REVIEW: ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ Parts Four and Five

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Crisis

Spoilers begin below

Crisis on Infinite Earths Parts Four and Five, the epic conclusion of the Arrowverse crossover event, aired last night on the CW. In the previous episode, The Monitor brings the rest of the heroes from Central City. After they’ve come together, The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) informs the group that four out of the seven paragons have been found. The remaining three paragons are Barry (Grant Gustin), J’onn (David Harewood) and Ryan Choi (Osric Chau). With Barry and J’onn already on the Waverider, Iris is instructed to go to Ivy Town to recruit Ryan and Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) decides to tag along. Diggle (David Ramsey) arrives at the Waverider and finds out that Oliver (Stephen Amell) is dead.

Desperate to save Oliver, Diggle tags along with Mia (Katherine McNamara) and John to save Oliver’s soul from Purgatory. As this is going on, Barry decides to visit Pariah’s (Tom Cavanagh) dig site and learn whatever they can about the Anti-Monitor along with Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker). It’s there that they learn the truth about Anti-Monitor’s plan, along with some unexpected twists.

In Part Four, we’re given more backstory on The Monitor and how he came to be. He was once a scientist who dreamed of time travel. He and his wife built a machine to allow him to travel to the beginning of time, but he travels to the beginning of the Anti-Earth. Back in the present time, the Paragons have been in the Vanishing Point for two months. Ryan and Lex (Jon Cryer) build a machine to travel somewhere else but it fails. Barry, who has been inside the speed force since they arrived at the Vanishing Point, wants to use the speed force to travel someplace else. Oliver, as the Spectre, arrives to help him make this happen. The group splits into two teams: one will go stop Mar Novu from attempting to time travel for the first time while the others will fight the Anti-Monitor. However, things go awry and both groups must adapt to their new situations.

In Part Five, the team seemingly managed to restore the multiverse and defeated the Anti-Monitor. Kara (Melissa Benoist) is back on her Earth but is unsure as to whether what she went through actually happened. Things start to get even weirder when fighting Weather Witch (Reina Hardesty), a villain from Earth One, and she is aided by Barry. The two realize that because of what happened in Part Four, every Earth was combined into just one Earth. Things only escalate from there once they find out that the threat of the Anti-Monitor is far from over while also dealing with a major loss.

One of the best scenes from Part Four was when Ryan Choi was writing the letter to his wife. The scene served as both a sentimental moment but also for the audience to get a better perspective of how the Paragons are. They all feel like they failed and are desperately looking for any sign of hope. However, it’s clear that they’re all getting ready to give up. This is a work of fiction, but this entire scene is one I could relate to. Having hit a major low moment a few years back, I couldn’t help but empathize with the heroes. It’s one thing for the characters to show defeat, but then there’s the ability to portray it to the point where it was palpable. Scenes like this one would’ve made Crisis On Infinite Earths Parts Four and Five better.

While the fight scenes in Crisis On Infinite Earths Parts Four and Five were incredible, I can’t help but feel let down by how the team ultimately dealt with the Anti-Monitor. Since the start of the crossover event, the Anti-Monitor was hyped up as this all-powerful being, and he fit the description by the way they introduced him in Part Two. However, the way in which the team came up with how to beat him felt extremely convenient. The process makes sense since they have several geniuses in the group, but it begs the question as to why they didn’t come up with this solution in the first place. It was convenient storytelling for the sake of having the heroes win in the end.

One of the many things that I was not expecting was the moment that Barry and Sara shared during Part Five. Their characters never really interacted in any of the previous crossovers, mostly because they were never really given a reason to. I figured that when Barry created Flashpoint, Sara would treat him differently since she never went back to save Laurel from dying. But regardless, they were both very important to Oliver but for completely different reasons. Sara knew Oliver before Lian Yu and once they both became vigilantes. Barry looked to Oliver as a mentor many times, with their friendship growing over time to a more brotherly relationship. With him gone, it only makes sense that they look to each other for that connection that they had with Oliver. Not capitalizing on developing their friendship is wasted potential for both characters.

For seven years, Stephen Amell has portrayed Oliver Queen and paved the way for many other DC Comics characters to be brought to the silver screen in live-action form. Though I didn’t start watching the show until it was a few episodes in, I still think his performance as Oliver was incredible. His character development throughout the entire show was consistent, even though I didn’t always agree with the direction it was taking his character. As much as this crossover is a time for all the superheroes getting their time to shine, Oliver was a major character throughout each episode. I can’t think of any better way for his character to have been treated through the entire crossover. I would also like to thank Amell for bringing one of my favorite heroes to life in such a way that I don’t think anyone else could have done.

Overall, I really enjoyed watching not just these two final episodes but the entire Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event. The fact that comic book fans and fans of all the Arrowverse shows were given this event after years of buildup is something I never imagined. The crossover severed as a love letter to all DC characters across films, shows, and comics. Though this crossover took a while to build up, it’s incredible to see how the final product turned out. I’m not sure if the Arrowverse will have events like this in the future, but if they do, then they have some mighty shoes to fill.

All parts of the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover are available to stream on the CW app. Arrow will air its final two episodes in the upcoming weeks while the fifth season of Legends of Tomorrow premieres January 21st. Supergirl and Batwoman will return with new episodes on February 19th while The Flash won’t return until February 4th.

 

'Crisis on Infinite Earths’ Parts 4 & 5
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    Rating - 8/10
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TL;DR

Overall, I really enjoyed watching not just these two final episodes but the entire Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event. The fact that comic book fans and fans of all the Arrowverse shows were given this event after years of buildup is something I never imagined. The crossover severed as a love letter to all DC characters across films, shows, and comics.