Spoilers ahead for “Worlds Finest,” the latest episode of CBS’s Supergirl featuring Grant Gustin as The Flash!
No, we don’t typically recap episodes of CBS’s Supergirl — but when the show features The Flash himself along with the Maiden of Might? Yeah, we get up for that.
The short version: The Flash episode that actually sets up the crossover doesn’t air until tonight (it’s apparently tough to match up schedules perfectly across networks), but it seems Barry is pushing the limits of his speed and accidentally punches into the Supergirl-verse. Keen-eyed fans will likely note he’s wearing what appears to be a variation of the device used by Reverse-Flash a while back.
Once he arrives, he immediately runs into Supergirl (while trying to save her from falling out of a building, funny enough) and teams up to take on two Baddies of the Week while they try to figure out a way to get Barry home. It’s light, it’s witty, and just crazy fun. Oh, and it also does some heavy lifting in regard to some ongoing Supergirl story arcs.
Barry Allen helpfully explains the multiverse
As the metahuman who just busted into the middle of a world filled with aliens, Barry did a pretty good job of breaking down the nuts and bolts of the multiverse to Kara and her gang. As we’ve already seen on The Flash, Barry’s speed gives him the unique ability to break through the barriers that separate these different worlds. For casual fans who might not be as well-versed on the multiverse theory, Barry gives a concise breakdown (complete with the world where everyone is evil, which sucks).
This is the anti-Batman v Superman, and that’s awesome
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the critically derided box-office juggernaut Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a grim dark box of grim dark-y-ness.
But this isn’t that. At all. Not even a little bit.
Supergirl is arguably one of the brightest superhero shows on television, and The Flash (though it gets a bit dark at times) is also set in an optimistic corner of the DC universe. Obviously, that’s not much of a shock considering the two series share a creative team, but it’s also a testament to just how well producer Marc Guggenheim and the team understand the comic book material. These shows (from Arrow, to Flash, to Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow) might be clunky at times, but they’re all unabashedly comic book-y — in the best possible way.
It’s almost fate that an ambitious, small screen DC team-up would air the same week of Batman v Superman’s opening. It also makes the differences that much more defined.
The Flash fits perfectly into this world
From the moment the two meet, Grant Gustin fits into this universe like a glove. They’re both funny-awkward (the body language as Barry tries to put out the fire on Kara’s chest, then stops, was great), and watching Barry geek out at the differences between these two worlds was insanely fun. Plus, considering Supergirl wasn’t included on CBS’s recent list of renewals, it might’ve also served as a nice catch-up/entry point for Flash fans following the Scarlet Speedster across the networks. Gotta love that DC synergy.
Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl and Gustin’s Flash have always been somewhat similar in execution (Optimism! Quirkiness! Unrequited love!), and having them share the screen was just dynamite. No, the episode’s story wasn’t all that great on its own, but the chemistry carried this thing above and beyond. Barry’s fast friendship with Wynn was great, and Barry got a chance to show off his skills as he figures out how to track Livewire (but, c’mon dude, throwing lightning at an electricity baddie? You’re better than that, Barry). Oh, and his response when realizing aliens are real (and Kara is one) was great.
Since Supergirl has never really had a chance to use the Superman character outright, Kara has always seemed to be in need of a mentor of sorts. Yes, the Martian Manhunter filled that role to a degree, but she never had a peer mentor (ala Barry’s relationship with the Green Arrow). As a seasoned hero in his own right now, Barry got a chance to return the favor with Kara. He offers some sage advice to take it one day at a time, and focus on the problem of the day. Do good, and keep doing good. Everything else will work itself out.
The Supergirl stuff
For Supergirl fans, the episode also included the development of a major plot point — Kara finally locks lips with James Olsen. Their unrequited relationship has been brewing since the pilot episode, and having Barry show up in town was the perfect catalyst to push it over the edge. James’ jealousy over Barry’s arrival was bordering on annoying, but it was played off well. It’s obvious James has never really been in that situation (a point Wynn positively, hilariously relishes), so it makes sense he’d have trouble processing those emotions.
Great question! Not surprisingly, the ratings will tell the story. The creative team has said they’re obviously open to doing this again, but it all depends on the audience reception. It’s worth noting the Arrow and Flash crossover episodes are always the highest rated of their respective seasons, so it’ll be interesting if Supergirl experiences a Flash bump. If nothing else, we know these characters can absolutely work on the same screen — now we just need CBS to pull the trigger on a second season for Supergirl.
Line of the night: “You look like the attractive yet non-threatening, racially diverse cast of a CW show.” -Cat Grant
Up next: The Flash returns to his own show tonight with a new episode, where we’ll find out exactly what set him off on this crossover adventure. Oh! And they’ll also be dealing with a wraith and some time travel confusion (maybe that’s what pushes Barry across universes)?