Review: Crisis on Earth X (TV crossover)
When watching any of the CW DC comics shows you have to keep in mind the network that they are on. The writers are targeting a single market, and alienating others. People who have been fans of the comics and these characters for years (myself included) will often cringe at some of the decisions made by the writers. Children that should be able to watch a comic book show just simply can’t because they are all too adult oriented. And if you’ve got a political view that isn’t what the writers want to push, then you’ll be dissatisfied as well. These are shows aimed at millennials, and I’m not using that in a negative term towards that generation. I get a network wanting to appeal to a certain audience, but as a man who went to school for learning how to gain an audience, I know it isn’t a wise decision to exclude any others. If I were making a show I’d want it to reach as many people as possible (especially the long time fans and the next generation of youth). Sadly, this isn’t the case with Supergirl, Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow.
Anyone who has been following me for a while knows that I follow and watch these shows each week. Do I do it because they are great? No. But there is a small element that gives me hope I will eventually see what I know the DC comics shows could be. After this crossover it could go either way.
Stay with me a moment while I explain. When Supergirl was in its freshman season it was lacking a budget, but the stories were told well. Then it was moved to the CW, and it became something entirely different. It got rid of good characters and changed the sexuality of another. It went from focusing on Kara Zor-El of Krypton to focusing on love lives. This wouldn’t be a bad thing if it was done right, but the problem is none of the dialogue in the relationships is realistic, and the scenarios feel forced if not acted out.
I preface with that because that is EXACTLY what we got in this crossover. Now, I’m not entirely hating because there were good things about it. For example: The Nazi Earth storyline, the death of beloved character Martin Stein, the return of Red Tornado, Barry and Iris finally getting married, and some pretty fun action scenes to watch with all the shows’ characters coming together in a Justice League B-Team sort of way.
But that is about it. The rest is riddled with plot holes that make no sense, corny moments, ridiculous relationship moments, and a forced political message. Let’s skip the corny moments because they can be forgiven, and talk about the plot holes…
Plot hole 1, 2, and 3: If Nazis won World War II and ruled another Earth, then why is the sky Red there? It’s still Earth right? And to add to that history would have been entirely changed. There’s a good chance that Oliver Queen wouldn’t even exist. Even IF that was possible how would he have become the Fuhrer? Is he a descendant of some high ranking German officer? That wouldn’t make sense either considering his family’s legacy. Not to mention that all existing character dopplegangers should have looked much different, whether it be facial hair, lipstick or whatever. Something would be different.
Plot hole 4: The Nazis have a wave rider. Why wouldn’t they use it to travel back in time on Earth One and change things? Instead they use it to attack civilians running in panic. It’s instead portrayed as less a doomsday weapon that Overgirl was.
Plot hole 5: Overgirl or Nazi Supergirl exploding also made no sense. The yellow sun powers her and Supergirl. Why would flying close to it irradiate her heart and cause her to be dying? Is this a lost plotline from Superman IV: The Quest For Peace? Even that movie had less plot holes.
Plot hole 6: How did this Nazi army do anything to stay in power. It seems that they aren’t very loyal to taking commands. When their Fuhrer says, “Kill them,” multiple times, they just march forward. They have automatic weapons in their hands. All they had to do to listen to orders was to aim and fire. Sure, there would have been some bullet proof people or those who could avoid the barrage of projectiles, but the Nazis would have at least tried. And they would have succeeded in killing a few. Instead we get a group fist fight with little to no guns being used, but lots of superpowers.
Plot hole 7: If Earth One is the Ray’s real home and Earth X is Citizen Cold’s real home, then why would Cold stay on One, and Ray return to X? Relationship aside, this makes no sense whatsoever.
Plot hole 8: Why is Thawne on Earth X? And to top it off, why is he even taking orders? He could easily kill evil Oliver, and outrun Supergirl to other worlds. This just seems stupid.
Plot hole 9, 10 & 11: These are less plot holes and more of unanswered issues, but who was the girl holding the drinks at the wedding? She acted like she knew Barry and is obviously someone from the future, but who? This doesn’t fit in a crossover episode, but should have been in a Flash episode. We have no answer at the conclusion of this arc though and are left wondering. Red Tornado’s return was much better than he appeared before, but are him and Metallo now dead? They both exploded as if they were just henchmen, and I’m still left wanting more of both for Supergirl or whatever show they fit in. Martin Stein’s death leaves another unanswered thing in his wake. Will Jax be useless from now on? My guess is that Stein’s daughter will be able to bond with Jax because of genetic code, and I’d be fine with that. There is a down side to this… it will become yet another relationship to watch on these shows.
That takes us to the relationship part of all of this… Straight or gay it doesn’t matter… the way they were written in felt forced and didn’t make anyone care at all for them. In fact, the only relationship that anyone should care about in this crossover is disrespected.
Relationship 1: Nazi Oliver and Nazi Supergirl – I actually enjoyed this one. It was as much a shock as it was to see Tommy Merlin appear as Prometheus, and it was executed quite well. The only down side is that this chemistry feels off for a so called dictator and a goddess of another world. It weakens their status and while they can and should love each other no matter how evil, it is something that would be done in private, not in public.
Relationship 2: Alex and White Canary – Let’s take the whiniest indecisive character (Alex) and focus more on her fake love life. They spent a season of Supergirl making me hate this character and it wasn’t because she was gay, but because her love life didn’t seem authentic. Everything with her and Maggie was forced from bad dialogue to interactions. So it’s not a surprise when it carries over to hear, and even the characters feel funny about it in the show. Then they put her with White Canary, who at this point must have every STD in the history of mankind. How many women has she slept with throughout history and NOT affected the time line? It’s been way too many to count or make sense. This was my final straw for both these characters, especially Alex. They need to kill her off already because she brings nothing to the show. White Canary is fine when she is acting like a leader, but how disrespectful can you be at a friend’s wedding rehearsal to just ignore the bride and groom because you want a one night stand? ugh.
Relationship 3: Barry and Iris – Poor Barry and Iris. This is one relationship I really care about. I want to see them together, and when they get their chance at a wedding it is all about everyone else and not them (including the point where they get married finally). Thankfully they had their moment, but the writers royally screwed them in the process. It’s a slap in the face to the actors and characters.
Relationship 4: Oliver and Felicity – WTF?! Any respect I had for Felicity is gone after that crap she pulled. Some best friends you are if you can’t even respect their wedding. But no… instead of Green Arrow and Black Canary we get Ollicity… a forced and unsteady relationship that just shows why many marriages end up in divorce. They have no respect for what should matter (the wedding of their friends).
Relationship 5: The Ray and Citizen Cold – I get that the Ray is a gay character. I get that the actor playing Captain Cold is gay as well. What I don’t get is why we had to see this portrayed so forcibly. Put all the sexuality aside and it really doesn’t make sense. Two people in love supposedly, but the one is in prison camp. The other finally shows up to help out? How long did that take? Then they kiss, and there is a drastic change in the mannerisms of Citizen Cold. He goes from being cool and badass to almost acted out like he’s prancing around and smiling all the time. I mean they quite literally stereotyped him right there and changed the character mid scene. Then the end comes and they just decide that they aren’t going to be together on the same Earth? WTF?
This brings me to my final point. The CW is trying very hard to get across a few political messages. Whether you love or hate what is going on in the world, the last place I want to see politics is on a show I want to see. Television is supposed to be a relief from the corruption and political bullcrap that is our current real society. The constant push to make comments like “Make America Aryan again” just doesn’t bring anything to the show. And the primary focus to be on relationships that seem way more forced than natural (gay or straight) comes off as more a message than anything else.
Extra questions I’m left with are “Where is the Hall of Justice introduced in last season’s crossover Invasion?” and “If this world was such a threat then why didn’t they recruit Martian Manhunter and Superman into it, not to mention the rest of the Time Bureau?”
We will see how the rest of the individual shows work out when I do my review at the end of the seasons, but for this crossover it is one you can easily skip. I’ll give it 2 out of 5 sCrypt ratings, and that really comes down to a good concept and cool characters being screwed by poor writing and nonsense.
What did you think of Crisis on Earth X? I’d love to hear if I’m the only one who felt this way or you agree.