Last year’s big CW crossover event – Invasion – was cool as we’d never really seen anything on that scale before, with four shows crossing over so extensively for one story, but as cool as the idea was, the execution was a little lacking. The event kicked off with an episode of Supergirl, and the start to Invasion was shoehorned in at the end. After that, each show did an episode that featured the story but was still decidedly an episode of that particular series. The whole thing felt disjointed and was frankly a little disappointing. Perhaps that’s why our expectations were a little lower this time around, hence far less coverage for Crisis on Earth X.
This year though, as soon as Supergirl started it was apparent things were gonna be different. Crisis on Earth X isn’t four separate shows interacting like last year, but instead a cohesive four-part miniseries that plays out more like a movie than anything else. Barry Allen and Iris West are getting married, and lots of supers are invited – though very few of them actually RSVP’d (rude) – and this made for the perfect excuse to have them all in one spot. Kara and Alex vibe over from their Earth, Oliver and Felicity come in from Star City, and the Waverider drops off Sara, Mick, Martin and Jax to represent the Legends. These characters, coupled with the cast of The Flash (minus Ralph Dibny) make for some interesting pairings and serve as a reminder that not everyone knows each other.
Just before the wedding, we meet a waitress who seems way too excited to be in attendance – but who is she? Clearly, somebody yet to be revealed, but a popular theory is Dawn Allen, Barry and Iris’ daughter, come back from the future to witness the union. She even looks a little like Iris. Of course, if she is a speedster from the future, you would think she could have helped out during the attack.
Another theory, which ties more closely to what’s happening on Supergirl lately, is that she’s a member of the futuristic Legion of Superheroes. Which member you ask – why Dawn Allen’s daughter, of course, XS aka Jenni Ognats, who would be the granddaughter of Barry and Iris. Whoever she was, it didn’t feel like a throwaway Easter egg, so I’m sure we’ll find out eventually.
Anyway, after the wedding, our heroes must fight off an invasion, escape a concentration camp, and deal with the death of Martin Stein. And while our big three get plenty of screentime, both Kara and Oliver getting to pull double-duty and play two parts, it’s the supporting cast that is the most fun here. Alex and Sara work so well together it’s crazy we didn’t think of it sooner. Sara gets to play it cool while Alex is able to work out her Maggie drama under extreme duress. Iris and Felicity crawling through the vents and quoting Die Hard was extremely entertaining, and the powerless-duo almost manages to free Kara. Cisco and Wells are funny as always, and it was cool to see them aboard the Waverider, though the most comical pairing is Mick’s sorta-reunion with the Earth X Snart. This Snart, or “Leo” is a quite a change of pace from our own Captain Cold, very much in touch with his feelings.
Aside from Snart’s return (at least for now), the most major event of the crossover was Martin Stein’s sacrificing himself to save the team. Victor Garber’s exit from the show has been long rumored, just as Martin’s exit from the Waverider was been heavily foreshadowed, but despite a bit of predictability, his death was still rather touching.
So, there was lots of cool stuff like the introduction of The Ray, Evil Tommy Merlyn, or the wedding officiant being played by the ‘Greatest Amercian Hero’ William Katt, who also starred in Carrie. Then there was my favorite line of the series when Supergirl asks Overgirl “General, do you care to step outside?”
But let’s talk about what’s happened since…
This week’s return of the regular ArrowVerse episodes marked the mid-season breaks prior to the holidays. We’ve seen Reign finally emerge to pummel Supergirl a bit as Kara struggles with Mon El’s return. Jimmy Olsen and Lena Luthor look to be hitting it off, and Winn Schott is back to plucky sidekick after his stint as badass General on Earth X. This episode did have not only one of the better action sequences of the whole series but one of the best Super-fights ever. I’d take this over the Man of Steel fight with Zod any day. Just as last year though, Supergirl is the show the will be least affected by the crossover as their Earth wasn’t directly touched.
On The Flash, we learn that Iris is still miffed about Oliver and Felicity being the worst wedding guests ever (obviously), and The Thinker gets a new body, while Caitlin manages to get by Amunet Black (Katee Sackhoff) without becoming Killer Frost. We see hotheaded Cisco Ramon butting heads with both Wells and Dibny, while Wally is still mostly absent. Iris must learn to be a better leader, but really, until the episode comes to a close with us seeing Barry framed for murder, it wasn’t anything special.
So, as has been the case multiple times already this season, it’s actually Legends of Tomorrow that put out the best Post-Crisis episode so far. And while The Flash and Supergirl will be back in early January, the Legends don’t return till February, so they made the best of their opportunity. The crew dealing with Martin’s loss, and the stellar performance put in by Franz Drameh as Jax put this episode over the top, and was the closest continuation of the Crisis storyline. Mick and Snart continue to have great chemistry, and Sara has really embraced the leadership role. The loss of Stein will be mitigated by Jax’s leaving the ship, as it’ll be easier for them to ignore now, but that’s just until Jefferson’s inevitable return.
Arrow‘s mid-season finale airs tomorrow night, and we’ll see the newlyweds back in Star City, Thea out of a coma, and the team dealing with a betrayal, but I don’t expect it to surpass this week’s Legends.
Arrow episode 6.09, “Irreconcilable Differences” airs on The CW tomorrow night.
Images: The CW, Warner Bros.