We had to wait an entire month for it, but the Crisis on Infinite Earths has ended, and the two-hour finale, which encompassed Arrow and the Legends of Tomorrow, didn’t disappoint as it did exactly what a DC Crisis does before giving the heroes time to wrap up the story. In case you hadn’t guessed, we’re going to spoil the heck out of Crisis on Infinite Earths.
All hope is lost
At the end of Crisis Hour 3, things were in a rough spot, to say the least. The roughest, in fact. The Anti-Monitor won, and eliminated existence itself. A last-ditch move by Pariah sent the seven Paragons to the Vanishing Point, a place outside of time and space that was once inhabited by the Time Bureau that the Legends of Tomorrow blew up at the end of Legends season 1. A short origin story sums up how the Monitor ended up accidentally creating the Anti-Monitor, and then Ryan Choi catches us up on what’s been going on since the Paragons got to the Vanishing Point. It’s been months. The brainy members have been trying to salvage Time Bureau technology while Batwoman trains, Kara sulks, J’onn meditates, Sara tries to keep the team grounded. Barry has disappeared into the Speed Force and it’s just now that he comes out.
Oliver, now the Spectre, appears and talks to the group, laying out the plan: one team will go back in time to keep Mar Novu, the Monitor, from ever creating the Anti-Monitor while the other team heads to the beginning of time (a rock quarry in British Columbia, apparently) to fight the Anti-Monitor one last time.
This is all serious, but the show hasn’t lost its sense of humor, as we’ll discover over the next couple of hours. Ryan Choi takes a look at Oliver’s robes–which aren’t terribly impressive costuming–and quips that it’s a “nice outfit, very Sith.”
Kara, Ryan, and Lex end up going to Mar Novu’s world to try to stop him from going back in time to create the Anti-Monitor, and Lex stays on task about as long as you’d expect him to.
The cameo to end all cameos
Meanwhile, the Anti-Monitor breaks up the rest of the team as they head to fight him, scattering them across the Speed Force.
Barry attempts to regather the team by working through a remixed set of some of Oliver’s biggest memories, as Oliver’s consciousness is what is holding the team together and keeping them united. Here, what might be the wildest moment of the whole five-parter happens. Barry ends up at Star Labs in front of… Barry Allen. Not Grant Gustin’s Earth-1 Barry Allen or John Wesley Shipp’s Earth-90 Barry Allen, but Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen, in full DC Cinematic Flash regalia.
And unlike the moments with the Titans, 1966 Robin, or other characters, this isn’t just a split second. The two are baffled as they look at each other. The banter is quick and fun. We find out that DC Cinematic Flash hadn’t yet thought to call himself by that name. The two admire each others’ armor and then Miller’s Barry Allen fades away. This cameo was a total surprise and absolutely a high moment of the whole event.
Sara is trapped in the moment she first died. Kate is watching Oliver and Ray Palmer argue about methods to save the city back before the Atom was created. J’onn appears when Oliver and Kara were arguing during the Invasion! Crossover. They each have a moment before Barry collects them. They all end up together at the final battle. While the heroes fight the shadow demons, Spectre faces off against the Anti-Monitor and wins after telling the Anti-Monitor that he has “failed this Universe.” In the process, though, Oliver gives his life one more time to create a new world–singular. Lex experiences being a hero for the first time and he seems to like it.
A proper send-off
The first time he died, it felt sudden and brutal. This time, it feels like a goodbye. Much of this episode focuses on him and his life, and the whole episode was headed for this moment. It’s not exactly a surprise, but it’s much more satisfying to watch.
And then, Kara wakes up on her couch at home and we’re in the final episode: a whole new world, a new fantastic point of view. For example, Lex Luthor isn’t just a good guy, he’s the “best guy,” according to Alex Danvers. Kara doesn’t get to dwell on this long, though, because the Weather Witch–a Flash villain–is attacking National City.
That’s right, the Crisis did what a DC Crisis always does: flatten the multiverse. Flash and Supergirl now live on the same planet Earth in the same universe. An old guy named Marv asks them for autographs as they try to figure out what’s going on.
In case you didn’t catch this cameo, this is Marv Wolfman, the guy who wrote the Crisis on Infinite Earths comic back in 1984/85 and who consulted on this Crisis.
The Paragons start meeting to figure out what’s going on and despite not having a memory of what happened, Ray Palmer immediately groks what’s going on: he missed a crossover. Brandon Routh is absolute gold and it’s a tragedy that he’s stepping away from the Arrowverse this year.
The heroes spend a lot of time coming to grips with the fact that, as Oliver recreated the Universe, he had to give his life – he couldn’t come with them.
The heroes’ grief is interrupted in the best and most Legends of Tomorrow way possible: by a giant attacking Beebo. It’s a good thing that Rory is nearby signing copies of his romance novels, plural, to help the team out. Beebo is defeated quickly when it turns out to be an illusion created by a bank-robbing magician. Even Flash knows that Beebo is Life when he asks, “Beebo? Is nothing sacred?”
I truly love the way Legends uses Beebo as this weird comedic anchor point for the world.
Unfortunately for the team, the Anti-Monitor is tough to kill, and the heroes, minus Lex and plus Ray Palmer, have to fight him off. Black Lightning shows up to help with the Shadow Demons. The heroes come up with a plan and execute it flawlessly as a unified team and without anyone having to jump universes. They’re all just there. It’s convenient. It’s uncomplicated.
We learn that Oliver didn’t just create one universe, though. While he united those of the Arrowverse, he created spaces for other universes to exist, and we see the Earths where the Titans, Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, and even Brandon Routh’s Superman live.
The heroes of Earth-Prime, meanwhile, unite at the first place the multiverse came together – that abandoned Star Labs warehouse. There, Flash has set up a memorial to Oliver and a meeting place for the heroes.
A satisfying conclusion
Overall, the conclusion to Crisis on Infinite Earths was immensely satisfying. I do want to outline some of the stuff that didn’t work. Black Lightning felt shoehorned in, and I wish they would’ve done a little more work bringing him into the story. He felt so out of place that the show called attention to it when the heroes gathered to remember Oliver, and the joke they made about that fell a little flat in the moment even if it’s a pretty good joke in the abstract. The Legends, too, felt mostly superfluous aside from Ray and Mick, even in their own episode.
With that said, It did exactly what it promised and didn’t back off on the idea. The Arrowverse is now flat and simplified, and there’s lots of room for arbitrary changes to set in. We could see Lena and Kara’s relationship repaired, for example, the Reverse Flash return again (pretty please), or Black Lightning get some help from Barry. We see minor changes too, such as John and Lyla have a daughter again, something that changed when Barry created Flashpoint. The existence of the other Earths gives room for more weird crossovers, which Crisis has made it clear that DC and Warner Bros. are up for to a surprising degree. It’s the right amount of change for the Arrowverse, and a nice potential reset that doesn’t feel totally arbitrary.