The CW has never been afraid to toss all of its toys into the same sandbox and fuck that shit right up. As its roster of DC superhero shows has grown, so too has its storytelling potential — namely, the Crossover. Arrow and The Flash characters traveled between their respective cities for guest appearances. Legends of Tomorrow grew from characters already established on those other shows, and then when Supergirl landed on the channel all it took was a lil portal action to get all the characters together in the same reality. Not to mention the Glee crossover where Supergirl and The Flash spent a whole episode singing at the behest of Kurt’s hot boyfriend.
Anyway, last year’s Invasion! crossover spanned three of the four shows (only dipping into the tail-end of that week’s Supergirl). Our fearless heroes came together to fight off an alien invasion. It was an ambitious but imperfect experiment — one that this year’s true four-way crossover event, Crisis On Earth-X, is trying to top.
And so far, it’s succeeding like whoa.
For the first time, the yearly crossover feels truly seamless. Rather than spanning 4 nights, the episodes are stacked into two 2-hour blocks across Monday and Tuesday. You don’t feel like you’re watching an episode of The Flash with Kara and Ollie lending a helping hand. Instead this 4-hour event truly feels like its own unique entity, with one hour leading to the next as installments of one story. Basically, this crossover IS that sandbox, with all the toys rattling around together.
Or at least the first two hours feel that way. It’s not a perfect balance — Cisco gets sidelined in the first attack, and not all of the Legends appear to have been invited to Barry and Iris’s wedding. But that is more a symptom of the embarrassment of riches available in the Arrowverse, and honestly the wedding angle provides a neat way to sidestep why all of the secondary characters aren’t present from the outset. Who knows who will pop up in the second half, airing tonight.
So what’s it all about? Oh, you know, mostly Barry and Iris’s wedding. And Oliver and Felicity’s love. And Kara and Alex’s heartbreak. And Sara’s undeniable sexual magnetism. And Mick’s love of free food and booze.
And also Nazi doppelgängers from NaziWorld. Seriously.
So in lieu of a recap, I wanted to offer a blow-by-blow of the most awesome, weird, and batshit crazy stuff from the first half of Crisis On Earth-X. Obvious Spoilers Ahead!
1) Barry and Iris finally get married!
HAHA JK NO THEY DON’T. Of course they don’t — not yet, anyway. They almost get married, but then fucking Nazis show up and vaporize the priest. Marriage is for norms anyway.
2) Kara sings at the not-wedding
This is less batshit and more “of fucking course she does.” However, it’s worth noting that the song she sings is actually “Running Home To You,” Barry’s ballad from the Supergirl/The Flash crossover episode. The one he sang when he proposed to Iris. AWWWWWW.
3) Who The Fuck Is That Creepy Caterer?
So you know that adorable, happy waitress, who is just so overjoyed to try and make Barry drink some sparkling water before the ceremony? The one who’s all about this wedding being one “for the ages”? We’re all agreed that that is TOTALLY Barry and Iris’s time-traveling future daughter, yeah? Because there is no way in hell that Barry Allen will ever teach a child to respect the goddamn timeline.
4) WTF even is “Earth-X”?
So you know how there are 52 Earths in the multiverse (duh)? Well there’s actually a 53rd one, where the Nazis won World War II and now the whole world is The Fatherland. Which leads us to:
5) Earth-X has Nazi doppelgängers (Nazigängers?) of our heroes!
Kara is just like Kara, only with purple goth lipstick. Oliver is just like Oliver, only he’s married to Kara (they kiss, and it’s WEIRD).
6)But wait, what’s The Flash like as a Nazi?
Nazi-Flash isn’t even Barry! Look, I can buy a goose-stepping Green Arrow. I can enjoy an evil SS Supergirl. But apparently Barry Fucking Allen is too good and pure to be a damn Nazi, so Nazi-Flash is just Reverse Flash. Not Harrison Wells, of course, but OG bad boy Eobard Thawne in Wells-face.
To be fair though, I get it. We already had Evil Emo Barry last season (remember Savitar?). Besides, there seems to be no diminishing returns on giving Tom Cavanagh more parts to play. If we’re lucky, tonight they’ll capture Nazi-Flash and let the Council of Wells interrogate him! One thing is certain though: Barry still hasn’t finished dealing with the dude who killed his mom. It’s all just sooooo Season One.
7) Big honking hero fights are the fucking best!
I don’t have anything to add here. I just really like watching all of the heroes fight Nazis together. Especially when those Nazis are also our heroes!
8) Where the fuck is Wentworth Miller?
We’ve known for awhile now that Captain Cold would make an appearance in this crossover — seemingly as his Earth-X counterpart, the heroic Citizen Cold. But it looks like that’s all going to happen tonight, because he hasn’t shown up yet.
9) It’s OK though — we’re shipping Mick and Killer Frost now anyway
It’s not just the symmetry of Mick Rory finding a romantic partner with the same chilly power-set that his former partner-in-crime had (ok, Snart’s came from a gun and Caitlin’s came from Barry’s timeline shenanigans, but you get my drift). It’s the look of sheer joy on Mick’s face when he sees Caitlin go full-Frost for the first time. It’s the glorious possibility of the most odd-couple pairing in Arrowverse history. Caitlin is the ultimate good girl with a very bad side, and Mick is the bad guy trying to do good for a change. The thought of them spending time together is the thing I didn’t know I needed in my life that I VERY MUCH now need in my life. Hell, forget romance — I’d settle for him just following Frost around for a few episodes while she rolls her icy eyes at him.
Also: bonus credit goes to Caitlin for giving in and wearing her Killer Frost clothes, just in case she has to transform. Because honestly, Frost has a point. Caitlin’s style is BORING.
10) So, apparently Marvel exists in the Arrowverse
This isn’t the first time that a character has made a run-of-the-mill pop culture reference to a Marvel comics character, but then again I wouldn’t expect to hear Batfleck making jokes about The Hulk. So I think it’s still worth noting that in the Arrowverse, Spider-Man is totally a thing. Enough of a thing that when Stein offers to imbue Jax with the powers of a spider when they stop being Firestorm together, he also explains all the ways that the new powers would differ from Spidey’s.
11) Where the fuck are the Winchesters?
Look, it’s easy to do a big damn crossover when all the characters are in the same fictional universe (mostly, usually, plus whatever Earth Kara is actually on). If The CW really wants to impress me, they’ll start looping in some of their other shows too. Let Dean and Mick go out drinking together. Have Sam buddy up with Cisco for some hardcore research. Hell, get the Riverdale kids up in this joint too! The more the merrier. Besides, if there’s anyone with a proven track record of saving the world, it’s the Winchesters…
But who knows! Maybe The CW is saving that for tonight’s 2-hour crossover finale! Tune in at 8 pm EST to find out!