Supergirl Review by Henry Tran

Supergirl 3.08: Crisis on Earth-X: Part I

Supergirl 3.08: Crisis on Earth-X: Part I

Written By:
Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim, Robert Rovner, and Jessica Queller
Directed By:
Larry Teng

Unlike last year, when it was clear where the separation of every show in the Arrowverse was during the "Invasion!" crossover event, "Crisis on Earth-X" makes no bones about being one fluid, four-show mix. Granted, the "Invasion!" crossover was a first-time experiment that sometimes worked, and sometimes didn't (I thought it worked for the most part), so now, everyone involved with this big event knows what to do, and how to pull off the crossover without many problems.



Supergirl had its separate episode from the crossover last year, with an ending tease to set up the larger overall plot for the crossover. This year, there's no pretense: This isn't even really an episode of Supergirl. Small parts of it deal with the plot happenings over on Supergirl, but they're all confined to the relationship problems experienced by both Danvers sisters. Kara and Alex (briefly) consider that it might be a bad idea for the two of them, fresh off being heartbroken over the end of two major relationships, to go celebrate a wedding. Much of the episode before the wedding of Barry Allen and Iris West is treated in an offhand, casual sort of manner. Comic book weddings between major characters are supposed to be treated as big, world-changing events, and yet, most everyone in the "Arrowverse" treats it like a regular stroll through the park on a Sunday afternoon. Of course Oliver and Felicity and the Danvers and even the Legends of Tomorrow are going to go to the West-Allen wedding. Otherwise, there wouldn't be a crossover event.


So, really, this is an episode of The Flash, only, again, it's nominally an episode of Supergirl. There were flashbacks from myself during the viewing of this episode to the Invasion! crossover last year, where essentially, all of the crossover episodes were more or less devoted to the problems Barry created when he decided to save his mother and the Flashpoint timeline came into existence. And much of the episode is a lead-up to the wedding event.



There's more of a low-key vibe to everything that happens before the wedding. The show is living true to its crossover label, testing out various combinations of cast members from each of the four shows and seeing what sticks. For the most part, the different pairings work, demonstrating the comfort and chemistry that these actors all have with each other, even as they work on different shows. Cisco succeeds in finding a method to separate Martin from Jax and breaking up Firestorm. Martin takes his own initiative to make a formula that might be able to give Jax superpowers when Firestorm "breaks up." Martin and Caitlin have an intimate scene that checks in on the status of each character. The rehearsal dinner scene provides the opportunity to push some of these combinations even more. Alex wallows in her breakup with Maggie, and Sara just happens to be there to give her a proverbial shoulder to cry on. They eventually make out, which is a bit of a surprise to me because I had momentarily forgotten that Sara is bisexual, leaning lesbian, and it would make sense for she and Alex to be attracted to each other. Hopefully, the one night stand isn't forgotten through the course of the crossover, and there are more interactions between the both of them.


The big story among these interactions is the opening of wounds between Oliver and Felicity. Perhaps urged on by a well-meaning Barry and seeing all of the pre-wedding bliss made Oliver much more forward than he was in Arrow this season, and he sort of popped the question to Felicity, who then replies that she doesn't want to marry him. Will that carry consequences to Arrow once it resumes its regular batch of episodes? That's a pretty big revelation, and it would be a shame if it was wrapped up by the end of the crossover.



Of course, the usual combinations we've seen before still work. Barry and Kara still have sparkling chemistry with each other, even as it has to be painful for her to be at a wedding when she has so many outstanding issues with Mon-El. The episode could have benefitted from expanding more on this point, if not to pin the focus on Supergirl herself on her own show, but it has to get to the wedding so that it can interrupted by the Nazis and mirror supervillains from Earth-X. Oliver and Barry have a nice small scene that reminds us of their ongoing buddy-buddy/mentor-mentee relationship.


The action bonanza that ends the episode is actually well worth the wait. Oliver and Kara go on the offensive, especially since their dopplegangers, the Dark Arrow and Overgirl, show up to take over the wedding. It was expected that they'd cancel each other out. Barry and Wally are responsible for the more defensive maneuvers and getting civilians to safety, as is benefitting from the nature of their powers. The Legends start walloping on the Nazis who shoot up the church. I particularly enjoyed the Sara-Alex team-up that has them fighting a sword-wielding Nazi. Like Captain America: Civil War's iconic airport battle sequence, the crossover team-ups here are the most "comic book-y" parts of the episode. I particularly enjoyed when Cisco basically teleports Oliver with a breach portal to the balcony to take on the Dark Arrow. Or when Killer Frost makes an appearance, whines about Caitlin's bridesmaid's dress, then gets to fighting with Mick and his heat gun beside her. It's handled and filmed with aplomb, and works as a great foundation to set up the next part of the crossover. If that means learning more about the Earth-X villains (which include Wells returning as the Reverse Flash), all the better. They were the most shortchanged characters in the episode.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • The show really commits to this crossover, changing everything from the title card to the font of the onscreen credits
  • Barry and Iris has the fabulous idea of using Melissa Benoist's incredible voice to open the wedding
The Bad:
  • I can't imagine what it's like for those viewers of Supergirl who don't watch the other shows

Henry Tran is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @HenYay

Supergirl by - 11/30/2017 1:13 PM152 views

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