“Arrow” Episode Review – S07E09 “Elseworlds: Part 2”

Superman Homepage writer Michael Bailey has submitted his review of the ninth episode of Season 7 of “Arrow” in which, with Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Barry (guest star Grant Gustin) still stuck in the other’s bodies, the two get a lead on John Deegan (guest star Jeremy Davies) and head to Gotham City with Supergirl (guest star Melissa Benoist) to figure out why their reality has changed. While there, they meet the mysterious Kate Kane (guest star Ruby Rose) who provides them with information that leads the group to Arkham Asylum.

ElseworldsOriginally Aired: December 10, 2018
WRITTEN BY: Marc Guggenheim
DIRECTED BY: James Bamford

Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen/Barry Allen/Green Arrow/Flash)
Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak)
Echo Kellum (Curtis Holt)
David Ramsey (John Diggle)

Melissa Benoist (Kara/Supergirl)
Grant Gustin (Barry Allen/Oliver Queen/Flash/Green Arrow)
Ruby Rose (Kate Kane/Batwoman)
Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost)
Carlos Valdes (Cisco Ramon/Vibe)
LaMonica Garrett (Monitor)
Jeremy Davies (Dr. John Deegan)
John Wesley Shipp (Barry Allen/Flash)

5Rating – 5 (out of 5): So, the first night is out of the way and that initial euphoria of seeing a lot of cool stuff I’ve always wanted to see has abated.


Okay. Not really.

Not at all actually.

See, I like the DC Universe. I am a Superman fan, first and foremost, but I spent a lot of time in the DCU during the late eighties, all through the nineties and for most of this past century. I love its characters and its cities and its worlds. This makes being objective tougher than normal. It goes beyond the mechanics of this crossover. It’s something that is so engrained that every Easter Egg made me jump a little. To see everything that they’ve thrown at us has been a joy to behold.

The big part of this particular episode was the introduction of Batwoman. I’ve liked Kate Kane ever since she was introduced (or I guess re-introduced would be another way of saying that) in the pages of 52. Right from the start I dug her backstory, her look and who she was as a character. I wasn’t too concerned that this crossover would treat her badly. The look of the character is spot on and I liked the little previews they let out. As played by Ruby Rose she is everything I wanted from Kate and maybe a little bit more. She was definitely a Bat character and the chemistry Rose and Benoist had reminded me of Kara and Lena’s scenes together in Season 2. I liked seeing Kara and Kate talk. It felt very much like we were getting the beginnings of a World’s Finest thing and the scene where they say goodbye was neat as well. Part of me felt like we were getting things that weren’t really earned. To be fair, Kate helped them out at Arkham but she and Kara didn’t really work together but I’m just going to let that feeling go because it was awesome to see a live action version of a Bat character and Super character meet face to face for the first time and not have one ask if the other bleeds or not.

The through line of Barry and Ollie dealing with their own strengths and weaknesses came together nicely when they were exposed to Scarecrow’s Fear Gas. Having Reverse Flash and Malcolm Merlin show up was a good way to personify that theme and it made for a good fight scene. The whole Arkham Breakout was a lot of fun but that really pushed it over the edge to make it feel like it was something important. It also made for a good scene where Ollie and Barry finally understood each other a little more.

Oh, and Ollie getting all sensitive about Batman being real or not was great. Made me laugh out loud and everything/

When the plot of this crossover was announced I was sure of two things; that the Monitor was actually doing all of this to test the heroes and that the black suited Superman was going to show up at the end of Part 2. I’m not saying this make me smart. It was just a feeling and frankly the ads made that second thing really apparent. The Monitor using a villain to test the heroes is right out of the comics. For those that aren’t aware; The Monitor popped up in a bunch of DC books for a year leading up to the original CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, usually as a power broker for villains. It was his way of cataloging what the heroes could do so he could ultimately pick a team to defeat his evil opposite. This is a little different than that but not by much.

The only disappointing thing about this episode was the fact that John Wesley Shipp didn’t get more airtime and was ultimately taken out too fast. It was great seeing him in the old, Dave Stevens designed costume, though, so I will take what I can get and the mention of Diggle being a GL on an alternate Earth made me very happy.

This was a fun chapter. Heavy on action but that makes sense for the middle part of the story. There was a lot going on with Ollie and Felicity but, I went with it because that’s what you do with ongoing plots during a crossover and I think that is one of the best things about this crossover and the ones that came before it. It feels like a comic book brought to life. This is something Marvel is doing well on the big screen and that DC is doing just as well on the small screen. I am very thankful that I live in a time when we get this sort of thing on a weekly basis.

What a time to be alive!

Check out the “Supergirl – Episode Reviews” Contents page.

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December 11, 2018 10:34 pm

I know that I already gave a review on this episode some where else, so I’ll just say it was pretty good.

December 11, 2018 11:10 pm

I’m hoping we have not seen the last of 90’s Flash in this. (haven’t watched part 3 yet.) The Batman stuff was interesting. It would seem that there is a Bruce Wayne/Batman on both Earth 1 and Earth 38 but it is on Earth 1 that Batman has been gone for 3 years.

I was glad when Kara said that Clark and Bruce were friends then immediately let down a little when she had to qualify it as “frenemies” because I’m so friggin tired of that forced conflict.

December 12, 2018 12:28 am

Back in the day (I suddenly feel old), this would have qualified as a backdoor pilot for Batwoman. I think that the powers that be have already committed to a series though (please correct me if I’m wrong). I think this is going to have the same narrative problem that the old Birds of Prey series had; having to constantly dance around Batman’s absence. Giving up in the face of his challenges is very un-Batman (read that in your best John Goodman voice for a Big Lebowski reference).

December 12, 2018 9:02 am
Reply to  afriend

I think Kates words were “He didn’t leave without a fight.” So I don’t think he ran away from his challenges. Maybe his back was broken by Bane or something else that made leaving a necessity for him.

Or the more cosmic crazy explanation, is the Batman on Earth 38 actually the Batman from Earth 1 and Earth 38 is where he’s been for 3 years? And in that time he’s fought alongside Superman?

December 12, 2018 11:57 am
Reply to  MattComics

Interesting idea; but unless he is flat-out dead (and only Bucky stays dead), it comes down to the same thing. Fanboy rant in 3… 2… 1… Batman, as a character, does not walk away/quit/give up/(insert your own synonym here). He always tries to stay in the game. It can be done well like Kingdom Come or Batman Beyond. Or it can be done poorly (brace yourself, I’m going there) like in The Dark Knight Returns and the Dark Knight Rises (twice if you recall the film). I find the various “Batman is retired” or “He Disappeared (usually for an emotional… Read more »

December 12, 2018 12:39 pm
Reply to  afriend

No I get you. I guess what I’m saying is that I think it may be less a case of “Batman No More!” and more a case of something severe happening that has *forced* him to be away from Gotham when he otherwise wouldn’t.

December 12, 2018 6:59 am

Arrow, usually not known for humor, blended in well with the writing of this latest (and so far greatest) crossover. As a fan of DC, I was pleasantly shocked when at the Wayne Enterprises building in Kate’s office, Kara rummaging through finds the Shakespeare bust (holy to the batpoles!). A definite wink and a nod to Batman 1966. But the ultimate humorous moment came when Barry and Oliver were at Arkham and as they were going down the row of inmates, aside from seeing “Nigma, E” (aka The Riddler), up pops “GUGGENHEIM, M.” LMAO!!!!! It’s Arrow/crossover writer’s inside joke at… Read more »