The final night of The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths did not disappoint — and actually led to some lasting, real changes to the Arrowverse that will reverberate through every show going forward. Oh, and Oliver died. Again.
Spoilers ahead for Episodes 4-5 of The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, which aired Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
The final two installments of Crisis on Infinite Earths packed more than a few punches, with the episode break serving as a palate cleanser to introduce a brand new status-quo for every show under The CW’s super-umbrella. But first the biggest reverberation from the face off with the Anti-Monitor: All the worlds ended, but the heroes managed to recreate one of them. That’s right, all the Arrowverse shows now take place on one Earth, dubbed Earth Prime. Which means Supergirl, Flash, Batwoman, the Legends, Black Lightning, Superman and everyone else are all wandering around the same globe together, sharing rogues and teaming up on the regular.
The save came at the expense of the newly super-powered Oliver Queen, who took on the powers of the Spectre (a comic-based, game-changing deus ex machina that was admittedly never really explained or fleshed out all that well in the crossover’s five-hour runtime), which allowed him to save the team from the Vanishing Point. Oliver’s level-up gave him a chance to go toe to toe with the Anti-Monitor himself, after the heroes travel back to the dawn of time in his universe to try and stop him. It works, for the most part, and a new combined Earth is born. Though it got a bit wonky in the middle, turning Oliver into the Spectre and letting him hang around for one more boss fight was a good move.
A hero of his caliber deserves at least two heroic death scenes, and he took full advantage. It also provided a bit more closure to his arc, as he passes the mantle of protecting this new world on to younger heroes like Barry and Kara. Along the way, Oliver also comes clean to Barry about the deal he made with the Monitor last season to save Barry and Kara’s lives, telling him he’d make the same call again. Dying is easy, it’s the fighting on that’s hard. That said, Diggle’s heartbreak at not being there for Oliver’s death — neither of them — was brutal.
The origin story
One key part of Hour 4 was sending the heroes around through their various memories within the Speed Force, which melded a bit of Avengers: Endgame-esque time travel in the mix, as the team escapes the Vanishing point and tries to stop the Anti-Monitor’s escape and creation from the jump — thousands of years ago when the Monitor was just a lowly alien scientist testing a time travel device. Turns out the Crisis was born on that day, when the Monitor accidentally punched a hole into the Anti-Monitor’s universe. The heroes make it back in time to his world and actually manage to stop him from doing the experiment (complete with a really fun fight between Supergirl and a super-powered Lex Luthor). But, within all the multiverse, there will always be a Monitor curious enough to make the trip. So, the Anti-Monitor’s creation is inevitable.
The big fight
The big fight to save/restart the multiverse actually comes in Episode 4, as the paragons take on an army of shadow demons while Oliver slugs it out with the Anti-Monitor. It’s all a bit confusing, but Oliver channels enough power to restart a universe, and the paragons have to focus on their paragon traits to get it off the ground. Basically, they save the world with feelings. Sure, it’s a bit silly, but it works. The Arrowverse has always been about heart, it only makes sense they’d save the world with it.
The new world
After the big fight, the heroes all wake up in their respective cities, only to realize they’re now sharing the same world. It was a smart move to spend Hour 5 as a sort-of crash course to this new status quo, and I was extremely glad to see that not be retconned. The Crisis needed real, tangible consequences — and this is the perfect balance. The nuts and bolts of every show’s setting remain in place (this combined universe has a Star City, National City, Freeland, Central City, etc.), but the fallout finally brings these worlds together. It’s made clear this is the world Oliver died to save, and they’re damn sure going to protect it. Well done.
Only the paragons remember the multiverse, though, but Martian Manhunter uses his powers to restore the memories of the key supporting cast/heroes. So, everyone is still on the same page. We get a new, combined world — but everything that happened before still mattered, and is still remembered. Perfect landing.
The other big fight
Though Oliver successfully managed to create a new world, he apparently failed in killing the Anti-Monitor. So, the rest of the heroes have to finish the job with a bit of tech wizardry by creating a never-ending shrinking device to send the Anti-Monitor into an ever-shrinking prison in the microverse. We also got to see a massive boss fight against a skyscraper-sized Anti-Monitor, which was a bonkers way to wrap it up.
The Justice League is born
After teasing it for a few years now, the Crisis has finally birthed a bona fide small screen Justice League. Barry is working to convert an abandoned STAR Labs facility, which looks eerily like the comic book version of the Hall of Justice, into a new super-headquarters. He even whips up a superhero table for them all to meet at, complete with their super-logos on the chairs. The head of the table is reserved for the late Green Arrow, a touching tribute to go along with his suit and an eternal flame burning in memory of his sacrifice.
There are some quirks though
Smooshing all these universes together has made for some weird changes, and they should breed plenty of fun stories for the subsequent solo shows to explore. LexCorp is in charge of the DEO now; Lex Luthor is a beloved humanitarian who just won the Nobel Peace Prize; and Superman and Lois apparently have two sons now, instead of one. But arguably the biggest tweak is one fans have been wanting for years: Diggle’s daughter Sara has been restored, after being accidentally erased by Barry in the wake of Flashpoint. Now, Diggle has two children, Diggle Jr. and Sara. It was a quick moment, but a great one, to finally right that wrong. You’d have to think that was Oliver’s last gift to him as he put the universe back together.
The easter eggs
Boy, there were plenty to go around. Most notably we got some quick flash cameos once the Anti-Monitor was finally defeated. With the Anti-Monitor gone, Oliver gives a bit of voiceover to let us know the multiverse is reborn, as we glimpse the worlds of Titans and Doom Patrol (which are now confirmed to take place on different Earths), Swamp Thing, the upcoming Star Girl, the Green Lantern, and Brandon Routh’s Superman back in flight. The biggest easter egg, though, came in Hour 4 as Barry is trying to bounce through the Speed Force and accidentally busts into… the DCEU? That’s right, he comes face to face with Ezra MIller’s big screen version of the Flash. You know, the one in that Justice League movie? It’s a trippy surprise, and wild to see both versions of Barry Allen get a chance to meet.
Even Beebo, from the Legends of Tomorrow, makes a giant cameo as a bank robber creates a giant manifestation of the cuddly fan favorite as a distraction while he empties out the vault. You know, in case you forgot Hour 5 is technically an episode of Legends of Tomorrow.
Then there’s the closing scene of the final episode, which teases possibly the weirdest thing of the night: The Wonder Twins. We pan to a broken crate with the name “Gleek” on it as some Wonder Twins-y tunes play in the background. If you’re unfamiliar, Gleek is a blue alien monkey who served as the pet to the Wonder Twins, aka Zan and Jayna. You know, of Super Friends fame back in the 1970s animated days. Yeah, this could certainly get weird.
So what’s next?
We still have a couple episodes of Arrow left over the next two weeks — the backdoor pilot for a future-set spinoff following Mia next week, then the proper series finale the week after that. Exactly how that last one will work is anyone’s guess, but it should be a doozy. Then you have Flash back in action in Arrow’s time slot once it ends (Flash returns Feb. 4), plus Legends of Tomorrow makes its proper season premiere next week on Tuesdays. So, Crisis might be over, but there’s still plenty of super-stuff to go around.