order to transplant it into evil Supergirl. Both sides fight once again, our heroes fail and are sent to Earth X in what looks like concentration camps. Now begins part three...
For full transparency, I don’t watch Supergirl or Legends of Tomorrow; I read the reviews and general synopses, but fail to engage with these shows. For that reason, although I greatly enjoyed this episode and the two previous, there were several elements that didn’t connect on an emotional level. Although many characters originated in either the Flash or Arrow I am now unaware of their development causing lulls and confusion but as a positive, interest.
Regardless, this was always going to be a different style of review. This isn’t a typical episode of The Flash. There’s no mention of the Thinker, only a small amount of team Flash and a continuation from part two that concentrates efforts more on Arrow and Supergirl (for the record this isn’t a bad thing, I actually thought the story was fantastic).
On Earth X, our heroes meet Evil Quentin Lance (from Arrow) who attempts a mass execution. Enter Leonard Snart, AKA Captain Cold (or Citizen Cold as he’s known on Earth X), in a well-timed entrance saving them all in his own chilling fashion. It was good to see his character again, although slightly different as it reminded me of simpler times on The Flash. His performance was great and his addition very welcome.
This encounter also introduced us to another hero, The Ray, a meta-human originally from Earth 1 who has superb powers, looks great and is a very likeable character. He is part of an underground rebellion trying to over throw their oppressors. They find out about a weapon capable of destroying other worlds and the only way to stop it is to blow up the breach in a Nazi controlled facility; this stranding our heroes on Earth X. The leader of the rebellion (a doppelganger of Winn from Supergirl) doesn’t care, only providing a short window before he blows the breach. His character was a bit over the top and emotionless; it didn’t fit in well but I suppose the story needed a harsh character.
Back on Earth 1 the transplant is underway, Kara’s powers being weakened by the second by an emulating red sun. Enter Felicity and Iris who managed to escape earlier on. They bring some of that girl power we saw in Girls Night Out, knocking out a few Nazi guards and tampering with the system to try and save Supergirl. Although this whole segment is a tad convoluted it was nice to see the supporting cast, who don’t have superpowers or tremendous fighting capabilities, play a strong role in the story.
The past crossover events have attempted to match the tone and cast of their respective shows which gets disjointing as the individual parts don’t merge well. Crisis on Earth X however has remained more consistent, not adhering to episodic formulas defined by the show's main writers. This review may not do this part justice but regardless I highly recommend you watch it. I could easily see myself watching, once released, all four parts in a three hour marathon as the story is constantly entertaining, even taking into account my personal confusions.
It must also be mentioned that although I don’t watch their respective shows, it was great seeing characters like Firestorm, White Canary, and Captain Cold; although at the same time it seemed to miss out kick-ass characters like Cisco, Caitlin and Black Canary. Regardless, the meld of characters and story is well executed, the effects could use some touch ups but overall this is turning out to be a highly entertaining crossover, something the DCEU could and perhaps should learn from.