Title: The Flash: “Elseworlds Part One” Review
Release Date: December 9th, 2018
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
The Arrowverse has officially kicked off its three-night crossover event titled, “Elseworlds”. After watching Part One of this crossover I have to say, “Elseworlds” may end up as one of the best stories in the universe’s history.
So, last week’s episodes of Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl featured pretty much the same scene at the beginning of “Elseworlds” (albeit a bit shorter). From there, we see our first look at Dr. John Deegan, our main antagonist of the crossover. After being dismissed by his colleagues due to his radical scientific views. The doctor is then greeted by LaMonica Garrett’s The Monitor, who then gifts him with the ability to rewrite reality.
That’s about all we get from the main story of “Elseworlds”. This was perfect. We couldn’t jump right into Gotham City, Batwoman, or The Monitor’s plans yet. Not until the characters on Earth-1 start to realize something was up.
First off, just about every joke in this episode landed for me. The meta-humor from Oliver taking jabs at Barry’s timeline changes and his bright suit to Team Flash following Oliver into the hallway were just a few of the many highlights from a hilarious Freaky Friday (or as Barry put it, Quantum Leap) scenario.
Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin absolutely killed it this episode. The two played off of each other perfectly and by the end of “Elseworlds” Part One, I found it hard to fathom reality being rewritten back to the old status quo.
It was fun to watch these two swap places and abilities. It was also cool to see how the two operate mentally when in the field, with Oliver staying in a place of rage and Barry letting his emotions go while he runs. They had to emulate each other in order to succeed and it really helped shine a light on where these characters are emotionally.
I was pleasantly surprised to see actual character development in this crossover so far, especially with Amell’s Oliver Queen. His actions at the end of season six of Arrow, while noble, were still unjustified seeing as he left everyone he loved in the dark on his true plans. Oliver’s talk with Iris was, hopefully, the beginning of that development for the Emerald Archer. Or would that now be the Scarlet Speedster? This is confusing.
In Arrow season four, I remember the showrunners said that they planned to revamp the show and Oliver using a more light-hearted tone. That didn’t work because it felt forced. “Elseworlds” could be the opening for the series to try this once again down the road in the right way, especially if a part of Oliver’s version of The Flash stays with him when reality eventually gets rewritten.
For Barry, he played the comedic relief to Oliver’s straight-faced attitude. It looked like Grant Gustin legitimately enjoyed emulating Amell’s Oliver Queen and due to that, he came off as a standout of the episode. I was just ecstatic that he finally got his revenge on Oliver for the arrow incident in “Flash vs. Arrow” all the way back in The Flash season one (which was also the first official Arrowverse crossover).
Iris told Barry that he may be the Green Arrow but don’t come back to her as Oliver Queen. This line was another standout for me. Don’t get me wrong, Oliver Queen is one of my favorite characters in the Arrowverse (he started all of this after all) but he walks that tight-rope of right and wrong all the time. His choices normally have consequences that ruin relationships. It’s a part of what makes him such a compelling hero but it’s also a fair criticism to make.
Strangely, Superman and Supergirl kinda feel like an afterthought. The Kent Farm was amazing, as was the Smallville theme music cameo, but the two didn’t really impact the episode all too much. This is fine with me though. As long as Kara and Clark get their time to shine in Part 2 or 3, “Elseworlds” has nothing to worry about on that end.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the Arrowverse heroes fought Amazo! As a fan of Young Justice, I knew who this villain was when he was first introduced and I couldn’t have been more satisfied with how his character was handled. I hope this isn’t the last time we ever see the android appear in the Arrowverse.
Here are just a few bullet points for some of my observations from Part 1 of the “Elseworlds” crossover that didn’t make it in this review
- Tyler Hoechlin’s Supes is vastly underrated in my opinion. He’s just so genuinely nice and optimistic that, even as a non-Superman fan, I came away from this episode liking his character (which is how I felt when I watched his episodes on Supergirl).
- It appears that the writers have been scrolling through Reddit over the past few years with the line “Nanites, courtesy of Ray Palmer” as proof. If you don’t get that joke, it’s probably not worth looking it up.
- Barry asking Oliver “Are you puffing out your chest?” when the two met Superman was hands down my favorite line of the episode.
- Keeping the running gag of Diggle vomiting every time he gets whisked away by The Flash is hilarious. This one is on Oliver though.
- It was a nice touch to swap the Arrow and Flash themes along with the characters. This made the whole episode feel out of place, in a good way.
- I’m not a comic reader but I do try to stay informed with characters, story arcs, and what not. From what I read, I’m not sure LaMonica Garrett is playing The Monitor. He just comes off as a little too evil to be on the good side. It’ll be interesting to see if this will lead to a stunning reveal later on.
Verdict: The Arrowverse “Elseworlds” crossover was a rousing success so far. Even though we didn’t get much from the main story, we still have two hours left. What kept this episode going was the great performances by Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin, who put everything they had into making “Elseworlds” feel like a special event. I for one can’t wait until tomorrow, where we will get our first look at Ruby Rose’s Batwoman.
“Elseworlds” continues with Arrow tomorrow, December 10th on The CW.
What are your thoughts on the “Elseworlds” crossover so far? Let us know in the comments below!
- Great performances by Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin
- The meta-comedy landed consistently
- The Kent Farm and Smallville cameo
- This is hopefully the start of some character development for Oliver
- Dr. John Deegan and The Monitor weren't featured all too much but come off as interesting villains for the Earth-1/Earth-38 heroes
- Kara, Lois, and Clark felt like an afterthought. Shouldn't be a problem as long as they get their shot to shine later on in the crossover
- We have to wait until tomorrow to see more of "Elseworlds"