Review: The Flash 4×08 – Crisis On Earth-X (Part Three)

The Arrowverse heroes are transported to the Nazi-controlled world of Earth-X in the third part of the epic DC TV crossover…

 

This is the third part in the “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover. Click the links for my reviews of Supergirl and Arrow.

 

While I enjoyed the first half of the crossover a lot, Arrow‘s installment proved that the second half needed a boost to up the ante beyond the whole ‘Nazis from another Earth are invading’ thing (because, you know, that’s so conventional). Thankfully, The Flash‘s installment definitely delivered that by moving the action to Earth-X.

I haven’t mentioned it in my previous reviews but I’ve had mixed opinions about how the crossover was handling the Nazi angle so far. Though we’re used to seeing Nazis as go-to villains in pop culture, the ultra comic-booky portrayal of them in the past two episodes just felt a bit weird for me. Thankfully, this episode brings the very real evil that Nazis embody into sharp focus, via the concentration camps and the terrible treatment of minority groups.

Despite the enormous amount of Arrowverse heroes involved, the best part of this installment – as is always the way with alt-universe episodes – is the Earth-X doppelgangers of familiar faces. Jeremy Jordan got to try his turn as tough, no-nonsense General Schott, Felicity’s doppelganger turned out to be a brave Jewish woman and Paul Blackthorne made for a pretty fantastic Nazi officer as the alt-Quentin Lance.

Of particular note, though, are the two heroes of the Earth-X resistance (conveniently based in the Arrowcave to save on set costs). Anyone following Arrowverse news might know that there is a The Ray animated series on the way, and the crossover took the time to introduce the character in the flesh. I’m a big fan of Russell Tovey from Being Human, so I was glad to see him turn up, even if we don’t get to know his character too well. Then, of course, there’s his boyfriend…. Leonard Snart! Wentworth Miller is also welcome back into this universe and it was a blast seeing him play a do-gooding version of Captain Cold (dubbed Citizen Cold).

Meanwhile, back at STAR Labs, Dark Arrow, Overgirl and Thawne prepare to operate on Supergirl. While I’m enjoying what Stephen Amell and Melissa Benoist are doing with their Nazi doppelgangers, Tom Cavanagh’s Reverse-Flash is always going to be my favourite – he’s the best villain the Arrowverse has ever had, after all. Casting him as a despicable Nazi scientist just reminded us how much more evil and vindictive Cavanagh’s version is compared to Matt Letscher’s.

Overall, this was objectively a poor episode of The Flash as Barry Allen didn’t get a whole lot to do. However, as the third installment in the crossover, it was the best one yet as it really picked up on the drama and alt-universe fun. Then, of course, there’s that killer cliffhanger. No, Stein, no!

 

 

Speed Thoughts:

  • As if it wasn’t doing enough already, the crossover takes two great comics characters who were mishandled on Supergirl and makes them awesome – namely, Metallo and Red Tornado. The CGI on them is seriously impressive for the Arrowverse’s budget.
  • Eobard Thawne mentions battling Kara’s cousin in the future. I was hoping that Superman would turn up in “Crisis on Earth-X” but I’m taking this as a promise from the writers that Tyler Hoechlin’s Man of Steel will crossover into Earth-1 at some point.
  • Despite Barry’s wedding being the catalyst, and Supergirl’s heart being the crux of the plot, it hit me during this episode that “Crisis on Earth-X” is really Stephen Amell’s show. He’s got the biggest ongoing character arc – his and Felicity’s troubles – and he also gets to play the Fuhrer of a Nazi Earth.

 

Rating:

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