The Flash Review by Henry Tran

The Flash 3.08: Crisis on Earth-X: Part III

The Flash 3.08: Crisis on Earth-X: Part III

Written By:
Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim, and Todd Helbing
Directed By:
Dermott Downs

Now three-quarters of the way through this crossover event, I don't think I'm really feeling this whole enterprise. Perhaps it's equal parts the loss of the crossover's novelty feel (I liked last year's Invasion! arc more than most, it seems), and the fact that Part Three takes place in the grim and dark Earth-X, but there is no sense of fun about everything as I'm watching it. And with one episode left in the crossover, there's little time to change the sagging impression.



You'd think I'd be totally into seeing all the changes and twists to how the entire Arrowverse is changed, but now, it's a total slog. There's no room for light and humor, key aspects that make these kinds of episodes to be a lot of fun. Again, that's completely a function of the nature of Earth-X, the grim and serious demeanor by which all of our heroes have to take what happens on that Earth, and the presence of Nazis. Nazis in this day and age somehow aren't the clear-cut enemies they used to be. Although, the show does try to once again demonstrate how they're the epitome of absolute evil by showing those people whom they've incarcerated or executed on the order of the Fuhrer (Dark Arrow). They brand Jews, minorities, gay and lesbian people, everyone who doesn't fit the Aryan ideal image.


Which is why everything Overgirl was talking about to Kara as she was strapped down in STAR Labs on Earth-1 (who looks a lot like a concentration camp prisoner the Nazis in real life experimented on no less) all the more disturbing. It's actually more fitting to have this be the arena of Arrow, which has made its bones on grim and serious, rather than The Flash, which has been light and frothy for the most part. Just another example of how useless it was to have the production staff designate the episodes as attached to specific DC shows.



But since this is a superhero kind of show, it leans more towards depicting those who would resist such authoritarian regimes. That means introducing Citizen Cold (a more noble Leonard Snart), a new character named Ray (I had to look the guy up on Wikipedia to figure out who he was because the show did us no favors by not even explaining who he was) who goes by the superhero name The Ray (no points for originality there), and making Winn a General and leader of said resistance. Winn is the usual hardass that shows up in every apocalyptic scenario, the one guy who opposes the heroes' plans no matter how crazy they might sound. I get what the show is doing with him, trying to get viewers to see his side of things and make him a desperate character who has seen war and death his entire life and wants to end it all.


It's the right sort of direction to go with the character, but the mistake was in putting all of that darkness on one character alone, thus making him look like a stick in the mud whose only purpose is to oppose whatever the heroes want to do. The episode spends entirely too much time having Alex plead to Winn to let the plan go forward, when the easiest solution that any military commander worth his salt could see is to have the heroes go through the temporal gateway, then blow the whole thing up. There is a nice bonding moment after that between Sara and Alex, as they both share a love and devotion towards their sisters, but I do wonder if that kind of thing is going to stick in future storylines once they go back to their respective shows. I kept wondering why Alex was still so hung up on Maggie when Part One had addressed those concerns in a more concise manner.



Meanwhile, on Earth-1, the episode stays in STAR Labs, as Thawne and Dark Oliver essentially play a waiting game for Kara to "soften up" so that they can cut out her heart and save the life of Overgirl. It's a pretty simplistic plot, with Thawne almost succeeding, yet consistently getting thwarted by the efforts of Iris and Felicity. Combined with Alex and Sara over on Earth-X, the episode does well enough by the female characters to make them be equal to the male heroes of the story. Kara spends most of the episode feeling weak from the red sun radiation and almost being cut into so Felicity and Iris are all that's left available with Wells, Cisco, and Caitlin still locked up in the Pipeline.


There's not much left to say about the episode. Since it's an incomplete story, the impression is left just as incomplete without seeing the conclusion. Like the previous Parts, this episode at least achieves a very enticing cliffhanger ending, with a chaotic fight at the temporal gateway base of the Nazis resulting in Martin most likely dying. It doesn't really feel permanent because of the nature of Legends of Tomorrow having time travel and temporal anachronisms and the like, which allow for temporary absences and celebrated returns in the future when the actor feels like it, and when the story dictates as such. Crisis on Earth-X better nail that conclusion, though. Judging by these three episodes, I'm more pessimistic than not.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Sara at least gets the best insult of the episode
The Bad:
  • I would have liked to have seen more development of Citizen Cold and the Ray, and, well, the Earth-X supervillains

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

The Flash by - 12/1/2017 8:49 AM340 views

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