DC Recap Round Up 2, Special Edition: ELSEWORLDS

13 Dec

Welcome back! While we’ll have a regular installment of this column later this week (involving Black Lightning and Legends of Tomorrow, and a catch-up on Titans), this one is a special extra long one covering The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl respectively, as we recap the crossover event, Elseworlds! So let’s just get to all the craziness…

“Elseworlds, Part 1”

So if you didn’t see that teaser in last week’s shows, we see what seems like the Flash from the 90’s TV show being the sole survivor of a massive battle against a weird looking man with a giant book. Flash is told this world (Earth-90) has failed, but Flash runs off before whatever that creepy book does whatever it does. We head to Earth-1 where a psychiatrist, John Deegan, is making some insane talks to a panel about eugenics helping improve the world, which is never a good sign. On the other hand, the creepy guy with the mutton chops we saw on Earth-90 does give him that book and says he can rewrite things to the way he wants to. Not good.

Oliver Queen wakes up in the morning in… not his loft at all. In fact, it’s Barry Allen’s loft, and Iris is there welcoming him to a breakfast of perfectly made pancakes. He’s confused by what’s going on and where Barry is, but she’s just as much confused because she thinks “Barry” is a little out of it today to be referring to himself in the third person. Ollie plays along reluctantly and suggests taking the day off to check into STAR Labs to find out whatever is going on. Before that can happen, he’s called in, I mean Barry is called in to help stop a robbery at a tech warehouse. Ollie is clearly not used to being The Flash, but does stop the robbers with his superspeed. He also unfortunately electro shocks a robot to life, but we’ll come to back to that.

“So wait, Barry, you can eat thirty or so pizzas a day and not gain weight?”

Barry‘s behavior is confusing his friends at STAR Labs, so he decides to go chat with Oliver Queen about this, and Oliver is quite surprised because he’s discovering no one can tell he’s Barry Allen and Diggle thinks that he’s Ollie. Turns out Ollie is having his own trouble being the Green Arrow on a mission, but luckily Barry grabs both Ollie and Diggle and gets them to safety. There, both mind swapped heroes find themselves trying to figure out what is going on with this Quantum Leap scenario. So they consult their friends at Star LABS, who…immediately lock them up because they think both men have gone crazy. Barry suggests that someone they trust may be able to help them, preferably from another Earth where it’s obvious who each other is: Kara Danvers. They both engineer an escape from the metahuman jail cell they are left in and escape through a breach into Earth-38.

On that Earth in Smallville, Kara is hanging out at the Kent farm with her cousin Clark and reporter girlfriend (maybe wife, but we’ll discuss that later) Lois Lane, talking about things. Barry and Ollie stop in, and Kara is able to tell who’s who, which is a relief. But both guys clearly need to learn more about their skills, so they take some time to practice their new abilities, and discover that each of them has their own strength: Ollie’s ability to process pain and darkness, and Barry’s ability to keep running towards a goal, and it’s essential for both of them to learn to use each other’s skill set effectively. And they need to fast, because of what we learn back in our Central City. Cisco has a vibe of that creepy guy with the book, and is convinced Barry and Ollie are telling the truth. And now Cisco has to breach into Earth-38 to get the two back, because that robot Barry accidentally woke up earlier called AMAZO is running amok across the city, and is replicating the powers of whoever it fights! Good thing back up will be joining them to stop AMAZO with Kara and Clark.

“So, how’s this crossover going, people?”

With the Super cousins, and Barry and Ollie drawing upon each other’s strengths, they manage to stop the AMAZO robot. While they have succeeded, they’re still not closer to figuring out how to reverse what happened to Barry and Ollie. So Cisco vibes our friends into seeing our mystery man meeting Deegan, and said mystery man warns them there’s nothing they can do to stop what’s coming. Ollie speed draws what he saw and realizes where that meeting was: in Gotham City! Also, there’s a person dressed as a bat there we might run into.

–You had to suspect they were gonna drop the song that was the theme to Smallville in the second they cut to the Kent farm (the same Kent farm as in that show), right? Also, what was that thing Clark wanted to tell Kara about anyway?

–The callback to that surprise arrow attack from the first Arrow/Flash crossover was unexpected, and quite a laugh.

–Iris was really worried that Barry’s time in Ollie’s shoes might have a negative effect on him, and considering what she says about Ollie to Barry‘s face, that makes sense.

–Yeah, there are toilets in those supercells. That long standing question has been answered. Also, fun to see our guys try to use their abilities to escape, leading to Barry having to break Ollie‘s thumb. Also great to see Ollie laugh at Barry not fixing that.

–Sherloque just needs your help delivering an alimony payment to his wife on your world, Superman, so be a bro and do that, huh?

–Iris apparently made pancakes correctly. Too bad Barry missed that.

–Diggle pukes again after a trip in superspeed, continuing a long standing tradition in these crossovers.

–“You woke up in bed with Iris? WE NEED TO FIX THIS RIGHT NOW!”

–“I forget, do I need help putting this on?”

–“Are you puffing our your chest?” “Yes.”

–“I’ve been waiting four years for that!”

–“Oh Barry, what have you done this time?”

“Elseworlds, Part 2”

The trio of Kara, Ollie, and Barry (the latter two still mind swapped) head down to Star City, where they run to Diggle and Curtis at ARGUS for help. Cisco and Caitlin also stop by because they’ve noticed that weird storm pattern over Central City in the last chapter has seemed to followed Barry and Ollie to Star City (weird, huh?). Add to that, Felicity stops by to help, but no one really wants to tell her what is happening (Ollie and her have been having “issues” again, as you may know). That comes out anyway, but let’s get back to our heroic trio who make their way to Chicago, I mean Gotham City to locate Dr. Deegan. They find a Bat-signal, but fail to notice the person wearing a bat suit that is watching them.

On their way to chat with a radio personality who can help them sort their way through Gotham (also, Ollie probably slept with her), they run into some friendly armed people from the city’s “tourism board” who would like all their stuff. That doesn’t go well for the robbers or our heroes, who get arrested by the cops and get to spend the night in jail, or would until they get bailed out by some mystery person who wants to see them. They’re taken to a currently being renovated Wayne Tower, where we learn the actual Bruce Wayne has been missing for the last three years, which is funny, because Gotham’s own vigilante, Batman, has been missing for that long (strange, huh?). The current resident is Kate Kane, who is Bruce’s cousin, and would like to help our trio finish their business in town as quickly as possible. While our trio can’t find a current location for the man they identify as John Deegan, it’s not until a chat with Kate that Kara learns Deegan is currently working at Arkham Asylum. Kate seems curious enough that we see her go into an underground lair and find she has…a Bat-suit there!

“S’up.”

Meantime, Felicity learns about that whole body swapping thing and surprise, Ollie was right about it not being helpful. But let’s skip the whole “Felicity doesn’t trust Ollie” plot for this season, and let’s focus on that our Geek Squad creates a dimensional anchor to find out what is in that bizarre storm. What they find is that Flash we saw in the start of this crossover, and he’s only able to relay that if they “find the book, they can fix all of this”. Cisco, Caitlin, and Diggle breach over to find our trio in Gotham outside of Arkham Asylum, debating how to get in to chat with Deegan. So now they all know that book Deegan has is the key to solving this, so they pretend to be doing a prisoner drop-off in order to get in. Ollie and Diggle meet Deegan, who we find out is a little surprised that mind swapping thing happened (apparently rewriting reality is tricky), and escapes, not before releasing all the inmates on his cell block.

Our heroes are left to find Deegan and the book, while containing the inmates running loose, but get some help in a mysterious Bat-woman who arrives on the scene. Kara manages to get the book, but not capture Deegan, and Ollie and Barry have to save Caitlin from another woman who knows something about cold, only Ollie accidentally drops what we learn is some fear-inducing serum. That leads to Barry and Ollie fighting each other, with the former thinking he’s fighting Malcolm Merlyn and the latter thinking he’s fighting Eobard Thawne. The Batwoman knocks them to their senses (and as politely as possible ask them all to please leave town), and now with the book, our heroes can head back to ARGUS to finish this. Oh, and Ollie reminds Felicity that he loves her and you know the drill.

I imagine this is not unlike what every actor on LOST went through when they got their scripts.

While they figure out how to open the book, we get help as that Flash breaches in. It’s Barry Allen from Earth-90, and he reveals that creepy mystery man who gave Deegan the book is called The Monitor, who is testing the heroes of multiple realities, and collapsing those realities if they fail his test. It just so happens he’s in the middle of town waiting for our heroes, and they arrive to learn his test is meant to find heroes who are able to fight in a “Crisis” he knows is coming. The Monitor also returns the book to Deegan to put one more test into play for these heroes he finds have potential. The book is opened, and suddenly Barry and Ollie find themselves in identical clothes, powerless, apparently as wanted criminals. And oh yeah, Superman is there in a black suit to take them in. Oh nuts.

–So how about we skip the whole solo Batwoman show being pitched (not really though, because I’m all for it now), and just have her team up with Supergirl, because I am totally shipping those two hero cousins.

–Nice cameos from Kane Wilson (you may remember him as Deathstroke’s kid from last season of Arrow), and yes, Malcolm Merlyn, who both show up in that final scene as cops with…police Officer Ricardo Diaz! This is truly the darkest timeline.

–We meet Nora Fries, who besides being played by Stephen Amell’s wife, is also the wife of Victor Fries, or Mr. Freeze. Also, nice Easter eggs of the cells being those of Poison Ivy, The Riddler and…comic writer Marc Guggenheim?

–We see Psycho Pirate (the weirdo in the gold face mask), who if you know anything about anything in DC Comics, you realize something is up in his brief appearance here.

–I like how confused our heroes are as to the Earth-90 Flash is. Not Barry’s dad, not Jay Garrick, just another Barry Allen. Also, dispatched him back into the timestream really fast, huh? Although, I like how he saw Diggle didn’t have “the ring” on him. Do I smell a Green Lantern hint?

–Jeez, Barry, just air all of Ollie’s dirty laundry to your friends, why don’t you?

–The WiFi password is “Alfred”.

–Ollie’s semantics over stealing data from the GCPD: “No, THE FLASH did that.”

–“I’m the original vigilante!”

–“She hung up. Apparently you did sleep with her.”

–“I’ve been summoned!”

–“Yep, you are definitely not Oliver Queen.”

–“Hey, would hitching a ride in the Batmobile be out of the question?”

“Elseworlds, Part 3”

So we learn really early and so does our now wanted Ollie and Barry that the black suited Superman flying around is actually Deegan, and he now has turned their allies into his footsoldiers! And that headquarters happens to be STAR Labs, and they are using the containment cells to hold people, like say, an unaltered Kara! Ollie manages to bluff SuperDeegan away by doing something that endangers some civilians, leaving our duo trying to figure out what to do. The first idea is to go to Cisco’s place, get him to go to Earth-38 and collect Clark for help, but when they arrive, they find themselves in some space platform with the Monitor. He tells them that he considers this their test to prove they are worth existing, and sends them back, with them realizing if reality is altered, Cisco might be a bad guy, so, time to find some criminals!

Kara wakes up in that cell, and finds Alex is there, not having any of her crap. SuperDeegan drops by to tell her to behave, or he’s gonna kill her. Still, she tries to reach out to her not-really sister for help, and that’s gonna take a while. Meanwhile, Ollie and Barry discover Cisco is a big time gangster in town, and convince him to help out with the promise of stopping SuperDeegan and attaining riches on another Earth. That involves going to the Fortress of Solitude on Earth-38, where they get Clark and Lois to join them to help break Kara out of STAR Labs, and learn Clark might be one of the only people that can handle using the book. As for Kara, she overhears a chat between Alex and Caitlin, surmises she is not too dissimilar from the Alex she knows. So she plays on that, and gets an ally to help her escape.

Able to be condescending in a single bound, it’s SuperDouchebag!

That attempt seems to end abruptly when SuperDeegan shows up to teach them a lesson, but then our heroes breach in to stop that. While Superman fights SuperDeegan, Ollie and company look for the book, and find it pretty easily in STAR Labs. They get the book to Clark, and manage to restore Ollie and Barry to normal, but during a standoff where SuperDeegan threatens to kill Barry, SuperDeegan takes the book away. That leads to more reality altering, and a desperate solution: reversing time by having Kara and Barry run across the Earth to spin it in a different direction (ala Superman: The Movie). But Clark warns he saw the future when he had the book, and it showed Barry and Kara dying in the attempt!

So Ollie goes off to confront The Monitor himself, and lays out the problem with the way this will go: while Ollie knows he’s not a hero, letting Kara and Barry die to stop this test is pointless for this grand mission the Monitor is on. The Monitor asks what can be done about that to Ollie, and we don’t know the rest of that conversation, because we return to Barry and Kara attempting their likely fatal run, while Superman gets help from J’onn and Brainy to fight SuperDeegan. But amazingly, Kara and Barry survive their super run, and Ollie arrives to shoot an explosive arrow into the book, rejiggering reality to normal, and turning SuperDeegan back into regular Deegan, but with a deformed face now. So, it all works out, right?

“Oh dammit, Barry, if we’re gonna be stuck doing a mall karaoke video in this place, best you lead and I do harmony!”

With all of that handled, the Super crew returns back to their home dimension, and we get some big news there, mainly that Clark proposes to Lois, just in time because they are going to be spending some extended time in Argo City…raising a new upcoming baby! As for Ollie and Barry, they take a celebratory drink, and Ollie seems to suggest The Monitor just agreed to save Barry and Kara based on his argument (and why am I scared there’s something he’s not telling Barry?). Then Ollie gets a call from Kate Kane in Gotham, who tells him Deegan is making friends with a certain cell mate in Arkham Asylum: the gold face masked Psycho Pirate! Mr. Pirate reassures Deegan that soon “worlds will live, worlds will die, and the universe will never be the same”.

Yep, we got CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS coming for the next crossover. Hope to see you all there next year!

–I mean, I can only guess what the end of that conversation with The Monitor and Ollie is ultimately going to be, but that’s what we got a year to consider before the big Crisis crossover comes.

–Who has noted the writing of the Book of Destiny happens to have the same writing as Nora Allen has in her diary? I’m just saying, something big is up.

–Gary from Legends of Tomorrow shows up as a bartender and James Olsen appears as Cisco’s right hand man. Also, kudos to Killer Frost’s hair look this episode. Maybe not so much Alex’s long hair look.

–I mean, that reality being rewritten gave Ollie and Barry their costumes back on too was a bit of a stretch, but I can let that slide.

–Brainy was so happy to fight an AMAZO robot, even though we only saw the aftermath of said brawl afterwards. Brainy won.

–Even SuperDeegan’s helpers realize SuperDeegan is a SuperDouchebag. Hell, I thought as much after hearing Deegan do his opening narration.

–I wonder what happened to Earth-90 Flash anyway?

–“Is it okay to ask for a selfie?”

–“I did some time there.” “Really? So did we!”

–“I liked you better in blue.”

–“I really like this direct thing.”

–“I let you hug me twice already. No.”

Well, that’s it! It’s been quite a ride, and if those hints to next year’s crossover are any indication, this is a nice appetizer for whatever’s coming next! Until then, come back in January when we recap the return of The Flash, Arrow (on its own recap column, of course), and Supergirl!

Enjoy the holidays!

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