Arrow: “Crisis on Earth-X: Part 2” Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

As the Arrow-verse continues its four-episode crossover, the original show in the universe took the reigns for the second installment.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

In terms of the entire crossover, Arrow and The Flash have the heaviest burden. They need to keep the story propelling forward without feeling like it’s treading water. Arrow did a pretty nice job of picking up where Supergirl left off while giving The Flash somewhere to go in their hour thanks to the Earth-X cliffhanger.

The last two years, the crossover event has been somewhat contained within each particular show. Even though it has been billed as a crossover, each show was able to minimally continue with their own plotlines. This year, that isn’t the case. Each one has to put aside their storylines to create what is essentially a four-hour movie. This is an Arrow episode in name only, besides a few drop-ins from Arrow characters…

Like TOMMY! I don’t care that it was Nazi Tommy/Prometheus Tommy, I was thrilled to see him. Colin Donnell is now a series regular on Chicago Med, so I had lost all hope that we would see him again on Arrow. Thankfully he returned for a few wonderful moments.

Since his death on Earth-1, Tommy has shown up in a couple flashback sequences and as a ghost. Because all of his appearances have been in a way where Oliver has had limited or no interaction with him, the scene in “Crisis on Earth-X” was absolutely fantastic. Donnell and Amell haven’t lost a step when it comes to chemistry. I loved that Donnell played both a version of Earth-1 Tommy, as he attempted to gain Oliver’s sympathy, and a full-on evil version. Since the inception of the series, people have wanted him to go full on supervillain because of his last name Merlyn. Even though it was fleeting, we got an evil version of Tommy. I guess he is fated to die for Oliver in every version of Earth.

As an idea, Nazis winning the war and therefore taking over the world is not an original idea – just look at The Man in the High Castle. Even though this specific idea isn’t new, its an idea that I find very compelling. In today’s current climate, it feels somewhat relevant.

Even though Nazi Oliver and Kara are evil, they aren’t just evil for evil’s sake. Thankfully, in this second episode of the crossover, they were given a motive for their actions. This was a nice answer to the question of why the Earth-Xers suddenly appeared and it’s not just to take over the world. There are even shades of the nature v. nurture theories. Is Earth-1 Oliver a product of his Fatherland environment? Or is it within him to be evil? Really, it’s shades of both. Oliver was essentially a serial killer for a good portion of season one, but his environment ended up changing him into a hero.

Finally, Oliver and Felicity are currently in the midst of angst city. Angst can be a tricky thing to perfect. When the pair was having difficulties during season four, it felt childish and it wasn’t done well. The two episodes of the crossover aired so far have done a solid job of explaining both of their points of view by having the pair communicate. No communication was the downfall of the couple last time. They have had major character growth and are now capable of having tough conversations.

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