Supergirl: “Crisis on Earth-X: Part 1” Review

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By: Jaclyn Cascio (@jaclynator)

This week, Supergirl kicked off the two-night crossover DC event on The CW. Was the crossover event the kick the show needed to get off the ground and put out an action-packed episode or was it another mere cameo event, as last year’s event turned out? Read on to get the scoop on how “Crisis on Earth-X: Part 1” went this week.

This season, Supergirl has been lacking significantly when it comes to action and crime-fighting. Supergirl, the mighty hero, has recently taken a backseat to other characters and plot lines. Luckily, with this week’s crossover event, that flaw was rectified as the various teams kicked some butts and took some names. Opening with action on alternate Earth, followed by some villain vanquishing by the heroes we know and love on Earth-1, the action was finally back for a spell! Opening and closing with a clash of good and alleged evil, Supergirl was bookended by epic fight sequences that were once a hallmark of the show. It made for a great opening act for the crossover event!

The action did not last long, however, as this week’s episode was clearly designed to be the introduction and setting establishment of a four-episode story arc. While opening and closing with fights, the middle of the episode was designed to bring some lightness and joy to the screen. Focusing on the nuptials of Barry and Iris, the emotional content, so typical of Supergirl’s mission for deeper meanings, was not lacking. Busy heroes finding love and fighting to hold onto it was the running theme throughout the episode. Joe’s beautiful speech punctuated the affair, striking the right emotionally authentic cord without veering too far into cheesy. The ceremony itself (before taking a dramatic and dark turn) was equally emotional, in all the right ways.

Part of the fun of this week’s episode of Supergirl was the humor that naturally comes with mixing characters from such different shows. Supergirl set a wonderful precedent this week for the following episodes in the crossover event in seamlessly blending the characters together into a single world with genuine interactions – and some unexpected ones! Alex and Sara found themselves sharing some drinks and a wildly good time this week. To be honest, I instantly “shipped” it, and can only hope for more in the future (as unlikely as it might be). In fact, their interactions might have been my favorite part of the episode, even beating out the fight sequences and unabashed violence.

The only real downside to this week’s episode of Supergirl is that it felt more like an episode of The Flash with other teams guest starring in Central City. Understandably, Kara was on a different Earth for the event, but it might have been fun to have each of the crossover episodes focus a bit more on their titular characters. However, if blending characters evenly required Kara to fit in with the crowd, I can concede the point.

While not necessarily a downside and perhaps only a personal complaint, the choice to hide the faces of the doppelgängers for dramatic effect wasn’t needed. A following episode may have contained a more unexpected reveal for one of the Earth-X characters, but overall there was no surprise surrounding the identities of the alternate Earth characters, especially considering their distinctive (and totally recognizable) outfits. The choice may have resolved some filming difficulties, allowing for easier scene shooting between the actors and stunt fighters. If so, the logic pans out, even if the dramatic flair fizzled a bit on that point.

Blake Neely is the musical genius behind the themes of the heroes and villains, providing “Peter and the Wolf” level originality for the various shows and characters, and it was very present in the perfect blending of established character themes. Not only that, the episode clearly put a sound to the episode’s villains of Earth-X — much like the treatment the Dominators received in last year’s crossover. Distinguishing between the characters of the universes we know and those of Earth-X was made simple because of costuming and lighting, complimented by the musical artistry by Neely. The music obviously reflected the story being told and brought some extra pizzazz to the episode.

Some errant thoughts throughout the episode came up, like how and when did Kara get her own breaching tool? Were there an inordinate amount of Marvel Spider-Man references in a DC show (or is it just me)? Were the rest of Team Arrow and the Legends not invited to the wedding? (I’m a Ray Palmer fan, so I was personally missing him.) What exactly do the Earth-X villains want? How DOES Kara manicure her nails?

Overall, the episode was enjoyable and a rousing good time, just as the opening for a crossover event should be. Supergirl hit the mark this week, providing us with entertainment and fun!


    2 Comments

  1. Brent CastroNovember 28th, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I believe in one of the previous episodes Cisco gave Kara the breach device so she could easily cross from Earths.

  2. JayNovember 28th, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Kara got her own breaching tool at the end of last year’s crossover.

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