BWW RECAP: SUPERGIRL Helps Save Multiple Earths (Again) in 'Elseworlds' As Superman Drops A Truth Bomb in Smallville
The CW superhero shows had a bit of a shakeup this week with the highly- anticipated crossover event. With THE FLASH airing on Sunday, ARROW airing on Monday, and SUPERGIRL closing it out on Tuesday, Elseworlds was jam-packed with drama and some fantastic nerdy homages.
PART ONE: The Flash
The Flash kicks off with BARRY Allen (The Flash) and Oliver Queen (The Green Arrow,) facing the small issue of what seems to be a body swap. After finally convincing Iris (Barry's wife) that they're not cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, they head off to Earth 38 to get some help from our favorite Kryptonians. That's right - Kryptonians... as in plural. Superman is back on the scene.
In the most nostalgia-inducing intro of all time, the camera pans on the Kents' beloved farmhouse from Smallville while "Save Me" - the opening theme from the OG Smallville series - blasts from the screen. Bestill my heart. I definitely had to pause for some overdramatic nostalgic tears. Bitsie Tulloch makes her debut as Lois Lane as she's unsurprisingly arguing with Superman outside of the Kent farm. Welcome back, Tyler Hoechlin. We've missed you.
Amid playful bantering, Lois drops the fact that despite being the most feared journalist on two planets, she still makes 20 cents less than him on the dollar. Preach, my queen. He warns her not to fall off of the rickety ladder and she responds with, "you'll catch me." My. Heart. I was nervous about the introduction of Lois, but Tulloch's performance has officially won me over.
Kara asks Clark if she did the right thing when she refused to give up her secret identity. Clark quells her indecision with a reminder that keeping a secret identity is what protects their loved ones from being targeted.
Barry and Oliver pop out of nowhere - surprised when Kara identifies them correctly. Ollie, always needing to be the cool kid on campus, puffs out his chest when he's introduced to Clark. Thankfully, BARRY calls him out on it.
Lois calls Clark Smallville when they agree to tag along to Central City to stop the robot plaguing the city. My heart officially cannot take it.
The crew defeated Amazo, the big bad of the episode, and everyone learned a valuable lesson on how to respect each other. Clark heads back to his own Earth after Wells asks him to deliver an alimony check to his third wife on Clark's Earth. #Awkward.
The episode closes on Sisco receiving an ominous vision and the declaration that it's time to hit up Gotham City.
PART TWO: Arrow
Diggle says what THE FLASH crew should have said, being unsurprised at the weird body switch. For real, last time they all hung out they face Nazi versions of themselves. It honestly can't get weirder than that.
At the mention of Batman, Ollie goes on a temper tantrum that he's the OG vigilante and that Batman's a myth. Come on Ollie, that level of insecurity is really beneath you.
In a soft launch for Ruby Rose's Batwoman, the superhero squad meets the aforementioned cousin of Bruce Wayne (Batman) as they attempt to find the doctor from Sisco's vision. Because The CW probably couldn't afford to promo real Batman, in this timeline, Bruce Wayne (and Batman) have left the building - nowhere to be found.
Arkham Asylum is completely overrun by the patients, which leads to the delightful amount of chaos we've come to love in Gotham City.
Amidst a powerful hallucination, Malcolm Merlyn and Eobard Thawn show up and start an epic battle of insults and punches.
Once the Book of Destiny is brought back to Star City, Earth 90's BARRY Allen shows up with a cryptic warning, imploring them of the Crisis that is about to befall all worlds, creating a collision of realities in the multiverse. The Book of Destiny as history is rewritten before our eyes as Ollie and BARRY are painted as criminals in a newspaper littering the ground. Superman shows up in his black cape finest as he threatens the duo. I am a 100 percent here for this gritty version of Superman. One-hundred percent.
PART THREE: Supergirl
Aaaaaand... Drumroll, please... The moment you've all been waiting for: It's Supergirl time. I take it back. I am not for dark Superman, because dark Superman isn't really Superman at all - he's Doctor Deegan (yaknow, the dude rewriting history?). #PlotTwist. He still looks fine, though. Sorrynotsorry.
Olliver and Barry accuse fake Superman of being a cheap knockoff, to which he replies, "Oh, I'm anything but fake." I have to agree, TBH. That new suit is anything but cheap. This might be the best Superman costume I've ever seen, though I think I'd prefer Superman evilly hopped up on Red K than being time warped into another person altogether, but beggars can't be choosers.
As fake Superman screams, "It's not your world anymore - it's mine," he should really pay more attention to the hero complex he supposedly has. In his altered reality, he's turned Star City and Central City's hero squads into doting followers of himself with the House of El crest etched into every corner.
Supergirl, in all of her loveable sass, asks fake Superman if he was too afraid to be a woman since he opted for the male Kryptonian identity. Savage as always, my queen.
Supergirl has the edge on fake Superman, as she is undetectable to the Book of Destiny - being from another Earth has its perks. Alex shows up threatening Supergirl and siding with fake Superman, having her past rewritten. That's a whole lot of ouch.
Prior to this, there hasn't been much overlap between the characters in Earth 38 and Earth One. Logically, given how each world is an altered mirror of the next, it would make sense that the National City characters would overlap, it's a bit of a brain buster to have it laid out. I've always thought making Supergirl exist on another Earth was unnecessary. The Flash and Green Arrow manage just fine on the same Earth without needing constant crossovers. I get the desire to separate Supergirl, especially since the show first aired on CBS, but it creates a whole host of other questions.
Where is Earth One's Supergirl? Why can't Barry and Ollie contact her when there's a major problem? If there are so many versions of the same planet, doesn't that make what happens on them matter less? Honestly, alternate universes tend to give me a headache, which is why I personally wish they all just lived in the same universe.
James shows up helping a very criminal kingpin Cisco when Barry and Ollie go to a seedy bar to seek help from other criminals. The unlikely trio head to Earth 38 to enlist the help of real Superman.
Kara proves her identity to Earth One's Alex by speaking things that only she would know, convincing Alex to let her out. Forget Batman vs. Superman, it's Superman vs. Superman up Elseworlds. This is honestly everything I could ask for in this crossover, which is a relief because I really wasn't feeling the last couple of years'.
In this rewritten reality, real Superman is known as Bizarre, which is, well, bizarre. Real Superman begins righting the world until fake Superman has The Flash in a fatal headlock and real Superman drops the Book of Destiny.
As Supergirl and The Flash concoct a plan to slow down time, real Superman cuts in with the dismal reality that he saw their fates in the book while they trying to do the same thing - they die, eviscerated. Never ones to back down from a challenge, they begin their plan anyway as Clark calls after Kara.
Ollie confronts The Monitor, the God who orchestrated this hot mess, imploring him to change the reality back, as his nerve in confronting him should prove that they're strong enough to pass his test. Ominously coming in with "a change requires a sacrifice," we flashback to the destruction fake Superman continues to cause.
Brainy and Lois come on the scene along with J'onn as the most dramatic battle yet ensues. Lois quips that she likes Superman better in blue, which honestly, I don't know if I can agree with. Supergirl and The Flash begin burning as they attempt to slow down time - just like in real Superman's vision. That fate is transferred back onto fake Superman as he loses the Superman disguise. As Lois begins falling, Superman catches her as he's met with a "told you you'd catch me" from Lois, referencing their first conversation in the first episode.
Kara gets meta as she mentions that it seems like this will be an annual thing now. Barry is not amused. The National City bid farewell to Earth One as they head back to the newly-renovated Kent Farm. Honestly, it probably took Superman all of five minutes to fix it up. Can he do my place?
"You really are so much stronger than me Kara. Every time we're together I see it more" are Superman's departing words of wisdom before he an Lois drop a baby bombshell and announce their plans to depart to Argo for the indefinite future. "The only reason I feel safe hanging up my cape for a while is because of you. The world doesn't need Superman when it has Supergirl," he continues. Lois helpfully quips that the world is probably safer, as a Harvard study proved that women react better to competition than men. "We are better in a crisis. We're apt to ask questions before punching."
Back on Argo, Superman crafts a diamond with his bare hands like the showoff nerd he is, proposing to Lois. Of course, he doesn't get out more than "Lois Lane" before she tackles him with a kiss.
Crisis of Infinite Earths is next year's crossover that is teased an entire year early. Does that mean we don't have to worry about cancellation season?
As far as the crossovers go, this was definitely the best one yet for Supergirl fans. Up until now, the network has had a habit of sidelining Supergirl in the crossovers and focusing a whole lot more on other characters - even during her own episodes. I was highly disappointed in the musical crossover, given that it might as well have been The Flash show with little screen time or music numbers for the ultra-talented Supergirl cast. Last year's crossover also didn't wow me. While Supergirl was decently featured, the plot was sort of all over the place and she still seemed sidelined.
Supergirl and Superman got their due in a charming, nostalgic, and heartwarming possible conclusion to Tyler Hoechlin's Superman story. While I hope we haven't seen the last of him, I get that the show wants to get back to its roots and Superman can be a bit distracting. There is a reason the series started off without Superman.
I'm a little bummed at the lack of Winn, though his inclusion was highly unlikely as Jeremy Jordan is tearing it up on Broadway. I needed another bro hug between Winn and Supes. I also heard a lot of rumors about the inclusion of Lex Luthor in this episode/season. No one can ever top Michael Rosenbaum's Lex from Smallville, but I'm really interested to see what the series could do to his character. Given that this a female-driven show, though, I get the desire to continue focusing on Lena without bringing the male Luthor into the picture.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised at how much screen time Supergirl was given and I can only hope that they will repeat this notion next year, even though Superman will likely be absent.
Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW