Supergirl: Elseworlds, Part 3
December 11, 2018 8:14 PM - Season 4, Episode 9 - Subscribe

It's funny. When I was typing up one of my comments on one of the earlier parts, I kept calling this Crisis (and referring to red Crisis skies) even though this is officially Elseworlds. When I caught myself doing that, I mentally chastised myself and said "it's a good thing this isn't officially Crisis (even though we've got a Monitor hanging around) because Crisis means a terrible ending for both Kara and Barry.(Note: links contain spoilers for a 1985 comic series.) I never actually expected the show to go there and talk about their deaths being destiny. I guess I was wrong.

So Oliver basically signed his death warrant with the Monitor, right? Or is there another explanation for what will have to be sacrificed in order to keep the balance and prevent Barry and Kara from dying? And in doing so, didn't he exactly replicate the same deal he made with the DA to take the fall, go to prison and spare his allies? I'm sure Felicity will have plenty to say once she hears about the details.

Beyond the Crisis stuff, I've got mixed feelings about this episode. First, I do have to say I loved seeing Lois in that dress during the final scene at the Fortress. What a lovely callback to the Lois of the Superman movies.

As much as I like the Supergirl version of Superman and Clark Kent, I think he was was given too big a spotlight in this episode. Supes was basically called on to save the day while Kara zoomed around the earth with Barry. Yes, I think it has been established that Kara is faster than Clark, but the way this played out, the show really sidelined Supergirl in favour of showing off Superman. Sure, I guess this is his official send-off from the show for maternity-related reasons, but I still think it gave him too much focus, especially in comparison to how Kara was portrayed. She spent most of the episode as Kara Danvers, not Supergirl. I guess since this show has been more about the power of love and friendship and sisterhood, it kind of makes sense, but I still think Kara's super side got shorted.

I understand that the show explained that Clark has encountered objects like the Book of Destiny before therefore he understands how they work, but he doesn't know anything about Earth-1. So I have to wonder about how qualified he is to return reality to the way it's supposed to be? Looking at the writing in the book, it looked an awful lot like the speedster language Barry and Nora and Thawne have used, so I'm surprised Barry couldn't use the book. Even Oliver should have been able to do something with it, given that Arrow's theme is always about Oliver's will and his ability to shape his own destiny.

Deegan as Evil Superman said Kara and Clark weren't mentioned in the Book because they weren't from Earth-1. Okay. The Monitor, however, said he was looking for a world and heroes from that world that would stand up to him and pass his tests and demonstrate their goodness, to ensure their world survives. How do Kara's efforts fit into that picture? Her willingness to sacrifice herself for Earth-1 would monkey with the test results, wouldn't it?

Sorry, I think I'm rambling a bit tonight, and I'm not being particularly clear on what I see are the more problematic aspects of the plot.

I was kind of surprised to see a version of Alex on Earth-1. Somehow I thought it was established that not only was there no Kara Danvers on Earth-1, that there no other members of the Danvers family either.

J'onn seemed awfully calm nearly getting burnt to a crisp protecting those civilians. I guess he's gone a lot further to conquering his fear of fire than I thought.

Overall, I thought the crossover was a solid effort. It didn't quite hit the highs I was hoping for after seeing the the first episode. I do have to wonder how they're going to handle the promised 2019 Crisis on Infinite Earths, considering they've hit a lot of the Crisis plot-points already, including dead heroes on Earth-90, the introduction of Monitors, and dodging the deaths of Barry and Kara. I guess we'll just have to wait for the Anti-Monitor (maybe that will be Deegan's new role given his change in skin tone and texture) and his Psycho Pirate friend in the mask to come up with a new plan (although I'm still not too impressed by the way Deegan changed reality. I still don't think he was thinking big enough.) If it's a full-blown Crisis, then the Legends really need to be involved, which could really make for an unwieldy number of characters.
posted by sardonyx at 9:12 PM on December 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh, I did love Kara taunting Deegan that he was too cowardly to be a version of Supergirl and instead opted to be Superman.
posted by sardonyx at 9:48 PM on December 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

What was the hammer Lois was wielding? It wouldn't be Mjölnir, since that's Marvel. Is there an equivalent in DC?
posted by willnot at 10:19 PM on December 11, 2018

I don't know if it was Mjlonir but one of the few comics things I know is that there is a DC Thor AND a Marvel Thor!
posted by Justinian at 10:46 PM on December 11, 2018

It is, according to Bitsie Tulloch's (Lois) tweet, the "solar hammer from the cosmic anvil":

I have thoughts about this episode and I'm not thrilled, but will chime in tomorrow, I'm sure.
posted by juliebug at 10:48 PM on December 11, 2018

That was certainly a hell of a ride!

So, thinking about next year's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and how in the original story, Barry and Kara die. They teased their deaths here and Oliver made a deal to rewrite destiny and save them, so who has to die next year instead? Well, Barry Allen can still die - the Barry Allen from Earth-90 who was included in this story just long enough to set him up and then put him back in the box. And as for Kara, well, the show really does not want Superman around...
posted by Servo5678 at 5:37 AM on December 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

"Come on, that's got to be like only the fourth most crazy thing you've heard in the past three hours."

"Are you...smiling?" "I kinda like you guys. Don't tell anyone."

"Twice you've made me hug you. NO."

Oh man, I do want to see Superman and Lois so much more often, they are so much fun! Superman is so sweet and Lois is so awesome! Also, nice way to make a ring. Have Superman and Lois ever gotten married/pregnant before anywhere? I don't necessarily want him to overshadow Kara and I know that's the big fear, but they're all so darned cute together and the show writes them together so well.

Yeah, it was a little weird to have Superman deal with the book, but it didn't bother me too much and everyone else was doing stuff as well.

Barry and Oliver were also darned cute together in this episode.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:20 AM on December 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

As the AV Club review pointed out it was odd that Kara wasn't more the focus of this episode, but overall still a lot of fun.

Plus every Arrowverse show is made better by a visit from Gary. That character, and the way Adam Tsekhman plays him, is perfect for comic relief cameos. Have either Barry or Oliver met Gary? It didn't look like they recognized him.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:48 AM on December 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

I don't think they have, no.
Yeah, it was a little weird.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:00 AM on December 12, 2018

The answer to the question about whether Clark and Lois have ever gotten married or pregnant before is a very complicated one. As badly as Marvel messed up Peter and MJ's marriage, it was child's play compared to the havoc rendered by DC upon the Kent family.

The shortest version of the answer, however, is yes. Lois and Clark have been married, and Lois has been pregnant and has given birth. Jonathan Samuel Kent (most commonly known as Jon) has worn the big red S as Superboy. Currently, he's co-starring in Super Sons, along with the current Robin, Damian Al Ghul Wayne (the son of Bruce and Talia).

If you value your sanity, don't ever bother trying to understand the history of Superboy. There are so many variations from so many different origins (clones, alternative universes, biological children, etc.) that it makes a person's head spin. I will, say, however, that there is deep link between Crisis on Infinite Earths and Superboy, but I don't expect we'll see that in the crossover next year.
posted by sardonyx at 8:28 AM on December 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Superman is so awesome he can not only squeeze carbon into diamond, he can squeeze carbon into a professionally cut jeweler polished diamond! That takes some damn fine manual dexterity with a closed fist!
posted by Justinian at 11:44 AM on December 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

And he can cut it perfectly with just his hand to magically fit into a setting without even working to get it to stay in there!
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:45 PM on December 12, 2018

Clark made a diamond ring the same way, with eye laser to set the stone, at the Fortress of Solitude on Smallville (skip to the 4-minute mark to see the ring making).
posted by plastic_animals at 2:04 PM on December 12, 2018

that was fun if a bit convoluted. Agree that it was weird that Superman of Earth-38 knew how to rewrite history for Earth-1. Also, why couldn't Barry phase out of Deegan-Superman's grip? Surely he doesn't know how to counteract that. I'm glad we got to see more of Superman, actually, and since it's kind of a sendoff, I'm ok with him getting more screen time. There wasn't honestly a whole lot going on in Supergirl's world now that Lockwood is behind bars and is just rallying his base. The downtime from DEO definitely shows. I only wish we got to see Earth-38 Alex and what she'd say about the hair on her Earth-1's counterpart.
posted by numaner at 2:39 PM on December 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

The diamond thing harkens back to this scene from Superman III.
posted by juliebug at 7:58 PM on December 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

Famed SF writer Larry Niven once speculated about Superman and Lois getting pregnant. (Link is possibly ever so slightly NSFW)

I loved this episode, and I've been off Supergirl for a long time. The callbacks to Superman: The Movie have been coming hard and fast in this whole event and every one of them fills me with joy. Teasing long-time comic fans by waving Barry's and Kara's COIE fate in front of us and then deus ex machina-ing them away could have felt cheap, but this isn't Crisis. Yet.

I am SO EXCITED for the actual Crisis event.
posted by hanov3r at 2:23 PM on December 13, 2018

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