Long time no see! Crisis On Infinite Earths Part 2 didn’t feel the need for a previously on, presumably because the most recent episode was the night before, so I’m going to dive in, too.
We open in Central City on Earth 1, where Sara Lance, Kara Danvers, and Kate Kane are all mourning Oliver.
Kara is feeling bad that he sacrificed himself for her and Barry, but Sara says he saved a billion people; he was a hero, there’s no time for guilt. But Kara thinks doing a shot in his honor is a nail in his coffin she’s not sure she’s ready for. Maybe she can do this. Save Oliver, save her mom, save all the Earths.
The Monitor pops in and says he needs a Waverider, but Sara says she promised her team they wouldn’t do any more crossovers. But he doesn’t need her team, just her ship — specifically Ray’s lab — so the Harbinger beebops to another Earth to get one.
She ends up on Earth 74, where she finds Snart’s voice in place of Gideon’s, and Mick Rory the only Legend not in retirement or dead. She asks for his help, and as long as he gets beer, he’s in.
Once the team gathers, The Monitor is trying to inspire them, tell them about seven heroes they need to collect, but little baby Jonathan keeps interrupting with his little cries. They pass him down the line of heroes, who fought off shadow demons without a problem, but can’t seem to get this little guy to stop fussing.
Eventually, somehow unsurprisingly, Rory is the one that gets the baby to settle down, so he heads out with him.
The Monitor continues his speech about finding heroes he calls Paragons. He learned about this when he consulted the Book of Destiny from a past time stream. Which feels like cheating but okay. Totems shmotems. But when The Monitor pulls out the book, Lyla starts to flinch.
Mia asks if The Monitor can bring Oliver back instead of a stupid book (my words) but he says he grows weaker as the Anti-Monitor grows stronger and the Paragons are their only chance at stopping him.
Unfortunately, he only knows two Paragons’ names, and clues about two more. Kara Zor-El is the Paragon of Hope, because of course she is. Sara is the Paragon of Destiny; death is her gift. There’s a Kryptonian who has suffered a great loss, a Paragon of Truth. And a bat of the future, the Paragon of Courage. The Monitor said he got Felicity Smoak to help him get this information from the Tome of the Guardians, and it feels very unfair to have that happen off-screen, but I saw her in the play she was in here in New York and she seemed very happy during the talkback after so FINE I’ll allow it.
The Monitor tells Kate and Kara to go to Earth 99 to find Bruce Wayne and the Paragon of Courage.
Everyone is getting ready for their next task when Lex Luthor appears, causing Kara to lose it. She can’t believe her eyes. “Lena killed you,” she says, tears filling her eyes. The Monitor stops her from attacking him, saying he has a role to play, but this solidifies The Monitor as untrustworthy in Kara’s mind. Kara storms off, furious, and seeing Kara’s reaction, Kate decides to throw a little threat Lex’s way too. It was a classic friend move, the “we hate him” no questions asked solidarity.
Kate goes to cheer Kara up, telling her to put on her hope pants (not to be confused with her Supergirl pants or Hope’s pants) so they can save the universe together.
Elsewhere on the Waverider, Lyla is still feeling a little glitchy when she finds Lex. Left unsupervised for all of five seconds, he’s found a way to steal the Book of Destiny and a portal watch and plans to zap around the universe killing Supermen, just in case the heroes do save the world. When Lyla turns to The Monitor for help, he says that everyone has their part to play and that they should let him go.
Sara busts into the Waverider like, “I’m a Paragon?” because know what else she is? Perfect. Mia catches Sara up on what they missed: they’re going to head to another Earth to find a functioning Lazarus pit since Thea destroyed all the ones on this Earth. But Sara hates this plan. Like, a lot.
She tells Mia what she feels like probably no one told her, that your body comes back but not your soul. But Mia knows all about Sara. Nyssa trained her, after all. “She told me everything I need to know about you,” she says, and Sara is too dumbfounded by this girl she didn’t know existed before yesterday name-checking her ex-girlfriend to ask what the hell she means by that. Because you KNOW Nyssa al Ghul wasn’t shit-talking Sara Lance, so clearly this girl drew her own conclusions.
Anyway, Kate and Kara hop to Earth 99 and an angrier, nakeder version of Luke opens the door, sees who it is, then closes the door. Kate knocks a bunch then Kara almost shyly asks if she can just… and when Kate realizes that just because she’s more butch doesn’t mean she has to lead the charge, so she lets Kara kick down the door and stand in front of her when Luke points a gun at them.
An older gentleman comes down the stairs in a robotic exoskeleton, and Kate’s reaction tells us that it’s her cousin, Bruce Wayne. (Side note, Bruce is played by Kevin Conroy, who has done almost nothing but voice Batman since 1991. Okay fine that’s an exaggeration but seriously check out his IMDb.)
Bruce tells Kate that she’s dead in his universe, so she sits him down to explain how she came to be on Earth 99.
Mia, Sara, and Barry enlist the help of Constantine to find a working Lazarus pit on an Earth that hasn’t been obliterated yet, and despite Mia being snarky and mean (is she ALWAYS so mean or is this understandable trauma from her father dying??) they all head off together. On the way out, Sara pulls Constantine aside and makes him promise he’ll restore Oliver’s soul, but all Constantine can do is promise he’ll try.
Across the universe, Lois, Clark, and Iris head to Earth 167 to try to find the Paragon of Truth, since Earth 75’s Superman is already dead. They land in Smallville, where a Tom Welling shaped Clark Kent is chopping wood. I didn’t even watch Smallville and this was exciting; and he’s grown up so much since then that when he showed up on Lucifer a few years back, I hadn’t even recognized him. Anyway, while they’re trying to explain their problem to this Clark, Lex shows up with the book and bamfs them away so he’s left alone with this Earth’s Superman. But when Clark plucks the Kryptonite out of Lex’s hand like it’s a piece of rock candy, he reveals that he’s given up his powers. Lex is horrified, because Clark was basically a god and Lex can’t fathom wanting to give that up for anything. But Clark gave it up for his family, and when Lex realizes that even without being powered by the yellow sun, Clark Kent could still beat him to a pulp, he vanishes through a portal. This Clark’s Lois comes out of the house, and luckily no one is there to point out how much like Kara’s mother she looks (well, Kara’s mother most recently…) and it’s just a happy moment between Smallville‘s Lois and Clark as they head back inside to their daughters. Considering I’ve never even seen it, I was unreasonable happy for Smallville fans, I can only imagine how exciting this was.
Back to the future Gotham, where Bruce is laughing at the idea of being a Paragon of Courage. He shows Kate a headline and reveals that he actually turned into kind of a monster. Fighting bad guys drove him to badness, and he took one life, then another, until he fell down a slippery slope. Kate is sure he can still be redeemed, though. He can still be a hero again, and not just for Gotham.
But while Kate and Bruce are talking, Luke is keeping Kara busy in the library. He asks how she knows Kate, and I personally think it was a missed opportunity for him to ask if she was her girlfriend, but whatever. Kara notices a trophy case of mementos from Batman’s batbattles (a Joker card, the Riddler’s cane, etc) and before she can even fully process how serial killer it all is, she spots Clark Kent’s glasses.
In this universe, Batman and Superman didn’t learn their moms had the same name and use that as the sole basis for a truce, so Batman killed Superman.
When Lois, Clark, and Iris get to Earth 96, the Clark Kent they found is shaped like Ray Palmer. (A nod to Brandon Routh’s role as Superman in Superman Returns.) They see a crapton of plaques in his wall of all the people in his life he’s lost, and know they’ve found their Paragon of Truth.
But before they can get Superman back to their Earth, Lex shows up and uses the book to turn the Clarks against each other. The boys fly out of the building, fighting because of Lex’s petty bullshit, while the girls watch from the window.
When it’s clear the Supermen are evenly matched, the girls take things into their own hands, clocking Lex over the head and taking the book. When they can’t figure out how to undo what Lex did, Lois tries to reason with RayClark, eventually breaking through and getting him back.
Over on Earth 18, the Lazarus crew are in North Dakota. Barry and Constantine go to get Oliver’s body while Sara and Mia clean out the pit, despite Sara being a bit triggered by the whole thing.
Sars is midway through complimenting her old pal Felicity by complimenting Mia, the two finally starting to warm to each other, when they’re interrupted by Jonah Hex. But the girls work together and quickly overpower him, because they might be small and blonde, but they were literally trained by assassins. The cowboy didn’t stand a chance.
Kate and Bruce go to his Batcave, where Bruce continues to be a batgrump. Kara storms in, suited up, and tells Kate what she learned. Bruce leans in now, villain mode activated, and rants about Supers like some kind of Lex Luthor. He punches Supergirl, and when she surprisingly is sent across the room by it, he reveals that he has a Kryptonite crystal in the arm of his exoskeleton. Kate rushes to Kara’s side, her loyalties clear in this fight.
The North Dakota crew is waiting for Oliver to rise from the pit, getting a bit impatient and worrying it won’t work.
But then Oliver springs from the pit, wild and uncouth, until Sara tranqs him so he’ll chill out until they can get his soul back.
Kate fights her futuristic cousin, standing up to him and protecting Kara, until his suit malfunctions and fries him. His dying words to Kate are, “There is no hope,” but she’s standing right next to the Paragon of it, so hopefully she knows that can’t be true.
Back on the Waverider, Lex is in the holding cell while everyone gathers to report on their Paragon findings and try Ray’s Paragon detector. When they turn it on it points to the Waverider they’re on, so Ray thinks it’s broken, but The Monitor says it isn’t. The Paragon of Courage wasn’t Bruce Wayne after all: it’s been Kate Kane all along. The Bat of the Future.
And this is cool for a lot of reasons, but first and foremost because this means that of the four Paragons they’ve identified so far — undeniable heroes who will help save all of existence — three are women, and (at least) two are queer women. Not a bad start.
When Constantine tries to return Oliver’s soul to his body, he finds he can’t quite get his magic up. The antimatter is interfering, and suddenly Mia is wondering if this was a good idea after all.
On the Waverider, Kara brings Kate a beer because she’s had a day. Kate is overwhelmed with all this time travel and alien stuff on top of her new vigilante identity. And now she’s a Paragon? It’s a lot to take in.
Kara isn’t surprised though. Kate cares so much and tries so hard, and that has way more to do with being a hero than any of that sci-fi stuff. Kara says Kate is one of the bravest people she knows, with hair and daring second only to her own sister (okay fine that part was me), and that she’ll make her own destiny. To inspire her, she shows Kate a picture she found of a grown-up, well-adjusted, happy version of Kate and Beth from Earth 99. She says maybe Kate can get that back, too. Kate smirks at her and says she’s starting to sound like the Paragon of Hope after all.
Kara says that she also has hope that she’s going to get Earth 38 back, or at the very least try her best, and as she walks away, Kate thinks of The Monitor’s warning that recreating a world could drive a person mad, and pulls Bruce’s little Kryptonite disk out of her pocket.
And on one hand, I get it. She was just talking about how she’s not a time traveler who was raised from the dead a bunch of times, or an alien who is more powerful than a locomotive, or a speedster. She’s just a human with gizmos and gadgets. So I can see how she’s feeling a little in over her head, and I’m hoping that maybe she was thinking more of all the Supermen they’re collecting when she first nabbed the Kryptonite disk than of Supergirl, but it does concern me that she was thinking of Kara when she pulled it out just now.
The episode ends with Lyla being summoned to the Anti-Monitor, who has decided she’s his Harbinger now.
We continue with Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part 3 on tonight’s episode of The Flash, but before then I wanted to give you a quick scoop on last night’s Black Lightning, because even though it wasn’t officially part of the crossover, it’s all connected. (To the point that I wouldn’t be all that surprised if the skies got mysteriously red in Riverdale, Mystic Falls, and Horseshoe Bay this week.)
In Freeland, the red sky we’re all too familiar with by now rolls in, but with no Monitor or Harbinger to explain it to them, they are left to wonder what it’s all about. Jennifer, our little Lightning, tries to call her sister, Anissa (lesbian superhero Thunder, for the uninitiated), but before she can reach her, Jennifer’s powers go haywire and she passes out, ending up in a strange space out of time with two other versions of herself.
Gen is from Earth 1, where she’s in the Pit for releasing something in the water that took away all metas’ powers, including her father and sister’s, so the ASA couldn’t use them as weapons, though she was allowed to go home for Christmas. In this universe, Anissa is still closeted and a med student and dating a girl named Shaquandalyn, and Khalil is still alive. But Odell sends his men in to ruin their Christmas, killing Jefferson for having an underground meta railroad. Overall this whole sequence bummed me out because Earth 1 is The Flash and Arrow’s Earth and this simulation sucks.
On Earth 2, Jinn is dark and angry and storming into the school, where Jefferson is a teacher. In this story, she IS the weapon of the ASA her Earth 1 persona tried to prevent. Jinn’s family tries to have an intervention, but she ends up killing them all. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the multiverse.
On Black Lightning‘s usual Earth (I’m not 100% sure which Earth, actually…maybe 23, if it’s like the comics, but I have a feeling we’ll find out tonight) Anissa finds her sister glitching and is scared.
In the weird in-between space, the Jennifers all fight, but then the white wave sweeps through and the Crisis destroys all three of their Earths, wiping out everyone except Jefferson, who was yoinked away last minute. Presumably, to join our heroes for tonight’s installment of the crossover.
See you tomorrow to discuss Part 3 of 5, the last Arrowverse episode of 2019!