The Big Damn Arrowverse Crossover came to its conclusion last night, and while the plot kind of descended into chaos and a slew of unanswered questions, it also provided a lot of fun geek-out moments — and even a few genuine Oliver Queen smiles (BUT NO HUGS, DAMMIT). It all started with another altered intro, in which the typical Supergirl Kara Danvers opening was replaced by… the origins of John Deegan. Who, by the way, is actually the black-suited Superman of this new reality:
[Just an aside, but the fact that Deegan, who was introduced giving a crazy lecture about using eugenics to become Super, didn’t think to just make himself a superhero the second he got his hands on the Book of Destiny is probably the most unbelievable part of this whole crossover. What a dummy.]
So, in his latest rewrite of reality Deegan made sure to remix EVERYONE on Earth. Oliver and Barry becoming the villainous (albeit powerless) Trigger Twins was only the tip of the iceburg. Teams Arrow and Flash are all kind of jerks now, either in the employ of Deegan himself (who has set up his base in Star Labs, and calls the Time Vault his “Fortress of Solitude”) or running their own criminal underworld (in the case of… well, Cisco. Cisco’s a boss.). If anything, “Elseworlds” has been about questioning what makes someone a hero, under the guise of The Monitor testing our champions. First Barry and Oliver learned to appreciate the forces that shaped them into The Flash and The Green Arrow during their time spent as each other, and now the question is: What’s left of everyone they knew? What’s left of themselves?
It turns out: a lot! When Deegan has Oliver and Barry cornered, Oliver decides to put innocent lives at risk to distract the villain. Deegan has a choice: maintain his Superman persona and save the bystanders, or capture the Trigger Twins and let people die. He picks his reputation and flies away, giving Oliver and Barry a chance to escape — but it doesn’t sit right with Barry. “Being bad makes me feel bad,” he says, almost puking. Never change, Barry.
Deegan returns to Star Labs, ranting about his loss to his subordinates (Killer Frost and Diggle). And he’s got Kara locked up in the pipeline! In fact, Deegan didn’t copy Superman’s powers, or at least not really. He copies HER powers (but not her gender, as she’s quick to point out). He was intrigued because while the Book of Destiny told him all about the Barry and Oliver, it hadn’t told him about her — because she isn’t from this reality at all. But her sister Alex apparently does exist in this reality… and she’s been tasked with guarding Kara, whom she thinks is a villain. Can Kara convince Alex that this reality isn’t real, and that they are totally besties? Of course she can!
Meanwhile, Oliver and Barry have a run in with The Monitor on… like, a cosmic pocket-plane or something? And he’s clearly impressed that the pair are continuing to try and right the world even without their powers, and the fact that they’re willing to sacrifice themselves to do so. But he also claims that survival will only be found by knowing their true selves. Message! But first things first — they need help. Following the whole “everyone’s bad now” logic, they track Cisco the kingpin down and secure his help by promising that they know a way to get rid of “Super-Dick” (who is, naturally, kind of bad for illicit business). Luckily Cisco still has his Vibe powers, so Barry and Oliver have him breach them all to find even more help: the real Superman! Cisco is, uh, not amused by this development.
Kara convinces Alex to release her from her cell, only for the pair to be caught by Deegan. But it’s cool because Barry and Oliver breach in with Superman just in time, and the fight is on! Superman and Deegan brawl through the skies, confusing onlookers (one even calls Clark “Bizarro” because in THIS reality, he IS Bizarro!), while the others track down the Book of Destiny inside the Time Vault. None of them can read it though, so they hand it to Superman and let him fix reality while the others fight off Deegan. First Clark gets Barry and Oliver their powers back (FINALLY!), but before he can finish putting things right Deegan grabs Barry and threatens to snap his neck. Oliver is ready to kill him with one of his arrows (presumably a kryptonite one?!), but Barry’s all like “nah, don’t give in to your darkness” — giving Deegan enough of a distraction to snatch the book back and start messing with reality again.
Barry decides the best thing to do to buy them enough time to find the book is to… slow time down entirely. He and Kara will race around the globe in opposite directions (following the “Iffy Superman Movie Science” principle), but Clark reveals that when he read the Book he saw them try it… and they died. But jokes on Clark cuz clearly they’re gonna do it anyway!
So while THAT’S happening, Oliver goes back to The Monitor and basically yells at him. He’s realized that this test isn’t to find champions who are strong enough, but ones that are good enough — and Kara and Barry are like the goodiest heroes ever. They’re the ones the world needs in the coming crisis, not someone as dark as himself, so it’s in The Monitor’s best interest to change their fates. And The Monitor agrees! But balance must be maintained, and one change requires another…
[And in case you’re wondering: no, it’s never really made clear just what kind of deal Oliver struck to save Kara and Barry. But odds are it was somehow self-sacrificing, and will prove that Oliver is just as good as the others or something.]
Deegan uses the Book to create another Amazo robot to keep Superman occupied, but Superman gets some back up with Lois shows up… with Braniac and the Martian Manhunter. Also, she’s carrying a badass hammer? WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING? Lois gets a good pound in with her weapon, only to get tossed into the air for her efforts… just as time finally slows down. So while Superman moves to catch his girlfriend in slo-mo (despite the fact that he ALSO HAS SUPER SPEED), Oliver shows up moving at normal speed (WHAT?!) and shoots a fancy arrow into the Book. Which, like, kills it? Or at least reverts everything to normal and leaves Deegan a desiccated, crazy husk of a man (who is, just to be clear, no longer Superman). Lois is saved, Kara and Barry show up out of breath but alive, and everything’s totally fine again.
In the aftermath… OLIVER SMILES. Kara, Clark, Lois, and their friends head back to their Earth, where Clark reveals that he’s planning on leaving the world’s safety in Supergirl’s capable hands while he moves to Argo with Lois… because she’s pregnant! Then he crushes some coal into a diamond and proposes to her, and it’s super cute. But not as cute as Barry and Oliver unwinding at a bar and getting really sentimental about all that they’ve been through. BUT NO HUGS.
In the final moments, Oliver gets a call from Batwoman, who wants to know wtf is up with Deegan. Turns out he ended up back at Arkham Asylum, as an inmate this time, and he’s been making friends with the Psycho Pirate… who has some weirdly prophetic things to say about, well, “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Which is happening next Fall, according to the end card.
So see you next year, folks!
Header Image Source: The CW