Arrow: 6.08 Crisis on Earth-X, Part 2
Two episodes into Crisis on Earth X and I am really enjoying that this crossover seems less like Arrowverse characters guest starring in the titular show and more one episode told over four episodes with a multitude of players. It certainly makes for a more natural storytelling - yes Supergirl featured the rest of her team at the DEO and this episode had a brief (and admittedly a little unsatisfying) appearance from Mr Terrific, Wild Dog and Black Canary, but part two didn't jarr from part one, like last year's (largely great) Invasion! episodes tended to.
I loved the time spent with the large ensemble of characters in part one. As Robert said in his review, the DC TV universe has earned the right to spend over half an episodes seeing these people happy together and uniting for the wedding. It also made the pay off -the Nazi attack on the wedding - a terrific treat; the use of characters working together with their powers like Arrow jumping through Cisco's portal, brought a huge smile to my face.
This installment was a little less satisfying, building on the Earth X doppelgangers and their plan without building to any huge moments reserved for the climax in The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. The character beats were still there; Alex's awkwardness with Sara after their one night stand and Oliver and Felicity dealing with the fact that she loudly exclaimed she didn't wanted to marry Oliver at the rehearsal dinner.
The most Arrow-centric element was in their story; she didn't want to marry him because the last time they got engaged (at the start of season four), she was shot and paralysed and their relationship fell apart. Felicity's fear was natural and well explored, though I presume there will be some people itching for more good vs bad action.
This episode didn't disappoint in that front; while the showdown at the factory wasn't as joyous as the church attack, the episode took Arrow's strengths - it's fantastic fight choreography - and gave us some massive one shot battles as Supergirl, Green Arrow, Flash, Sara, Alex and Firestorm took on Nazis. I think Alex has been one the strongest elements of Supergirl, so it was great to see her fighting side by side with the other heroes in some brutal smack downs. Shooting a Nazi soldier in the face while fly kicking another was probably something you won't see her do in Supergirl any time soon.
There were also some cool moments, like Oliver's Kryptonite arrows, and the cool shot later in the battle where evil Kara caught it and snapped it in front of him. On the flip side, there was some really bad CGI work going on to in the scene where Oliver whizzed round the building site while Kara and Barry saved the workers. It certainly felt as if the budget was being saved for later.
As I mentioned above, the fight between evil Oliver and team Arrow was disappointing though; it seemed a little far fetched, no matter how ruthless he was, to take down Killer Frost, Mr Terrific, Wild Dog, Black Canary (who failed to use her sonic cry) and Heat Blast. I find it amusing that Rory is still hanging around (just why was he invited to the wedding), but his main purpose to be comic relief (I still adore his interaction with Supergirl from last year).
The big bad reveals were a mixed bag though; I loved the return of Tommy as Prometheus and his manipulation of Oliver quickly veered the conversation from tragic to terrifying and set the scene for the world in which he came from. The shock on Barry, Oliver and Kara's faces as the evil Supergirl, Arrow and Flash took off their masks was ridiculous though, particularly the two Karas. I'm undecided on Earth One Thawne being alive again and wearing Harrison's face though, but I did snigger at good Kara's inability to hide her disgust that her Earth X counterpart was married to Oliver.
The lack of tension on what was an obvious mid-episode reveal did let part two of Crisis On Earth X down a little, but it was still great fun to see all these characters interact. The threat of the alternate world is grave and poor Kara about to have her heart ripped out to save her doppelganger while the rest of the heroes are stuck in a slave camp on Earth X was a great cliffhanger.
Oh and the shots of the team suiting up and walking in slo mo was cheesy and hell but I lapped up every minute of it!
Despite part two being hampered by more plot set up, this year's crossover is continuing to succeed in a way that he big screen Justice League has just not been able to achieve. There seems to be only one place for DV superhero team ups at the moments, and that's on The CW...