Review: Supergirl 3×08 – “Crisis on Earth X, Part 1”

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Director: Larry Teng

Writers: Robert Rovner, Jessica Queller, Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim

 

Summary

The wedding of Barry Allen and Iris West is interrupted by a Nazi invasion from a parallel world, Earth X.

 

Positives

The red sky on Earth X is a nice touch. I assume it’s a reference to season four of Batman: the Animated Series. Even if it’s not, it still looks good.

The costume design for the Earth X characters is solid. Nazi-Arrow and Nazi-Supergirl both look great. The red and black is a cool looking color scheme. Nazi-Arrow’s costume is weirdly more distinct and colorful than Earth 1-Arrow’s suit.

Melissa Benoist gets to sing which is always great.

 

Negatives

Even though it’s an episode of Supergirl, the cast of that show is thrown under the bus. Mehcad Brooks gets one scene and it’s Nazi-Arrow killing Earth X-Guardian. That is nonsense and a huge missed opportunity. We haven’t seen Guardian in costume all season and we get him for five seconds only for him to die. Why not include Guardian and Martian Manhunter? They’re more worthwhile heroes than the characters on the other three shows. The big crossover literally begins with one of the main white heroes shooting one of the main African-American heroes in the chest. And Marc Guggenheim wants to do a black lives matter episode of Arrow.

Nazis are a terrible idea. This really is not the time for this nonsense. At a time when Nazis feel more comfortable than they have since World War 2, even getting sympathetic profiles in the New York Times, showing our heroes as Nazis feels so wrong and insensitive. The amount of Nazi imagery is unbelievable. The sexist and idiotic team of Andrew Kreisberg and Guggenheim somehow looked at this summer’s Secret Empire event and thought it was brilliant, so they copied it. That story went so well for Marvel and Nick Spencer, so clearly it’s gold. Even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did the Nazis win World War 2 alternate Earth story. The beyond tedious Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. beat them to this lame and potentially harmful story.

Even without the Nazi crap, this is a boring story that’s been done a million times even on these shows. We’ve seen Supergirl go bad from red kryptonite and Earth 2 where heroes were villains. The Injustice games are huge, which play with this idea. It’s been done on other superhero shows, live action and animated, and there are countless comic book stories with this premise. There is nothing new in this premise that makes me want to watch. And why does every crossover have to involve a fight with the heroes. The first was billed as Flash vs. Arrow, the second featured the big fight with Hawkman and last year had everyone mind controlled and forced to fight Arrow and Flash. This year, we have evil doppelgangers to fight. This is tired.

Much of the episode focuses on the wedding between Barry and Iris. I stopped watching The Flash during it’s awful third season and that mostly had to do with how unlikable Barry had become. I do not care about this character or his love life especially when the person he’s marrying is a character I never liked. The two actors share no romantic chemistry and aren’t any fun to watch on screen together. Adding to that is the creepy incest stuff, Joe refers to them in the episode as his kids, which only makes it worse. Their wedding and the lead up is obnoxious and dull.

I haven’t watched Arrow since its horrendous fourth season but it’s good to know Oliver and Felicity are still a terrible couple. Like Barry and Iris, the actors don’t have romantic chemistry and mainly bicker like children. Felicity doesn’t want to get married for spontaneous reasons just so we can have “character development” which is code for characters bitching each other out in overly dramatic scenarios instead of talking like human beings.

Why is Sara’s sexuality so funny to Guggenheim? Her bisexuality is a running gag throughout Legends of Tomorrow and it manifests here with a one night stand between Sara and Alex. I actually wouldn’t mind a relationship between the two characters. A casual long distance romance would be kind of interesting and I would like to see Sara written by Supergirl‘s more talented writing staff. But it’s just a wacky subplot meant to either make us laugh or turn us on. The joke is that Sara and Alex had sex and it makes the latter uncomfortable. There actually is potential for story here. Alex came out only a year ago and just broke off her first homosexual relationship. She’s in a vulnerable place and something could be done to further her story with Sara who is so comfortable in her sexuality. They don’t have to hook up or date and if they did, it should be treated with some respect. Instead, this plot would feel right at home on Two and a Half Men. It also makes Sara look terrible for taking advantage of Alex’s pain and practically mocks her later despite how visibly uncomfortable Alex is. I hate seeing Guggenheim’s name on an episode of this show and I am sick of seeing Kreisberg’s name every week.

The big action scene at the wedding could have been great, but it’s poorly directed and edited and there are some missed opportunities. They clearly had a miserable time keeping track of all the characters, which shows. I didn’t even know Wally was at the wedding until the fight started. Cisco gets knocked out and is unconscious for the entirety of the Arrow episode. I legitimately do not remember seeing someone hit him. Maybe I looked away for a second to pet my dog or take a drink but I never saw whatever put him in a coma. The big missed opportunity is Cisco. The best moment of the episode is Cisco opening a breach for Oliver to jump through. They could have had a ton of fun with this; characters jumping in and out of breaches or knocking villains into them is fun and creative. Blink steals the show in X-Men: Days of Future Past with her abilities doing a similar thing. They do it once and it’s just for Oliver to get to a higher level.

 

Verdict

This is terrible. It makes me sad to see an episode of Supergirl filled with everything that makes the other three shows so painful to watch. I wish the show had been left out of the crossover like last year. It’s a boring premise that has been done to death with nothing new to say about the subject; they just continue to normalize this imagery in the pop culture. The crossovers characters are just as obnoxious and tedious as they are on their own shows; these characters are given more screen time than any actual character from Supergirl, which doesn’t help. There isn’t even good action to distract from how awful this script is. It’s a terrible start to a crossover that I don’t think will get any better.

 

 

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Sean Blumenshine

I am currently a senior at Wichita State University studying communications. I started reading comics in 2013 because of how much I loved Man of Steel and season one of Arrow. My favorite hero is the Green Arrow and my favorite villain is the Joker.
  • DaleHB

    They need a different reviewer, because you are literally the only person anywhere who has looked at this crossover and said this. You made up your mind that you were going to hate before it started and it shows. What a joke of a review.