Title: Batwoman: “Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 2” Review
Release Date: December 9th, 2019
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
(This review will contain spoilers for the Crisis on Infinite Earths Arrowverse crossover)
It’s unbelievable that an entire episode of Crisis on Infinite Earths would revolve around Batman and Superman, two characters that have been off-limits for the Arrowverse.
Having an entire day to think about last night’s episode, one worry kept popping in my head. With Earth-1’s Oliver Queen dead and the sense of purpose around the crossover gone with him, can the remaining characters pick up the slack and continue the story in a compelling way? After tonight’s installment of Crisis, I’m more confident that they’ll be able to stick the landing tomorrow night and when they return from the mid-season break.
I think we all knew Earth-1 Oliver would come back in some way, shape, or form. The decision to use a Lazarus Pit for his resurrection was pretty smart, especially considering that they have both Sara Lance and Constantine on their roster. Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist put on exceptional performances this week, even if they didn’t have too much screentime. The weight of Oliver’s sacrifice and Earth-38’s demise was shown on both characters’ shoulders in different ways. Kara had to find hope, and Barry had to find some way to save his friend/mentor. You could quickly tell where their focus was and how little they cared about The Monitor’s plan to collect the remaining paragons. That’s fantastic because it shows that these relationships we’ve seen grow throughout the past 5+ years were significant.
I’m also glad that they brought Mia along for the ride, too, instead of trying to use the crossover to bolster her new role as the Green Arrow. Nothing against Mia as her character has gotten a lot better since her arrival in the present day, but if she were just pushed to the forefront here, it would’ve been a horrendous call on the writers’ part.
Oliver’s “resurrection” was very reminiscent of something from Game of Thrones. I think that vague comparison played into how beautiful the moment was when he sprang out of the pit. I’m glad that he wasn’t fully brought back tonight, though. He just died in the first part of the crossover in a heroic way. To have him return unscathed in less than 60-minutes would somewhat un-do that emotional sacrifice. As for what happens to Oliver now? Just a theory, but I think he’ll be brought back near the end of the episode tomorrow only to see Barry, the guy who orchestrated his resurrection, vanish in Crisis. It would be a hell of a way to send us off into the holiday break.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one uncomfortable watching Lex kill off random Supermen (off-screen), knowing that he’ll eventually get to Tom Welling’s Supes. But, this entire scene was handled to perfection. You start worried that Lex would kill Smallville Clark Kent and send fans into a frenzy. Then, slowly but surely, you begin to piece it all together and realize the big twist that this Clark no longer has powers yet still somehow has the upper hand on his mortal enemy. Overall, this was just a brilliant and strangely hilarious epilogue to the Smallville series. As I said yesterday, fan-service is not a bad thing. Look at this scene as proof of that — also, kudos to Jon Cryer and Tom Welling for crushing that scene. Welling was instantly back as if he never left the role, and Cryer was somewhat intimidating throughout.
I did have a problem with Lex Luthor’s motives. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every bit of this episode, and if you didn’t think this one was deserving of a 5-star rating, I would love to hear why in the comments. Nonetheless, the Lex Luthor character in pretty much every medium I’ve ever seen has been smart, conniving, and ruthless. He’s always hated Superman to the degree of doing something like stealing the Book of Destiny so he can kill off every version of him. But, when the chips were down, and there was a multiverse-ending event happening, Lex Luthor always sort of put his feelings to the side for the good of humanity. It’s like this version of Lex just went, “Nah, we don’t need this overpowered alien to help stop an impossible threat. I’ll go ahead and destroy him now.”. I don’t watch Supergirl, so maybe that’s how Lex Luthor is on the show. Regardless, it just felt a little out of character for Lex.
So with a few lines in this episode, it has become official. Brandon Routh’s Superman is the same Clark Kent from Superman Returns. I guess that movie was so bad they had to get The Joker to kill off the remaining cast (again, this was off-screen). Yikes. Much like Tom Welling, Routh jumped right back into the role, and I immediately bought into this troubled version of the DC poster boy. His fight with Hoechlin’s Supes was one of the highlights of the episodes for sure. I couldn’t help but smile during that entire scene, even if the “This isn’t you” dialogue was a bit too cheesy, even for these CW shows.
It’s bittersweet to see Kevin Conroy finally get to play his most iconic role in live-action. It’s fantastic because he exuded the Batman character perfectly, right down that voice. On the flip side, it does kind of suck that the first (and probably only) time he portrays Bruce Wayne is when it’s an evil version of the Dark Knight that has gone mad after years of loss. Overall, Conroy’s Bruce came across as a twisted take on The Dark Knight Returns Batman and Batman Beyond. I wish we could see this iteration of Bruce explored a little more in the future but, seeing how it ended for him; it looks like that will never happen.
As much as we all love Batman, the CW can’t use this character often. That’s why he died the way he did here. He wasn’t going to be able to put on the batsuit again and stop the Anti-Monitor. At least with the way the story went, we got to see Conroy play Bruce Wayne and see a few cool easter eggs placed throughout Wayne Manor. The story here was (and should have been) about Batwoman. Every Arrowverse character, excluding Black Lightning, the Legends, and Batwoman, has been tested by The Monitor. This was her big test to see if she was ready and if she was committed to her morals. It’s a beautiful arc for her character that felt like an official inauguration as a significant player in the Arrowverse. Now our heroes can move on to finding the remaining paragons to stop the Anti-Monitor, who FINALLY made his first appearance after about a year of build-up. Say what you want about him and his goals. The guy knows how to build anticipation. He must’ve taken some cues from Thanos.
Verdict: The second episode of Crisis ramps the intensity level up to unprecedented heights. While I had some issues with the episode when it came to Lex Luthor’s motives and how they ended the Bruce Wayne stuff, there were just too many epic moments to give this anything other than a 5-star rating.
What did you think about Crisis on Infinite Earths? Let us know in the comments below!
- That Smallville cameo was amazing
- All of the cool easter eggs throughout the episode (Leonard Snart being the Gideon of another Earth's Waverider was one that I forgot to mention directly in the review)
- Kevin Conroy as Batman
- Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist put in great performances despite a lack of screentime
- Kingdom Come Superman
- You know what? Just look at the "cons" and if something from the episode isn't there, assume it belongs in the "pro" column
- Lex Luthor felt a little out of character, considering the circumstances
- The way they ended the Bruce Wayne story was anti-climatic
- A few cheesy lines of dialogue