Arrow 8×08 Review: “Crisis On Infinite Earths Part 4”
The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event returned tonight with the final two episodes of its five-part run, following the month-long hiatus that the Arrowverse shows took over the holiday break.
Admittedly, I was worried that this crossover event wouldn’t be able to rekindle the momentum that it had going for itself before it went on hiatus. Usually, Arrowverse crossover events are a one-and-done kind of deal, airing back to back before going on a break. But this time was different and luckily, Part 4 of the Crisis of Infinite Earths crossover managed to be just as thrilling as the previously aired episodes.
Part 4 picks up with a flashback to the creation of the Anti-Monitor, the established big-bad for this crisis. As it turns out, The Monitor once lived a seemingly normal life on the planet of Maltus with his wife, working as a time-traveler. However, during an attempt to time-travel to the beginning of time itself, The Monitor unintentionally created an anti-universe, and by extension, the Anti-Monitor.
Now, personally I found this whole backstory to be somewhat lackluster. But I think that this mostly has a lot to do with the lack of character development set up for the Anti-Monitor. He’s supposed to be the ultimate villain, the ultimate threat that our heroes still need to defeat, and yet he felt more like a flavor of the week kind of villain that you’d expect to see in a filler episode of The Flash. Don’t get me wrong, he looked cool. But I didn’t find him all that compelling.
After the flashback/backstory for the Monitor and Anti-Monitor, we’re reintroduced to our six paragons (Sara Lance, Ryan Choi, Batwoman, The Flash, Martian Manhunter, Supergirl) and one uninvited guest (Lex Luthor), as they were all left stranded at the Vanishing Point in Part 3. It turns out that it’s been a month, and it has really taken its toll on the heroes. Batwoman is practically training herself to death. Barry is full-on missing. Supergirl has lost hope. And Ryan and Lex are busy butting heads as they scramble to figure out a way to leave the Vanishing Point.
Luckily, Oliver pops back into the picture to save everybody. Well, he’s not technically Oliver Queen anymore. He’s someone else. Something else. He’s….THE SPECTRE! Yes, he’s the new Spectre, fit with a brand new emerald green cloak. It’s actually kind of amazing how even in this portion of his life, Oliver’s still donning the color green. But nonetheless, the cloak isn’t the only new thing that Oliver has as the Arrowverse’s Spectre. He also has new superhuman powers which allow him to “save” his friends by bringing everybody into the speed force.
Unfortunately, one thing can always be expected from Arrowverse shows: nothing is ever as easy as it seems. Spectre Oliver’s rescue attempt goes a bit haywire. For Supergirl and Ryan Choi, they get flung back in time with Lex on a mission to stop The Monitor from accidentally creating the anti-universe. And while that seems easy, Lex goes on a typical villainous adventure in an effort to gain more power for himself. Meanwhile, Barry, Sara, Batwoman, and Martian Manhunter get scattered throughout Oliver’s memories—all of which are scenes from past Arrowverse episodes.
But the coolest moment in the entirety of this episode has to be when Barry is getting back into the speed force and accidentally crash lands in S.T.A.R Labs, only to find himself standing face-to-face with the DCEU’s version of Barry Allen, as portrayed by Ezra Miller. I don’t know what kind of strings The CW had to pull to score Ezra Miller in his DCEU Flash suit for an episode of Arrow…but I’m forever grateful because this was such a cool moment. Not even the MCU bothered to crossover the Marvel Netflix shows during Avengers: Endgame.
After our scattered paragons are rounded up from inside of Oliver’s memories, everybody finds themselves on a battlefield inside of the anti-universe. Oliver uses his new powers as the Spectre to personally take on the Anti-Monitor in a battle of who can shoot the strongest power blast. Meanwhile, the paragons do their best to fight back against more of those CW-brand “Dementor” creatures.
The paragons ultimately realize that they must all stand together and use the piece of scrap paper that Lex tore from the Elseworlds Crossover’s “Book of Destiny” to create a new universe. And that’s exactly what they manage to do. The only problem is that the anti-monitor disappears in an explosive flash of light and Oliver is left drained completely of his powers, on death’s doorstep for the second time in this crossover. This time, however, Oliver’s death feels much more meaningful and heartbreaking as he’s surrounded by Sara and Barry, two of his closest friends.
Personally, I thought that Part 4 of the Crisis on Infinite Earths was a great watch. I would say that this episode’s high marks definitely consist of the Ezra Miller cameo, as well as Oliver getting to be the Spectre (even if it was for a shortened period of time), and watching Jon Cryer portray such a “fun to hate” Lex Luthor who never stops trying to create problems for everybody else.
Although, I will say that the low points for this episode have to be the lack of development for the character of the Anti-Monitor. He was supposed to be the Arrowverse’s Thanos and felt more like the MCU’s version of Crossbones. I also thought that the fight scenes were a bit stale. There’s only so much you can take of watching the characters essentially punch air, as the “dementors” don’t have any attacks of their own and basically just float around menacingly until they’re punched into a cloud of smoke.
What did you think of The Crisis of Infinite Earth’s 4th part? Leave your thoughts in the comments down below.
Rodney has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Aspiring to one day write television shows and novels, he’s an avid slash-shipper and enthusiast for all things gay. Rodney’s especially a lover of magic, mystery, and superheroes—holding Harry Potter, the X-Men, and Scooby-Doo close as his own personal favorites. But when he’s not fantasizing about how cool it would be to have magic, he’s busy writing fanfiction and re-watching old TV shows.
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