Last year, the big CW-verse crossover was about aliens attacking. This time, the threat comes from somewhere else. Last year, they also made the Supergirl episode barely a part of it, and they fix that this time around. It was a much better job of blending the episodes into a single story, rather than each episode being about that show, and part of the larger story to a lesser extent. We start off with “Crisis on Earth X, Part 1.”
This story opens on Earth X, not at all a good place to be. It’s full of Nazi imagery, and is dark both thematically and palette-wise. It’s almost dark enough to be from Zach Snyder. One time-tested way of showing how bad the bad guys are is have them do something nasty as an opening act. Well, this time out, Dark Arrow goes after some rebels and kills the Earth X version of Guardian in the process. Kind of sad that the only time we see Guardian this season, he gets killed. At any rate, once inside, Arrow and his minions find a glowing portal, and he says it will make their reign last a thousand years. The title sequence shows all the series and characters blending together.
In Central City, Flash is battling King Shark, who I guess escaped from ARGUS since last we saw him. As Flash battles him, Iris says they have problems for the wedding. Not everyone has RSVP’d. This actually ends up being a clever way of checking in with all the different characters.
Star City shows us Green Arrow battling some ninjas. As they fight, Felicity banters with Oliver, and then mentions the invitation. The archer, sounding surprised, says, “Of course we’re going,” as he finishes his fight. The Legends are in 1138 England, in the midst of some kind of Robin Hood-themed adventure, when Stein comments how much of a faux pas they’re making by not responding to the wedding invite. And in National City on Earth-38. Supergirl beats a Dominator in a fight and comments, “You guys are so last year,” a nice reference to the last team up. Then, Kara and Alex wallow in their heartbreak over their respective romantic misfortunes. Kara decides they need to do something to get out of this funk, so they are going to Barry’s wedding.
After a nice scene of the various guests arriving (although both Supergirl and Green Arrow seem to be alone, so I’m not sure how Felicity and Alex make the trip), the wedding preparations are in full swing. While getting nails done, Kara says that Mon-El not being there is a long story, and Felicity makes similar excuses about why she and Oliver aren’t engaged. There’s a similar scene with Oliver and Barry getting their tuxes fitted. Barry gives Oliver some nice, helpful, upbeat advice, which is very much in character for Barry in general, and completely at odds with his obsessive behavior on the last episode of his show we saw before this.
At STAR Labs, Cisco is helping Stein and Jax with their Firestorm separation issue. He makes a passing reference to a Conway super computer (Gerry Conway was a legendary comic writer who, among other things, helped create Punisher and Firestorm), and says the new serum will allow them to remain separate and also remove their powers. Stein looks thrilled, Jax, less so.
Back on Earth X, Guardian’s helmet is now on display as a warning to others, while Dark Arrow threatens the scientists into working faster on the portal they captured. Stein and Caitlin share some memories about their pasts, the late Ronnie Raymond, and Stein’s reasons for quitting the Legends. Caitlin, of course, helped Cisco with the formula Stein is considering taking.
The rehearsal dinner is at Jitters, The Only Place To Eat In Central City (weird how Flash and Supergirl both have a place like that while Arrow doesn’t), and allows for some amusing character interactions. Mick is his usual self, enjoying the buffet and open bar, and having some banter with both Cisco and Caitlin. Alex is drinking heavily, and ends up chatting with Sara. Barry talks to Kara, who goes on with her “I need to just be Supergirl” riff, but Barry the optimist isn’t having it. There’s some general banter among the host of characters, and a focus on the Steins and Jax, with Martin trying to come up with something to help Jax’s future as a Legend. Alex and Sara take their chat outside, and it gets a lot less verbal. Joe gives a great speech.
Inspired by Joe’s speech, Oliver asks Felicity to marry him, which goes poorly. That pretty much ends the dinner scene, and we’re on to the morning/day after. Mick is crashing at the Steins’, and being his usual self. Alex wakes up in bed with Sara, then slinks off in the Walk of Shame. Barry asks Kara to sing at the wedding (another Glee reference), and Sara shows she doesn’t believe in the Walk of Shame (neither do I). The poor usher gets confused when Mick remarks, “I’ve tried to kill the groom a couple of time, so I better sit on the bride’s side.” He ends up near Singh and Cecile, and comments about both cops and lawyers.
This where I’m going to comment on the one scene in this entire crossover that, so far at least, makes absolutely no sense. A server brings Barry sparkling water, and babbles about being here, this being a special wedding, and looking at Barry with what seems to be hero worship. He has no idea who she is. I, also, have no idea who she is, the scene is never explained, and the role isn’t listed on IMDB. So either we get this cleared up in the back half of the Flash season, or there’s something weird here that went over my head. The actress played Plastique on Smallville, but that doesn’t really clear anything up.
Finally, the wedding starts. Kara sings, Iris enters, and we get another nod to hero tv of the past. The priest is William Katt, best known as The Greatest American Hero back in the 80’s. It’s a lovely ceremony right up until the “forever hold your peace” bit, at which point the priest is disintegrated by a blaze of blue energy and the Earth X contingent storms the wedding. Reactions range from Iris’ “You’ve GOT to be kidding!” to Oliver’s puzzled, “Nazis?” As you’d expect, a major fight erupts. Characters that rely on weaponry smuggled them in, Kid Flash gets put on evacuate the civilians duty, and chaos ensues. Among the notable bad guys are Dark Arrow, Overgirl, and Prometheus. There’s great action, teamwork, and all kinds of great little moments of superpowerd mayhem. Finally, the bad guys are driven off, the church is in ruins, and Mick proclaims, “Best wedding ever!”
In the aftermath, Barry tells Iris he’s so sorry, and Iris takes all this remarkably well. Caitlin has dressed in one of Killer Frost’s outfits, explaining to Stein she makes the change when angry or scared and expects she’ll be both soon. Wally, over his protests, gets sent off to guard Joe and Cecile. The Legends use their captured memory wipe device to take care of the civilian witnesses. They captured Prometheus, and he’s put in the Pipeline.
As the collected heroes wonder about their strange foes, the bad guys regroup on Earth X. Overgirl and Dark Arrow are joined by Reverse Flash, back to looking like Wells and somehow back from non-existence. Wells/Thawne isn’t at all pleased with the other two for jumping the gun on their attack. The heroes decide to question Prometheus, and his big unmasking ends the episode.
What I liked: As a lifetime comic book fan, I’m a sucker for a big team up. It was great seeing all the heroes together. As always, Mick is amusing comic relief and gets probably the best lines throughout. I liked Barry’s speech to Oliver and smaller one to Kara. Alex and Sara hooking up was great, and good for Sara not being ashamed of it. The action was great, and I love that William Katt was the priest.
What I didn’t: I’m not sure why the bad guys had both masks and voice maskers. On their Earth, everyone knows who they are, and on this one, no one cares. I’m really hoping we eventually find out what the deal was with the caterer/server.
This was a lot of fun, a great start to the big adventure, and a lot better balanced than last year’s Supergirl part of the crisis. I’ll give it a 4.5 out of 5. On to part 2!