Crisis on Infinite Earths (Arrowverse)

"Crisis on Infinite Earths" is the sixth annual Arrowverse crossover event, featuring episodes of the television series Supergirl, Batwoman, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow on The CW. The Supergirl, Batwoman, and The Flash episodes aired in December 2019, while the Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow episodes aired in January 2020. Additionally, events in the Black Lightning episode "The Book of Resistance: Chapter Four: Earth Crisis", airing between Batwoman and The Flash, and a two-issue comic featuring characters and concepts unable to appear in the live-action episodes, tie into the event.

"Crisis on Infinite Earths"
Arrowverse crossover event
Crisis on Infinite Earths (Arrowverse) dual posters.jpg
Promotional posters for the first three episodes (left) and the last two (right)
Part 1: Supergirl
Episode title"Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part One"
Episode no.Season 5
Episode 9
Directed byJesse Warn
Story by
Teleplay by
Production codeT13.21809
Original air dateDecember 8, 2019 (2019-12-08)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Wrath of Rama Khan"
Next →
"The Bottle Episode"
Supergirl (season 5)
List of Supergirl episodes
Part 2: Batwoman
Episode title"Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Two"
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 9
Directed byLaura Belsey
Written by
  • Don Whitehead
  • Holly Henderson
Production codeT13.21958
Original air dateDecember 9, 2019 (2019-12-09)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"A Mad Tea-Party"
Next →
"How Queer Everything Is Today!"
List of Batwoman episodes
Part 3: The Flash
Episode title"Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Three"
Episode no.Season 6
Episode 9
Directed byDavid McWhirter
Story byEric Wallace
Teleplay by
Production codeT27.14009
Original air dateDecember 10, 2019 (2019-12-10)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Pt. 2"
Next →
"Marathon"
The Flash (season 6)
List of The Flash episodes
Part 4: Arrow
Episode title"Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Four"
Episode no.Season 8
Episode 8
Directed byGlen Winter
Written by
Production codeT27.13958
Original air dateJanuary 14, 2020 (2020-01-14)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Purgatory"
Next →
"Green Arrow & The Canaries"
Arrow (season 8)
List of Arrow episodes
Part 5: Legends of Tomorrow
Episode title"Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Five"
Episode no.Season 5
Special episode
Directed byGregory Smith
Written by
Production codeT13.21908
Original air dateJanuary 14, 2020 (2020-01-14)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Hey, World!"
Next →
"Meet the Legends"
Legends of Tomorrow (season 5)
List of Legends of Tomorrow episodes
Crossover chronology
Preceded by"Elseworlds"

"Crisis on Infinite Earths", which is inspired by the comic of the same name, continues plotlines established in the previous crossover, "Elseworlds". Moreover, the preceding episodes of Arrow season eight and much of The Flash season six served as a prelude to the crossover. In "Crisis", the Monitor gathers Green Arrow, the Flash, Supergirl, Batwoman, Sara Lance, Ray Palmer, and several "Paragons" from throughout the multiverse to stop the Anti-Monitor from destroying all of reality. The crossover's events resulted in the Arrowverse's continuity being rebooted.

Initial references to the crossover began in 2014, with the pilot episode of The Flash. The adaptation began in earnest during the development of "Elseworlds", with the crossover title revealed at the end of "Elseworlds" in December 2018. In mid-2019, multiple castings were announced, including actors who previously portrayed DC characters in other media, such as Burt Ward and Kevin Conroy. "Crisis" also sees Cress Williams from fellow CW series Black Lightning appear and cross over with the Arrowverse for the first time, along with actors reprising their roles from various DC film and television series. Filming took place from the end of September 2019 until the beginning of November 2019.

SynopsisEdit

PreludeEdit

To prepare for the coming Crisis, the Monitor recruits Oliver Queen and sends him on missions to collect various items.[1] He also retrieves the cadaver of Lex Luthor and revives him.[2][3] Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen learn that the Crisis date has moved up to December 2019 and that to save billions, the Flash must die.[4] To learn more about what happens to him, Barry travels to Earth-3 to see Jay Garrick and Joan Williams, who have been tracking antimatter signatures across the multiverse. They send Barry's mind forward in time, causing him to see billions of timelines where the multiverse is destroyed and the one where he dies saving it.[5]

Meanwhile, on one of his missions, Oliver witnesses the destruction of Earth-2 from an anti-matter wave.[6] Back in Star City, William Clayton, Connor Hawke, and Mia Smoak mysteriously time travel from 2040 to the present,[7] while Oliver and John Diggle learn that Lyla Michaels has been working with the Monitor.[8] Minutes before the Crisis begins, Nash Wells is teleported into a chamber under Central City after being promised a new life.[3] At the start of Crisis, red skies loom over Central City and Lian Yu, where Lyla, now a "Harbinger of things to come", collects Oliver and Mia.[9][10]

On an unspecified Earth, the skies turn red over Freeland, causing Jennifer Pierce's powers to adversely react and tear her between her Earth and those of two of her alternate counterparts. As the Pierce family and Peter Gambi try to bring her back, the antimatter wave overtakes them while Jefferson Pierce is teleported away.[11]

PlotEdit

As the Crisis begins, the antimatter wave destroys countless parallel universes.[a] Meanwhile, on Earth-38, Brainiac 5 detects the antimatter wave approaching Argo City, prompting Kara Danvers to warn her mother Alura Zor-El, her cousin Clark Kent, and his wife Lois Lane. Clark and Lois narrowly send their son Jonathan off into an escape pod just as the wave wipes out Argo. Across Earth-1, Harbinger brings Barry, Kate Kane, Sara Lance and Ray Palmer to Earth-38. While Harbinger also rescues the Kents from Argo, Alura was not as fortunate. Harbinger briefs the gathered heroes on the threat of the Anti-Monitor as the Monitor raises a quantum tower to impede the antimatter wave while the DEO and Lena Luthor work to evacuate the inhabitants of Earth-38 to Earth-1. Brainy locates Jonathan's pod on Earth-16, so he, Lois, and Sara leave to retrieve him while the others stay behind to fend off the Anti-Monitor's forces. In preparation for his death, Oliver passes the mantle of Green Arrow to Mia. When he learns Barry is fated to die however, he argues with the Monitor over the deal they made last year.[b] The heroes make their stand at the tower and fend off an army of shadow demons until the Monitor teleports them off-world, deeming the battle to be lost. Refusing to leave, Oliver temporarily nullifies the Monitor and stays behind to ensure the exodus succeeds. Back on Earth-1, Lois' team returns with Jonathan before the Monitor brings a dying Oliver to say good-bye, commenting that this was not how he was supposed to die. Nash, now a "Pariah" for releasing the Anti-Monitor, appears and announces that events have changed and everything is doomed.[12]

With the Earth-1 Legends unavailable, Harbinger recruits Earth-74's Mick Rory so the heroes can use his Waverider as their base of operations. In the wake of Oliver's death, which he cannot undo because of the Anti-Monitor's growing power, the Monitor consults the Book of Destiny and learns of seven Paragons who could turn the tide; the "Paragon of Hope", Kara; the "Paragon of Destiny", Sara; the "Paragon of Truth", a Superman who has suffered "more than any mortal man"; and the "Paragon of Courage", who is described as the "Bat of the Future". Clark, Lois, and Iris locate the second Superman on Earth-96, though Lex uses the Book of Destiny to mind-control that Earth's Clark until Lois knocks Lex out. Kara and Kate travel to Earth-99, where the latter fails to recruit an elderly crippled Bruce Wayne, who became a killer. Bruce is in turn accidentally killed in a heated confrontation with Kate and Kara. Elsewhere on Earth-18, Sara, Barry, Mia, and John Constantine take Oliver's body to a Lazarus Pit in an attempt to resurrect him, but the accumulating antimatter across the multiverse prevents them from bringing his soul back. Back on the Waverider, the Monitor tasks Ray with building a "Paragon detector", which identifies Kate as the true "Paragon of Courage". Unbeknownst to everyone, Harbinger is secretly contacted by the Anti-Monitor.[13]

With Cisco Ramon's help, Ray's "Paragon detector" identifies Barry as the "Paragon of Love", J'onn J'onzz as the "Paragon of Honor", and Ivy Town scientist Ryan Choi as the "Paragon of Humanity". Iris, Ray, and Ralph Dibny attempt to recruit a reluctant Choi, who eventually complies when Iris assures him that ordinary people can be heroes too. After the Monitor restores Cisco's powers, he, Barry, and Caitlin Snow meet up with Pariah at the Anti-Monitor's chamber beneath Central City, where they find an anti-matter cannon powered by the Flash of Earth-90. When Cisco frees this Barry, the cannon goes critical, so Pariah recruits Jefferson from his recently-destroyed Earth to contain the energy. Earth-1 Barry volunteers to destroy the cannon, which would result in his prophesied death. However, Earth-90 Barry stops him, claiming the Monitor did not specify which Flash would die in the Crisis and takes his place. Meanwhile, Constantine, Mia, and Diggle visit Lucifer on Earth-666 to get his help in entering Purgatory to retrieve Oliver's soul. Before they can leave, Jim Corrigan appears and bestows the Spectre's power onto Oliver. He accepts, and Constantine's team is returned to the Waverider without him. While the heroes regroup, the Anti-Monitor sends a brainwashed Harbinger to kill the Monitor so he can absorb his power and finish destroying the multiverse. Before the remaining heroes and Earth-1 are destroyed, Pariah sends the Paragons to the Vanishing Point to keep them safe, where they witness Lex replace Superman-96 with himself using a page from the Book of Destiny.[14]

A flashback to the planet Maltus 10,000 years ago shows Mar Novu experimenting with time-travel to witness the birth of the universe, only to accidentally end up in the antimatter universe and reveal the multiverse's existence to the Anti-Monitor. In the months since the multiverse was destroyed, the Paragons have struggled to survive outside of time and space. Once Corrigan teaches him how to use the Spectre's power, Oliver heads to the Vanishing Point to rescue the Paragons and strengthen Barry's powers. With his increased speed, Barry drops off Kara, Choi, and Lex on Maltus, but loses everyone else across the Speed Force after being attacked by the Anti-Monitor. Despite an expected double-cross from Lex, Kara and Choi convince Novu not to go through with his plans. Once Barry retrieves everyone, they arrive at the dawn of time, only to learn the Anti-Monitor will always learn of the multiverse's existence as there will always be a Novu in the multiverse who cannot give up his ambitions. The Paragons battle the Anti-Monitor and his shadow demons until Oliver uses the Spectre's power to restore the multiverse, with the Paragons providing additional assistance via Lex's Book of Destiny page. As a result however, Oliver dies a second and final time in Barry and Sara's arms.[15]

Waking up in the newly recreated universe, the Paragons discover they are the only ones who remember the Crisis and that both Earth-38 and Jefferson's Earth were merged with Earth-1 into a composite universe later designated as Earth-Prime, among other changes throughout the multiverse. While J'onn uses his psionic powers to bring their allies up to speed, Sara attempts to find Oliver, though without success. Later that night, the Paragons are attacked by shadow demons. A restored and remorseful Nash discovers that the Anti-Monitor is still alive and plotting to renew his destruction of the multiverse. To stop him once and for all, Nash, Ray, Barry, and Choi work to develop a bomb capable of shrinking the Anti-Monitor for eternity while the other heroes distract him. Once it is finished, Kara uses it on the Anti-Monitor, sending him to the microverse. Sometime later, Barry, Kara, Sara, Kate, Clark, J'onn, and Jefferson hold a memorial service for Oliver before agreeing to come together as a league of heroes to protect their new world in Oliver's memory.[16]

Cast and charactersEdit

Main and recurringEdit

Actor Character Episode
Supergirl Batwoman The Flash Arrow Legends of Tomorrow
Melissa Benoist[17] Kara Danvers / Kara Zor-El / Supergirl Main Guest[18][19][20][21]
Chyler Leigh[17] Alex Danvers Main Does not appear Guest[22]
Katie McGrath[17] Lena Luthor Main Does not appear
Jesse Rath[17] Querl "Brainy" Dox / Brainiac 5 Main Does not appear
Nicole Maines[23] Nia Nal / Dreamer Main Does not appear Guest[22]
Azie Tesfai[23] Kelly Olsen Main Does not appear
LaMonica Garrett[24][25] Mar Novu / Monitor Main Does not appear
Mobius / Anti-Monitor Does not appear Main Main[c] Main
David Harewood[17] J'onn J'onzz / Martian Manhunter Main Does not appear Guest[27][20][28]
Stephen Amell[29][30] Oliver Queen / Green Arrow / Spectre (Earth-1) Guest[17][31][32] Main Voice[33]
Oliver Queen / Green Arrow (Earth-16) Guest[34] Does not appear
Caity Lotz[28] Sara Lance / White Canary Guest[17][18][27][20] Main
Brandon Routh[28][35] Ray Palmer / Atom Guest[17][18][36][37] Main
Clark Kent / Superman (Earth-96) Does not appear Guest[38][19] Does not appear Main[39]
Tom Cavanagh[32][40] Nash Wells / Pariah Guest[41] Does not appear Main Does not appear Guest[28]
Katherine McNamara[42] Mia Smoak / Green Arrow Guest[17][18][36] Main[d] Does not appear
Tyler Hoechlin[43] Clark Kent / Superman (Earth-38) Guest[17][38][19][37][22]
Elizabeth Tulloch[44] Lois Lane (Earth-38) Guest[17][38][45][37][22]
Lois Lane (Earth-75) Does not appear Guest[46][47] Does not appear
Ruby Rose[18] Kate Kane / Batwoman Guest[17] Main Guest[19][20][22]
Grant Gustin[32] Barry Allen / Flash Guest[17][31] Main Guest[29][21]
Audrey Marie Anderson[48] Lyla Michaels / Harbinger Guest[17][31][36] Does not appear Guest[49]
Camrus Johnson[50] Luke Fox (Earth-99) Does not appear Main Does not appear
Candice Patton[32] Iris West-Allen Does not appear Guest[38] Main Does not appear
Dominic Purcell[21] Mick Rory / Heat Wave (Earth-Prime) Does not appear Main
Mick Rory / Heat Wave (Earth-74) Does not appear Guest[47] Does not appear
Jon Cryer[51] Lex Luthor Does not appear Guest[18][19][20][22]
Matt Ryan[52] John Constantine Does not appear Guest[31][36] Does not appear Main[d]
Danielle Panabaker[32] Caitlin Snow / Frost Does not appear Main Does not appear Guest[22]
Carlos Valdes[32] Cisco Ramon / Vibe Does not appear Main Does not appear
Hartley Sawyer[19] Ralph Dibny / Elongated Man Does not appear Main Does not appear
David Ramsey[49] John Diggle / Spartan Does not appear Guest[32] Main Guest[53]
Osric Chau[54] Ryan Choi Does not appear Guest[32][20][53]
Rick Gonzalez[30] Rene Ramirez / Wild Dog Does not appear Archive footage[e] Main[d] Guest[53]
Juliana Harkavy[53] Dinah Drake Does not appear Archive footage[e] Main[d] Guest[53]
Katie Cassidy[55] Laurel Lance (Earth-1)[56] Does not appear Main Does not appear
Jes Macallan[57] Ava Sharpe Does not appear Main
Nick Zano[57] Nate Heywood Does not appear Main

GuestsEdit

SupergirlEdit

BatwomanEdit

The FlashEdit

ArrowEdit

Legends of TomorrowEdit

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

"Crisis on Infinite Earths" was first hinted at in the Arrowverse in the pilot episode of The Flash.[66] In September 2018, three months before the release of "Elseworlds", the 2018–19 Arrowverse crossover,[67] Legends of Tomorrow executive producer Phil Klemmer said "people [were] already talking about" the 2019 crossover, with it already having "a loose shape".[68] In early December 2018, a week before the airing of "Elseworlds", Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz said the producers for all the series "already know a lot about what's going on in next year's crossover,"[69] while Marc Guggenheim stated "Elseworlds" would "lay the groundwork" for the 2019–20 crossover.[70] The end of "Elseworlds" revealed the crossover title and premise as "Crisis on Infinite Earths", adapting the story from the comic of the same name.[71] "Elseworlds" introduced the characters Mar Novu / Monitor and Psycho-Pirate, and alluded to an impending "crisis".[66][72]

In January 2019, The Flash showrunner Todd Helbing said the remainder of the fifth season would contain things in service of the forthcoming crossover.[73] At that time, The CW President Mark Pedowitz called the crossover "the biggest, the most complicated one" to date, and was hopeful Legends of Tomorrow, which did not participate in "Elseworlds" because of production complications, would be part of "Crisis".[74] When pitching the crossover to the studio and network early on, Guggenheim noted the creators stressed they did not want the event to be "Crisis on CW Earths", but to have the ability "to touch as many strands of the DC tapestry as possible."[58]

In May 2019, Pedowitz announced at The CW's upfront presentation that the crossover would include The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman in a five-episode event, spanning dates in both late 2019 and early 2020.[75] The crossover occurred in the ninth episodes of Supergirl's fifth season,[76] Batwoman's first season,[77] and The Flash's sixth season,[78] in the eighth episode of Arrow's eighth season,[79] and as a special episode of the Legends of Tomorrow's fifth season; this episode is not considered the series' season premiere.[80] Speaking to the comparison of the crossover to the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Avengers: Endgame (2019), Guggenheim felt "for Barry and Oliver, there is an emotional denouement that is reminiscent of Endgame" adding, "Endgame is an exclamation point. "Crisis" is a semi-colon."[81]

Lead-upEdit

In May 2019, the season finales of The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow all featured teases for the upcoming crossover, with the Monitor making an appearance in all series except The Flash.[82] Eric Wallace, showrunner of the sixth season of The Flash, stated that when all the series' showrunners discussed plans for their series before the crossover, "all of this synergy started to happen" with "a lot of cross collaboration" in service to the crossover events. Wallace felt the themes of grief, death, and the end of all worlds in "Crisis" worked with the story they were trying to tell with the villain Ramsey Rosso / Bloodwork, "who is facing the end of his own world". This allowed the start of season six of The Flash to help set up the crossover.[78] The majority of Arrow's eighth season serves as a prelude to the crossover.[83] The Arrow writers consulted with The Flash writers regarding the destruction of Earth-2 in "Starling City" to ensure they could destroy this Earth.[6] On Supergirl, co-showrunner Robert Rovner said the season would tease the crossover "in our way, which is a little bit different from the way Arrow and The Flash are doing it." He also highlighted the return of Malefic, J'onn J'onzz's brother, as a major plot thread leading to the crossover, describing it as "a gauntlet for J'onn".[84] LaMonica Garrett, who portrays both the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor, said before the crossover, the Anti-Monitor's "presence [would] be felt before you physically see him," adding, "You see just enough of him to know this guy means business, but it's not in your face in every scene leading up to" the crossover.[85] The preceding episodes of Batwoman, Supergirl, The Flash, and Arrow featured an end tag scene with Nash Wells gaining access to the chamber under Central City.[3][9][86]

Tie-insEdit

The Black Lightning episode "The Book of Resistance: Chapter Four: Earth Crisis" tied in to "Crisis on Infinite Earths", ahead of Jefferson Pierce first appearing in The Flash episode of the crossover. The episode saw red skies cover Freeland before anti-matter strikes Jennifer Pierce, sending her to a void where she finds her Earth-1 and 2 counterparts. An anti-matter wave eventually wipes them out, along with her Earth, except for Jefferson, who is teleported to an unknown location.[87]

The crossover story was expanded in a two-issue comics series, Crisis on Infinite Earths Giant, written by Marv Wolfman, the writer of the 1985 original series, and Guggenheim and illustrated by Tom Derenick, Trevor Scott, John Kalisz, Andy Owens, Hi-Fi, Tom Grummett, Danny Miki, and Chris Sotomayor.[88] The issues also reprinted material from the original Crisis on Infinite Earths comic, with the second issue including material from DC Universe: Legacies #6 (2010). Speaking to the issues, Guggenheim said their conception "came pretty early on in the process" once it was realized the scope of the story would be more than the five episodes. By creating the comics, it allowed the producers to utilize "all of the characters that we don't have in the crossover proper for logistical reasons, or financial reasons, or creative reasons ... [The comics] allows us to tell a major piece of the story that we're designing, with characters and concepts that we couldn't achieve in live action." The four main characters of the comic are Felicity Smoak, the Ray, Nyssa al Ghul, and Wally West, in addition to appearances by Atom, Sara Lance, Batwoman, the Flash,[89] the Monitor, Lex Luthor, and others.[90] Serious consideration was given to include the Huntress, but Guggenheim opted for Nyssa al Ghul instead because "we had done a comic book tie-in that bridged seasons two and three of Arrow and [Huntress] had featured prominently in that, so Nyssa had not yet had her chance to be immortalized that way."[90] Wolfman added that the comics were "created to tie in perfectly with the CW shows" so it felt like a main part of the story and not ancillary,[89] adding, "This is integral to the entire storyline."[90] The first comic debuted exclusively in Walmart stores on December 15, 2019, with the second set for January 19, 2020, and releases in comic stores the month after.[89] The events of the comics occur during the first part of the Batwoman episode of the crossover.[91] The stories from both issues, plus behind-the-scenes extra, will be collected in a deluxe edition hardcover, set for release on May 6, 2020.[92]

WritingEdit

Each part of the crossover was written by the following creative teams. The Supergirl episode was written by Derek Simon and Jay Faerber with Robert Rovner and Guggenheim contributing the story,[93] Don Whitehead and Holly Henderson wrote the Batwoman episode,[18] and Lauren Certo and Sterling Gates wrote The Flash episode, with Eric Wallace conceiving the story.[32] The Arrow episode was co-written by Wolfman and Guggenheim,[29] and the Legends of Tomorrow episode was written by Keto Shimizu and Ubah Mohamed.[94]

The writers gathered for a two-week session to write the crossover. Guggenheim, who was the overall creative for "Crisis on Infinite Earths", began by creating "a series of big tentpole beats that could happen in each of the five hours". These moments were designed to be modular, meaning they could be moved between the episodes depending on each series' creative needs, the scheduling of actors, and other factors. This also helped determine the order each episode aired. Guggenheim's initial template was catered to Arrow being the fourth hour and Legends of Tomorrow being the fifth "because in crossovers past, Legends has always been the finale of the crossover." The CW then requested for The Flash to be the third hour, and after working "out those tentpoles, for a variety of different plot reasons, it made a lot of sense for the first hour to be Supergirl", leaving Batwoman as the second hour.[95] Within this, certain characters were considered "integral", while others would just make cameo appearances, should that actor be available to appear.[96] With the large moments determined, the individual writers then broke off to write each episode, before the group reconvened to review the whole, making adjustments and moving moments as necessary. Each series' writers would work on their title character's scenes (for example, Supergirl's scenes on Batwoman were written by the Supergirl writers) to ensure consistency. The story is considered "a five-hour epic" as opposed to individual episodes, but the title character of each series and characters appropriate for those worlds (such as Barry Allen of Earth-90 appearing on The Flash), were given highlights.[95] The episodes' scripts were completed by early September 2019.[97]

Guggenheim stated the crossover would try to incorporate "seminal moments" from the comic book, with the opening of the Arrowverse crossover showing the destruction of various parallel universes similarly to the comic's beginning.[98] Speaking to the deaths of Supergirl and the Flash from the comic storyline, Wallace conceded that the writers "can't just kill all of our number ones on our shows" but a proper balance was found in killing some.[78] Though it was revealed in "Elseworlds" that Oliver would die in the crossover, which Guggenheim felt "spoiled our own story", his death in the first hour was done in an attempt to "surprise the audience" who may have expected him to die in the fifth. It was also done to "establish the stakes going into the next four hours".[99] In the third hour, the death of Barry Allen from Earth-90 was "a way to honor what was said [by] the Monitor  ... saying the Flash must die" without killing Gustin's character. Wallace thought this gave "it a nice story twist, [to] get in some emotion" while also "complet[ing] a 30-year arc" for John Wesley Shipp's character. The flashback scene from the 1990 Flash television series was not originally scripted for inclusion, but was added while editing the episode "to give a little bit of his life flashing before his eyes".[63] Oliver dies for a second time at the end of the Arrow episode. Once again, this was done to "[surprise] the audience with the unexpected" according to Guggenheim, adding, "I think [Stephen Amell] enjoyed A) the opportunity to play two death scenes and B) the creative sleight of hand in terms of surprising the audience."[100]

The original comic was created to help with DC Comics' continuity problems, but since the Arrowverse does not have those, the crossover allowed the creators to focus on the characters and their interactions. Supergirl and Batwoman's relationship was further developed, after being teased at the end of "Elseworlds" in a way that "those two characters [are] supporting each other much in the same way that Barry and Oliver have been supporting each other in previous crossovers."[81] For scenes set in Gotham City, Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries ensured the grounded tone of the series was kept to since it is "not normal for [the characters of Batwoman] to interact with aliens and travel to different universes".[101] The version of the Anti-Monitor that appears was also inspired by the character's appearance in the New 52 "Darkseid Wars" storyline.[85] Sara Lance is the focus of the Legends of Tomorrow characters, with the crossover "kick[ing] off Sara's emotional journey for season 5 of Legends" and giving Sara "a different perspective on things."[81] Though the early allusions to "Crisis" on The Flash mentioned the Reverse-Flash and Tom Cavanagh was said to be reprising the role in the crossover,[102][103] the character did not make an appearance. Guggenheim did not want to be beholden to this, pointing out that the newspaper headline mentioning him had been created by executives no longer involved with the series or this crossover. The character had also already featured prominently in previous crossovers.[102] Psycho-Pirate, included in "Elseworlds", was another character that appeared in early versions of the crossover. Ultimately, per Guggenheim, he was not included since "given the story we were telling, the only reason we were having him in there was because he was in the original comic".[104]

With the inclusion of Clark Kent and Lois Lane from Smallville in the crossover, it explored what happened to the characters after Smallville ended.[105] Erica Durance, who portrays that series' Lois Lane, said, "It's a little bit of a look into their future and the different choices they've made to be together. It's a full-circle moment that's really nice." Guggenheim pointed out that the Batwoman episode where the characters appear was written by former writers on Smallville. This allowed Guggenheim to "[step] aside and let them speak to where things were headed. As a fan of the show, it answered a lot of questions that I had. It provided a lot of closure, I think, in a really nice way." The Smallville material in the crossover was shared with Smallville co-creator Alfred Gough before filming began.[58] Despite having three actors who portray Clark Kent / Superman in the crossover, there was never a scene written featuring all three. The writers wanted a clear distinction of Welling's character appearing at the Kent Farm, with Routh's character appearing at the Daily Planet. Guggenheim added, "The desire to have multiple Supermen [together] is what inspired the backup story" in the comic tie-in.[106] Appearing as Bruce Wayne in live-action for the first time allowed Kevin Conroy to "explore a lot of [the] dark corners" of the character in a different way than when he voiced an older version of the character in the animated series Batman Beyond.[107]

Lucifer Morningstar's appearance was considered to be five years before the events of Lucifer, according to actor Tom Ellis, who added, "This is him in his proper playboy, don't-give-a-damn-about-anything stage in his life. He is very irreverent with our characters when they turn up in the scene and obviously, with Constantine, there is some history there."[108] His scene was written by Certo, a fan of Lucifer, and was sent to the creative team on Lucifer for their feedback. Lucifer co-showrunner Joe Henderson suggested Lucifer's flirting joke, while Ellis contributed the bit of him saying "Constantyne" instead of "Constantine". Henderson called Lucifer's appearance "the coolest thing" since he wanted to participate once he knew the Arrowverse series were adapting Crisis on Infinite Earths.[109] The inclusion of Black Lightning in the crossover was decided "very late in the game" according to Guggenheim. He worked closely with Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil to figure out a way to incorporate the character in a way that would not be a simple cameo but "in a way that feels significant". Once the logistics and creative elements were solved, having the character "elevated the crossover to another level". On the character's appearance, actor Cress Williams stated the character's entrance comes "in a very surprising way. He's not prepared for it. So, he doesn't know these people." Williams added that because of this, there is "some conflict early on when he's trying to figure out, who are you people and why am I here?".[110]

Barry's journey through the Speed Force in the Arrow hour was an opportunity for the writers to "revisit a series 'greatest hits' for Oliver, key moments in terms of his relationships ... it’s a little bit of a 'Before you die, your life flashes before your eyes' kind of feel"; it was important to the writers that they could "look backwards before Oliver's death." Oliver and Diggle's fight in the season six episode "Brothers in Arms" was originally planned for Kate's scene in the Speed Force, with Kate helping to break up the fight. The writers felt season six was "relatively recent", so they chose "Suicidal Tendencies" from season three. This episode, one of Guggenheim's favorites, and the argument between Oliver and Ray helped show "how much all of the shows have evolved and relationships between the characters have evolved." The other moments in the Speed Force were also chosen based on "showing how far the characters have come". While in the Speed Force, Barry encountered Ezra Miller's Barry Allen from the DC Extended Universe. Guggenheim worked with DC Comics' Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee and DC Entertainment's film vice president Adam Schlagman on the scene to ensure it would not conflict with the planned Flash film.[104]

The end of the crossover sees Barry converting the old S.T.A.R. Labs hangar seen in the "Invasion!" crossover to a spot where the heroes could gather for future team-ups,[111] along with a hint at a possible introduction of Gleek and the Wonder Twins. These hints were a "fun bit" the writers knew they wanted to end the crossover on, with an early version of the scripts having the Wonder Twins make an appearance.[100]

CastingEdit

LaMonica Garrett was upgraded to series regular status on all of the series, receiving the credit in the episodes he appears in before the crossover, to ensure he would have been available for "Crisis" and his appearances leading up to it.[24] In July 2019 at San Diego Comic-Con, multiple castings for the crossover were announced. They included: Tyler Hoechlin reprising his role as Superman,[43] while Brandon Routh, who portrays Ray Palmer / Atom in the Arrowverse, would reprise his role as Superman from the film Superman Returns (2006), portraying "an older, more world-weary" version, inspired by the Kingdom Come Superman;[112][113][35] Tom Cavanagh would portray Pariah in addition to Nash Wells;[103][114] Burt Ward, who portrayed Dick Grayson / Robin in the 1960s Batman television series, would appear in an undisclosed role;[115] Amell portraying multiple versions of Oliver Queen;[116] Jon Cryer reprising his role as Lex Luthor;[51] and Garrett also portraying the Anti-Monitor in addition to the Monitor.[25] Shortly after, Elizabeth Tulloch was also confirmed to be reprising her role as Lois Lane.[44]

The following month, at the Television Critics Association, Pedowitz announced that cast members from the series Black Lightning would appear,[80] something star Cress Williams previously hinted at,[117] and that Kevin Conroy would appear as an elderly Bruce Wayne, having previously voiced the character in multiple animated media.[80] Conroy "jumped at" the opportunity to portray the character in live action, having not done it previously. He also felt it would be an opportunity to satisfy the "loyal" fanbase of Batman: The Animated Series, who also expressed interest in seeing Conroy portray the character on camera.[107] Guggenheim also revealed the producers discussed with DC and Warner Bros. about the possibility of having Lynda Carter reprise her role as Wonder Woman from the television series, but felt it was unlikely to happen.[79]

In September, Johnathon Schaech was confirmed to be reprising his role as Jonah Hex,[118] and shortly after John Wesley Shipp was cast in an undisclosed role.[119] Around this time, Tom Ellis was approached to appear as Lucifer Morningstar from the series Lucifer. Working on his series, Ellis "talked over the years about Lucifer being a DC character and, 'Is there any chance of this happening?'", feeling "Crisis" was a good chance to explore that connection for the character.[108] In the middle of the month, it was announced that Tom Welling and Erica Durance would reprise their roles as Clark Kent and Lois Lane, respectively, from Smallville.[120][105] Durance also returns to reprise her Arrowverse role as Alura Zor-El.[58] Michael Rosenbaum, who portrayed Lex Luthor on Smallville, revealed Warner Bros. and the producers approached him to reprise the role in "Crisis", but he ultimately declined.[121] Alan Ritchson, who played Arthur Curry/Aquaman on Smallville, was also approached to reprise his role in the crossover but he turned it down due to his scheduling conflicts with the series Titans.[122] Later in the month, Osric Chau was cast as Ryan Choi and Ashley Scott was confirmed to be reprising her role as Helena Kyle / Huntress from the series Birds of Prey.[54][123] At the start of October, Audrey Marie Anderson was announced to be reprising her role as Lyla Michaels, while also taking on the Harbinger persona from the comics; Lyla previously used "Harbinger" as her A.R.G.U.S. codename.[48] The same month, Stephen Lobo was cast as Jim Corrigan.[124] By that time, the producers had reached out to Nicolas Cage, who at one point was attached to portray Superman in the planned Superman Lives film, about appearing.[24]

At the end of November, it was reported that Brec Bassinger would appear in the crossover as Courtney Whitmore / Stargirl, ahead of the release of her series on the streaming service DC Universe later in 2020.[125] Ezra Miller appeared in the Arrow episode reprising his DC Extended Universe role of Barry Allen, after Warner Bros. Television president Peter Roth spoke to Guggenheim about including him. Despite production on the crossover being completed, Guggenheim approached Gustin to see if he would be "on-board" with Miller appearing, not wanting to do it if Gustin was not, and Gustin "was incredibly enthusiastic" with the idea.[100] Guggenheim also called Jim Lee "instrumental in making [the cameo] happen".[64]

FilmingEdit

Production for "Crisis on Infinite Earths" began on September 24, 2019.[126] Filming at the farmhouse for the Kent family farm took place at the end of the month.[127] The farmhouse had previously been featured in the "Elseworlds" crossover and on Smallville.[127][128] Production for the Legends of Tomorrow episode began on October 4.[129] Williams took a break from filming Black Lightning in Atlanta to spend a week filming his parts of the crossover in Vancouver.[61] His scenes were reviewed by the crew of Black Lightning to ensure his characterization was consistent with his series.[95] Filming had completed by November 8, with some reshoots and minor filming having finished by December 19.[130][131] Once Miller's cameo was finalized, a small crew from The Flash was used to film it since the Arrow crew had already wrapped on the series and was no longer around.[100]

Directors on the crossover included Jesse Warn (Supergirl),[93] Laura Belsey (Batwoman),[18] David McWhirter (The Flash),[32] Glen Winter (Arrow),[29] and Gregory Smith (Legends of Tomorrow).[94] These directors were hired specifically for the crossover, because of their previous experience working in the Arrowverse, allowing them to create a unified look, with help from their directors of photography. Batwoman, which normally is filmed in a different aspect ratio than the other series, used the same ratio as the other series for a consistent look. Many of the stunt sequences, particularly in the Supergirl and Arrow episodes, were filmed with drones.[95]

MusicEdit

Blake Neely, along with his collaborators Nathaniel Blume, Sherri Chung, and Daniel Chan, began work on the crossover on November 20, 2019,[132] with the score recorded by a live orchestra on December 2.[133][95] Tony Kanal and Stephen Perkins were featured performers on the score.[134] Neely incorporated many musical Easter eggs into his score, some of which were "cues the production has attempted to obtain the rights to for years";[135] some cues included the 1960s Batman television series theme,[136] the 1989 Batman film theme,[137] "hints" of the Batman: The Animated Series theme, the march theme and "Can You Read My Mind?" from the 1978 Superman film,[138] the 1990s Flash television series theme,[139] and the Super Friends theme.[140]

Effect on the ArrowverseEdit

Ahead of the crossover, Guggenheim told each of the series' showrunners "there's an opportunity here to introduce some major status quo shift[s]" if they desired, and it was something each series "have embraced".[24] Guggenheim described it as "it wasn't so much a burden of fixing something, it was the freedom of being able to change whatever we wanted to change."[90] He added that each series would be affected, outside of Legends of Tomorrow, since "the crossover launches much of that season" though there would be "one rather big ramification".[24] Coming out of the crossover, Dries was looking to "make Kate's life a little bit more integrated with all of this madness of sci-fi and aliens, and the dense mythology between" the other series, but still keep the grounded nature established earlier in Batwoman's season.[141] However, this was "a little tricky because our characters aren’t yet exposed to this notion of multiple universes, superheroes, powers, and stuff."[106] An action by Barry would have ramifications for the remainder of The Flash's season.[106] The goal of the crossover for Wallace was to "tap into that feeling that the readers in 1985 would have had, when reading that story, with the tectonic shifts in the comic world, underneath" and felt the Arrowverse ending was a "game-changer" that "opens up to a whole new world".[78]

By the end of the crossover, the universe had been rebooted, with all of the CW series airing at the time – Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Black Lightning – now existing on the newly established Earth-Prime; this was decided going into the crossover. A new multiverse was also created, with six of its Earths revealed.[111] Guggenheim said "there is an opportunity going forward after "Crisis" to slowly reveal all of the weird changes,"[100] with each series "get[ing] the chance to tell a piece of that story."[102] Some of the changes include John Diggle and Lyla Michaels' daughter Sara returning to the timeline after being changed in Flashpoint, and Lex Luthor having more heroic qualities. Returning baby Sara was "very important" to Guggenheim and Schwartz to accomplish in "Crisis" after almost doing so in "Elseworlds"; it was held off until this crossover because they "thought it had more punch if it was a part of the universal reboot". Supergirl showrunners Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller came to Guggenheim with the idea to alter Lex Luthor, something they "were all really excited about".[100] For Batwoman, the series sees Kate's sister Beth return as a separate person from the season's antagonist Alice,[141] with Dries calling this a "shocking resonance" for the series.[106]

ReleaseEdit

BroadcastEdit

The crossover began with Supergirl on December 8, 2019, continuing with Batwoman on December 9 and The Flash on December 10. "Crisis on Infinite Earths" concluded with Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow on January 14, 2020.[80] The December 9, 2019 episode of Black Lightning ties into the event.[87] As of early December 2019, the Batwoman episode of the crossover is not scheduled to air in the United Kingdom, as no broadcaster has purchased the rights for the series; the other Arrowverse series air on Sky One.[142] "Crisis Management", a behind-the-scenes feature, was released on January 16, 2020, available with the digital purchase of a season pass to any of the series.[143]

MarketingEdit

External images
  "Crisis" logo without Oliver Queen
  "Crisis" logo with Oliver Queen

The first teaser for the crossover was released on November 10, 2019.[42] Boost Mobile served as a promotional partner for the event.[144] On November 15, The CW released a series of show-specific teaser shorts.[145][146][147][148][149] A week later, the poster for the event was released.[52] On November 24, 2019, a full trailer was released.[150] A first long trailer for the event was released on December 3, 2019,[151] and a second on December 6, 2019.[152]

With the release of the initial trailers in November, a logo for the event featuring the leading character from each of the series except Oliver Queen was revealed. Guggenheim claimed that, at that time, legal and financial reasons prevented them from including Amell's character in the logo.[153] However, with the release of the full trailer in December, Oliver was now included in the logo, which Guggenheim explained was due to "the creativity of a lot of very smart people" and "a loophole" to allow the change to happen.[154][155] After the crossover concluded, Guggenheim said he had been told "only actors appearing in all five hours could be in the main title card", hence the initial exclusion of Amell because he does not appear in Part 5.[156]

A week before the final two episodes aired, a second poster for the crossover was released. Russ Burlingame of Comicbook.com said the poster was "a mirror to the first "Crisis" poster, but centering on darkness rather than light", with different taglines used, and "the Anti-Monitor standing with his hands raised up and pointed down, whereas The Monitor had stood with his palms up and arms at his sides."[157] On January 10, 2020, Amell released a final trailer for the last two parts.[30]

Home mediaEdit

All five episodes of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" will be available on the Blu-ray release of Arrow season 8.[158]

ReceptionEdit

RatingsEdit

No. Series Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 Supergirl December 8, 2019 0.7/3 1.67[159] 0.4 1.00 1.1 2.67[160]
2 Batwoman December 9, 2019 0.6/3 1.71[161] 0.4 0.98 1.0 2.68[162]
3 The Flash December 10, 2019 0.6/4 1.73[163] 0.4 0.98 1.0 2.71[162]
4 Arrow January 14, 2020 0.5/3 1.41[164] 0.4 1.03 0.9 2.44[165]
5 Legends of Tomorrow January 14, 2020 0.5/3 1.35[164] 0.4 1.02 0.9 2.38[165]

Critical responseEdit

SupergirlEdit

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval rating, based on 13 reviews for the episode. The website's critical consensus reads, "TV's biggest crossover manages to tie these different universes together, offering plenty of cameos, dramatic moments, and surprising twists that will shake the Arrowverse forever."[166]

Jesse Schedeen of IGN gave the first hour a 9 out of 10. He called the episode "accessible" for any viewer and felt it did not "lose sight of the personal and emotional stakes of this conflict". Schedeen also felt the Supergirl supporting cast was "utilized well". The episode was also deemed "a very critical episode for Arrow fans" given Oliver's death by Schedeen, though he was upset that Barry did not have a large role to play in the episode.[167] Giving the episode an "A–", Entertainment Weekly's Sara Netzley said "no amount of watching, reading, and speculating [could] truly [prepare]us for the heroism, the tears, the sacrifice, and the cameos" of the episode.[168] The A.V. Club's Caroline Siede called the opening of the episode "some of the most exhilarating superhero TV I've ever seen". Siede was happy "Crisis" was the first crossover "to deliver an episode that feels like a meaningful part of the crossover and a meaningful part of Supergirl as well." She also pointed out the scene between Kara and Clark discussing Argo City's destruction felt "like Thor: Ragnarok and its 'Asgard is not a place, it's a people' ethos". She gave the episode a "B+".[169] Awarding the episode 4.5 out of 5 stars, Kayti Burt from Den of Geek called Oliver's death "a massively gutsy storytelling move" and overall, felt the episode "set the stakes for the crossover journey to come." Speaking to the cast in the episode, Burt said, "By keeping the ensemble in this part of the story relatively small, we were able to spend more time with all of them, not to mention check in with the characters who are Supergirl-specific," which led to "one of the best scenes" between Alex and Lena.[170]

BatwomanEdit

Rotten Tomatoes reported a 92% approval rating, based on 12 reviews for the episode.[171]

Schedeen called the episode "a superhero nerd's dream come true" since it "doubles down on the emotional character drama and manages to deliver some of the best live-action Superman moments in a very long time." Schedeen noted the Smallville moments were the "epilogue fans deserve", but conceded some fans would not have enjoyed them and praised Routh as "a solid Superman and a downright terrific Clark Kent". He added the second hour was less plot-driven and the crossover could be "moving too slowly for its own good", but preferred it "prioritizing the character moments over the plot and spectacle". Speaking to the Lazarus Pit subplot in the episode, Schedeen deemed it "an unnecessary addition to an already crowded crossover". He gave the episode an 8.8 out of 10.[172] Chancellor Agard at Entertainment Weekly gave the episode a "B+" saying "Batwoman's Part 2 of the crossover succeeds where Part 1 stumbled a bit. Yes, tonight's episode was just as busy (and cameo-filled), but it flowed smoothly and all of the important beats landed." Agard credited the simple task of the heroes searching for the Paragons as to why the episode worked so well. Conroy's appearance was "truly something," according to Agard. He also was one of the fans "letdown" by the Smallville moments, but it eventually made sense to him because "Smallville was always about Clark Kent [and] his desire to live a normal life despite his powers".[173] Alani Vargas of The A.V. Club felt "the writers did a great job of weaving in some of the most famous versions of Superman" into the episode, though she did note that other characters and elements from Batwoman got "the short end of the stick" in the crossover; she gave the episode a "B".[174] Den of Geek's Delia Harrington gave the episode 4 out of 5 stars.[175]

The FlashEdit

Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval rating, based on 11 reviews for the episode. The website's critical consensus reads, "An emotional episode that packs a surprising punch, "Crisis on Infinite Earths" sets the stage for a heartbreaking winter premiere."[176]

Schedeen felt "the cracks are definitely starting to show" with The Flash episode, highlighting the number of new characters introduced to the story along with all the plot needed to be covered in this hour. Specifically, he felt Ryan Choi's introduction could have happened before the crossover to "get some of the backstory out of the way", and the purgatory storyline "deserved far more attention" than the episode was able to give, despite Schedeen being "very much behind" Oliver becoming the Spectre. Schedeen was able to see some of the production limitations, commenting on how it was obvious to him some scenes did not have all actors filming together. Despite all this, "this episode never loses sight of the core appeal of Crisis" giving characters "their big moments and celebrating the connections these characters have forged." Schedeen praised Earth-90 Flash's sacrifice, the way Black Lightning was introduced to the Arrowverse, Blake Neely's score, and the Lucifer cameo, ultimately giving the episode an 8 out of 10.[177] Agard said with the Earth-90 Flash's death, the episode achieved the "clever way to save Grant Gustin from that fate while also wrapping up that thread in a way that was satisfying and didn't feel like a complete cheat". He was also glad that J'onn J'onnz and Iris West were having more substantial roles in the crossover than previous ones in which they had been sidelined or underutilized. To Agard, the introduction of Black Lightning was "the definition of delayed gratification. Seeing Cress interact with everyone in this scene was something to behold because we've been waiting for it to happen and, more importantly, the script does a good job of synthesizing who this guy is to non-Black Lightning viewers." Giving the episode an "A–", Agard concluded, "Overall, I kind of loved this episode. Sure, it definitely moved a bit too quickly and I lost track of the story at times. But it had an immense heart to it. Not only that, but it also improved on what Part 2 did."[178]

The A.V. Club's Scott Von Doviak also awarded the episode an "A–", saying the crossover is "a hot mess, there's no question about it. To call it overstuffed would be an understatement ... There are five-minute subplots here that could have been entire episodes of the various series making up the Arrowverse, and the whole thing feels like it could fly apart like the Flash on the cosmic treadmill at any moment. But that's what makes it so much fun." Von Doviak called the purgatory subplot one of the ones that felt rushed, and the killing of Earth-90 Flash made "all the angst of the first half of the season feel a little cheap". As for the episode's ending, Von Doviak said it was "kind of a ripoff of Avengers: Infinity War" especially since he predicted all of it would be reversed in the final installments, "but as far as cliffhangers to hold us until after the holidays go, it'll do."[179] Awarding the episode 5 out of 5 stars, Mike Cecchini from Den of Geek felt the crossover and this episode succeeded in "deliver[ing] 100+ episodes worth of emotional and narrative payoff" and being "the climax of the single most ambitious crossover in television history".[180]

Arrow and Legends of TomorrowEdit

Rotten Tomatoes reported a 79% approval rating, based on 14 reviews for the Arrow episode. The website's critical consensus reads, ""Crisis on Infinite Earths"'s fourth installment reshuffles the universe in rousing fashion thanks to Arrow himself and a delightful cameo from Ezra Miller, even if repeating the same sacrifice twice dilutes the impact of this farewell to Oliver Queen."[181] For the Legends of Tomorrow episode, Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval rating, based on 5 reviews.[182]

Schedeen gave the final two installments a 9 out of 10 saying, "The final two chapters of 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' cement this crossover as the most entertaining and most ambitious Arrowverse adventure yet." After fearing the crossover would buckle under its weight in Part 3, Schedeen was glad in the Arrow episode that the "consolidating [of] the cast down to a handful of heroes and a few cosmic entities really help[ed] refocus and remind viewers of what's at stake." He also liked seeing the human side of the Monitor, but could not say the same for the Anti-Monitor, who was just "a faceless threat and an obligatory, all-powerful punching bag in these final two episodes." Schedeen called Oliver's sacrifice "a fitting end" to the character stating, "These final two episodes more than justify the decision to resurrect Ollie after his heroic sacrifice in Part 1. They do even more to bring the character full circle and complete his arc. Ollie's story has always been about the sacrifices he makes for the greater good and what better way to end that story than by having the Arrowverse's first hero give his life so that its best heroes can continue the fight?" For the Legends episode, he felt the "finale manages to deftly balance the whimsical, self-aware tone of Legends with the gravitas needed as our heroes confront the Anti-Monitor one last time." Schedeen also added Part 5 "manages to juggle its many moving parts elegantly" and he enjoyed the ending sequence and the creation of the Arrowverse's version of the Justice League.[183]

For Part 4, Agard felt the Speed Force flashbacks were "very cheesy and reminiscent of things Arrow has done in the past. On the other hand, I found it very effective in putting us in the mindset for the final battle and, more importantly, the end of Arrow ... [T]his episode honors his connection to the other shows and how this one show’s existence has created so much." He added Oliver's death in this episode "packed way more of an emotional punch [over the one in Part 1] because of the three actors’ performances." With the Legends episode, Agard was "surprised by how strong" it was, noting, "[t]he last episode of a crossover is usually the weakest because the big battle ends up taking precedence over character moments, but that’s not the case here at all." The episodes were given an "A–" by Agard.[184] Delia Harrington at Den of Geek felt the final two episodes were "very different, but equally compelling". She praised the performances by Amell and Benoist and enjoyed all of the cameos and Easter eggs in the final episodes. She, like Agard, was more approving of Oliver's death in these episodes saying it "was much more in line with what his character deserved". For Part 5, Harrington said "The governing principle of this episode was the banana pants aesthetic of Legends, and that’s exactly what it needed," pointing out the appearance of the giant Beebo. Giving the episodes 4 out of 5 stars, she concluded, "for those of us who were touting Arrow as the best superhero property on any screen, big or small, back in Season 1, this is truly the television equivalent to Endgame-level storytelling. Some of the old heroes are gone. New heroes rise in their place. The fandom mourns, but we also get to celebrate all the new stories there are to tell."[185]

Kate Kulzick of The A.V. Club was more negative on the Arrow episode, giving it a "C–". She said, "Arrow's contribution to the crossover not only fails to live up to the dramatic stakes of that cliffhanger, it sours the goodwill generated by the first three episodes, retreading old ground and sending the crossover limping into its finale." Kulzick was disappointed more explanation was not given to how the Monitor and Ant-Monitor received their god-like powers. She also called the Speed Force moments "arbitrary" it what could have been "a wonderful opportunity to relive and re-imagine high points from each of the Arrowverse shows’ histories." Getting to the final battle between the Paragons and Anti-Monitor was where Kulzick felt the episode "really starts to flounder". Unlike Agard and Harrington, Kulzick felt Oliver's death was "a pale shadow of the raw and emotional end of part one" and "one hell of a disappointing way to send out Oliver Queen".[186] For the Legends episode, The A.V. Club's Allison Shoemaker felt some of the concepts in the episode were "flimsy" adding, "The plot is fine. The characters and their reactions to what’s happened, to that loss and the new status quo, is what really hits home." The highlight character moment to Shoemaker was Barry and Sara's conversation, followed by Sara and Diggle's. She gave the episode a "B+".[187]

Crisis AftermathEdit

Crisis Aftermath is an aftershow that aired after the December 8 Supergirl episode and the December 10 The Flash episode. The show went "in-depth to explore" the crossover, and was hosted by Kevin Smith.[188] Entertainment Weekly helped develop the special. The show featured discussions with executive producers Guggenheim, Dries, Rovner, Shimizu, and Wallace; stars Cryer, Garrett, McNamara, and Conroy; and panel guest Dani Fernandez, among others. Entertainment Weekly writer Chancellor Agard also appears in a segment "helping to break down the multiversal destruction" seen in the crossover.[189]

No.GuestsOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
1Marc Guggenheim, Dani Fernandez, Katherine McNamara, LaMonica Garrett, Chancellor Agard, Robert Rovner, Caroline Dries, Marc BernardinDecember 8, 2019 (2019-12-08)0.67[159]
2Marc Guggenheim, Dani Fernandez, Jon Cryer, Eric Wallace, Chancellor Agard, Kevin Conroy, Robert Wuhl, Geoff Johns, Keto ShimizuDecember 10, 2019 (2019-12-10)0.72[163]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Some of these named on screen included: Earth-89, Earth-9, Earth-X and Earth-66.
  2. ^ As depicted in the 2018 crossover "Elseworlds".
  3. ^ Garrett voices the character in the episode while the Anti-Monitor is possessing Harbinger.[26]
  4. ^ a b c d These actors do not appear in the episode despite being credited.
  5. ^ a b Gonzalez and Harkavy appear via archive footage from the Arrow episode "Starling City".[14]
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s These actors were not credited for their appearance.
  7. ^ Via archive footage from The Flash (1990)[63]

ReferencesEdit

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