Previously on the Elseworlds crossover, a mysterious man with a very large tome gave an unhinged man the power to recreate the universe, and therefore Oliver and Barry seem to have switched existences. They recruited Supergirl to help them, and together the three of them learned their next clue to this mystery is in Gotham City.
One clever touch they had in this episode is that the whole opening sequence? The bit that’s in front of every episode that sort of recaps the prior seasons? Well Arrow‘s was re-shot with Grant Gustin as the Green Arrow, so it was Barry’s voice and face doing the things we know Oliver Queen to have done. It’s pretty cool, not gonna lie.
Before we get to Gotham City, we check in on Team Arrow in Star City. Curtis is talking about the weird lightning while Diggle gets attacked by… Deathstroke’s son? I’m going to be 100% honest with you up front: I’m totally caught up on Arrow, but the show has lost my interest aside from my growing investment in Felicity’s relationship with Laurel Ex-X, so I’m not entirely sure what this kid is up to, or if he’s only here because reality is fractured. He’s not relevant to this crossover though, not really, because before he can cause too much harm, our fearless trio drops in to save the day.
Once they handle that business, they head back to what serves as Arrow HQ now and when Felicity comes in, Barry-Arrow plays the part and they don’t let Felicity in on the switcheroo.
They just ask her to help find a pattern to the weird lightning and off she goes; her and Oliver are technically fighting but she’ll still do anything to help.
When she leaves, Diggle asks why they didn’t let her in, and they explain that it took too long to get everyone at Star Labs to believe them, and they just don’t have that kind of time.
Oliver-Flash tries to get Barry-Arrow to stay behind on their trip to Gotham, to protect Oliver’s reputation, but Barry isn’t having it. He wants to meet the Batman (who Oliver thinks is a myth). And speaking of reputations, he would appreciate it if Oliver put his Flash mask on when they’re in public.
Kara is over the boys and their squabbling so she scoops up Barry and heads to Gotham City, which seems to be made up entirely of alleys and rooftops. As they discuss how they’re going to find two specific people in this extra-dark city, Oliver says they can talk to his contact, Vesper, who he may or may not have slept with while he was a spoiled little rich boy. Kara is having a hard time imagining this old Oliver, so Barry helps by letting her know that once Oliver cheated on his girlfriend with her sister. (What he DOESN’T tell her is that the sister in question would later go on to sleep with Kara’s own sister.)
Kara says they should prep Plan B in case (not a sex joke) and before they leave the roof, they find a giant Bat-Signal. Barry is stoked, Oliver remains unconvinced. But as the camera pans back, we see a bat-like figure looming once again on a rooftop, watching.
While the trio of heroes looks for the radio station where Vesper works, they see armored cars escorting the rich, and are “welcomed” by some locals, who demand their wallets and phones, having no idea how outmatched they are. The man doesn’t take long before he takes to shooting at the newcomers, but Kara catches the bullet easily.
They fight and by the time the Gotham City Police arrive, the bad guys are all taken down and Barry-Arrow has his foot on someone’s throat. The police recognize him as Oliver Queen, recently released felon, and immediately take the trio into custody.
Back at Arrow HQ, Felicity is having a hard time finding a lightning pattern, but she says she has noticed that it kind of looks like a breach, which means she thinks they need Team Flash’s help. And lo and behold, great minds think alike, because Cisco and Caitlin are here to help. You see, they noticed that the weird lightning left as soon as Barry and Oliver did, so it’s clearly following them for a reason.
Caitlin mentions the body swap because no one told her they were keeping it from Felicity, and Felicity is like, “The what-now??”
In Gotham City, the newly imprisoned call DA Laurel for help, but she’s still got a little X left in her, so she leaves them there for a night. Frustrated, Oliver-Flash and Barry-Arrow yell at each other about how they handled the situation until Kara yells at them. She says that they were both wrong, and have teetered TOO far into the whole trying-to-be-each-other thing. They are like, “Oh would you have had a better plan,” all sassy and she says yes she would have swooshed them all away so there was no one left to fight and they huff because she’s right about that being a better plan.
But they’re in luck, because someone posted their bail for them. When they get outside to find out who their benefactor is, a man in a big black car is waiting for them. He takes them to a run-down Wayne building that appears to be long-abandoned. They wonder aloud if their mystery donor is Bruce Wayne, but Oliver says he left town three years ago, so if it’s him it would be one hell of a shock.
But then they look up and it’s sure as hell no Bruce Wayne standing at the balcony waiting for them.
They ask who she is and she says she’s about to rain on their parade. The reason she bailed him out is because she doesn’t want the Green Arrow in her city.
The boys are a little put off by her immediately telling them to leave but Kara just wants to know her name. (“Rain?” she asks, in a way that would get anyone except Kara Danvers punched. “Ms. Parade?”)
But her name is Kane. Kate Kane.
And she’s here to fuck us up.
Back at Arrow HQ, everyone is fighting about why they didn’t tell Felicity about the switch, but mostly she’s just bummed that it seems like Iris figured it out on her own but she couldn’t tell anything was wrong with her own husband.
But she doesn’t have time to dwell on that right now, there’s Science to do.
Kate Kane takes the trio to her favorite place: the roof. They ask about Bruce Wayne, and Kara thinks it’s suspicious that he and Batman left at the same time, but Kate claims to not know why he left. Vesper was a dead-end lead (because Oliver did screw her over… literally) so Kate says they can work in her building to work on their mission if it will help them leave faster. (Fun fact: the wifi password is Alfred. A detail that will surely delight my father.)
So they do indeed get to work, using the USB of data Oliver-Flash stole from the precinct to run some facial recognition on the man from Oliver’s sketch of Cisco’s vibe.
Back at Arrow HQ, Felicity and Caitlin get a rare moment of female bonding, so of course all they do is talk about boys. Caitlin explains that her and Iris have a lot more experience with alternate realities and identity stealing than Felicity does, so they’re more apt to pick up on subtle things like body swaps. She tries to reassure Felicity that she shouldn’t take this as a death sentence for their marriage.
Caitlin also explains that when Barry and Oliver explained the situation to the Star Labs crew the first time, they kind of sort of drugged them and locked them up. So it could have also just been a time crunch thing!
Felicity is starting to feel a little better, but she also thinks her issues with Oliver run deeper than this. She knows Oliver loves her, but she doesn’t feel like he respects or trusts her. Which is valid and true. Caitlin says that as long as there’s love, there’s something worth fighting for. But Felicity is left wondering if love is enough.
Anyway, back to more exciting news, Felicity thinks that she designed a machine that would help someone breach if that is indeed what the lightning is all about.
Back in Gotham City (Am I allowed to call it Gotham? The TV show by that name has me all mixed up.), Oliver finds out that they’re looking for a man named John Deegan, but he’s been MIA for about five years.
Kara tells the boys she’s going to suit up and give the city a fly-over, but in reality she wanders back down through the building to find Kate in her office.
Kate explains that Bruce is her cousin, so she’s taking this old building of his and turning it into a real estate development firm. Which seems random but I assume will be relevant when the Batwoman CW series is born. Kara tells Kate that her cousin is sort of frienemies with Bruce, which I guess is what you call it when you would totally kill a person if their mom’s name wasn’t the same as your mom’s name.
Kara asks if Bruce broke because he was carrying around a secret, but Kate says that watching this city rot beneath him made him have to be strong, so something like that wouldn’t have broken him. No, he left for a different reason.
Kara is curious about this Kate Kane character, asking why a billionaire isn’t dressed in blocky, solid business suits like a certain other heiress she knows. She also points out that Kate has more tattoos than she would have expected. In a way to either distract from the questions and/or disarm her guest, Kate gets just close enough to Kara and implies she has even more tattoos she can’t see.
Kara immediately recognizes this as flirting and immediately gets shy and awkward and giggly and tries to change the subject. (I bet she can’t wait to tell Alex about this.)
Before doing a fly-over her own self, she decides to ask Kate Kane if she knows Deegan, and sure enough she does. He’s a doctor at the Arkham Asylum. So off Kara goes in one direction, smiling and bubbly, and off Kate goes in another, dark and brooding. She heads downstairs to a Batcave of her own and comes face to face with her suit.
And the dramatic music/camerawork in this shot reminded me that it’s feasible that there are people out there who wouldn’t have put it together quite yet that Kate Kane was Batwoman and that was probably a pretty cool reveal.
Back at Argus, Felicity is sciencing around like the sexy scientist she is, and her breach-assist machine is working. And then all of a sudden, Jay-the-Flash is there shouting a message at them, saying that if they get the book they can fix this.
Caitlin, Cisco, and Diggle take this message to Barry, Oliver, and Kara, who have just showed up at the asylum.
They put it together that they have to find the Tome from the vibe, and Kara has an idea of how they can break into the asylum. She puts Caitlin in a wheelchair, name-drops her Earth mom, and says her patient needs a… special kind of treatment. Killer Frost flashes her eyes at the intake nurse and she lets them in.
While they’re doing that, the boys are sneaking around the creepy hallways to find Deegan there, looking all Dr. Horrible, no sing-along blog. Deegan is excited to meet Oliver Queen, meaning he recognizes the same face we do to be Oliver. I think what his excited rambling meant was that he was trying to become The Flash himself but messed it up a bit. But he’s enjoying this new reality, so he doesn’t want to change it back, thank you very much.
When it becomes clear that Oliver and Diggle aren’t going to take no for an answer, he presses a red button to release all the inmates and uses it as a distraction to run away. Kara and Caitlin use this chaos to their advantage too, and set out to find the tome themselves.
A fight ensues, and Oliver-Flash is speeding as many prisoners as he can back into their cells, but it’s a big place and he’s only one newly powered speedster. Supergirl flies around looking for Deegan with no luck. Caitlin finds an inmate frantically looking for something, and gets hit by a blast that causes her to go full Killer Frost.
One of the inmates, who wore a gold mask and had enough camera time for me to suspect he’s a DC villain I’m not familiar with, runs outside and is picked up by a man with a van who runs over Cisco. But before they can get away, Batwoman lands atop their van and stops them dead in their tracks. She grapple-hooks a bunch of men at once, throws a Batarang, does a superhero three-point landing. It. is. GLORIOUS.
Cisco and Barry-Arrow are pretty impressed. But Batwoman isn’t here to make friends. She says that they should have listened to Kate Kane when they had the chance. They should have left Gotham City.
Inside, Supergirl isn’t having any luck finding Deegan, and Killer Frost is having a hard time with this particular inmate, who has a gun labeled “FRIES” and I imagine will come back into play on the Batwoman series at some point.
Deegan goes to fetch his Tome and is about to wreak more havoc, but Supergirl stops him just in time, and swipes the book, but loses Deegan.
When Barry and Oliver show up to help Killer Frost, Fries knocks over a shelf with little glass vials on it, which break and release a gas into their air right around Barry and Oliver. Then all of a sudden, they’re hallucinating. Barry-Arrow sees Malcolm Merlyn (a nightmare to be sure) and Oliver-Flash sees Eobard Thawne (seriously though don’t we see enough of this guy) aka the Reverse Flash. While at first I thought this would backfire since they were seeing each other’s enemies, the boys got right to fighting anyway.
The thing is, to Caitlin, it looks like Oliver and Barry are fighting each other.
Caitlin sees a sexy stranger appear to help, and Batwoman easily takes down both men and helps them snap out of the hallucination.
The Team has the book now and are ready to leave, but they want to know if they can help Batwoman at all. She grumbles that they should just leave, and it’s noted she’s not all that different from Batman after all.
The boys and Caitlin head out, but Supergirl stays behind to chat with her.
Batwoman doesn’t want a tearful goodbye, but Supergirl doesn’t want that either. Supergirl mostly just wanted Batwoman to know that she knows she’s Kate Kane. You see, she has x-ray vision, which she used to see behind the mask, but APPARENTLY also through other things because she notes that Kate wasn’t lying about having a lot of tattoos.
Batwoman lets Supergirl know she knows she’s Kara too (oof these sentences) by saying she doesn’t think Kara has a single tattoo. Supergirl is sad to go; she thinks they would have made a great team. And Batwoman retorts, “World’s Finest,” which I imagine is a nod to the original Superman/Batman comics.
The team leaves Gotham City and heads back to Star City to give Felicity the tome so she can crack the coded lock. While she does that, Oliver and Barry have a heart-to-heart about what it was like to face each other’s enemies; they have a new appreciation for each other now. And maybe Oliver will learn to lighten up a little after all this, after seeing he isn’t the only one in pain, he’s just the only one (of the two of them) causing others pain because of it.
Oliver-Flash, despite knowing his face isn’t the one she’s most familiar with at this point, goes to Felicity to tell her to have hope; he thinks their relationship is going to be okay.
And then Jay-the-Flash shows up, though he says he’s not actually Jay in his multi-verse, nor is he Barry’s dad. He’s Barry Allen himself, from Earth-90, and he’s here to warn them about The Monitor, aka the Tome Guy, who has been testing different Elseworlds for some reason. As luck would have it, said Monitor is here on this very Earth right now, so the trio goes to talk to him. Well, all four of them do, but Monitor flickers Old Flash out of existence right quick.
The Monitor says something is coming, someone powerful, who will cause crisis across the multiverse and he’s looking for a universe that’s strong enough to fight it. He needs champions, and it just so happens this particular trio is the first to figure things out well enough to find the tome. Oliver asks for Kara’s help and Kara moves to attack him, but Kara finds she can’t.
Unfortunately, Monitor isn’t done testing them yet, so he gives the tome back to Deegan and tells him to try again. To think bigger.
Then reality resets and Barry and Oliver find themselves in VERY ADORABLE matching outfits, a newspaper with their photos on it blaring a headline calling them Trigger Twins. Neither of them have the Flash powers, and all of Oliver’s past enemies show up as cops to arrest them.
Faced with no other obvious choice, they take the cops down, but then find themselves face to face with Superman… dressed all in black.
And that’s it for Part 2! What did you think of Batwoman’s first episode? I was pleasantly surprised. I still can’t say for sure if Ruby Rose can carry a full show, but they didn’t have to mysteriously make Kate Kane have an Australian accent, and she had swagger for days. And there’s no denying they have her Bat-gadgets and Bat-suit sorted out. I’m officially more excited than I ever thought I would be for the standalone series; not a half-bad half-backdoor-pilot episode if I do say so myself.
See you tomorrow for the Supergirl episode and final installment of the Elseworlds crossover!