Arrow 7×09 Review: “Elseworlds Part 2”
We finally meet Batwoman as the annual DCTV crossover continues on Arrow. “Elseworlds Part 2” introduced Ruby Rose’s punk rock, tattooed, stoic Kate Kane.
“Elseworlds Part 2” moves to Star City, and telling Team Arrow about the Barry/Oliver body swap goes a lot better than telling Team Flash. No one gets knocked out and imprisoned, for one; though Oliver wants to keep Felicity in the dark so as not to further strain their relationship. Later, Felicity is hurt when she discovers the truth and learns that Iris was able to tell that something was off with Barry.
Our superhero trio heads to Gotham City searching for Deegan. However, they run into some trouble when a group of ruffians attempts to mug them and Barry-as-Oliver attacks. It seems as though Iris’s fears of him retaining some of Oliver’s less-than-desirable personality traits may have some merit. Kara certainly seems to think so. The three are arrested and later bailed out by Kate Kane, who brings them to Wayne Tower in an effort to hurry along their investigation so that they’ll leave Gotham.
While Barry, Oliver, and Kara track Deegan to Arkham Asylum, Felicity and Curtis realize that the mysterious red lightning storms may be a… okay, I’m not going to lie, I’m a little lost here. Basically, someone from another dimension (the Flash we saw in Part 1) has been attempting to get into their dimension in order to give them information – they need to get the book. “The book” being The Book of Destiny, which our intrepid heroes manage to retrieve from Arkham with only a minor prison riot to contend with.
Finally, alternate!Barry manages to come through and warn them properly about the Monitor, who later appears on a street and tells them that he has been testing worlds in order to find a champion to fight whatever is coming that is more powerful than he is. He sends alternate!Barry back to his Earth and retrieves the Book of Destiny from Felicity and company to return it to Deegan. Deegan uses the book once more, removing the Flash powers from Oliver and landing them in a reality where Oliver and Barry are wanted criminals and Superman is sporting a fancy black suit.
Unsurprisingly, “Elseworlds Part 2” was a bit darker than Part 1, but that makes sense, as Arrow has a darker tone than The Flash. In this case, that’s a little more literal. Some of the banter is still there – particularly as Oliver and Barry argue about whether or not Batman exists – but the situation is devolving. Gotham City is a dark place, and the scenes at Arkham are a dark set on a dark night. (I tried to read all of the names as Oliver and Diggle were walking down the hall but I was only able to make out a few – like E. Nygma, P. Isley.) A particularly disturbing scene involves Barry and Oliver being exposed to a powerful hallucinogen that gives them vision of each other’s darkest fears. However, this allows the two of them to realize just how hard the other has it, which leads to some good old-fashioned bonding, as well as a tender moment between Oliver and Felicity.
“Elseworlds Part 2” is meant to serve as the backdoor pilot for the new Batwoman show on the CW, although Kate Kane didn’t feature as much in this episode as I expected her to. I’m not very familiar with Kate as a character, but I really enjoyed Ruby’s performance. This is a woman who has been seemingly abandoned by her cousin and must now carry on in his absence. She’s battle-hardened and just so done with everything, but there are some moments of softness when she talks to Kara, who understands what it’s like to live in the shadow of a relative. (And don’t think I didn’t see that little flirty moment. Remember, Kate Kane is a lady who loves ladies!)
It’s weird to think that there is only one episode left in this year’s crossover. (It’s also weird to think that whatever is happening isn’t affecting the Legends, like, at all.) I’m really enjoying it, but with everything going on that’s still left to resolve, it feels like too much to be wrapped up in just one more episode. I’m very much looking forward to Part 3, though, because it looks to be Superman-heavy. Also, Kara really didn’t do that much this episode.
“Elseworlds Part 2” was just as entertaining as Part 1, though a little less fun. Arrow isn’t quite as light-hearted, and being Oliver was starting to affect Barry probably more than he’d like. Hopefully the reverse is true as well, and Oliver learned some optimism.
The Elseworlds crossover event will conclude tomorrow with Supergirl.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from THE Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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