After what feels like months of everyone on the CW saying the word “crisis” so many times it barely meant anything anymore, it’s finally here: the biggest crossover yet, Crisis On Infinite Earths.
We dive right in with the first hour, technically the Supergirl hour, with the Monitor giving a voiceover about how in the beginning there was one infinitude until the darkness was filled with life, split by possibilities, thus a multiverse was born. Eventually the age of heroes came, and chaos was kept at bay by champions. We see clips of our SuperFriends saving the world again and again, including multiple shots of Supergirl stopping Lex Luthor, because something tells me that will be relevant again soon.
The Monitor voiceover says these heroes found each other just in time.
We then cut across the multiverse to see the expanse of the Crisis. Earth 89’s Gotham City, Earth 9’s San Francisco, Earth X, Earth 66. They all feature a fun cameo by someone (including an old school Robin and the Titans from the DC streaming service. The Crisis is creeping over all of them, the skies turning red, the promise of destruction looming.
On Earth 38, in National City, Wil Wheaton is yelling about the end of times, saying not even Supergirl can save humanity now. But when a dragon comes in, Supergirl DOES save him, a fact she points out casually.
Supergirl doesn’t slay the dragon though; she doesn’t need to. That’s a man’s game. Instead she calls to it by name (it’s Spike from episode 406!) and talks him down.
She calms him enough to turn him back into a lizard, which she takes to the safety of the DEO. J’onn comes in and tells them that it’s the Crisis, that the Monitor told him about it, and Brainy confirms that there’s a horrible situation hurtling toward them and it will hit them in 5.3 hours if they don’t find a way to stop it.
And unfortunately, there’s one place that has even less time than that: Argo.
On Argo, completely unaware of the danger heading their way, Lois is teasing Clark with fake headlines about how the Man of Steel is having a hard time changing their new baby’s diaper. They’re cute and happy and cooing over their son, Jonathan, when Kara holograms in to warn them about the incoming danger.
Kara’s mother leads the charge of trying to get people to safety, first and foremost getting Jonathan into a pod just like Kara’s (maybe literally Kara’s?) so he can be shuttled to safety. I feel like it’s a design flaw that they don’t make these pods big enough for one grown being + a child, but fine. Child-sized pod it is. Lois, Clark, and Alura watch little Jonathan get shot off toward theoretical safety as the Crisis wave hits. Kara watches her family die. Again.
Meanwhile, on Earth (??), Oliver and Mia are having a father/daughter moment and possibly hinting at a spinoff of her own when they are interrupted by the red sky and Lyla. But Lyla isn’t Lyla anymore, she’s the Harbinger, and she’s here to collect them because the Crisis has begun. She then bops to Earth 1, first to Central City to get a willing Flash, and to Gotham City to get a less-compliant Batwoman.
In Star City, Sara and Ray, unlike their friends, aren’t mid-fight, but just mid-trivia. They are the only ones who are having a hiatus right now – this is the first we’ve seen of these time traveling pals this TV season – and so it was very funny that they’re just hanging out when Lyla arrives.
Lyla brings these heroes she’s collected like so many Pokemon to the DEO on Earth 38, and much to Kara’s delight, she snatched up Lois and Clark just in time, too. Unfortunately, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure they were all standing together, Lyla didn’t grab Alura. So Kara has officially lost her mother. Again.
Frustrated, Batwoman asks what the hell is going on, because she’s not used to being zip-zapped to other Earths, and she only recognizes a few of the people in this room. But Supergirl promises she trusts everyone and that she can too, so the Batwoman cowl comes off, and Kate reveals her identity.
Alex demands to know what’s going on, so Lyla tells her about the antimatter that’s destroying Earths, and how The Monitor predicted that Earth 38 is where they make their last stand. Their last chance to stop it.
As they stand there and talk about how Brainy is going to track baby Jonathan’s pod, they see a tower spurt up from the ground like someone planted a magic bean made of copper. Lyla (I keep saying Lyla but really she’s the Harbinger right now… Lyla’s just easier) tells them that they’re quantum towers, put in place long ago as a failsafe, and they’re here to help.
Brainy and The Atom nerd out about the science of it all, and Brainy is excited to have another smartypants in the room. On a roll, Ray offers to upgrade Kate’s suit with some of his tech, but Kate offers to relieve him of one or more of his appendages if he tries.
While Lyla tells them about the Anti-Monitor and his mission to destroy the world, Brainy’s computer bleep blops and he says he found Jonathan’s pod – somehow it ended up on Earth 16 in 2046 via wormhole. Seems a little shady, but I guess stranger pods have been knocked off stranger courses. (To the phantom zone for 24 years, for example.)
Oliver sympathizes with Superman as a dad, but tells him that they need him to stay, so Sara and Brainy offer to go with Lois on the baby saving mission. Because of course Sara is the first to offer to protect the (granted, far from helpless) fair maiden with no supersuit.
Before they leave, Sara stops to tell Oliver that fatherhood suits him. He’s come so far from the spoiled little rich boy she once knew. They both have.
J’onn and Alex are working on an evacuation plan, if it comes to that, and hoping that the alien refugees will offer their ships, despite how unwelcoming the planet was at times. The big problem they have right now is that they don’t even know where to go; all of space is being evaporated right now, and they don’t have a big enough portal to send everyone to the end of the antimatter’s path to even buy the heroes time. But then J’onn points out that if anyone could build one big enough, it’s Lena. Alex is unsure; can they even trust her after everything that just went down? But J’onn says they have to.
Clark is taking advantage of the feelings balcony, and Kara joins him. He says he feels selfish for thinking he could hang up his cape and just be a husband and a father. She understands; she often feels like the mistakes she’s made outweigh the good she’s done, but she promises him that the voices telling them things like that are just guilt and self-doubt. The truth is, they’ve saved the world before, and they can save the world again.
Clark looks at his little big cousin with awe and wonder in his eyes. Kara just lost her mother for the second time in her young life, she might actually be the Last Daughter of Krypton this time, and here she is giving HIM a pep talk. He asks how she does it and she tells him that she learned a lot the first time she thought Krypton was gone. She learned that Krypton wasn’t about the ground under their feet or the suns in their skies. It was about the spirit of the people, and their willingness to sacrifice and do what’s right. And that can still live on through them. As long as they keep fighting, Krypton will never die.
Elsewhere in the DEO, Oliver gives Mia her very own Green Arrow suit. She resists, saying no one should wear the hood if he can’t, but he’s been preparing her for his death for a little while now, and this is the next step. He begs her to at least try it on, and she agrees.
Oliver heads out to find Barry next, jabbing him a bit for being the last to show up, but Barry is a little distracted. He tells Oliver that he’s fated to die in the Crisis, and instead of reacting like most of his other friends and family did, with denial or anger or sadness, Oliver just shouts at the sky like he’s trying to summon a Janet. The Monitor hears his call and zaps him to his little floaty disk, where Oliver starts letting him have it – they had a deal. Oliver was supposed to die so Barry and Kara could live. But The Monitor said technically that deal is already done; this is an entirely new threat altogether.
Down on the ground, Alex heads to L-Corp to ask for Lena’s help. Lena is none too pleased to see her, since their last interaction involved Alex basically having a death beam trained on her.
Lena half-tries to feed Alex her cover story about the whole ordeal of the last episode being Eve’s fault, but Alex doesn’t buy it and Lena’s not really surprised. But she had to try.
Alex tells her about the antimatter wave and why they need her help. Alex takes this time to do what she maybe should have done sooner, but that Lena seems a bit surprised to hear: she apologizes. For standing by her side and lying to her day after day. Lena seems surprised to hear Alex admit it so plainly, to not deny Lena her pain. Lena says that she thought they really bonded when they hated Supergirl together, and Alex says that actually that was legit but she doesn’t have time to get into it right now; they’re desperate.
Lena waves off her apology. It won’t do Alex any good. Nothing she could say could undo this hurt. The friendship is broken beyond repair. But the world needs saving, and as she is tired of having to explain to people, she’s not a bad person. She will obviously put aside her personal feelings about a handful of people to save literally everyone in the multiverse.
When Lois, Sara, and Brainy get to Earth 16 in 2046, their trackers lead them to a rundown Arrow Cave. Sara spars with an old version of Oliver, who is surprised as all hell to see Sara both alive and also trained like an assassin. “You’re dead,” he tells her, which is something she’s heard before. She has died so many times I’ve lost count. But it never sticks, thank Beebo.
Lois thanks Old Oliver for saving her baby, and he doesn’t really confirm that he did? It’s a little confusing but if I’m being totally honest I skipped a few episodes of Arrow so it’s entirely possible we already knew Old Oliver 16 saved a superbaby.,
Back on Earth 38, the Tower Team is fighting off Dementors with their personal patronuses – arrows, rays, batarangs, etc. When she realizes that this fight is more than scooping up rabbits and bopping them on the head, Kate agrees to let Atom upgrade her weapons and keep all his appendages, so he does and it’s pretty badass, because teamwork.
Just when it seems like there are too many shadow demons to fight off, The Flash and the Supers arrive to help out and they seem to be keeping them at bay.
Meanwhile, Nia and Kelly are down on the ground, helping as many citizens of National City as they can get into Brainy’s spaceship.
In the lab, Lena is being sassy and talking science all at the same time, and it’s kind of amazing.
This moment is only made better by Alex meeting her on her level and giving her an idea, and then also saving Lena from some debris, proving once again that they make a good team.
On Earth 16, Old Oliver is having such a hard time wrapping his head around seeing a grown-up Sara before his eyes. He has carried so much guilt about her death and never got to apologize. Sara assures him that, at least on her earth, getting on the boat was her own choice. And there were thousands of possibilities as to what happened after, and in at least one, she’s traveling through time and is happier than she could have ever dreamed of being. So things may not have gone well for Sara 16, but the Sara in front of him is glad she got on that doomed boat.
Sara assures him that he’s a good man, on this Earth and every other, and says goodbye as the Crisis creeps closer.
When they realize the tower has stopped thwarting the rolling red doom, the Supers fly up to try to fix it. They try to buy more time by using their heat vision to power up the solar panels. To remind us once again who is more powerful, Kara lasts just a bit longer than Clark.
In the lab, Lena finishes up the portal, thanks in part to Alex’s sciencey suggestion. Alex says it was just a lucky guess and that Lena is the real genius, but in the flattery Lena catches herself and her expression becomes serious again. She reminds Alex that this doesn’t fix anything, that they’re not magically friends now. She said her and Kara showed Lena who they are. “I accept that,” she says. And I get that sentiment, I do. I get feeling like yours eyes were opened and needing to reconfigure your relationship with someone in your mind. Someone you thought was a very best friend is actually more of a one-way street than you realized. And your lives are too intertwined to extricate yourself entirely, so you just have to redefine your friendship, or your working relationship. And it hurts, and it’s hard, and it’s easy to fall into old patterns again — which sometimes leads to drawing harder lines than strictly necessary. Just because Lena was hurt, doesn’t mean she can never trust Kara or Alex at all about anything ever again. Just because she knows Alex doesn’t fully trust her either doesn’t mean she can’t have a good time making crazy science with her. I think Lena will get there, if she wants to. But they’re all going to need some time.
After the portal is ready, Alex and Lena join Nia and Kelly in the extraction mission. They’re shepherding people onto the spaceship, and Alex watches with hearteyes as Kelly uses Guardian’s shield to save a civilian.
As our SuperFriends all fight off shadow demons, The Monitor decides it’s time to go and starts zapping them off the planet one by one. But never, not once, not after the first person disappears, not as more and more go, do any of them even pause their fighting. They are so focused on the shadow demons that they get every last shot they can off before they’re yanked from this Earth. Oliver sees this happening and asks The Monitor if the planet is evacuated yet; when he says not yet, Oliver says it’s not time to go, and shoots an arrow at The Monitor to keep him from yoinking him, too. Oliver shoots and shoots until he’s out of arrows, then he drops his bow and runs into the fray as the spaceship successfully goes through the portal.
The Monitor takes everyone back to Earth 1, and tells them how many people were lost, how many were saved, and how many were saved specifically because Oliver bought them a few more minutes. Because he sacrificed himself. The team looks and Oliver lays dying.
The latest incarnation of HG Wells (#NotMyHGWells) is called Nash, and he shows up beside The Monitor, no longer really Nash so much as a man serving penance for releasing The Anti-Monitor. Which I guess is what all the hooey in the tunnel was all about? I honestly am not sure and I did NOT skip any episodes of The Flash. I just am so, so, so, so over this man and all of his many faces.
Anyway, a dying Oliver says his goodbyes to everyone. Tells Barry he’s the best of them, tells him and Kara that he died to save them so now they have to save everyone.
He says goodbye to Mia, and through her to Felicity and William. His last words are, “Keep me in your heart, okay?” Which is so Oliver because he never really was sure if he was worthy of love. So he phrases it like an option, a question mark, open ended for eternity.
Though, I’ll be honest… I find it hard to believe he’s dead. I suppose it’s possible, what with the multiverse, but a) this isn’t even technically his show, it’s Supergirl b) sure Arrow is ending but it still has half a season to go c) if Oliver Queen is for real forever dead and none of his family – John Diggle, any version of Laurel, William, etc – were even on the same Earth when it happened, that’s, quite frankly, bullshit.
The Monitor then says something that he perceives as bad: things aren’t going as he predicted. The timeline as he knew it is changing. He and his little sidekick say everything is doomed, but call me Kara Danvers because I think this is a good thing. If things aren’t going how he thought they would, that means none of what he saw was set in stone. Not the way this ends, not Barry’s death, none of it. Anything goes.
Tonight is hour two of five in this wild ride, and it’s technically Batwoman’s hour, so we’ll see what kind of shenanigans we get up to with our Gotham gal.