From the first episode, Crisis on Infinite Earths let us know the scope of the crossover. After just two episodes, countless worlds have died, and even more cameos have come and gone. With part 3 of Crisis, the story gets even bigger. Albeit, a bit mishandled, as it seems the writers have trouble juggling all these characters.
In this portion of the crossover, we are introduced to Ryan Choi, Cress Williams Black Lightning, Wesley Shipp’s Flash, and more. As the heroes attempt to bring Paragons together, and find the source of the anti-matter wave. There is a lot of ground to cover with only two episodes left after this. So there is bound to be storytelling problems. These problems of pacing are evident in the search for Paragons. While it is extremely entertaining to say the least, the execution is off. Within a matter of seconds, Paragons are found in a very convenient way. It all feels very rushed. However, that doesn’t take away from the excitement.
The character of Ryan Choi is interesting enough, although his appearance feels late. This newest addition to the Arrow-verse provides some humanity to the insanity of it all. On top of this Paragon search and Flash investigating Nash and the Anti-Matter, there is Purgatory. The third storyline, which involves Mia, Diggle, and Constantine retrieving Oliver from Purgatory is moving. For the little time it is given, that is. With only around 40 minutes devoted to each episode, Crisis struggles to balance its characters.
For example, there is a huge moment in which The Spectre reveals himself, and transfers its essence and powers to Oliver. Unfortunately, this huge development is only given a minute or two of screen-time. As said before, Crisis has a strained story. At the end of the day, though, the writers do what they can. Longtime viewers like myself are awarded with rich character interactions. The bond and connections these heroes have. The Crisis they go through together is rewarding to see.
The storyline involving the Flash of Earth-90 (Wesley Shipp) is perhaps the most touching of the episode. We discover how he is being kept captive by the Anti-Monitor. Forced to give energy to the machine that is destroying worlds. This whole final sequence between Barry and his Earth-90 counterpart is both touching and clever. In a heroic sacrifice, The Flash of Earth-90 gives his life to stop the ant-matter machine. A Flash does die in Crisis. Just not the one you would expect.
Among other pleasing aspects of Crisis is its homage to different DC properties. From incorporations of John Williams iconic Superman theme to flashbacks to the original Flash show from the 90’s, this episode hits all the right emotional notes. Brandon Routh returning to the role of Superman is also one of the best creative decisions of the crossover. The official introduction of Black Lightning is also handled well despite feeling rushed. If you want to look at it in a more positive light, the urgency of this Crisis is represented well in the breakneck pace.
The episode ends things on a grim note, with the Anti-Monitor stirking back, deliver a fatal blow. Only with the help of Pariah do the Paragons escape the final Ant-Matter wave. In one more brutal scene, Routh’s Superman is killed and replaced with Lex Luthor. The Book of Destiny used by himself to replace Superman and survive as a Paragon.
Overall, this third episode of Crisis felt overcrowded and rushed in a lot of moments. However, the multiple moving parts and plot aspects of this crossover were still executed with a certain degree of success. With a lot of heartfelt character moments and satisfying payoffs, Crisis part 3 ends on a cliffhanger that has us excited about what will happen next. – Ernesto Valenzuela
Grade – 8/10