Part four of the Crisis on Infinite Earths featured the death (again) of Oliver Queen and a huge battle with the Anti-Monitor. The world was saved, and it seemed like everything was wrapped up. So why is there a part five? Well, just like in the original comic book story, there are some major adjustments for the characters (and the viewers), and a few more surprises, as the crossover rolls around to the final segment in a special Legends of Tomorrow episode. This doesn’t count toward the number of episodes for their season, and is even happening before their regular season starts. As the conclusion to the series, there will be some major spoilers in this one, so be warned.
The battle is over, so what happens now? Well, Kara wakes up on her couch, very startled to be there, and damn near has a superpowered accident with her sister. The flustered Kara tries to work out what the hell just happened, and Alex doesn’t seem to know what she’s talking about. Not helping any is a call from Nia, asking why Kara isn’t covering a major story. With some help from her powers, Kara arrives, only to find that the new reality doesn’t mesh with her memories, and, so far, she’s the only one remembering things differently.
After a speech that almost makes Kara sick, the befuddled Supergirl goes to the DEO and finds even more changes. Just when the Girl of Steel is starting to wonder if she lost her mind, J’Onn shows up and offers a few explanations. I guess someone who is both telepathic and a shapeshifter is probably a lot more flexible on their grasp of reality. Eagerly responding to an alarm, and wanting the excuse to hit something, Supergirl arrives at the docks to find Weather Witch on a rampage. Before Supergirl can vent her anger and confusion on the villain, there’s a familiar lightning effect and Flash shows up, apologizing for one of “his” villains attacking National City. They’re both confused as to who is on who’s Earth when an autograph seeker (a great cameo for comics fans) comes up to them and makes things more confusing. Over in Central City, some city workers find Nash Wells out cold in in the tunnels, where he was before the crossover kicked in.
The confusion continues in Star City, where Sara finds herself in an alley, and then meets up with Ray Palmer, who also doesn’t remember things the way she does. In true Legends style, once Sara drops some hints, Ray excitedly babbles about a crossover. J’Onn shows up here, too, and gives Ray a condensed telepathic update, leading to some great reactions. Sara, hoping the world’s reset carries this far, rushes to the Bunker. What she finds is an empty costume display and a saddened Team Arrow, who also got the heads up from J’Onn. Back in Central, Caitlin is treating the unconscious Nash when J’Onn pays a call here as well (he’s really getting around this episode), brings Caitlin and then Nash in the loop, and vents some fury at Nash, who is shocked when he learns what he did. Flash and Supergirl also make their way to the Bunker and learn about the limits of the restoration.
Our heroes don’t get much time to catch their breaths as a new alert goes off, and a blast from the past shows up in the city. Beebo is on the rampage, and the extra-large economy size at that. There’s a lot of confusion, and Sara calls Ava and Nate for some advice, while Diggle and Rene are very bemused at the giant children’s character attacking their city. Not only is this confusing Team Arrow, it interrupts a book signing by the Legends’ resident author, and he’s not happy about the disruption. Sara calls the shots as the combined heroes deal with the giant blue fluffball, and nothing goes as it should. They figure out what’s going on, and there’s a brief appearance by a DC Golden Age character, apparently now a villain in this world. The heroes celebrate their victory, which gets cut short when Nash shows up with some worrying news no one wants to hear.
While Nash keeps giving bad news, Barry and Sara meet up and talk about their loss, and how much they were hoping for one more miracle. They talk about loss, and how cut off Sara feels now, which I understand. A lot of the heroes haven’t lived happy lives, but Sara really has lost a LOT. Their chat is interrupted when something they thought they were done with attacks, and they have to pull a last minute save of the Paragon who doesn’t have powers or a costume.
The assembled heroes get a briefing from Sara, with Nash providing scientific commentary. The actual solution they used in the comics won’t work here, but they come up with an idea based on some early mistakes of Ray’s when designing the ATOM suit. Once again, screwing things up for the better. Nash amusingly dubs Sara “Scrappy,” but I suspect he won’t get away with that when there’s not a Crisis (or an aftermath) going on. The team splits up into a few factions, combat and research, to come up with a solution for the newest threat. When Team Research gets attacked, they find some help from an unexpected direction, as Black Lightning lends an electrically charged hand.
We get a very impressive fight with some really high-end powers in play (as well as a few non-powered folks). It’s the kind of big fight scene comic geeks like me love in a giant crossover. The battle rages at a place named for another comic book legend (a running theme in the Arrow-verse, which I guess arguably might need a new name now) as the heroes’ desperate plan finally works. Afterward, there’s a very impressive Presidential address (from a President that’s new in this new world) that shares the news of the death of Green Arrow. The groups the heroes broke into in order to watch this were interesting, and I really liked seeing Kate Kane with Kara and Alex.
There’s a new voiceover from the late Spectre about the creation of this new world, and, unlike the original Crisis, a new multiverse. We don’t learn about any of the worlds we saw destroyed, but among the new ones are an Earth 2 that will be the home of the upcoming Stargirl series (fitting, since the JSA was on Earth 2 in the comics), the revelation that all the DC Universe shows are on different Earths (which explains a bit), a link to a movie most would rather forget, and a nod to one of the heroes everyone was excited to hear was in this event. The new Earth that almost all our heroes share is now dubbed Earth Prime.
The ending is really well done, a nice combination of nods to the past and building for the future. Several heroes gather for the start of a memorial for the fallen archer, and some of them say a few words of farewell. Barry reveals a new base for special emergencies, which opens Black Lightning’s eyes about how often major threats come (about once a year, Jefferson). In the end, there are a few reveals that hark back to the version of some DC heroes that are probably most familiar to the non-comic reading public, including a nod to a mascot that’s never been in live action before (or probably CGI when this one shows up). It echoes the early hint then eventually reveal of Grodd. It really was a fantastic ending.
What I liked: Almost everything. The return of Beebo, the new Earth, the great ending, so much of this worked so well. I even liked the mention (finally) of one of the long-gone members of Team Arrow. The new Earths are set up clearly, and I was excited at the reveal of Stargirl and the JSA, who look amazing. The confusion as the heroes get used to a new history was really well done, and a callback to the original comics. I found it really appropriate the final hero shown in the Earth montage was the one they picked, and am hopeful about that one’s future because of one minor costume change. The changes with some kids were really interesting.
What I didn’t: Not much. It’s sad that Oliver isn’t coming back, and I’m fairly sure we’ve seen the last of the Flash of Earth-90 as well. I’m not sure about the DC Universe shows all being separated like that, but I guess I can see why they did it. Does showing Swamp Thing mean there’s hope for his show coming back sometime?
This was amazing. Crisis was an amazing complex story, running for a year or so in its own series and spilling over into everything DC Comics was publishing back then. This adaptation managed to live up to it. I’ll give this episode a 5 out of 5, and a 4.5 out of 5 for the event in total.
I have no idea how they’ll ever manage to top this, but I look forward to the ongoing stories in the new world.
The big Earth X event was something I could see watching all together as a movie. This is the same.