CW Crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Parts Four and Five: The Dawn of Time

Previously on Crisis on Infinite Earths, antimatter destroyed everything except the seven Paragons, who noped out to the Vanishing Point, and Oliver, who was hanging out in Purgatory (not the one in the Ghost River Triangle) with a being called Spectre. The last we left our heroes, Lex had changed the Book of Destiny to replace the real Paragon of Truth with the biggest liar of them all: himself.

Even though it feels like it has been ten thousand years since the last episode of the CRISIS, we start this episode ten thousand years ago, on Planet Maltus, where a younger, happier-looking Novu kisses his wife and tries out a temporal jump they’ve been sciencing. He ends up at the dawn of time, where he accidentally caused a breath to the anti-universe, where anti-matter is afoot and the Anti-Monitor is there.

At the Vanishing Point, it becomes clear by Ryan’s facial hair that they’ve been stuck there for months. I’m a little confused as to how he and the other humans are still alive, since obviously time is moving if he has a beard now, so his body is still doing things, but maybe there’s a Vanishing Garden somewhere. Then again Lex doesn’t have a longer beard so who knows what’s going on. He writes a letter to his dead wife, saying that things are looking bleak. The Paragon of Destiny doesn’t believe in tomorrow. The Paragon of Courage trains day in and day out for a battle that might never come. The Paragon of Honor meditates. A lot. And the Paragon of Hope seems to have lost hers.

He calls Lex a douche, which is a delight, and apparently the Paragon of Love has up and disappeared. Because love is a lie.

Eventually, Lex and Ryan work together to create a transporter of sorts, meaning they have a chance go get out of here.

Sara and Kate exchange glances

“So I guess we wouldn’t be the only queers left then…” “…and I guess that means we shouldn’t…”

Kara flatly says that Lex should be the one to test it. It’s a perfect moment because sometimes even the most hopeful, the most positive, the kindest, can reach their limits with someone and no longer have the energy to even feign politeness.

Kara glares at Lex

Even people with very long ropes reach the end of them sometimes.

Kara is determined to get the people they lost back, and just for a moment, that little flame of hope seems to spark behind her eyes.

The machine whirls and pops, but Lex unfortunately isn’t immediately replaced by his sister or anyone more useful than him. However, unrelated, The Flash barrels in, and when everyone demands to know where he’s been for months, he insists he’s been gone for like two minutes. But time means nothing anyway, because he can’t access the Speed Force, which means he can’t undo this. There’s no way out.

Over on the post-death version of Lian-Yu, Spectre is giving Oliver all of his powers and showing him how his life lead up to this moment. He tells SpectrOliver that it’s almost time for the ultimate fight, and that it’s time to find his friends. Which is something it has taken Oliver 900 episodes to realize, and honestly I think he still needs it told to him: he needs help, and it’s okay to ask for it, and accept it.

Back at the Vanishing Point, Barry is zooming around, angry, Kara and Sara holding him back, knowing they can stop him by force if they have to.

Sara yells at Barry

“Cut it out! You will not ruin our shot at getting out of this Vaseline-smeared world!”

But Oliver shows up and tells them that the Speed Force is the key and that the Paragons have to use it to stop the Anti-Monitor.

Superhero lineup

Just a warning: this Arrow hour of the Crisis is almost as dark as when Once Upon a Time went to Neverland, and under a worse filter than the whole of Ravenswood.

They’re surprised to see him but he explains that he’s not quite Oliver. He says he’s something… more. Which is what he’s been saying he needs to become in his intro for quite some time now, so I suppose this was always going to happen. He says they have to go to the dawn of time to fight, and gives them their mission. He sends Kara, Ryan, and Lex to Maltus to try to stop the Monitor from making the breach in the first place, and boops Barry to give him (and thus, the rest of the team) access to the Speed Force again.

Barry Flashes into the Speed Force but finds himself knocked off course and face to face with a version of Oliver who is at Queen Consolidated. Oliver explains that the Anti-Monitor attacked and scattered his friends throughout the Speed Force, and that he’s going to have to go back through important moments in the Arrowverse timeline to find them.

On his way, Barry runs into another Barry Allen… and it’s the Barry Allen from the Justice League movie. Which, after the wee bit of controversy that surrounded the DC Universe when it was clear they weren’t doing a Marvel and using the same characters in their movies as their TV shows, was pretty delightful. (Also implies the existence of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, just saying.)

Up (over?) on Maltus, Lex fucks off almost as soon as he lands on Earth, much to Kara’s chagrin. Kara finds him and fights with him; he’s so convinced that brain will beat brawn, but what he doesn’t realize is that she’s not brawn at all. She’s heart.

Kara smirk-glares at Lex

“You, not unlike some of the writers on this show, are severely underestimating how much I love Lena Luthor.”

He goads her into asking what he wants and he goes full Pinky and the Brain and says that he wants to take over the universe. Oh, also? When he was fiddling with the Book of Destiny, he gave himself powers. Even though part of his whole deal is that he hates that some people are naturally more powerful than others but whatever.

Lex ends up using these powers to knock Kara and Ryan out and in case you forgot he’s a sociopath, he whistles while he walks away from their unconscious bodies.

Ryan wakes up first, I would assume because Kara needed to RELAX and the only way she was able to do so was to be knocked clean out, but as soon as he wakes her and she scans him for permanent damage, they’re off. Ryan doesn’t feel much like a Paragon (even though he somehow survived a blast strong enough to knock out a Kryptonian), but Kara reassures him that the fact that he’s even there, willing to help, means he’s special.

Kara smiles softly at Ryan

New life goal: for Melissa Benoist to look me in the eye and tell me I’m special.

He calls her the Paragon of Pep Talks and calls Lex a “selfish asshat” and frankly I like him and wouldn’t hate it if he stuck around post-Crisis. On any of the shows. Kara agrees and then tells him to get ready to fly.


She says.


Kara says up up and away


Say what you want about this Monitor/Anti-Monitor stuff (What I’ll say is: it’s boring and I don’t care about it) but moments like this are what my nerdy, cheese-loving heart LIVES FOR.

Meanwhile, Barry is zip-zapping around the Speed Force and starts collecting friends from different points in Arrow. He eventually finds Oliver in last year’s crossover memories, and Oliver tells him about the deal he made to save Kara and Barry. He tells them that dying is easy, dying is peace, but it’s the people who have to keep going, keep fighting, who are the real heroes. In other words, “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.”

Barry ends up back at one of the times Sara died, dressed as the Black Canary, Laurel and Diggle standing over her. Barry zaps Sara awake and doesn’t even let the sisters, whose current experience is that the other is dead, hug for ONE SECOND before whooshing her away again.

Sara gasps back to life

Sara is on a one-woman mission to come back to life enough times to make up for all the TV gays killed in 2016.

On Maltus, Lex goes to find the Monitor and tries to offer him knowledge of the future in exchange for abilities he will come to possess. But as he’s explaining the Crisis to Novu, Kara shows up to spoil his fun.

While those two fight, Ryan talks to Novu and talks him down from doing this thing that will surely destroy the universe. His calm and reasonable nature sways Novu, who calls him remarkable.

Meanwhile, Kara is telling Lex all the things he’s done to piss her off, but the thing she says the loudest and the angriest is, “You betrayed Lena.”

Kara looks v mad

Lex broke Lena’s heart so Kara’s gonna break his face.

But before their fight can go too far, The Flash Train comes to pick them up and takes them to meet up with the rest of the Paragons at the dawn of time, in the anti-matter universe.

Paragon lineup

Remember when the WB used to have all its actors hang out on a couch for promo spots? Same vibes.

The Anti-Monitor chuckles at their attempt to stop him, because even though they stopped this Monitor, one will still come. So instead, at SpectrOliver’s command, they fight.

Kara looks ready to fight

*Xena yell*

So the heroes all join forces; even Lex, because he values his own life above all else. While the Paragons take on the shadow demons, Oliver takes on the Anti-Monitor, blasting all the dementors away with one beam and his catchphrase (but Crisisified): You have failed this universe.

Realizing Oliver still needs their help, Kara tells them to all focus on their Paragon qualities and Care Bear stare at the Anti-Monitor.

Paragons focus on Oliver

I can’t wait to see a photoshopped version of this with lil light beams coming out of their tummies.

After the Anti-Monitor is gone, Barry flashes him and Sara up to Oliver’s side, where they have to say goodbye again. It’s another speech that’s bigger than the events of this episode. It’s not just Oliver saying goodbye to his old buds Sara and Barry. It’s not even just Stephen Amell saying goodbye to Caity and Grant. It’s Arrow telling Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash to keep going; the world still needs them. Both of them. It was a mentor saying goodbye to his colleagues, a man saying goodbye to his friends, a show saying goodbye to its spinoffs. Arrow walked so The Flash could run. So Legends could fly.

Oliver tells them to look up, and through their tears they see a new universe forming. An end and a beginning.

Sara and Barry look up

“I swear to god, Barry, if you start singing Closing Time, I WILL break your legs.”

And thus ends Part 4 of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Arrow Hour, the Darkest Timeline.


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Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 536 articles for us.


  1. I’m with you, VA, I really didn’t care for the Monitor/Anti-Monitor stuff in the slightest for this crossover, but was SO here for all the awesome cheesy geek references, and bloody amazing character interactions (Kate’s and Kara’s friendship earlier in the crossover episodes has just been amazing).

    I’m actually really interested to see what this new ‘Earth-Prime’ universe arrangement does to all these series that I’ve been watching forever, as this new context could really do some very interesting things to them (not to mention finding out how this new Mia Smoak/Queen Green Arrow series could/might play into it).

    Also, this:
    “Meanwhile, Kara is telling Lex all the things he’s done to piss her off, but the thing she says the loudest and the angriest is, “You betrayed Lena.””

    THANK YOU. I mean, I know am inclined towards the ship that shall not be named, but it was really telling that the thing she a) mentioned, and b) was MOST pissed off about, was how Lex manipulated Lena. Of course, I could be projecting mind you.

    All in all though; fun crossover, more about the characters for me though mind you than the plot, but it is setting up some interesting new developments.

  2. Merry Crisis!!! I’m totally with you, I was SO STOKED to see Baby Sara back! Erasing her was probably the biggest injustice in the entire Arrowverse in my mind (which is saying a lot). She was so cute and her hair was so floofy – I’m so glad she’s back!

    I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed all the Sara/Barry scenes. They both started off as minor supporting characters on Arrow, and look what they’ve grown into. (Though… did Sara forget that she has a mom? A mom who isn’t dead? Did the new universe reboot kill her mom? Where is Dinah Lance?)

    Anyway, I need someone to write a Kate/Alex/Sara fanfic STAT, please and thank you

    • I was griping on Twitter that Dinah Lance is still alive! I mean I stopped watching Arrow during season 4, but all my friends who watch confirmed she is still alive. I mean Thea is also still alive and she knew Sara from her pre-Queen’s Gambit days.

      Hashtag they did Alex Kingston dirty!

    • SERIOUSLY on DINAH and THEA!!! But I guess she wasn’t as close to them…
      All the more to grow those relationships…

  3. I’m with you on being totally confused as to how Lex’s new danamic will play.
    Like does Lena still know Kara is Supergirl because Alex said Lena was her #1 fan
    I feel like they might play it as Lena believes Lex to be good and they will be more closely bonded (maybe he’ll turn her evil) we’ll see
    -Also love seeing Sara and Ava again they look so beautiful (even if they weren’t side by side) Can’t wait for Legends to return!!

    • Forgot to mention that the new guy Ryan is another version of the Atom in the comics. So he might take over for Ray as the actor is leaving after this season

  4. “I’m never letting my kid watch that show again.”

    Diggle’s remark implies that there is a Beebo TV show.


    Speaking of the Diggles, Sara was born … season three-ish? And Green Arrow and the Canaries is set in the future, so she may make an appearance there.


    Green Lantern (2011) is now canon?

    Well, one of my personal head canons of a denouement for Alex when the show finally ends is she becomes the new Green Lantern for sector 2814. So… maybe?


    So much for the status quo.

    The trailer for the next episode of Supergirl implies that Lena remembers the pre-Crisis timeline, which is good. It would have been a cop-out for the writers to erase everything that has happened this season. I guess Lex is going to spin a lie about how he’s the Lex from another Earth, and Lena will, unfortunately, believe him.

    “The world is ours now. Imagine what we could accomplish together.”

    I had wondered what would behind the battle for Lena’s soul… I should have known it would have been her Kryptonite.


    Merry Crisis everyone, and a Happy New Earp.

    • I looooove the idea of Alex becoming Green Lantern, I mean, space police? That’s basically her dream job

    • I believe the Green Lantern earth is alluding to the soon to be HBO Max Green Lantern series that Greg Bertlanti is producing and not the 2011 movie. Personally, I’m a big fan of John Stewart at GL and hope they have a Diggle doppelgänger play him.

      • Oh, yeah, I forgot about that. That would make more sense. And it would have to be on HBO because the VFX budget will be through the roof…

  5. Wait, so, do infinite Earths still exist and it’s just the main heroes’ Earths that collapsed into Prime?

    Also, am I totally alone in thinking the plot throughout the entire crossover was…. pretty terrible? Like, it was just a bunch of random tangents, as opposed to rising action leading to a climax.

    • I *think* we’re supposed to take away that there is still a Multiverse, just different, with all the Paragon’s Earth’s (plus Black Lightning?) mushed into Earth-Prime. After all, some of the other Earths still have active shows on them. But I agree that it was presented unclearly.

    • I’ll be honest, that is unclear to me. I thought it was no longer a multiverse, just the one universe with multiple planets. But I could definitely be wrong!

  6. Screenshots & Captions Part 4: 1, 8 (I actually applauded)
    Screenshots & Captions Part 5: 4 (YES!), 6 (Shes prettier every time I see her and has the ability to make anyone gayer so BOTH), 9 (SAME), 12, 15, 18 (YAS! count me in!), 19, 20!,
    – Was ECSTATIC to see Sara was one of the mains of this cross over.
    – Love that they fitted the episode theme to the designated show’s theme. Dark for Arrow and Hilarious for LOT.
    – Thanks for explaining the cameos!
    – Sarah’s convo with Barry is so perfect, so powerful and so relevant/relatable.
    – SuperFlArrow is GENIUS
    – SAME about Sara diggle’s daughter <3

  7. Just had a thought. We know that Sara gains powers this season, and a lot of us figured that she would gain them in the Crisis. She didn’t…or did she. Oliver was handed down the mantle of the Spectre from Corrigan, but now Oliver is dead dead. Is it possible that the mantle will now pass to Sara?

  8. That shot of Kate, Alex and Kara made me so happy! I hope Batwoman gets invited to future game nights.

    Overall I thought this crossover didn’t have the same emotional weight as previous ones (although I’m not quite as fond of Oliver as I was of, say, Stein) but it was fun to see everyone together! I’m interested to see what these changes will mean for the ‘verse, and also for Legends to finally be back on air.

  9. Thanks for all the recaps, Valerie, and for the Buffy reference, which I totally thought of too when I was watching!

  10. When you’re way up high
    And you look below
    At the world you’ve left
    And the things you know
    Little more than a glance
    Is enough to show
    You just how small you are

  11. I just have to say how much I love reading your posts about shows that you love. They remind me of the best recaps of a lesbian site I used to know. Kudos to you and AS.

  12. They merged the DC movie universe with the Arrowverse. I now DEMAND a Wonder Woman cameo.

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