So much has happened in this ‘Crisis on Earth-X’ crossover that it’s kind of amazing the whole thing was squeezed into just two nights. The finale aired in the regular ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ slot this week. Fortunately, despite being an obvious ratings stunt, the event ends on a strong note.
Even though it sure looked like he bit it at the end of Part 3, Prof. Stein isn’t quite dead yet. In the midst of all the fighting around him, he pulls himself up and activates the manual override to the temporal gateway, frying a bunch of Nazis standing too close to it. At the same time, Barry and Ray combine powers and blow up Red Tornado before he can destroy the building. Jax merges back into Firestorm with Stein, and the whole group, Snart and Ray included, head through the breach to Earth-1.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Eobard Thawne tries to cut Supergirl’s chest open, but the blade is stopped by tiny Ray Palmer (having two characters named Ray in this crossover strikes me as needlessly confusing), who pops back up to regular size and punches him out. The remaining Legends apparently received Felicity’s distress call just in time. Ray, Nate, Amala and recent recruit Zari save Supergirl and collectively blow Metallo to smithereens. Barry and friends then return through the breach to join the fight as well. Nazis Ollie-X and Overgirl retreat.
Everybody converges on the Waverider. Mick meets the goody-two-shoes Leo Snart and is puzzled by him. Leo tells him that the Mick from his world died saving a bunch of cops, which this Mick finds distasteful. (Are there really good cops on Earth-X? I would assume that any sort of police force on that world would consist entirely of Nazis. Leo makes additional humorous comments about respecting the rule of law and due process that seem out of place for a resistance fighter from a Nazi planet.)
Jax rushes Stein to the medical bay, but quickly falls ill as well. Their systems are so entangled that if one dies, both will. Gideon can barely stabilize them. Stein wants to take Cisco’s serum to permanently separate Firestorm, sacrificing himself to save Jax. They say some tearful goodbyes. Jax is an ugly crier. Stein dies and everyone is sad. Jax cries some more when he visits Stein’s house to deliver the news to his wife and daughter.
Because she didn’t get the heart transplant she needs, Overgirl has only one hour to live. At some point, it’s stated that if she dies, she’ll go supernova and destroy the whole planet. Take this with a grain of salt. The Arrowverse’s grasp of physics is as shaky as ever.
From on board the evil Waverider, Ollie-X contacts the heroes and offers a truce. He will stand down and return to Earth-X with all his forces, in exchange for being allowed to take Supergirl with him and cut out her heart. He doesn’t think this is a lot to ask. Good Ollie of course refuses.
Nazi stormtroopers march on Central City, gunning down innocent bystanders left and right. All the superfriends unite against them and have yet another huge battle. One Waverider chases the other. Barry and Thawne have a speedster punch-fest. Ollie fights his evil self.
The evil Waverider is protected by a forcefield. Exposed once again to the yellow sun, good Kara regains enough of her powers to fly out to the bad ship and lure Overgirl out. Overgirl gets so enraged that she smashes through the bridge window to fight Kara. This gives Killer Frost, Amala and Zari an opportunity to slip into the ship (Frost’s powers now include the ability to create and skate over giant ice ramps) and turn off the shields. Cisco then portals over to rescue the ladies before the good Waverider blows the bad one out of the sky.
As the two Supergirls battle, Overgirl overheats and begins to melt down. Kara flies her straight up to the atmosphere, where she detonates in an explosion that’s pretty big but significantly less than planet-killing supernova size. Kara plummets back down to Earth, amazingly right back into the middle of the battle in Central City, where Nate catches her. The likelihood and physics of this are entirely ludicrous.
Barry overcomes Thawne but can’t bring himself to kill him, so he just lets him escape. Did it seriously not occur to him to lock the guy in the Pipeline or Iron Heights? Oliver, meanwhile, has no such compunctions about killing. He puts an arrow right through Ollie-X’s heart, ending the Nazi Führer’s reign and the war between worlds.
Ray (the flying, yellow-glow one) returns to Earth-X, but Leo Snart elects to stay. Jax, crying once again, delivers a touching eulogy at Prof. Stein’s funeral. Amusingly, the soundtrack provides a pitter-patter of rain in this scene (because it always rains at every single funeral in movies and TV), even though none is visible on screen, and nobody’s carrying an umbrella or looks wet. Kara and Alex say their goodbyes and return home to Earth-38.
Barry and Iris decide that they don’t need a big wedding. They still want to get married, but in a small, simple ceremony with a Justice of the Peace. Oliver points out that his friend John Diggle was ordained as a minister to officiate at another wedding, so Barry races to Star City and back with him. Right there and then, standing in a park, Barry and Iris say their vows. Before Diggle can pronounce them man and wife, Felicity announces that she’s gotten over her own resistance to marriage and wants Diggle to marry them as well. (Don’t they need a license first?) In a confusingly worded statement, Diggle declares both couples married in such a way that it sounds like they’re all married to each other in a polygamist union. I doubt that was the intention, but I very much wish to see that show now.
These crossover stunts are typically just sideshow distractions to bring a bunch of characters together, yet have little to no relevance to each show’s regular storylines. I’m surprised, and frankly gratified, to see that this one delivers some serious repercussions that will affect at least three of the four series: Stein’s death, the introduction of a new Snart, the Barry/Iris marriage, and the unexpected Oliver/Felicity marriage. Only ‘Supergirl’ seems like it will likely pick up where it left off as if this never happened.
I have some issues with the plotting across the four episodes, especially the last two. The circumstances of Prof. Stein’s death are badly contrived, but if you can get past that, his send-off is quite emotional and touching. On the other hand, Barry letting Eobard Thawne go free is completely inexcusable.
Problems like those aside, the ‘Crisis on Earth-X’ crossover was a lot of fun and a huge improvement over last year’s ‘Heroes vs. Aliens’ event.