Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3 gave us the live-action debut of The Ray, Citizen Cold, some evil Nazi plans, and even more amazing action
The first two parts of Crisis On Earth-X delivered plenty of action and managed to put all of our favorite characters in life-threatening situations. Yet somehow the third part elevated the action and stakes even more. Part 3 started right where Part 2 left off. Oliver (Stephen Amell), Barry (Grant Gustin), Sara, (Caity Lotz), Dr. Stein (Victor Garber), Jax (Franz Drameh), and Alex (Chyler Leigh) were taken captive by Nazis, brought to Earth-X, and left in what appeared to be a concentration camp. While in a holding area, the Earth-1 heroes met a meta-human prisoner named Ray (Russell Tovey). Before their captor, Quentin-X (Paul Blackthorne), could execute the group, they were saved by none other than Earth-X’s Leonard Snart (aka, “Leo”) (Wentworth Miller). Along with the rest of the Freedom Fighters, led by General Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan), the Earth-1 heroes attacked the portal on Earth-X so that they could get home. During the ensuing battle, Stein was shot.
Back on Earth-1, Oliver-X and Kara-X (Melissa Benoist), along with Earth-1’s Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh), continued with their plan to steal Earth-38 Kara’s heart to save Kara-X’s life. After a failed rescue attempt by Iris (Candice Patton) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), Kara gave herself back over to Eobard and Oliver-X to save Felicity’s life.
RELATED | Crisis On Earth-X Roundtable: Part 2
While the first two episodes of Crisis on Earth-X introduced the Nazis as brutal and murderous people, the third episode injected more references to the horrors of that regime and fleshed them out as more than cartoon villains. This was demonstrated most directly by Felicity-X, who had a yellow Star of David sewn onto her prison garb, being brought before Oliver-1 to be executed to prove he was Oliver-X. Ray’s garb was similarly marked with a triangle due to him being gay. Despite not directly showing the horrors of the Nazi regime (thankfully), the episode continued to darken the premise by directly referencing those horrors in subtle and not so subtle ways.
Part 3 continued to partially humanize Oliver-X and Kara-X. Many viewers may have found that attempt to humanize Nazis disturbing and uncomfortable, especially while using versions of characters we know and love. But perhaps that was the point. The Nazis, despite their brutality and countless horrific acts, were humans, and that makes them that much scarier. Regardless of the conclusions that may be reached, it’s a heavy subject matter that would take far more than a four-hour superhero crossover to properly address. While not delving into it too deeply, Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3 didn’t sidestep the darkness or seriousness of the subject matter either.
To continue in the same spirit as our previous Crisis On Earth-X roundtables, we assembled another group of fans from all four of The CW‘s DC-based shows. So let’s meet our crossover roundtable!
Adri (@lust_muffin) – Avid TV series watcher, Arrow fan from the beginning
Katie (@melszorel) – DC fan (TV, comics, movies), pizza lover, and loves writing and reading.
Tish (@caitybettlotz) – Watcher of an obscene amount of TV shows
Will (@willmpolk) – Blerd, producer @scenennerd podcast with host @sjbelmont, Flash fan!
Nicolette (@nicholette121) – Arrow fan, sporty nerd, lover of hugs and dancing.
1. What did you think of Winn being a general on Earth-X? Was that a good look for him?
Adri (@lust_muffin): That was a very different version of Winn and I have to be honest… I liked it. He’s a tough dude, but I understand it. Look at what he has been fighting against his whole life. I’m mostly happy that they found a way to have Jeremy Jordan in the crossover, because from what I understand, he’s a big part of Supergirl. I’m all for them getting every important character of each show in the crossovers somehow, even if it’s just a small role.
Katie (@melszorel): I was mostly shocked by the BEARD. But seriously, I thought Jeremy’s acting was great. Definitely a different version of Winn, but it made me happy he was part of the team that was trying to change things for the better.
Tish (@caitybettlotz): I really liked everyone having roles that were so different to the ones they have regularly. Winn was always more of a background member and I really enjoyed seeing him step up and assume the role of general. Although I do enjoy his little quips and one liners on Supergirl, this was a pleasant surprise and Jeremy really delivered with his scenes.
Will (@willmpolk): I enjoyed seeing Winn as a general and resistance leader on Earth-X. Definitely more ruthless than his doppelgänger and obviously more no-nonsense than other versions we’ve seen of him.
Nicolette (@nicholette121): I had mixed feelings about Winn as the Earth-X Freedom Fighter general. I love E38 Winn. I have a soft spot for the tech support on all the shows. I watch all four shows and the techs are my favorite characters. I love the awkward good-naturedness they all carry. But I loved seeing a different side of him on Earth-X. He was a bit broody and take charge. It was fun seeing him as a leader. I enjoy seeing actors stretch their acting muscles and do something a bit different. Jeremy Jordan nailed it. I like Earth 38 Winn better though. Adorable nerds make me happy.
2. Felicity and Iris teamed up to try to save Kara in this episode. Would you like to see the two of them team up more often?
Adri: Yes, gimme all of the SmoakWest! I love them together. They’re such good friends, so supportive of each other and they’re so smart and brave. Felicity and Iris being there for each other and fighting through this together (a Jewish woman and a black woman fighting against Nazis!) was one of my favorite parts of the whole crossover. Just give me all the SmoakWest content and I’ll be happy.
Katie: I thought Iris and Felicity teaming up was AWESOME. It was really cool because they don’t have “powers” but still managed try and help Kara and also kick some ass! I love them working together. I would absolutely be 100% on board with them teaming up in the future.
Tish: That was actually one of the things I enjoyed most about the crossover. Felicity and Iris have always been two of my favourite characters and while I do enjoy seeing them help out the heroes it was nice seeing them play the role of heroes for a change, not to say that they aren’t heroes in their own right, it was just nice to see them in action. I’d love to see more of them together in the future I feel like they have great character chemistry and Candice and Emily work really well together.
Will: It was interesting to see Iris and Felicity team up. Prior to this season they really have not had much interaction other than superficial moments, but given the relationship between Oliver and Barry, it was somewhat natural to see their relationship begin to form. Even though earlier in the Flash episode “Girls Night Out,” it seemed a bit forced, we now see it was necessary for them to pair them in that episode so that we could have this moment in the crossover.
Nicolette: The dynamic between Iris and Felicity has always been something that bounced off the screen for me. I love how they build each other up, play off each other. Individually they are incredible, tough, courageous, smart, women. The heart behind a couple of our favorite heroes. Together, they kicked major butt and I loved every second. They represent women extremely well when they are given the opportunity to shine. And, stronger together. Nothing better than team-ups. Give me more!
3. We were introduced to The Ray in this episode, who is going to be the protagonist in the upcoming CW Seed series Freedom Fighters: The Ray. What did you think of his introduction? Is he a character you’d like to see more of in live-action?
Adri: I’ve really liked him. His relationship with Leo is precious and we’ve only seen bits of it. I think he could be a good addition to the Waverider crew, actually. I can totally see him with the Legends. I think he would fit very well with that group. Maybe they’ll bring him back in the future. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of him.
Katie: I was actually intrigued by his story. I would like to know who he is and more about him in general. I think it would be cool to see him in live-action since that was how he was introduced. Him and Barry fighting Red Tornado was really neat to see.
Tish: I honestly took to his character the second he came on screen! I was already quite familiar with the actors work so it was nice seeing him on the show, in addition to that I love how this opened doors to further DC projects, I’m always open to new content! Another thing I loved about The Ray was his casual relationship with Snart was an incredibly welcome surprise.
Will: One of the standouts to me in the crossover was The Ray. I appreciated that the writers of the Crisis reminded us in a very direct way how the Nazis not only singled out the Jewish community, but also the LGBT community as well and all throughout the crossover they did not shy away from how sadistic and evil that regime was. Getting to The Ray, I hope he does show up on our Earth 1 shows because he is a very interesting character and also had a good humor about him unlike the slapstick and misogynist we’ve gotten from Ralph Dibny, Ray Terrill is someone we can all get behind!
Nicolette: I totally geeked out! I geeked out the entire crossover. The Ray is a perfect addition to the expanding CW Arrow multiverse. The more heroes the merrier for my giddy heart. Perfectly cast too. If he makes more appearances in the future, I will not complain.
4. Earth-X Leonard “Leo” Snart was introduced as one of the Freedom Fighters. While the Earth-1 Snart was never a straightforward hero or villain, Leo is less ambiguous. What are your thoughts on him being one of the good guys?
Adri: I’ve loved our Snart on Legends to be honest. He was a very ambiguous character that ended up dying like a hero, but I adored this version of Snart too. I think the way our Snart died showed that he could be a good guy if the circumstances were different, if he had grown up in a different environment and I think Leo is a proof of that.
Katie: Seeing Snart again was a plus in my books! I like this version of him. “Leo” was a great addition to the crossover. Snart was a fun ‘villain’ back in the day, and I do hope we get to see him more.
Tish: I’ve always preferred Snart as a good guy because deep down I’ve always believed that he wasn’t ever truly bad. Snart shines when he fights alongside the heroes and he fits right in with them, I loved how he seamlessly rejoined the team after being gone for so long. Wentworth has always had amazing chemistry with the cast and I really missed seeing him on the show.
Will: I always enjoy seeing Wentworth Miller show up as any version of Leonard Snart. He clearly was having fun playing the role and reminds us of how the multi-verse gives us opportunities to see different sides of all these characters. This version was a natural evolution of what we saw in him on The Flash and later Legends of Tomorrow, the capacity to be a hero. It is a shame that he is leaving the Arrowverse because I would enjoy seeing Leo Snart show up on Earth-1 to help Barry deal with DeVoe and other future foes.
Nicolette: LOVE Snart as a good guy. I always saw the good in him anyway with his Earth-1 version. So it was really a special treat to see him this way. I really hope he continues to make appearances in the Arrowverse…reality though, he’s much more compelling of a character when he’s towing the line between good and evil story wise.
5. Part 3 of Crisis On Earth-X had a lot of action but it was also balanced out with quieter character moments. What was your favorite scene? Least favorite?
Adri: Oliver blowing his cover to protect Earth-X Felicity was my favorite, even though that scene made me cry like a baby. The fight sequence at the end, when our heroes are trying to get to the portal to get out of Earth-X was really cool (except for the part where Stein gets shot!), and The Ray and The Flash fighting Red Tornado was amazing. Iris and Felicity beating the crap out of nazis? Awesome! Gimme a Jewish woman and a black woman beating up Nazis every day. Now… everything Overgirl I just couldn’t stomach. I couldn’t wait for her to die.
Katie: I seriously just loved all the fight sequences! Everyone showing up. There was so much happening at once, but all the CGI and film magic made it sooooo freaking amazing to watch. I also loved all of Sara and Alex’s interactions.
Tish: My favourite part of the episode had to be the little lighthearted scene we had with Dinah, Caitlin, Harry and Cisco in the meta-human cells. The banter between Cisco and Harry had always been one of my favourite elements of The Flash and the whole bouncy ball sequence made me laugh quite a bit. If I had to pinpoint a least favourite part of the episode it would have to be the scene where Thawne had Kara strapped down to take her heart out, I felt uneasy seeing Kara in a physically vulnerable position and at the mercy of a character I don’t particularly like.
Will: My favorite scene in the episode is when The Flash and the Ray fight Red Tornado as they try to keep it from destroying the facility so they will be able to get home. A close second is when Oliver (Earth-1) is in the facility and has the moment when he see’s Felicity’s doppelganger and takes down all the Earth-X Nazis. Least favorite is clearly when Stein was shot. Even though Sarah (@sjbelmont) and I talk all the time on the Scene N Nerd podcast that one of the problems we have with the Arrowverse shows is there are no real stakes because all you have to do is rewrite the timeline. So from that standpoint we did have some stakes in Part 3. It was still sad to see Stein get hurt.
Nicolette: Incredibly difficult to choose, the entire episode was amazingly well done, as was the entire crossover. It was truly big-screen feature film worthy, in my opinion. All the emotion and action was everything I hoped it would be and more. The strength and resolve of the heroes in this crossover while facing the worst kind of ignorant/arrogant hatred fueled evil made me really quite proud of them all. I can’t stop thinking about the scene with Earth-X Felicity though. That scene packed an emotional punch as well as an incredible action sequence. It was very well executed by Stephen, Paul, and Emily.
6. We continued to meet more doppelgängers of Earth-1 and Earth-38 characters in this episode. Who was your favorite? Who was your least favorite doppelgänger?
Adri: Okay, my favorite was Snart. By far. I could totally watch a show about that version of him. Least favorite? Lance. Once again, by far. I wanted the guy to die a slow, painful death. Honorable mention: Felicity Smoak. Geez, that scene with Earth-X Felicity ripped my heart out. The girl is so pure and brave in every Earth and every reality. She was risking her life to feed starving children. Every version of Felicity is a hero somehow.
Katie: I didn’t exactly have a favorite doppelgänger. I just thought Melissa’s acting was incredible! Even the scenes with ‘herself’. I was actually surprised to see Red Tornado!
Tish: My favourite doppelgänger was Snart! Not only did we get to see Wentworth on screen again but we got to see him kick ass with the good guys. But I have to give props to Paul Blackthorne because he delivered an excellent performance although it was quite difficult seeing him as a Nazi. For a number of reasons my least favourite doppelgänger was Oliver’s counterpart from Earth-X.
Will: Even though he was not native to Earth-X, it has to be Thawne being back. However, that being said of the Earth-X characters that we were introduced to I would have to say Overgirl was my favorite. Melissa Benoist did an excellent job portraying the character, especially how Overgirl had the capacity both with the mentality and ability to wipe out everyone, but yet showed restraint in her powers. I liked that because in some ways it showed how Overgirl and Supergirl were more alike than they would like to admit. Least favorite was Black Arrow. He was just a thug.
Nicolette: Doppelgängers! Paul Blackthorne. I have a hard time saying I liked seeing him as a Nazi…ew. But he nailed being vile. I’d have to say he was my least favorite as a character (Paul I adore you!). Can we talk about Felicity Smoak being a beacon of love and hope in that terrible hell by providing for starving kids? Some heroes don’t wear masks or capes. In such a dark world, Earth-X Felicity was an inspirational light, and that’s why I pick her as my favorite.
7. Eobard revealed that he had fought a version of Superman in the future. Is that a confrontation you’d like to see happen at some point in one of the Arrowverse shows?
Adri: I’m not really into Flash or Supergirl, but that was an interesting revelation. What would prompt the Reverse Flash and Superman to have a fight? Aside from the fact that, you know, one is good and the other is evil. Do they even know each other at this point? I think it would be interesting to see it really happening, so I hope the line wasn’t thrown there just for impact.
Katie: I think it’d be cool to have characters from the other shows be on Supergirl more often. It’s usually only Arrow, Flash and Legends that have guest stars from the other shows on a regular basis. We did see Barry in season 1, and then for the other crossovers as well. But the little cameos is something I’d like to see in general. So yes, I would like to see Eobard and Superman fighting. It would be cool to have Superman back on SG for an episode or two.
Tish: Definitely! That comment made my mind go to a million and one places, a Superman/Reverse-Flash match up would be incredible. Even though I do despise Eobard as a character, I do enjoy the depth and complexity he brings to scenes.
Will: Yes! ‘Nuff said!
Nicolette: I definitely see that as a great storyline for future Supergirl episodes where she pulls Superman in to help. Thawne seems to recall beating him…oh villains, they never learn do they? Our heroes always win, even when the “future” says otherwise, the good guys always win.
Final Verdict: While the pace of the crossover slowed some early on in Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3, the episode gave us a more in-depth look at the darkness of the Nazi-controlled Earth-X and delivered a shocking cliffhanger
It’s difficult to imagine that Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3 would have been able to raise the bar when it came to the stakes after the explosive first two parts the previous night. However, it managed to accomplish that by putting most of the major characters directly in harm’s way (after escaping from harm’s way) followed by sending an Earth-X version of the Waverider to Earth-1. But it didn’t stop there.
Superhero action sequences are often exciting and fun but unless there are real consequences for the characters, it can easily become devoid of meaning. Despite characters being put at risk in the first two parts, Part 3 dialed up the risk for everyone. Kara was under the constant threat of having her heart extracted by Eobard while she was still conscious (yes, you read that right) for most of the episode and Felicity-X was threatened with execution. It all culminated with Dr. Stein nobly putting himself in the line of fire to save the lives of his fellow heroes and getting shot in the process.
The episode continued to play “what if” with several familiar faces while also introducing interesting new characters such as Ray (aka, The Ray). Jeremy Jordan got to have some fun playing the far more serious General Schott. Wentworth Miller was really allowed to let loose while playing Leo, the gay Earth-X doppelgänger of Leonard Snart. While certainly less comfortable, Paul Blackthorne played a Nazi version of Quentin and did so with disturbing ease.
Paradoxically, one of the episode’s greatest strengths was also one of its greatest weaknesses. Using the Nazis as villains shouldn’t be taken lightly. While it didn’t come anywhere close doing such a thing (quite the opposite), the use of familiar characters in such disturbingly evil roles was certainly uncomfortable. With horrible things happening around the world, it made the escapism a little less pleasant and a little too real for some. In particular, the continued romantic involvement of Oliver-X and Kara-X made some of our roundtablers a bit queasy.
The third episode of the Crisis On Earth-X crossover continued the epic storyline started on the first night without ever losing sight of the stakes, its characters, or stopping the action for too long. Plus, it gave us an amazing Felicity/Iris team-up we’ve always been waiting for and now desperately want more of.