RECAP: DCTV’s ‘Elseworlds’

Reading Time: 10 minutes

The moment that many DCTV fans have been waiting for has finally arrived. The annual crossover between the CW superhero shows aired this week. This year’s crossover was titled Elseworlds, which has been the name that DC has used for stories that don’t revolve under the main continuity of DC Comics including stories like Batman: Gotham By GaslightSuperman Red Son, and Kingdom Come. With all of the information and trailers that had been released about the episodes, this was shaping up to be a fantastic event. And now that the episode has aired, I can fully say that they delivered in every way possible. From incredible fight scenes, dozens of easter eggs, introductions of new characters, the possibility of two more shows beings created, and a MAJOR announcement for next year’s crossover event, Elseworlds managed to surpass the previous crossovers. I’ll be talking about each episode individually and then talk about what this all means for next year’s crossover.

I’ll be including some major spoilers for the individual episodes and from the individual shows. If you haven’t watched them yet, they’re available to watch for free on the CW app.

The Flash

This year’s crossover started off with The Flash. Surprisingly, the narration that Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) does isn’t included. The episode instead opens up with the Earth-90 Flash (John Wesley Shipp). We see the introduction to Dr. John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) who is making a case for a world of powered people but was ridiculed by his colleagues. The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) approaches Deegan with The Book of Destiny and offers him an opportunity to rewrite history.

What happens later is shown in the promo trailers for the episode. Barry and Oliver (Stephen Amell) have switched lives, with Barry being the Green Arrow and Oliver being The Flash. Oliver freaks out when he sees photos of him and Iris (Candice Patton) all throughout the apartment. Meanwhile, Barry is sparing with John Diggle (David Ramsey). Both try out their new abilities when they’re called to take on separate threats in their cities. After dealing with an android, Oliver goes to see Barry to figure out what happened. Their plan is to ask Team Flash for help, but they don’t believe them. The team imprisons them inside the pipeline.

Barry and Oliver use their powers to escape the cell and decide to visit Kara (Melissa Benoist) on Earth-38 for help. Iris confronts them, still not willing to believe their story. Barry manages to convince her and they head to visit Kara. Meanwhile, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) unexpectedly had a vision of The Monitor, which scared him enough to believe Oliver and Barry’s story.

On Earth-38, we see Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) and Clark (Tyler Hoechlin) on the Kent Farm talking about their adventures in Argo City. Kara, having just been fired from the DEO, tells Clark about what’s been happening while they were away. Suddenly, Barry and Oliver arrive.

Oliver and Barry explain what’s been happening and ask Kara for help, which she happily agrees to. Oliver and Barry decide to train together in order to get a better handle on their powers. However, Barry decides to use this opportunity to get payback on Oliver by shooting him in the back with arrows as Oliver had done to him. They begin arguing, which was basically a time for the writers of each show to tease one another for the way their shows are written.

Back on Earth-1, the android, which Cisco named A.M.A.Z.O., is wreaking havoc on Central City. Elongated Man (Hartley Sawyer) and Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) try to stop him but fail. A.M.A.Z.O. now has the ability to mimic people’s power and wastes little time mimicking Ralph and Caitlin’s powers. Cisco realizes that the city needs Barry and Oliver and travels to Earth-38. Kara and Clark decide to tag along and help out.

Supergirl, Superman, the Green Arrow, and The Flash team up to take on the android. However, A.M.A.Z.O. quickly proves to be too much for the heroes. Their initial attacks don’t do anything but help the android mimic their powers. Now having new powers, A.M.A.Z.O. overpowers them. Oliver comes up with a plan to lure the android and have Superman and Supergirl hold it in place while Barry destroys it. Before firing the arrow, Barry embraces the darkness inside him, just like how Oliver does. He hits the android directly, but Iris becomes worried that he’s become too much like Oliver Queen.

Back at STAR Labs, Cisco shares his vision of The Monitor to Barry and Oliver. While they were in Cisco’s vibe, The Monitor addressed them directly, which definitely caught them off guard. He tells them that they will never be able to stop him as he gives Deegan the Book of Destiny. Once they’re out of the vibe, Oliver uses his speed to draw a sketch of what they just saw. He notices the Wayne Tower, which meant what they saw was happening in Gotham City. With a new lead, Barry, Oliver, and Kara travel to Gotham City. Meanwhile, Batwoman (Ruby Rose) is watching over Gotham City, unaware of what’s to come.


The episode of Arrow starts off with its typical narration, but Barry is the one doing the voiceover. Since he and Oliver traded lives, it makes sense for him to do the narration. It shows the events that happened during season 7 but with Barry as Oliver. The episode itself picks up right where The Flash ended. Kara, Oliver, and Barry plan to travel to Gotham City in search of Dr. Deegan.

They stop at Star City to get help with their situation. The trio saves John Diggle from an attack lead by Slade Willson’s son Joe (Liam Hall). The heroes head to ARGUS where they explain what’s going on to Diggle and Curtis (Echo Kellum) so they can help them. They all make a decision to not tell Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) about what’s going on since she and Oliver already have enough problems going on. Kara, Oliver, and Barry finally head to out Gotham after convincing them to help out. However, as soon as they arrive in Gotham City, they’re attacked by random thieves. Barry, having Oliver’s temper, immediately attacks the thieves, which attracts attention from the police. Since Oliver Queen is a known vigilante, they arrest the trio.

Kate Kane paid for their bail and invited them to her cousin Bruce’s old office building. She tells them that Bruce left Gotham right after Batman disappeared and left her in charge. She told them that they could use the office as a meeting place, but only so they could finish their work faster. Kara went to talk with Kate about her cousin a bit more and was able to find out that Dr. Deegan was a doctor at Arkham Asylum. They venture off to go find him and Kate goes to her lair to get her Batwoman suit.

They manage to get inside Arkham with the help of both Team Flash and Team Arrow. They find and confront Deegan, but he refuses to give up the book. He sets all the prisoners free as a way to escape. Team Flash, Team Arrow, and Supergirl team up to place the prisoners back in their cells and find Deegan. Batwoman managed to get inside the prison and saves Barry and Cisco.

While trying to get the prisoners detained again, Oliver accidentally knocks a box that contains biles of Scarecrow’s toxin. He and Barry get exposed to it. The toxin makes them believe that they’re battling against their greatest villains, Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanaugh) and Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). Batwoman steps in and breaks up the fight and helped them get the book. She tells the group of heroes to leave Gotham City immediately, but not before she and Supergirl share a bonding moment.

Back at ARGUS, Caitlin and Cisco managed to figure out that the red sky and lightning have been following Barry and Oliver from Central City. With the help of Felicity, they were able to figure out that someone was trying to breach to their Earth. After figuring out how to project a breach, they saw the 1990’s Flash appear. He warned them that the key to fixing all of this was to get the book.

The older Barry managed to go through the portal and told our heroes the truth about what’s been happening. He offered his help in the fight and they all went to confront The Monitor. However, he made quick work of the heroes and managed to get the book back. He gave the book back to Deegan, ordering him to think of a much bigger change in history.

John Deegan has now written reality again. Oliver and Barry find themselves to be reborn as criminals known as the Trigger Twins. Neither one of them have any real powers. They’re spotted by Joe Wilson, Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo), and Malcolm Merlyn, who were all reborn as police officers. They make a run for it but are stopped by the black-suit Superman.


Barry and Oliver remain on the run from the evil Superman, but he manages to corner them on a rooftop. They figure out that it’s actually Deegan reborn as Superman since he wanted to be a hero. Barry and Oliver put him to the test by causing a crane to fall that would kill several civilians. They use this as an opportunity to escape since they know they can’t do anything against Deegan. They decide to travel to Earth-38 to ask Clark for help, but they realize they need to find Cisco to breach them there.

During their search, The Monitor appears before them. Barry and Oliver tell him that they will defeat him and put reality back into place. He eventually lets them go to continue their search for Cisco. Their search leads them to a bar where all sorts of villains and criminals hang out. It turns out that Cisco is known as “The Boss” and has James Olson (Mehcad Brooks) as his right-hand man. After managing to convince Cisco to help them by promising that they’ll defeat Superman, they travel to Earth-38 to look for Clark.

Meanwhile, Deegan imprisoned Kara inside one of the power-dampening cells in Star Labs. He’s awed by her and Superman’s existence since there’s no knowledge recorded about them in The Book of Destiny.  Deegan goes off to find Barry and Oliver, leaving Earth-1’s version of Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) to look after her. Alex threatens to kill Kara if she tries to escape. Kara attempts to reason with Alex, telling her about the version of Alex from her earth. Her attempts initially don’t work, but she tells her a story from Alex’s childhood, which convinces her to set Kara free. As they’re fleeing STAR Labs, they run into Deegan. Before he can strike, our heroes return from Earth-38 and the final battles begin.

Kara, Barry, and Alex search for the book while Superman takes on Deegan. Kara finds the book but can’t handle looking at what’s inside. She gives it to Clark since she says that he’s had experience dealing with these sort of books. Clark starts to fix reality but Deegan shows up and holds Barry hostage. Oliver attempts to kill Deegan, but Barry urges him not to since he believes that this is all part of The Monitor’s test. Deegan uses this distraction to get the book back and flees.

Barry and Kara must’ve watched the end of Christopher Reeve’s Superman film because they plan to go around the world fast enough to slow down time. Clark tells them that one of the visions he saw in the book was that this plan would end up killing them. Running out of time, they decided to go with the plan. Oliver tells Superman to get the book while he goes to talk to The Monitor. According to The Monitor, Oliver is the first being to stand up to him and destiny itself. Oliver doubts that what’s written in the book cannot be changed. He convinces The Monitor to save Barry and Kara but is warned that balance must be maintained.

Back on Earth-1, Superman is joined by Brainiac 5 (Jesse Rath), J’onn (David Harewood), and Lois to take on Deegan and A.M.A.Z.O. Lois is thrown high in the air from an attack so Clark attempts to save her. Brainy takes on A.M.A.Z.O. by himself. Oliver gets to higher ground, aiming his arrow at the book. Barry and Kara manage to slow down time without dying, giving Oliver the opportunity to fire an arrow at the book. The book falls to the ground, taking away the powers that Deegan had, which makes him turn into his Dr. Destiny.

With everything back to normal, the heroes from Earth-38 head back to their earth. Clark reassures Kara that she is still a hero despite what’s been going on. He also tells her that Lois is pregnant and that they will be staying on Argo for a while. He tells Kara that she’s fully prepared to watch over Earth.

Back on Earth-1, Barry and Oliver are sharing drinks. They have a heart-to-heart conversation about their own personal lives and have a toast to each other. Oliver gets a phone call from Kate Kane where she warns him that Deegan made a friend inside Arkham Asylum. That friend happens to be Psycho Pirate (Bob Frazer), who says one of the most iconic lines in DC comic history, “Worlds will live, worlds will die, and the universe will never be the same.” The end of the episode shows that the crossover event next year will, in fact, be Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Crisis on Infinite Earths is one of the most iconic arcs in DC Comic history. I wrote a bit about the arc when I broke down what had been revealed about the crossover. If you’ve been watching The Flash or are a fan of the comics, you know how monumental this event will be. It marks the death of several characters and several universes being destroyed/merged together. I’m not sure how many seasons Arrow has left, which means doing this now does make sense. Plus, we don’t know what deal Oliver made with The Monitor. It’ll most likely be explored during that event.

Overall Thoughts

This is my favorite crossover event that the DCTV shows have done. It did have some flaws, especially with the conversation between Iris and Barry, but it managed to deliver a great story. They brought back the main theme from the Smallville TV show during the introduction of the Kent Family Farm. Lois being pregnant sparked a lot of talk on the possibility of a Superman TV show that’ll focus on her and Clark raising their son Jon Kent (Superboy). Ruby Rose’s portrayal of Batwoman is fantastic. I’ll be excited to see her when her show premiers. They included several easter eggs to Batman villains, which hopefully means we’ll get to see those villains on her show. The Crisis teaser at the end will definitely have people talking from now until it premieres in the fall. So much to look forward to next year.

All 3 parts of Elseworlds are available on the CW App. All the shows are on break now, but they will return in January.

Rating: 8/10 Alternate Universes