Elseworlds, ‘Part 1’: It’s Like Freaky Friday, with Capes

Elseworlds, “Part 1″ (The Flash, Season 5, Episode 9)

You can’t set up a first class buffet without first setting the table. This is exactly how the opening chapter of the Elseworlds crossover transpired. Although the concept is simple, the execution can be tricky; luckily these Berlanti-verse writers know a thing or two about creating crossovers, and do enjoy when they get to play in a larger sandbox. Long story short, this episode was a hoot. Here’s everything you need to know about the first part of Elseworlds.

What’s the scoop:  We open the way we closed last week, with the destruction of Earth-90 by an entity called The Monitor, with his own version of Agents of SHIELD‘s Darkhold. He visits a disgraced scientist named John Deegan, and hands over the tome in which reality can be rewritten. A quick cut brings us to Oliver waking up in a tastefully appointed bedroom that’s awash with –- gasp -– sunlight! Ollie immediately knows something is wrong; breakfast with Iris is just the cherry on top. Over in Star City, Barry has a similar body-swap dilemma. After each has to save the day in the other’s identity, they finally meet up to figure out what the hell happened. Comparing notes, Oliver and Barry eventually decide to take a trip to Earth-38 to see if Kara can help.

What about the action: During his first adventure as The Flash, Oliver accidentally activates the android AMAZO, which seeks out and absorbs metahuman powers. While Ollie and Barry are searching for answers on another Earth, AMAZO makes quick work of Cisco, Caitlin and Ralph, coopting all their powers. Cisco breaches the Kent farm to get reinforcements; luckily there’s a speedster, a marksman and two Kryptonians just hanging out, looking for a collaboration. AMAZO is like Grodd, powerful and interesting enough to be a longterm villain, but too expensive to create to be anything more than a one-off. The four heroes have to truly work together to defeat a seemingly unstoppable foe.

Memorable moments

  • Ollie testing out the Green Arrow’s catchphrase as The Flash, and Cisco’s quick correction.
  • Barry doing salmon ladders, and he also has Ollie’s abs, tattoos and scars.
  • Cooking breakfast continues to be an adventure for Iris.
  • Barry is an expert grudge-holder. He rigged the shoot-the-speedster-in-the-back trap that Ollie used on him way back in the original crossover episode.
  • It was interesting to see how Barry and Ollie channeled their emotions while doing their thing as heroes. Oliver directs all the misery and rage in his body to be the Green Arrow, while Barry clears his mind and focuses on those he cares about. They each realize they have to be like the other in order to fix the situation.
  • Iris lays down the law with Barry:  Don’t come back a brooding mess like Oliver.
  • We’re finally introduced to Lois Lane, and she’s just as much of a spitfire as we would expect her to be.

What’s next: Pack your bags, we are going to Gotham to meet Batwoman.

Last impressions: It’s a shame that Arrow is so gloomy because Stephen Amell is very good at lighthearted fare. In fact, this whole episode felt like an early season episode of The Flash or Supergirl. The three principal actors have an easy chemistry that translates to the screen. I have a feeling this setup episode needed to be the fun one, because we are headed to the one place more miserable than Star City -– Gotham City. We got a quick glimpse of Batwoman and one gets the feeling once the world-saving starts, the fountain of snappy quips and superhero hijinks is going to dry up. No matter how this three-part special event ends up, there’s no question it was off to a rollicking start.

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Craig Wack

For a weekly discussion of comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes

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