Features Reviews TV

Crisis on Earth X is Exactly What Justice League Should Have Been

Here we go, and boy was it a sight to behold. Crisis on Earth X feels like a culmination of the past four to five years starting with Oliver meeting Barry. Now here we are, a full on Justice League vs Reichman super fight for the fate of multiple worlds. We have come a very far way and luckily no one manages to feel unnecessarily shoehorned in for dreamt or narrative reasons. Sure are the some hiccups or overall weak spots in the storytelling, most definitely, but that does very little to take away from how much fun it is watching all these characters interact and play with each other. Whether it be evil Ollie proving to be a formidable foe, the teams time of Earth-X, Felicity and Iris actually having to do something, all of the amazing fight scenes and visuals. This was one for the record books and something that can be enjoyed either in the context of the shows themselves or more importantly as one giant epic.

So lets start with what was so important and makes this whole damn thing work the character interactions. There were many different through lines for the crossover and each one manages to find a mostly satisfying conclusion. I loved watching characters we have either seen before or never at all interact with each other. Even Oliver and Felicity’s drama managed to make a ton of sense in the scope of the crossover and until that very last moment was handled pretty well. Caitlin and Mick had some satisfying chemistry and watch the previously helpless Caitlin stand up and both intimidate and impress Mick was just so gratifying considering where she was in season one. Even the villain manages to have a through and impressive storyline play and watching Eobard mess around with evil Kara and Ollie was great. However there were three storylines that really rose above the rest; Alex and Sara, Ollie-X and Kara-X, and Jax and Stein.

First I want to talk about my favorite storyline of the crossover Alex and Sara hooking up and all the awkwardness that managed to follow. This bit could have been played entirely for laughs but since we had four episodes to play with it we actually got to see all of the ramifications and closure these characters experienced. Caity Lotz and Chyler Leigh had amazing chemistry and their ability to bring out the best in each other was something great. Alex was dealing with a real problem after breaking up with Maggie and Sara was able to recognize what she was going through after dealing with Nyssa. It was bonding over what you truly want out of a relationship and what you need to do to make that happen. Sure it started as a one night stand, but it has ended as a possible relationship for future episodes.

Similarly our villains also had a solid driving narrative as Ollie-X, Kara-X, and Eobard had conversations about duty versus love and for the most part they all worked. I appreciated evil Kara’s dedication to their cause and it was clear Melissa Benoist was having a ball playing the dark side. I mean she had her villainous gloating down to a tee and the way she exhumed confidence was astounding. I also really appreciated Tom Cavanaugh’s performance as Eobard this time around as he managed to add something his previous iterations were missing, trepidation and caution. Eobard knew how many times he had been screwed over due to thinking he was the superior being, here he was cautions of every misstep and possible pitfall, which made him loosing all the sweeter. The only real weak spot was evil Ollie as the fuhrer since he was surprisingly non threatening due to his love of Overgirl. We kept hearing about how dangerous he is but we never quite had that moment of utter fear.

All of this though pales in comparison to the best storyline fo the entire event Jax and Stein. This was the perfect heartbreaking sendoff to Victor Garber and both him and Franz Drameh played all their scenes to perfection. The evolution of Jax and Stein’s partnership felt completely earned and watching them admit that they were truly family was a beautiful moment. That made it all the more heartbreaking in their final scene when Stein decided to sacrifice himself for the good of his son. Drameh’s pain was palpable and excruciating to watch as Stein severed their bond. It just hurt to my core watching just how far Stein was willing to go for Jax and then to have to watch all of the other legend deal with the fallout made it hurt even more. Seriously this death hurt after all the time we spent with these characters.

Of course with all of this great character work we also got some fantastic action to go with it. The clear standouts were the church fight and final fight scenes as they managed to have so many moving components but still feel completely fluid and original. Even the entirely CG sequences of Flash and Ray vs Red Tornado, as well as the fight scene with Metallo were really all done and allowed for a showcase of what makes all of these shows so unique and fun. I would have liked to see certain heroes more integrated into these scenes early on, but the final product was just to cool to deny.

Overall this crossover was everything I wanted and more. It just makes me excited to see how they top this because the only thing I can think of involves the trinity.

Final Grade A

+Excellent use of so many different characters

+Actual stakes and consequences were delivered on

+Amazing arcs multiple characters

+Awesome fight scenes

+Cool guest appearances

-Wonky final scene

-Not enough Earth-X

Extra Thoughts

-Huge props to Colin Donnell for coming in to play Earth-X Tommy/Prometheus. He had one scene and it was easily one of the best parts of the crossover.

-Sara had no chill in outing Alex in them sleeping together, only made better by Mick asking if she “Hit That”

-Ollie had some great one liners but his reminder about super speed and the kryptonite arrow were amazing.

-Follow up, where the hell did Ollie get Kryptonite?

-Eobard mentions he will have a new face next time, I am hoping for Eobard as Eddie for season five, that would be a cool way to tie things back around.

-Although Ray really didn’t get a lot to do Russell Tovey was great and I miss Being Human a lot.

-On principle I have no problem with Ollie and Felicity getting married. In practice my god that was the most asshole way to do it and I can’t believe it got left in the script. It just makes those characters look worse than before.

About the author

Scott Swartz