Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Flash - Elseworlds (Part 1)

The CW begins its latest crossover event on The Flash with Part 1 of "Elseworlds" as Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Stephen Amell) awake to a reality where they have each other's powers and skills and everyone treats Barry as Oliver and vice-versa. The goofy Freaky Friday set-up provides some humorous moments such as Oliver struggling to deal with the affections of Iris (Candice Patton) and Barry getting some long-waited payback. There are nagging issues here in how quickly both are able to get up to speed, but the episode's idea that the abilities/skills are inherent to them and just need to be tapped into does the bare minimum to gloss over the plot hole. Also troubling is Team Flash's reaction to the pair. While throwing them into the pipeline allows for a nice escape sequence, and offering a reason to tie-in appearances from both Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and Superman (Tyler Hoechlin), you would think that Barry and Oliver (who still have their own knowledge) should have been able to prove who was who simply by talking things through.

The first of the three "Elseworlds" episodes (named after DC's Elseworld's line of alternative versions and histories of heroes) doesn't skimp on the effects. Along a host of fun moments, callbacks (even a Smallville reference), and Easter Eggs (my favorite being Clark Kent's line to introduce himself to Cisco), the episode is punctuated with a extended fight sequence between the heroes and the android A.M.A.Z.O. capable of copying and using the group's powers against them. While the opening shows us who restructured reality, the crossover leaves delving into the identities and motives of the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) and John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) for the remaining two episodes. Other than the replaying of the teaser sequence, I was hoping to see more of John Wesley Shipp in his old costume from the 90s series, but I did enjoy the introduction of Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane and her banter with Clark (making me wonder if we'll be seeing more of one or both on the remainder of Supergirl this season). For now, it's own to Gotham and Part 2.

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