Superhero Insider: 'Crisis' looms over The Flash, Arrow
The fall has officially begun now that The CW’s superhero shows have returned. This week, Arrow kicked off its farewell season with a nostalgic trip to Earth-2; The Flash caught a glimpse of “Crisis on Infinite Earths”; Supergirl pushed Lena Luthor further to the dark side; Batwoman staged a tense sister reunion; and Black Lightning continued to explore life under martial law. Here are the highlights:
Batwoman wasted no time in diving into Kate’s series premiere-ending realization that Rachel Skarsten’s villain Alice is actually her long-lost sister Beth, who supposedly died many years. Too often on shows like these, the writers will try to build suspense and tension by holding off on having Kate actually confront Alice with his knowledge, but thankfully, Batwoman didn’t do that and the two sisters had a weighty late-night meeting in this week’s episode. The highlight of their rendez-vous was seeing more of Skarsten’s unhinged and mercurial performance as Alice, which was both fun and unsettling because of how seamlessly Skarsten’s tone switches between fun (her recounting what happened after the car crash) and threatening (her asking Kate when she slept through the night for the first time). I liked the pilot enough, but this entire scene made me even more excited about the season to come. —Chancellor Agard.
Related: Read episode 2 our recap and postmortem, get your first look at Kate Kane’s new love interest, and find out what’s in store for the show’s take on the Batman villain Hush in the third episode.
Kara actually has no idea what her secret has done to Lena Luthor. In last Sunday’s episode, Lena unveiled her radical plan to save humanity: She wants to cleanse the brain of betrayal, lying, and murder — which is an extreme to say the least. Her first step in accomplishing this? Kidnapping her former partner Eve and allowing an A.I. to take over her body, because working with artificial intelligence always turns out well (said the liar). But I guess part of the thrill of this storyline will see how Lena’s plan spins wildly out of control (and possibly gets co-opted by Leviathan, which obviously has plans that involve reshaping how people think and act). —C.A.
Related: Read our recap.
After a solid premiere, Black Lightning continued season 3 with a somewhat rockier hour this week that tried to do too much, resulting in accomplishing not much at all. But at least we got updates on pretty much every character, including Jefferson and his new x-ray power (which will definitely come in handy once he gets out of ASA’s “protective custody”), Khalil’s new existence as Painkiller (and only Painkiller, as evidenced by his cold and uncaring assassination of his own mother), and Lala aka Tattoo Man’s new role as leader of the One Hundred. And at least we know now that the Markovian threat is real, thanks to those glimpses of Wolfsbane Mountain — and talk about a great name for a villain stronghold! —Sydney Bucksbaum
Related: Read the recap, and learn about Wayne Brady’s new character on the show.
It’s one of thing to be told a multiverse-destroying crisis is coming. It’s a completely different thing to actually witness it, which is exactly what happened to Barry in this week’s episode. After the Monitor declared that the Flash had to die in the coming crisis, Jay Garrick helped Barry see billions of possible timelines, which led Barry watching his friends, family, and the entire multiverse get destroyed too many times. Grant Gustin did a fantastic job of making you feel how traumatizing the entire experience was, and Candice Patton easily matched his performance as Iris tried to force Barry not to give up and just accept his fate. If you weren’t feeling the stakes before, this episode definitely changed that. —C.A.
Related: Read the recap, and check out EW’s exclusive first look at LaMonica Garrett as the Anti-Monitor, the crossover’s big bad.
I thought we had at least eight episodes of Arrow to get through before the Crisis hit, but I am absolutely thrilled by how wrong I was – the season 8 premiere destroyed Earth-2, taking with it so many characters we’ve come to know and love over the years thanks to The Flash’s universe-hopping (has anyone checked in on Harry and Jesse?). The Crisis is officially here, y’all! And it’s as deadly as the comic book arc promised to be. Yet somehow that wasn’t even my favorite part of the hour? Oliver getting closure with both Tommy and his mother Moira were moments I honestly thought we’d never get this far removed from their deaths, and each reunion/goodbye packed a hell of an emotional punch. Plus the payoff from season 1 theories of wanting to see Tommy don the Dark Archer hood felt weirdly cathartic, and if Josh Segarra’s return not only as Adrian Chase but also as the new Green Arrow on Earth-2 was funnier than you expected, you need to watch him on The Other Two (he may have terrified us back in season 5 but the dude is hilarious). The entire premiere played like a true love letter to the pilot, kicking off the final run in style. If Arrow did this in the first episode back, all bets are off for the remaining nine episodes. Hello, did you see that Batman mask?! —S.B.
Related: Read our recap of the premiere, see what star Stephen Amell and showrunner Beth Schwartz had to say about how the premiere ignites the upcoming “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover, and check out EW’s official ranking of all 160 episodes.
- On Arrow, Diggle found Oliver on Earth-2 with some unseen help from The Flash‘s Cisco, who lent him an interdimensional extrapolator.
Listen to Superhero Insider
You can hear Chancellor Agard and Kyle Anderson break down the Arrowverse shows every Friday on Superhero Insider, available on SiriusXM on-demand.
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8 p.m., followed by Supergirl at 9 p.m.; Black Lightning airs Mondays at 9 p.m.; The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m., followed by Arrow at 9 p.m., on The CW.