Monday, December 24, 2018

Arrow Season 7, Episode 9: Elseworlds, Part 2

This week on Arrow, we get the continuation of the annual crossover event that began in Elseworlds, Part 1 over on The Flash.

Overall it's not a terrible episode, but it does feel like a slight step down from Part 1Oliver Queen and Barry Allen's lives have still been swapped, as all their friends & family continue to believe each of them is the other. 

The first gave us the swap, but offered no inkling as to why it occurred. This episode attempts to explain it in the least satisfactory way possible. In fact the reasoning here's so lame it's worse than no explanation at all.

There's also way too many scenes of soap opera drama as Oliver and Felicity decide that the absolute best time to try and iron out their differences is in the middle of this crisis. There's also an odd subplot (which began in Part 1) in which Oliver and Barry begin involuntarily acting like one another after their switch. Oliver lightens up a bit, while everyone worries that Barry's growing darker and more ruthless. 

This could have been an interesting story arc, but unfortunately it's completely abandoned shortly after it's brought up. Odd.

The big news this week is Batman! After seven long years, this episode finally gives us official confirmation that the Caped Crusader exists in the Arrowverse! For some reason, the entire Bat wing of DC Comics lore has always been off limits to the various TV shows. 

Apparently Warner Bros. was afraid that having Batman show up on TV would "dilute the brand." I've also read rumors that they thought having a movie and a TV Batman would be too confusing for the audience (???). Really? We've had about twelve different versions of Harrison Wells over on The Flash, and no one's head exploded. Heck, there's now a movie and a TV Flash as well! I think the audience could handle two Batmans.

Whatever their reason, Warner's finally allowed the Arrowverse characters to take a few tentative baby steps into the world of Batman. This episode gives us our first really good look at Gotham City, Wayne Tower and Arkham Asylum. We also get mentions of Bruce Wayne, Alfred and most of Batman's rogue's gallery. Note that we don't actually SEE any of these characters, but it was cool to even hear their names after all this time.

We also get the debut of Batwoman, who looks like she stepped right out of the pages of the comic. She's played by actress/stuntwoman Ruby Rose, who's currently the darling of the internet. This episode is obviously meant to serve as sort of a back door pilot, to gauge interest in a potential series for her.

Eh, I dunno. A Batwoman series might be OK, but I'm not sold on Rose as the lead. She just doesn't have the acting chops to carry a series.

I was a big fan of the 1990 Flash series, so I was very excited to see that actor John Wesley Shipp would be playing the character again in Elseworlds. Sadly, his participation was EXTREMELY limited, which was disappointing to say the least. He made a brief thirty second appearance in Part 1, and he's in this episode for all of three minutes. And that's it! He doesn't appear at all in Part 3!

What the hell, The CW? You promoted the living sh*t out of his appearance and gave everyone the impression he'd be a key player in all three parts! And then he barely shows up at all. There were commercial breaks that lasted longer than his appearance! Feh.


The Plot:
Picking up right where Elseworlds, Part 1 ended, we open in Star City, who's skies have turned an ominous red, just like those of Central City. Diggle and his team of ARGUS grunts confront Joe Wilson, son of Deathstroke (I think— I haven't been watching Arrow so I'm a little fuzzy on its characters and goings on). Curtis watches from his van, and notes the skies have turned an ominous red. Dig and his men give Wilson a chance to surrender, but of course he attacks instead.

Wilson easily dispatches the ARGUS agents, including Diggle. Just as he's about to decapitate Dig, Green Arrow, the Flash and Supergirl appear. They easily take out Wilson and save Dig. He's less than happy to see them though, as every time they appear, trouble follows.

Back at ARGUS, Oliver & Barry explain to Dig and Curtis that their lives have been switched. Felicity enters, and it's clear Oliver hasn't told her about the swap yet. Curtis asks Felicity to help him figure out why

After Cisco's vision of The Monitor giving the Book Of Destiny to John Deegan in Gotham City (see Elseworlds, Part 1), Oliver, Barry and Kara decide to head there for answers. Barry mentions Batman, and Oliver dismisses the notion, saying he's nothing but an urban legend. 
Kara settles the argument by flying Barry off to Gotham, leaving Oliver to run there at superspeed by himself.

The three arrive in Gotham at nighttime, and wonder how to locate Deegan in such a large city. I guess there're no phone books in Gotham? Anyway, Oliver mentions a reporter named Vesper Fairchild who may be able to help. Barry notices a tarp on the roof and finds the Batsignal underneath it. Despite this concrete evidence, Oliver still denies that Batman's real. We then cut to Batwoman, standing atop Wayne Tower again, glaring down at the three heroes.

The next morning, Oliver, Barry & Kara are wondering the alleys of Gotham in their street clothes. Gotham's such a nice place that they're ambushed by a gang of thugs. Both Oliver and Supergirl apparently forget they have superspeed, and stand there seemingly helpless. Barry then fights back, right as the police arrive. They recognize Barry as Oliver Queen, and arrest everyone.

Back at ARGUS, Felicity and Curtis analyze the red skies and lightning, and realize it gives off a wavelength similar to a dimensional breach. Just then Cisco, the world's expert on breaching, arrives to help, along with Caitlin. 

Cisco says the red skies over Central City disappeared the minute Barry & Oliver left, implying they're somehow the cause. Caitlin accidentally mentions Barry & Oliver's life swap, not realizing Felicity doesn't know about it. Whoops!

In Gotham, Oliver, Barry and Kara cool their heels in jail. Suddenly they're bailed out by a mysterious benefactor. Outside the jail, they're met by a man who insists they come with him. 

He takes them to Wayne Tower, which looks surprisingly dilapidated and run down when you see it close up. They're met there by Kate Kane, who recognizes "Oliver." She says she doesn't need him causing trouble, so she's willing to help him find whatever he's looking for so he can get out of her city as fast as possible.

Kara asks where Bruce Wayne is, and Kate says she doesn't know, only that he and Batman (heh, heh) have been missing for three years. Oliver's finally forced to accept that Batman's real.

Meanwhile, Felicity's upset that she didn't realize her husband was body swapped with Barry, while Iris did. Caitlin tries to reassure her by saying Iris has had more experience with alternate versions of people. 

Felicity then says she suspects the red skies are being caused by someone trying to breach to Earth-1. She says if they build a quantum flux anchor, they can help them break through. Caitlin says she'll help her build it. Um... isn't Caitlin supposed to be a medical doctor? I guess one branch of science is the same as another, right?

Barry returns from visiting Vesper Fairchild, and reports that she's no help. Oliver googles John Deegan and discovers he illegally experimented on his patients, leading to a suspension from the medical board. He can't find any info on his current whereabouts though. Again, phone book!

Kara talks to Kate, who reveals she's Bruce Wayne's cousin. She asks Kate about John Deegan, and she says he works at Arkham Asylum. That was easy! Kara leaves to tell the guys the news. For some reason, Kate then takes an elevator down to the Batcave, where she stares at her Batwoman costume.

Back in Star City, Teams Flash and Arrow build the quantum anchor and set it up in a vacant lot. They activate it, and a partial breach opens. Flash-90 appears, and Caitlin assumes he's Jay Garrick. Flash-90 enigmatically tells them they can fix everything if they get the book, and the breach closes.

Oliver, Barry & Kara stand in front of Arkham's front gate, wondering how to get in. Just then Cisco and Diggle breach to the scene, and tell them what Flash-90 said about the book. Oliver says it's all settled then, as they have to get the book from Deegan.

For some reason, the team decides to infiltrate the Asylum instead of simply walking in. Caitlin pretends to be a new patient, as Kara pushes her in a wheelchair. Oliver and Diggle use their police and ARGUS credentials to enter and stage a mock inspection.

Oliver & Dig find Deegan in his lab. Somehow he recognizes Oliver as himself, rather than as Barry Allen like everyone else does. Deegan explains that after he obtained the Book Of Destiny, he daydreamed about being the Flash. Apparently this stray thought caused the book to alter reality and switch Oliver and Barry's lives. That doesn't make a lick of sense, but let's just move on.

Deegan then pushes a button, which opens the doors of all the inmate's cells. In the confusion, he manages to escape. Oliver, Diggle, Supergirl and Caitlin as Killer Frost then have to battle the aggressive inmates.

After a fierce battle, they manage to return most of the inmates to their cells. A few get away, but they're stopped by the timely appearance of Batwoman. Cisco and the others are gobsmacked when they see her.

Meanwhile, Killer Frost encounters an escaped Nora Fries (wife of Batman villain Mr. Freeze), who knocks her out with her husband's freeze-gun. That doesn't make any sense either, but let's move along again.

Deegan retrieves the Book from a secret hiding place in the basement of the Asylum. He's confronted by Supergirl, who knocks him on his ass with her super-breath. She takes the Book, but Deegan slips away while she marvels at it.

Oliver and Barry find the unconscious Killer Frost. Oliver sees Nora Fries trying to escape, and throws a Speed Force lightning bolt at her. Because he still can't use his powers properly, the bolt goes astray and smashes a storage rack. This causes several vials of the Scarecrow's fear gas to shatter, filling the room with his hallucinogen.

Oliver and Barry inadvertently inhale the gas. Barry, who's still the Green Arrow, sees a vision of Malcolm Merlyn, and begins fighting him. Oliver sees the Reverse Flash, and battles him. Killer Frost reverts to Caitlin, and is puzzled to see Oliver and Barry are actually fighting each other (and

Suddenly Batwoman arrives and kicks the crap out of both of them. The shock of this beatdown snaps them to their senses, and they stop fighting. 

The heroes dust themselves off, and Batwoman tells them to get out of her city before they cause another disaster. Supergirl lags behind for a minute so she and Batwoman can engage in some fan servicey banter.

The heroes take the Book Of Destiny to ARGUS, where Felicity and the others try to figure out how to open it. Oliver thinks the middle of this crisis is the absolute best time to talk to Felicity about his love for her.

Just then a breach opens, and Flash-90 finally breaks through into Earth-1. Barry's amazed to see him, and thinks he's Jay Garrick or maybe his late father. Flash-90 tells him his name is Barry Allen. 

He warns them about Mar Novu, a cosmic being who calls himself The Monitor. He's been traveling throughout the multiverse, giving the Book Of Destiny to various individuals in order to test their worlds. Barry-90 says The Monitor believes a crisis is coming, and he's hoping to find a world that can oppose it.

Just then The Monitor appears in Star City. Flash, Green Arrow, Supergirl and Flash-90 head out to confront him. Flash-90 tells him he won't let him destroy this world like he did his own, and rushes at The Monitor at superspeed. The Monitor opens a portal and sends Flash-90 back to... his own world, I guess? 

The Monitor then reiterates that something far more powerful than him is coming, and he's trying to find a universe strong enough to oppose the threat. Supergirl flies at him, but he opens another portal and sends her back to her starting place. He then waves a finger, and the Book Of Destiny disappears from ARGUS. The Monitor then exits through another portal.

Deegan sits sobbing in his office, as The Monitor appears. He says he's giving Deegan another chance, and hands the Book back to him. He tells him to "think bigger" this time. Deegan opens the Book and begins reading it, as waves of energy emanate from it. There's a huge flash of white light.

Suddenly Oliver and Barry are standing in a Central City (?) alley, no longer dressed as the Flash and Green Arrow. They see a discarded newspaper with their photos on the front page, and realize they've now become the Trigger Twins, a duo of third-tier characters from DC Comics.

Suddenly several CCPD cars arrive, trapping them in the alley. Three policemen approach them, and Oliver sees reality's changed even more, as the cops are Malcolm Merlyn, Joe Wilson and Ricardo Diaz. 

Diaz starts to cuff Oliver, but he grabs his gun, knocks him out and fires at the others. He and Barry flee. They stop on a rooftop to catch their breath and figure out what to do next. Suddenly Superman, in an all-black costume, lands on the rooftop and tells them there's no escape. 

 This episode opens with a nice little touch. Since Barry Allen is now the Green Arrow in this reality, he does the opening narration as Oliver Queen. Cool!

I kind of wish they'd opened Part 1 with Oliver doing the traditional "My name is Barry Allen" intro, but I see why they didn't. That would have spoiled the big reveal that their lives had been switched.

 This is some heavy duty nitpicking, but whatever. At the beginning of the episode, everyone marvels at the ominous red skies above Star City.

I dunno... they look more like pink or salmon colored skies to me!

 I'm not a regular watcher of Arrow, so some parts of this episode were lost on me. Like the significance of Joe Wilson, son of Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson. Or why calls him "Kane Wolfman." I could probably look it up, but I'm too tired.

From what I understand, this is the first time Joe's appeared in his Ravager armor, so I guess that's cool.

Wait a minute, I just thought of something. In the Teen Titans comic, Joe Wilson was Jericho, a member of the team with a really bizarre possession power. Is... is this supposed to be the Arrowverse version of Jericho?

 As the gang prepares to visit Gotham, Oliver tells Barry he should stay behind. Since the world currently thinks Barry is infamous vigilante Oliver Queen, his appearance could cause trouble.

Gosh, if only Barry had access to some kind of facial transmogrification device. Like the one HR Wells brought from Earth-19 to disguise the fact that he had the same face as mass murderer Eobard Thawne.

 All through the first act, Oliver insists that Batman is an urban legend, concocted by the Gotham Police Department in order to scare criminals. He then actually gets defensive, stating, "And I'm the original vigilante, Barry."

This is a fun little bit of meta humor, as Arrow was the very first of the Arrowverse shows on The CW!

 Another first: This is the debut of the Batsignal in the Arrowverse!

 Oliver mentions asking Vesper Fairchild for help in locating Deegan. Although she's never seen in this episode, Fairchild's from the comics. She was a radio talk show host introduced in Batman comics in 2002.

 I said it in Elseworlds, Part 1, but it's worth repeating Gotham City sure looks a lot like Chicago!

See that tall, skinny building just to the left of center? Apparently Gotham has an exact recreation of Chicago's Water Tower.

And the Chicago River apparently runs through Gotham as well! Amazing!

 Back in Elseworlds, Part 1, Superman and Supergirl breached to Earth-1 to help defeat AMAZO. I noted that they arrived in their costumes, but later they were chilling with Team Flash at STAR Labs in their normal street clothes. I wondered if they somehow brought a change of clothes with them from their Earth.

The same thing happens in this episode! Green Arrow, Flash and Supergirl arrive in Gotham dressed in their costumes. The next morning they're wearing their street clothes when they're arrested.

Maybe all these heroes are wearing their street clothes under their costumes?

 Oliver, Barry & Kara run into trouble in the alleys of Gotham. At one point a thug even shoots Oliver at point blank range.

For some reason, even though Olive's still the Flash in this reality, Supergirl takes it upon herself to save him by snatching the bullet away at superspeed.

I assume this was an homage to Superman: The Movie, in which Clark Kent saves Lois Lane from a bullet in a Metropolis alley.

I won't ask why the hell Supergirl would grab the bullet with her right hand, when her left was closer to Oliver.

 As we all know by now, The Flash loves to name streets and buildings after prominent comic book creators. Apparently they do this on Arrow as well. One of the GCPD cops spots Barry (thinking he's Oliver Queen) and calls for backup, saying "I need SWAT at Nolan and Burton. Green Arrow sighted at Nolan and Burton!"

Hopefully I don't have to explain the significance of those two names. Christopher Nolan and Tim Burton both directed multiple Batman theatrical films.

• In the 1995 movie Batman Forever, Two-Face crashes a high society party and says, "Relax, folks! It's only an old-fashioned, low-tech stickup! We're interested in the basics: Cash, jewelry, cellular telephones."

In this episode, Oliver, Barry & Kara are surrounded by a gang in a Gotham alley. The lead thug says, "Sounds like you guys aren't from around here. Probably don't know, but Gotham Tourist Bureau collect a tax on all out of towners. So, phones, wallets, watches. Now!"

I'm probably reeeeeeeally reaching here, but is this line a nod to the one in Batman Forever? It just seems odd to me that crooks in two separate movies would specifically demand cell phones from their victims. What good's a cell phone to a thief anyway? Can't you have a phone remotely activated if it's stolen?

 For some insane reason, when the Gotham police arrive, Oliver, Barry and Kara submit to arrest. What. The. Hell. All through this incredibly frustrating scene I was yelling at the screen, saying, "Use your speed, idiots!" Apparently Oliver and Kara suddenly forgot they both have impressive superpowers, and could have whisked themselves and Barry out of the alley while the police were blinking.

Once they're in jail, Barry asks Kara what she would have done if she'd been in charge, and she says, "What I would have done is supersped us right out of there. All they would have seen is a gust of wind."

So... why the hell didn't you do that then?

I'm honestly at a loss to understand why they didn't use their powers here. I'm assuming it's so they could get arrested and they could meet Kate after she bailed them out. If so, there were a hundred other less idiotic ways for the characters to meet.

 In nearly every scene featuring Kate Kane/Batwoman, she's perched high above the other characters as the camera shoots her from below. It's actually pretty funny once you know to look for it.

I'm convinced the producers filmed her this way because actress Ruby Rose is a tiny little thing who's built not unlike a teenaged boy, and they were desperately attempting to make her look intimidating.

Now calm down, all you SJWs in the audience! I know you're all in love with her, and I'm aware that she could kick my ass if she wanted to. But there's no denying the fact that you stick her onstage at a Justin Beiber concert and most of his fans wouldn't notice the difference.

Supposedly The CW has plans to give Batwoman her own show. Eh, I dunno. I don't have a problem with a female-led series, but I just don't think Rose has the acting chops to pull it off.

Her performance in this episode is stiff, stilted and wooden, as she speaks every line verrrrry slowly, like she's struggling to hide her Aussie accent. She's great when she's playing bodyguards and assassins, but she's got a ways to go before she can handle the lead.

 Man, Mark Guggengheim, the writer of this episode, must be absolutely obsessed with the many, many tattoos that cover every square inch of Ruby Rose's body. He goes out of his way to have Kara mention the tats on at least THREE different occasions!

 Holy Homage, Batman! When Kara goes to chat with Kate, she finds a bust of Shakespeare in a box.

The bust is a nod to Batman 1966, in which it housed a secret button that opened the bookcase door leading to the Batcave!

Kate also tells Ollie and the others that the Wayne Tower wifi password is "Alfred." I'm assuming that little shoutout doesn't need an explanation.

 After Kara leaves, Kate enters the Batcave and poses in front of her costume, which is housed inside an old hollow tree trunk for some reason. From what I understand this is a direct reference to the comics, in a way I'm too lazy to look up.

 Oliver digs up info on John Deegan, and discovers he was a doctor who did illegal experiments on his patients' brains. He was accused of torture and suspended by the medical board for two years. That... that sounds like pretty light punishment for literally torturing people.

They then find out he's currently working at Arkham Asylum. I guess they must have a pretty lax screening process there?

 At one point Flash-90 partially breaches into our universe, and tries to warn Oliver and Felicity about The Monitor.

This was obviously a nod to the Crisis On Infinite Earths miniseries, in which a future version of Barry Allen appeared in the past to warn Batman of impending doom, shortly before disintegrating.

Note that the detestable Batman V Superman clunkily aped the scene from Crisis as well, as a future Flash appeared before Batman to offer him advice.

 The scene in which Oliver and Diggle infiltrate Arkham Asylum is a goldmine of Batman nods and references.

First of all, the fact that they're in Arkham at all is nothing short of a miracle. As I said in the intro, Batman and all his trappings have always been off limits to the Arrowverse, so the inclusion of anything even remotely Bat-related is a revelation.

Anyway, as the two heroes walk through Arkham's patient wing, we see the doors to each cell are labeled with names familiar to all Bat-fans. First up is Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin.

Then there's Pamela Isley, aka Poison Ivy.

Next is Basil Karlo, aka Clayface.

Then there's some graffiti scrawled on the wall that reads, "What's blue and grey and red all over?" Obviously we're meant to think the Riddler wrote this. 

I'm pretty sure the answer's "Batman." I'm betting the part about "blue and grey" is a reference to his comic book costume, which was... well, blue and grey. And "red all over" likely means the Riddler murderized him, right?

The next door reads "Edward Nigma," which coincidentally is the real name of the Riddler.

The last door is labeled "Guggenheim, M." That would be Mark Guggenheim, who's the writer of this episode. Get it? You don't have to be crazy to write this stuff, but it helps! Com-O-Dee Ahoy!!!

 In Elseworlds, Part 1, I said I didn't understand why Oliver & Barry swapped lives. Yes, I get that Deegan used the Book to alter reality, but why was their swap the only apparent change in the entire world? Why did Deegan's meddling affect just two specific people? 

Elseworlds, Part 2 explains it, but unfortunately does so very poorly. At one point Oliver confronts Deegan in his Arkham office. They then have the following conversation:

Oliver: "John Deegan."
Deegan: "Oliver Queen! Ha ha! Whew. It's a genuine pleasure to meet you, sir."
Diggle: "He knows who you really are."
Deegan: "Gentlemen, I was thinking, 'Why did I not become the Flash?' And it seems changing reality itself, it's got a bit of a learning curve, so, yeah. This actually explains a lot."

Uh, no, it doesn't. It doesn't explain anything. Apparently Deegan was daydreaming and wondered why he never decided to accidentally become the Flash like Barry did. The Book Of Destiny then took that stray thought and caused Barry & Oliver to switch places.

That's... that's the lamest explanation they could possibly have come up with. Worse than NO explanation, in fact!

There's another Bat-reference in the scene where Nora Fries is desperately looking for her husband's cold gun. On a storage shelf you can clearly see what appears to be Bane's mask from The Dark Knight Rises.

Fans across the internet are insisting that this is tangible proof that the Christopher Nolan Bat-films actually take place in the Arrowverse. Sigh... Can't we just accept the mask in the spirit it was intended as a fun little Easter egg or throwaway gag and get on with our lives?

 One of the inmates who escapes grabs a golden face mask from somewhere and puts it on. Although he's never mentioned by name, this is obviously supposed to be the Psycho-Piarate.

He played a prominent role in the Crisis On Infinite Earths miniseries. His golden "Medusa mask" gives him the power to manipulate the emotions of people around him.

 For some reason, Barry cools his heels outside Arkham while Oliver, Kara and Diggle infiltrate the place. Note that he's wearing his street clothes as he waits. After Deegan frees all the inmates, Oliver zooms past Barry and he's suddenly dressed in his Green Arrow costume.

Did... did Oliver just take all of Barry's clothes off him and dress him in his Arrow duds at superspeed? Yes. Yes he did.

 I often complain that many of the Arrowverse characters look absolutely nothing like their comic book inspirations. So kudos to the producers for giving us a Batwoman who looks like she stepped right off the page of her comic. Her costume is flawless! Well done, guys!

• The scene in which Scarecrow's gas makes Oliver and Barry hallucinate is another treasure trove of nonsense and stupidity. First of all, Oliver accidentally knocks over a box filled with vials of Jonathan Crane's (aka the Scarecrow) fear gas.

Eh, it's just a powerful and highly dangerous hallucinogenic substance. No need to keep it locked up— just store it in a cardboard box on a shelf in an unsecured supply closet.

Secondly, the gas supposedly causes Oliver and Barry to hallucinate their worst fears. But for some reason, Barry sees Malcolm Merlyn, aka Green Arrow's arch nemesis. Oliver sees the Reverse Flash, the Flash's most deadly foe. Wha...?

OK, I get that reality's been altered and to the entire world, Oliver's always been the Flash and Barry's always been Green Arrow. But THEY don't see themselves that way. They both still have their original memories and personalities. So why are they seeing each other's worst nightmare?

No matter what costumes they're wearing, I feel like Oliver should have seen Merlyn and Barry the Reverse Flash. See what I mean?
What they should have done is had Oliver see Merlyn in the Reverse Flash suit, and Barry see Thawne dressed in Merlyn's outfit! That would have been perfect, and made much more sense!

Lastly, even though the Scarecrow's gas fills the entire storage room, Caitlin wakes up and is completely unaffected by it. It doesn't seem to bother Batwoman when she enters either. Does the gas only work on males?

• After the Arkham mess is sorted, Batwoman orders the heroes out of her city. Before she leaves though, Supergirl takes the time to chat a bit with Batwoman. The two discuss their more famous super-cousins (Uh-oh! They just failed the Bechdel test!).

Anyway, Supergirl tells Batwoman, "My cousin's actually friends with Bruce. Um, well, frenemies."

Wait, what? Obviously this was supposed to be a little nod to Batman V Superman, but... in the Arrowverse, Superman lives over on Earth-38! Does he regularly pop over to Earth-1 for play dates with his pal Batman?

Supergirl then says, "You know, it's such a shame I have to go, because I feel like we would make a good team." Batwoman agrees, saying, "World's finest." Fan service!

Of course her comment is a reference to the World's Finest comic, which featured Superman & Batman teaming up every issue for almost forty years!

• Late in the third act, we FINALLY get a proper appearance by the Flash of Earth-90. Everyone's stunned by his uncanny resemblance to both Jay Garrick and Henry Allen, but he states that his name is Barry Allen, and he's from Earth-90.Several things here:

First of all, this is something that crops up a lot over on The Flash how do people from the various Earths know their planet's designation? How does this Barry instinctively know his world is called Earth-90? Do the people there really call it that? Wouldn't the citizens of EVERY Earth automatically call their world "Earth-1?" Obviously this is one of those things we're not supposed to think about.

Secondly, I brought this up a couple weeks ago in the Flash episode What's Past Is Prologue, but it's worth a repeat here. In last year's Crisis On Earth-X crossover, it was stated that there are 52 Earths in the Multiverse. 53 if you count the super secret Nazi-populated Earth-X. So... how can this Barry Allen be from Earth-90?

I guess there's no rule stating the Earths have to be sequentially numbered, so they might go from Earth-38 right to Earth-90. But I honestly can't think of any reason why they WOULD do that either.

Thirdly, while it was great fun to see John Wesley Shipp again as the Flash, what the holy hell was up with his voice? He spits out every single line through gritted teeth, almost like he had lockjaw or something. It's very noticeable and very distracting.

A couple weeks before this episode aired, I got to meet Shipp at a comic con, and spoke with him at length about the show. He spoke like a perfectly normal human being at the con, rather than a man afraid to open up his teeth. I have to assume Shipp's performance in this scene was an odd and bewildering acting choice on his part.

Lastly, what a disappointment that Flash-90 appears for less than three minutes in the entire Elseworlds crossover. SPOILERS, he's not even in Part 3! That's bullsh*t! As much as The CW publicized his appearance beforehand, I was expecting him to be a major player in the entire event!

• When Flash-90 appears, he sees Diggle standing with the others and is puzzled that he's "not wearing his ring." Although he never comes right out and states it, this obviously implies that the Earth-90 John Diggle is a Green Lantern.

Apparently the idea that Diggle would turn out to be the Arrowverse version of Green Lantern John Stewart from the comics has been an internet rumor for years. I had no idea.

I'm not 100% sure, but I think this may be the first ever sorta mention of any Green Lantern in the Arrowverse. I always like the Green Lantern comic, and have long wondered why there's no version of him on any of the series. Is it a budgetary thing? Would Green Lantern's power require too many expensive FX?

• The heroes confront The Monitor and ask him what he wants. He tells them a major threat (Anti-Monitor) is coming, (Anti-Monitor) and it threatens the entire multiverse (Anti-Monitor). He's been using the Book to test various worlds, in hopes of finding one that can stand against the impending doom (Anti-Monitor).

That's exactly what The Monitor did in the comics. He began appearing in various titles several months before the Crisis On Infinite Earths miniseries began, unleashing chaos to test Earth's superheroes!

• When The Monitor gives the Book Of Destiny back to Deegan, we see the cover has an odd turtle-shaped lock on it. There's no explanation for this in the episode, leaving us to speculate on what, if anything, it means.

I'm wondering if it's supposed to represent the World Turtle? You know, the Chinese/Hindu myth in which a giant turtle flies through space, with four elephants on its back that support the disk of the world.

Or, maybe it's a case of sometimes a cigar's just a cigar, and it's simply a fancy lock shaped like a turtle.

We also get a brief glimpse at the contents of the Book when Deegan opens it, and the text looks a LOT like the "time language" invented by Nora West-Allen, Barry & Iris' future daughter. Not sure if that means anything, or it's just a coincidence. Maybe Nora's journal and the Book Of Destiny were both made by the same overworked prop man!

• At the end of the episode, Deegan uses the Book to alter reality again, causing Oliver and Barry to become the Trigger Twins!

The Trigger Twins are from the comics, and debuted in 1993's Detective Comics #667. Tom and Tad Trigger are two unrelated men who decide to rob the same bank at the same time. When they note how much they resemble one another, they decide to become a team.

That's fine and all, but I'm a little confused by their appearance here.

For one thing, the Trigger Twins are supposed to look like identical to one another. Oliver and Barry don't resemble one another in any measurable way. Is this another case of Deegan's alterations causing the public to THINK the two look alike when they see them?

Also, in this reality, Ricardo Diaz is a Central City policeman rather than a crime lord. For some reason, when he looks at Oliver, he sees him for who he is, rather than one of the Trigger Twins. Um... what? Why can Diaz see through Deegan's meddling? I don't get it.

By the way, the three CCPD cops in this scene are Deeganized versions of Malcolm Merlyn, Joe Wilson and Ricardo Diaz. The scene goes by really fast, so I didn't realize who the other two were until I watched the episode a second time.

• Superhero landing! Actually Batwoman does one earlier in the episode as well, but I couldn't get a clear shot of her.

• In the final shot, the Trigger Twins try to escape but are stopped by Superman, who's now obviously evil, as he's wearing an all black costume.

I'm assuming this costume is a nod to the black one Superman wore after he "died" and got better in 1993 Death Of Superman comic event.

 This Week's Best Lines:
Diggle (seeing Flash, Green Arrow and Supergirl before him): "Son of a bitch."
Supergirl: "Is that any way to greet your friends?"
Diggle: "All I know is that whenever the three of you show up, it usually means we have one huge problem."

Diggle: (after Barry & Oliver explain that their lives have been switched) "So you're you..."
Curtis: "And you're you."
Diggle: "An immortal Egyptian, aliens, parallel earth Nazis. I have no idea why I'm even surprised at this point."
Curtis: "I'm still trying to figure out if this is more like Freaky Friday or Quantum Leap."
Barry: "No.If this were like Quantum Leap, I'd only look like myself in the mirror."
Curtis: "Yep. You are definitely not Oliver Queen."

Felicity: "I've been summoned?"

Barry: (who she thinks is Oliver) "Yes. Thank you for coming."
Felicity: "Of course. I mean, things might be fraught between us, Oliver. That doesn't mean I'm not gonna show up."
Barry: (confused) "They are? They are? They are. Yeah, which is... (uncertain) sad?"

Oliver: (after they arrive in Gotham City) "If I remember right, the radio station was this way."
Barry: "I'm surprised they put it in the bad part of town."
Kara: "It's cute how you think there's a good part of town."

Felicity: "We're gonna need Cisco's help on this one."
Cisco: "I've been summoned!"
Curtis: "Okay. That was a disturbingly coincidental entrance."

(Team Flash and Team Arrow discuss why Oliver didn't tell Felicity his life was switched with Barry's)
Caitlin: "You didn't tell her?"
Curtis: "Oliver the actual Oliver thought they had enough problems with Felicity already."
Cisco: "Oh, and you didn't think to loop us in on the fact that you were keeping the Freaky Friday situation on the hush?"
Curtis: "I was thinking it was more like Quantum Leap."
Cisco: "No. If this were like Quantum Leap, they'd only look like themselves when they see themselves in the mirror..."
Curtis: "It depends on what type of quantum leap..."
Diggle: "Shouldn't we concentrate on what this lightning came from?"

Felicity: "My marriage with Oliver is strained by the fact that we've become different people. Quite literally in Oliver's case."

Kara: "Seems strange, doesn't it, that Bruce Wayne and Batman disappeared from Gotham around the same time?"
(Fan service!)

Caitlin: "As for Oliver keeping you in the dark, when he and Barry tried to tell us what was going on with them, we knocked them unconscious and locked them in the pipeline."
Felicity: "Seriously?"
Caitlin: "Wasn't our finest moment."

Kara: "You know, I got to say, all the corporate billionaires I know wear Versace and have 500 fewer tattoos."
Kate: "Hmm. Those are the ones that you can see."
Diggle: "What the hell is this?"
Felicity: "No offense, but you'd need like five PhDs for the dumbed-down version."
Diggle: "How about the very dumbed-down version?"
Felicity: "It's a quantum flux anchor that utilizes wave theory to fire nano-particulates across an Einstein-Rosen bridge to create a secure claxon field."
Diggle: "How about the very, very, dumbed-down version?"
Caitlin: "Felicity made a magnet that will draw whoever's trying to breach through to us."
Diggle: "You could have just said that."
(That joke never gets old!)

Caitlin: "Those lightning strikes, they were a Flash from another dimension trying to breach to us."
Cisco: "We think it was Jay Garrick or A Jay Garrick He said to fix the situation, we have to get the book."
Kara: "John Deegan was reading a book in the drawing Oliver drew."
Oliver: "Okay. So we find the book in there or we find Deegan, and we make him tell us where it is."
Barry: "Wait, wait. Hold on. Another Flash from a parallel universe just lightnings in, tells us to jump, and we ask, 'how high?"
Diggle: "If we want to sort this thing out, then yes."

(Why's Barry suddenly being so defensive here? Over the years Team Flash has literally had at least five members from other Earths.)

Felicty: "
Oh. Look who finally came back."
Curtis: "With what looks like a fairly infamous book."
Caitlin: "A book with a cryptographic lock on it."
Oliver: "Can you get to work on opening it, please?"
Diggle: "We don't have a lot of time."
Felicity: "Okay. Geek squad, form up on me!"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Site Meter