Last night, the final part of the CW’s big DC crossover for the year, Elseworlds, aired its conclusion. It had everything it could possibly jam into 40 minutes of superhero TV, and then some—and ramifications for the entire Arrowverse so huge, we had to do a little bit of crossing over ourself to discuss it.
Yes, joining your intrepid io9ers James Whitbrook and Alex Cranz this time is a special guest from Earth-Kotaku (a parallel reality eerily similar to our own, but with more James Whitbrook: Alex, and Very Special Guest From Another Earth, Kotaku’s Mike Fahey, welcome! Elseworlds wrapped up with last night’s episode of Supergirl, bringing us to an end of crossover shenanigans, with big teasers for what’s to come. There’s a ton of little things to talk about, but right off the bat—this somehow might be the funniest Arrowverse crossover there’s been, right?
Alex Cranz: It definitely was! Though this episode has the least yucks.
Mike Fahey: To a point. And that point was last night’s episode. Everything was brilliant and hysterical and fast-paced and then Suuuuuupppppeeeeeergirrrrrlllll.
Alex: I was thinking about this and I have a theory why it wasn’t as funny, and that theory is: they broke up the triumvirate. Though Kara hearing her sister pretend to be straight and being SHOCKED did make me laugh.
Mike: They did. They took away Barry and Ollie’s switcheroo and placed Kara in a situation where she’d have to give a long, heartfelt speech. I was like, “Oh no, long heartfelt speech incoming.”
James: Even among all the explosive reality-altering stuff in this last part, they still had time for some levity—but, agreed. Cutting Kara off from Barry and Ollie for so long was definitely a low point of the crossover.
It felt like they were trying to replicate the stuff between Barry and Iris after the switcheroo in part one with Kara and Alex, but… it just didn’t work as well? Mainly because the re-written Alex was pretty easily convinced that her evil Superman boss was, well, an evil Superman boss.
Alex: And she was a big plot hole!
Alex: Deegan specifically says he has Kara locked up because he knows nothing about her. So….how did he know to get her sister, who shouldn’t exist on Earth-1, to appear?!
Mike: Well, he did say that fate has a way of doing funny things unguided, or something.
James: Sisters, like life, find a way.
Alex: So does this mean there is an Earth-1 Alex? And she is off being a sad workaholic who pretends to be straight?
Mike: Would Earth-1 Alex even be in a world security organisation if she had no alien sister?
Alex: Exactly! And then at the end of the episode there is zero closure.
Mike: Of course not, Zero Hour is years away.
Alex: The world is fixed and Kara is just like, “I will now conveniently forget about my Earth-1 sister who may be very sad and pathetic and alone peace!” I am normally here for everything about Kara and Alex’s relationship, but between the gaping plot hole and that wig…
Mike: Meanwhile, Superman’s life changes entirely, thanks to a character we’ve known for three episodes. I mean, we’ve known Lois Lane forever, but in the Arrowverse…
Alex: Well it wasn’t really Superman. It was Deegan cosplaying.
James: Oh my god, actually, can we talk about Deegan Superman’s black suit? Because Clark’s right. That is a great costume.
Alex: Deegan Superman serves a LOOK. And I am here for it.
James: YES, CLARK NEEDS TO STEAL THAT NEW-52 STYLE COLLAR. I like the CW superman look, but man, now that I’ve seen it with the collar, it has to be part of it.
Mike: Clark can steal the whole costume. That way he can blend in, being Kara’s shadow and all.
Alex: Superman’s usual look is lame. There I said it. No super friends. No collar. He and Lois just hang out in the fortress all the time?!
Mike: I loved Deegan as Superman though. It gave Tyler Hoechlin a chance to chew some scenery, and got me to stop hoping for a scene in a diner with Sandman.
James: It’s a shame we weren’t getting more Jeremy Davies as Actual Deegan, but yeah, Mike, Hoechlin had an absolute blast during this episode, you can tell.
Mike: I am surprised Barry and Ollie didn’t warp in to find those two making out.
Alex: I assume you mean Lois and Clark, but I’m gonna also assume you meant Deegan and Hoechlin.
Mike: Or Ollie and Barry. It all works.
Alex: I can only hope.
James: They’re saving that for Final Crisis. Or when I successfully petition the CW to actually make CRISIS ON INFINITE THIRSTS happen.
Mike: I knew you’d get Thirsts back in there. Until then, they’ll all be subjects of my hit R&B single, “Off-Screen Lovin.”
Alex: That will be the name of the Legend’s adjacent Crisis episode. James found something that works and he’s sticking to it. Which this crossover should have done with the triumvirate!
Mike: …a threesome?
Alex: Again, I can only hope.
Mike: OH. You mean keeping them together.
James: See, now you’re getting it! Speaking of Barry and Oliver though, one thing that at least helped the heavy Alex/Kara stuff move along in the first half of this episode was them doing a hilariously bad job of being criminals. Well, Oliver is a little better at it, but god, Barry heaving at the thought of putting people in danger was adorable.
Alex: Barry failing to run was very good. I forgot Barry was a dweeb before an accident gave him abs.
Mike: Poor nauseous Barry. You guys write about science sometimes, right?
Alex: And we do love to write about science. SUPER science.
Mike: But on science. Soooo, two people running/flying around the Earth at MACH 7 in opposite directions…
Alex: Should not stop the world.
Mike: Let alone melt you!
Alex: I choose to believe it was a mispronunciation, and he meant like Mach 70.
James: Hahaha, yes! Their actual plan to stop Deegan was… well, aside from being a big ol’ reference, was a bit weird. Because who was meant to be the one who actually swiped the book off of him?
Everyone else was in slow-mo. Oliver was off pleading to the Monitor to not let his friends die. Clark was watching Lois dramatically fall in front of a taxi.
Alex: Superman, was I think?
Mike: It was Kara and Barry run, Ollie go be a dick to the Monitor, Superman grab book.
Alex: This is kind of a theme for the crossovers though right? It’s FANTASTIC until the final episode. Then it gets bogged down in plot and resolutions that make no sense.
Mike: Pretty much. Once Oliver accepts that he is a dick, the universes are saved.
James: And by that point, you kind only partially care that it’s sort of falling to pieces because everyone on these shows is so damn delightful. As great as Stephen Amell has been as the baffled goof this crossover, I actually thought his speech to the Monitor was wonderfully done.
Alex: Yeah, I didn’t find it as messy as previous crossovers. Not having to track twenty different characters in a fight was nice.
Mike: My main disappointment was saving Brainiac for the very end.
Alex: Brainiac was so excited to be there.
Mike: He was! I love him, stupid hair and all.
James: At least he got to own Amazo in like, a fraction of the time it took two kryptonians, a speedster, and a guy with a really nice bow. Sure it all happened off screen, but STILL.
Mike: “Off-screen looooooovin”
Alex: I mean he is a 12th Level Intellect, James. If he can’t dismantle a robot by himself who can?
James: Lois with her Disco Hammer, duh.
Alex: True. Was that hammer a reference? Or just shiny?
Mike: Was I supposed to recognise the hammer…oh hey. Outta my head.
Alex: We are alike in mind and keyboards.
James: I did some looking, and Bitsie Tulloch actually mentioned on twitter that it’s from All-Star Superman!
A lot of people have been asking me about the hammer Lois carries so I texted Robert Rovner co-showrunner/EP of #Supergirl for clarification and he said, “It’s the solar hammer from the cosmic anvil.” Hope that clears up any confusion. ???? #Elseworlds— Elizabeth Tulloch (@BitsieTulloch) December 12, 2018
Alex: Oh! Wow how could I forget this is a reference to my very most favourite Superman story.
Mike: I like to imagine it was a reference to Kirby’s Hammer in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, out now for the Nintendo Switch. Sorry, Earth-Kotaku bled through for a moment.
James: Kara Danvers For Smash, get it trending!
Alex: Yes please.
James: Even though there was not nearly enough Lois in this crossover, I like that they made her suddenly really integral to Earth-38. And by integral, I mean, she now has to go off and have her superkid on Argo so she doesn’t die.
Mike: Speaking of hammering Lois… SORRY!
Alex: HER CHILD WOULD KILL HER!
Mike: I AM SO SORRY!
Alex: THEY JUST WENT AHEAD AND SAID IT! If she remained on Earth she’d be murdered by her own offspring.
Mike: We’re going away so baby doesn’t kick through. Ewwww.
Yeah, and that sat weirdly with me. She is a new character. She is super, super important. Now she’s leaving.
Alex: When can we assume Jon Kent comes back, gets abruptly aged up, and superkid hijinks ensue?
James: But! Lois Lane being a cool hammer-wielding kickass was a delight. And I hope even if she’s going to be on Argo, I really hope Supergirl keeps bringing Tulloch back for stuff.
Alex: I actually like that they wrote Superman and Lois off! A big issue with Supergirl from the get-go was that it made no sense when she’d have huge trials and her cousin wouldn’t help. Sending Superman to her mum’s house on Argo is a nice way to have him around, but not in the mix.
Mike: I just wish we’d had a little more time with her. I like her.
Alex: I think she’s confirmed to return later this season?
James: I hope they do keep checking in on Clark and Lois every once in a while, but agreed Alex—it deftly sidesteps the need to ponder just where Clark is whenever something cataclysmic is happening on Supergirl.
Mike: None of that will matter if next year’s event goes as expected.
James: Yes, this is the thing we all really want to talk about—because even if it was obvious in this crossover that it was gonna happen, still seeing “CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS” flash on the screen was a total delight.
Alex: Earth-1 and 38 are about to merge right? Or will it follow the current Flash timeline, where they do not merge?
Mike: They must, and then the whole “Couldn’t Flash just take down all of Ollie’s enemies in a heartbeat?” question becomes even more silly.
James: Even though really there’s like, three Earths we really care about. Maybe four at a push, if you wanna count Earth-2.
Mike: Oh I am all in. This is where I came in to DC continuity as a kid. Hell, I only just realised that Diggle’s wife has the same name as Harbinger!
James: But yeah, this HAS to be set up for a merge, right? Could it even bring in Black Lightning, at last?
Alex: Oh wow, Mike, I didn’t realise that about Diggle’s wife! And yes we could see Black Lightning. This would also be a great opportunity for cameos from Gotham, Smallville, and other iterations of these characters.
Alex: But I’ll be curious to see if the worlds actually merge, and who dies in the process.
Mike: RIP Jesse Quick.
James: Considering Ollie got Kara and Barry’s Crisis fates tweaked, who do you think he sacrificed in their stead? Because that deal with the Monitor was definitely about that, right?
Alex: Possibly! But then…what? Ollie’s show is the least equipped for a long cosmic resurrection arc. Would Arrow just…end? Would there be a second crossover towards the end of the year? Would his new half-sister replace him?
Mike: That’s what Legends are made for.
Alex: Would he be recast with Justin Hartley?
James: Honestly, it makes me very excited for Arrow’s future, even if we have to wait a year to actually get to Crisis now. The idea of that show being flung about by all this cosmic nonsense is really intriguing.
Alex: Look if it somehow means Diggle becomes Green Lantern, then I am here for it.
Mike: I want to go back to Kotaku-World now. It makes more sense.
Alex: I’m chuckling just thinking about Titans being in the Crisis.
James: God, now I kind of want Titans to get pulled into Crisis next year, too. ALEX! Great minds think alike!
Alex: * bleep * Batman.
Mike: OK, fine, I’d watch it.
James: Before we send our favourite Earth-Kotaku denizen back to his realm, lets cap off our thoughts on Elseworlds in general. Although the end episode was a bit messy, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Elseworlds at large. The banter was great, the humour was brilliant, and god, I am so excited for more of Ruby Rose as Batwoman.
They somehow managed to make what is essentially a three-part teaser for the next crossover still be a total blast.
Alex: Funny! Honestly I would say the same James. Aside from the plot holes, I had a lot of fun, and I loved just how epic the scale of the crossover was. And how it’s in fact just a three-hour prelude to the main event, which I can only hope will be five or six hours.
Mike: It’s a trio of episodes I will be revisiting for months to come, combing over them for references, jokes I may have missed, and that one bit where Oliver dresses Barry.
As always, let us what know what you thought of Elseworld’s epic finale in the comments below—and what you think we can expect when the mother of all comic crossovers, Crisis on Infinite Earths, comes to TV. It’s gonna be a hell of a ride.
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