“The Flash” Episode Review – S05E09 “Elseworlds: Part 1”

Superman Homepage writer Michael Bailey has submitted his review of the ninth episode of Season 5 of “The Flash” in which, when Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Oliver Queen (guest star Stephen Amell) wake up one morning and realize they have swapped bodies with each other, the two set off to find out what disturbed the timeline to cause such a shift. However, things quickly go from bad to worse when they present their case to Team Flash and the gang doesn’t believe them. Barry and Oliver realize they need Supergirl’s (guest star Melissa Benoist) help and travel to Smallville on Earth-38 where they end up meeting Kara’s cousin, Clark Kent (guest star Tyler Hoechlin), and intrepid reporter, Lois Lane (guest star Elizabeth Tulloch). LaMonica Garrett guest stars as The Monitor.

ElseworldsOriginally Aired: December 9, 2018
WRITTEN BY: Eric Wallace and Sam Chalsen
DIRECTED BY: Kevin Tancharoen

Grant Gustin (Barry Allen/Oliver Queen/Flash/Green Arrow)
Candace Patton (Iris West-Allen)
Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost)
Carlos Valdes (Cisco Ramon/Vibe)
Tom Cavanagh (Some version of Harrison Wells)
Hartley Sawyer (Ralph Dibney)

Melissa Benoist (Kara/Supergirl)
Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen/Barry Allen/Green Arrow/Flash)
Tyler Hoechlin (Clark Kent/Superman)
Elizabeth Tulloch (Lois Lane)
LaMonica Garrett (Monitor)
Jeremy Davies (Dr. John Deegan)

5Rating – 5 (out of 5): This crossover is going to be hard to review or rather it is going to be hard to review objectively. For one thing, I have been looking forward to it since they first announced. For another thing, while this episode referenced things going on in the storylines of the three series involved it was pretty much stand alone. Some of the characters beats relied on you knowing things about the history of the people involved (Barry setting up the arrows to shoot Ollie in the back to get friendly revenge for when Ollie did the same thing to him is a good example) but for the most part this episode and the two that are going to follow it exist for one reason.

To cause fans like me to lose their minds.

There were things that happened in this episode that I thought I would never see or never see again. John Wesley Shipp in his ’90s Flash costume. The fact that the design of The Monitor is so accurate to the comics is amazing. If you would have asked me a few years ago if I ever thought I would see a live action Monitor after seeing what the Arrowverse was doing and what the Marvel films were able to accomplish I would have still said there was no way it would never happen. Because he’s part of this huge storyline that would be impossible to distill in a movie or mini-series there’s no way they would put him on television and yet there he was at the beginning and end of this episode and I honestly can’t express how happy that made me.

And that’s the strength of this episode. It made me happy. I haven’t been this excited for a live action comic book adaptation since the first Avengers film in 2012. The sheer number of heroes involved in this crossover not to mention the heroes they chose to involve in this crossover is insane and the fact that they stuck the landing with this first part made me not only squeal with delight but also breathe a huge sigh of relief because it didn’t let me down at all.

The story itself is pretty simple; The Monitor gives Dr. John Deegan (who is a bit on the mad side of being a scientist) a book that allows him to re-write reality. His first move is to switch Barry Allen and Oliver Queen. There were some great character moments that came from this switch. The fact that they had to adapt to each other’s skill sets was played humorously but there was a lot of heart to their interactions with each other and their supporting casts. Grant Gustin looked like he was having a ball as Green Arrow and this A plot was very satisfying. The fact that they introduced a live action version of Amazo will never not be cool. The additional fact that he was a legitimate threat was even better.

But, come on…the reason I was so excited for this crossover and this episode is the return of Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent and Superman and the introduction of this world’s Lois Lane as played by Elizabeth Tulloch.

And I was not disappointed.

The version of Clark and Superman that was developed for this universe as played by Tyler Hoechlin is closer to the Superman that exists in my head than any other live action or animated version of the character that has come before. The first two episodes of the second season of SUPERGIRL contained so many things I look for in a Superman that I could hardly believe it. Like everything else in this episode Hoechlin did not disappoint. The back and forth with Lois felt right. The conversation with Kara about her recent resignation from the DEO likewise felt right and while he was giving advice he wasn’t preaching. The moment he told Barry to call him Clark was everything I want to see in Superman; confident but not arrogant. The shirt rip made me happy and his part in the battle with Amazo was better than the fight with Steppenwolf in JUSTICE LEAGUE.

And I nearly lost my freaking mind when they played the theme to SMALLVILLE. I did not expect it, but I was so excited that it happened.


Elizabeth Tulloch’s Lois Lane was a joy to watch. I liked how she got along with Clark. I like that she was a feisty reporter that wanted to write the story she wanted to write but still had the conversation with Clark about writing it. She wasn’t dismissive. She wasn’t petty. She wasn’t two dimensional. Like Hoechlin’s Superman this Lois Lane feels familiar and the fact that she was ready to smack Ollie and Barry with a hammer made me smile. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her as the crossover continues.

Part One of this crossover was everything I wanted it to be. We have The Monitor handing out a book that controls reality, red skies and jumps between different realities. There is a part of me that thinks that The Monitor is doing all of this to test the heroes involved because of a larger Crisis down the road but we’ll see how that goes. Right now I am too high on the excitement of this episode to really think too closely about where the story is going.

It is so nice to be this excited for what comes next in this story.

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

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December 10, 2018 12:54 am

The first thing that I want to say about my review on this episode is this, when Cisco asks Clark who he is, Clark smiles and says”A friend”. The same words that the great Christopher Reeve once said as Superman.And then he rips his shirt to reveal the Superman suit. He then helps Supergirl, Flash, and Green Arrow as their friend. Because that’s who Superman is. A friend. Later on he is told that they couldn’t defeat Amazo without his help. And in his response, he humbly says that he thinks that they could’ve handled it without him. That’s part… Read more »

December 10, 2018 7:39 pm
Reply to  Superman2878

Agree with the humble and friend comment. I would love a Superman series with Tyler cause the guy just gets it in every way. He may have not portrayed superman a whole lot but what little he did has had a long lasting effect which is we want more.

December 10, 2018 7:59 pm
Reply to  Iluvsuperman88

I agree 100% of what you’ve said. And I’m so looking forward to seeing Tyler’s Superman take action again and help his cousin and his fellow superheroes in this quest to defend reality from the evil Monitor. This crossover so far has been in a word”Super”.

December 10, 2018 5:02 am

I wonder if the point of this crossover is to achieve what the original Crisis On Infinite Earths achieved.. Are they trying to streamline the shows on to one earth? I wouldn’t feel like they have robbed us of anything because the multiverse could still exist in a different form.
I liked this version of Superman as well and the tribute to Smallville was so Fanawesome. Please CW , find a way to give us a Superman Series with this Superman and Lois.

December 10, 2018 11:56 am
Reply to  supermilt

Thank you for pointing out the Smallville reference. I forgot to mention that in my comments. I really liked that as well. And I agree with everything that you said about a Superman tv series staring this version of Superman and Lois. Well said. I look forward to seeing parts 2 and 3 soon.

December 10, 2018 11:30 am

I’m not a habitual watcher of CWs DC shows (it’s a time thing mostly) so there were a few things that I was at a loss for (Why does Harrison Wells now have a really bad Qubecois accent?); but I watched this with rapt attention. The Superman mythos gags really worked, they knew how to get right to the top without going over.
And of anyone watched it “live”; did it look like Jason Mamoa was wearing a Green Lantern ring in his Aquaman bumper, where he was talking about which Superhero he’d switch with?

December 10, 2018 11:40 am
Reply to  afriend

That’s a good question regarding Mamoa.I’m going to have to see the episode again on my DVR to look for that Green Lantern ring. As for Harrison Wells, currently they are doing a murder mystery story this season on the Flash. So they acquired the help of a Sherlock Holmes version of Harrison from another reality to catch the killer.

December 10, 2018 12:30 pm

Great review Michael and I agree. In the words of Apollo Creed “THAT was very NICE!” So glad that Superman gets to be part of things in this years crossover and once again Tyler Hoechlin knocked it out of the park. I also enjoyed our new Lois and thought she had great chemistry with Tyler. She’s got a strong Margot Kidder vibe while also doing a bit of her own thing. I really enjoyed the character bits with the body swap, especially Oliver figuring out speed powers. Also when Oliver and Barry were working out their conflict and Oliver sarcastically… Read more »

December 10, 2018 1:44 pm

EVERYTHING they did with Superman last night was just about perfect in terms of attitude and execution. From the humbleness, to the positivity, to Superman being the final blow to Amazo (well, the first go around anyway), to the line “A Friend.” Hot damn, this is exactly what I want in a live action Superman. Clark taking on Amazo alone was pretty great as well, but I wish instead of the Oli-Flash sequence we would have seen Superman (and the other heroes) try a few more attempts to take him out on the scene. The handling of the homage to… Read more »

December 10, 2018 2:58 pm
Reply to  Randall

Tyler Hoechlin confirmed he’s in all three parts of the crossover. Bitsie Tulloch, I believe, is only in the Flash and Supergirl parts, so there’s a good chance we won’t see her tonight, but she’ll definitely be back tomorrow.

December 10, 2018 7:24 pm
Reply to  Randall

I agree with you on his humbleness and positivity and just overall demeanor and personality. I mean really, brooding badasses are kind of a dime a dozen right now in our popular culture so in that sense Superman is a welcome breath of fresh air.

December 10, 2018 6:44 pm

It was done well. In what I would call the normal CW fashion! Too many earths to contend with. And I didn’t much care for the Barry/Oliver switch. Hope that’s not going to remain through all three. But it’s still been good so far.

December 10, 2018 7:13 pm

I really enjoyed this episode. Not Really sure what Stephen M meant by if you are a fan of Smallville then you will love it. Wasn’t really a whole lot of Smallville stuff to me besides the save me song. I really Didn’t see Lois enough to say whether or not the actress knocked her portrayal of Lois out of the park but what I did see was good. Loved the shirt rip and seeing Tyler’s fight with Amazo. It is always great to see superman in action. I loved the part when Kara did the, “you have failed this… Read more »