Arrow: Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Four
January 14, 2020 6:11 PM - Season 8, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Stuck in the Vanishing Point, the Paragons search for a way to escape; Oliver reveals that he has become something else; the origin stories for The Monitor and Anti-Monitor are revealed.
posted by oh yeah! (12 comments total)
This was a totally underwhelming episode. I've got to give it some more thought as to why and what I was hoping for, but whatever it was, this wasn't it.
posted by sardonyx at 7:31 PM on January 14, 2020

I wouldn't say I was underwhelmed, but I did sort of get the feeling that they had more fun blowing up the multiverse than putting it back together. I will admit that I was hoping it would take something more active than the Care Bear Stare.

I don't think anybody would call Justice League a classic, but Ezra Miller was one of its high points. Seeing him was a lot of fun.
posted by MrBadExample at 8:16 PM on January 14, 2020

I think it was the flashbacks to the points in time when the team was supposed to have come together or fallen apart. I know it has been a lot of years and a lot of episodes, and maybe my memory isn't perfect, but a lot of those scenes didn't feel like callbacks. They felt newly manufactured out of whole cloth.

I have to admit, I was a bit puzzled over who alternative Flash was for a minute, because I haven't bothered watching the DCEU movies (except for Wonder Woman). The line about Victor clued me in.

I know it's a new universe and everything, but the future Star City kiddies storyline really seemed to vanish into thin air. I guess they'll play it out on the remaining Arrow episodes, but they felt like there were missing here.
posted by sardonyx at 9:01 PM on January 14, 2020

Yeah, I didn't like it too much. Mostly I was just really confused as to what was going on, how we are seeing ANYONE besides the paragons, etc.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:06 PM on January 15, 2020

I love the Arrowverse for what it is, which is brilliant low-budget trash TV, but I also was puzzled about that Care Bear Stare scene. I suspect that it might have been a Plan B for some effects shot which they no longer had the funds for, but that's sheer speculation on my part based solely on how weird the scene was and how frantic the actors seemed.

Oliver as Spectre is such a perfect fit that I'm surprised we're seeing it on the CW before they try it in the comics. I about lost my shit at "-- you have failed this universe." Arrowverse rules because it's a story DC will never print - a whole multiverse at stake and nary Batman in sight, except for the one they brought in to quote Frank Miller for a hot second, all just for a scene that says fascist Batman sucks, and that's the last you're going to see of him, amazing. Superman is a backup character and Wonder Woman hasn't even been mentioned. What a weird, wonderful DCU that it fell to the Flash, Supergirl, and Green Arrow to lead the defense of. How delightful that a series which began as an active rejection of superheroics has climaxed with fucking Wild Dog shooting at the Anti-Monitor.

A couple episodes of Arrow left to go. I'm betting they'll wrap things up with Oliver still in the Spectre role, ready to swoop down next time they want to get Stephen Amell in on a crossover. If I'm not mistaken, this fellow has portrayed Oliver Queen for more consecutive years than any other person has ever written or drawn him. He's earned a break, but I don't buy death scene #2 any more than I did death scene #1.
posted by EatTheWeek at 1:09 PM on January 15, 2020 [6 favorites]

Haha and I'm only now just realizing that even at the crescendo of the literal Crisis on Infinite Earths, Arrow remained a show built way too heavily around flashbacks. Amazing, oh my God I'm going to miss it so much
posted by EatTheWeek at 1:11 PM on January 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

The future Star City kiddies story will finish out next episode as a backdoor pilot for a Mia Smoak show, then the series finale is after that for remaining loose ends.

I need to process Crisis before I discuss it.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:49 PM on January 15, 2020

That makes sense.

I feel a bit cheated by Spectre Oliver. I think I was expecting something bigger and grander in terms of his gestures or actions or even presence. This version felt too small and insignificant, especially as a reward/evolution for Mr. Queen.

I know Felicity is supposed to be coming back for the finale, but her presence was really missed throughout this Crisis, but especially in the last two episodes.

I'm still trying to figure out what Crisis means for the non-paragon characters like Laurel and Alex whose worlds and history were presumable altered without their knowledge. The Earth-2 problem and characters especially pose all sorts of questions, but I guess we'll get those answers as the shows progress.

I know Arrow is coming to an end, but I'm not sure I'm ready to let it go just yet. Some shows end feeling like they've worn out their welcome. I don't have that impression about Arrow. Sure they've retreaded a few story lines over the years, but I still think there's a lot of potential left for Oliver and company.
posted by sardonyx at 7:26 PM on January 15, 2020

Like others I was confused about the whole Oliver/Spectre keeping the Speed Force together so Barry could gather everyone. I've only seen YouTube clips of Justice League but the Ezra Miller cameo seemed to perfectly capture his Flash. That said, it seemed to be in there as a "cool get" rather than anything to do with the story.

I had to laugh at the establishing shot of the fight in the quarry as it showed Batwoman and Ryan Choi kicking and punching invisible opponents. Also, how is it that a non-powered person can defeat a shadow demon?
posted by plastic_animals at 6:56 AM on January 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

they just needed to be punched if you can time your hits right, i guess.

I'll just comment on this episode.

I liked the call backs in this as an Arrow episode, with his core moments relived where Oliver established his initial distrust of everybody. It was super Arrow-y and I loved it.

Yeah I think that stand-in-a-line scene was a "let's focus our wills but nothing visible will actually happen and we'll look cool" fan-service shot. Though it felt lacking with those 7, which included friggin' Lex Luthor and not somebody more deserving, like Black Lightning, or the [Ray] Superman like he was supposed to be.
posted by numaner at 1:49 PM on January 16, 2020

I had to laugh at the establishing shot of the fight in the quarry as it showed Batwoman and Ryan Choi kicking and punching invisible opponents. Also, how is it that a non-powered person can defeat a shadow demon?

I think part of why Berlanti's company hires so heavily from musical theater is that they favor performers who understand that momentum can at times be as important as the actual material. I laughed at that scene because I think this is the sixth time or so that the Arrowverse has returned to that particular quarry of doom.
posted by EatTheWeek at 11:01 PM on January 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

I finally watched this after realizing I was never going to get around to watching the other crossover episodes. I'm an old school Arrow fan, back in the beefcake-Batman days before there was an Arrowverse. I just want to watch my soap opera to the end, you know? Suffice to say watching this episode alone makes almost no sense at all, although you can fill in the details based on the silliest of comic book tropes. I read the Wikipedia synopsis and it didn't make much more sense, the story seems like a real mess.

It's a little interesting to me how much they lean on The Flash to tie all the Arrowverse stuff together. I guess that grander storyline started with that show, so it makes sense. But I'm sad this episode didn't do much to explain Oliver's arc. If you're an Arrow-only watcher you have no idea that Oliver really died the first time, or that he's kind of a zombie now, or that there was once again some Lazarus Pit shenanigans, or really what the Spectre even means. He's just.. some powerful force of nature. And he dies again, the end?

Well, two more episodes and I guess that's where they tie up all the loose Arrow-specific ends. The strange Arrow-babies plotline, whatever happens to Felicity, maybe resolve Lyla's betrayal of John. I hope there's one last shirtless fish ladder scene for old times' sake.
posted by Nelson at 8:15 AM on February 6, 2020

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