“All I know is whenever the three of you show up, it usually means we’re having one huge problem.”
After the bizarre life-swapping antics of Part 1, the Arrowverse trinity head to Gotham City in order to find the source of their problems, and along the way they meet Gotham’s own vigilante.
Before we jump into the episode, a moment must be taken to appreciate the work that has gone into this crossover, especially in this episode, where the Arrow introduction has been recreated shot for shot with Barry (Grant Gustin) in place of Oliver (Stephen Amell). It’s a nice touch which really keeps the crossover’s levity alive.
The crazy red sky and lightning that plagued Central City last episode have made their way to Star City, making John (David Ramsey) and ARGUS’ job of apprehending Deathstroke’s newly-resurfaced son, Kane (Liam Hall) all the more difficult. But, when Oliver, Barry and Kara (Melissa Benoist) turn up, John knows that this can’t mean anything good – and he’s got a point, the trio rarely meet up outside catastrophic events, and even when they do, things usually end up bad anyway. The heroes are seeking ARGUS’ help to decipher exactly what is going on with the lightning, giving the others something to do while they’re off in Gotham, to make sure everyone gets a little screen time, and remind us that this segment of the crossover is an Arrow episode.
Lending her masterful tech skills to the problem at hand, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) is called upon by Barry as Oliver, although the group decides that telling her about the whole body-swapping thing is probably a bad idea, given the reaction they got from Barry’s friends. This subplot is the one truly annoying thing about Part 2 of Elseworlds, as somehow once again the crossover has to include some Olicity drama – last time, they made Barry and Iris’ wedding about Felicity not wanting to get married, and this time the couple are still frosty about Felicity’s newfound penchant for violence, and the Barry-Oliver swap is being used to symbolise that the two don’t know each other anymore. There’s literally no need for this whole drama, but it’s like the writers think that the only thing Arrow fans care about is Oliver and Felicity’s relationship, and frankly, the drama surrounding them is getting a little stale.
Moving on, Elseworlds Part 2 sees Barry, Oliver and Kara head to Gotham, the lawless city which has been devoid of Batman for over three years – or if you’re to believe Oliver (who thinks that he is the only brooding vigilante out there) he never existed in the first place. Of course, the trio can’t help but get into trouble, and with Oliver’s reputation proceeding him, our heroes end up locked in one of the GCPD’s holding cells. However, when they are bailed out by a mysterious benefactor, it seems that they may have more allies in Gotham than they realised.
Taken from the GCPD to an abandoned Wayne Enterprises building, the heroes are left even more confused when it isn’t Bruce Wayne who comes out to greet them, but rather a young heavily-tattooed woman. Oh yes, in Part 2 we meet the hero we’ve all been waiting for – Kate Kane (Ruby Rose). Surprisingly, Kate Kane in her regular attire is basically just Ruby Rose, with Batwoman’s iconic long red locks actually a part of her vigilante costume. Similar to the past characterisations of the Dark Knight, Rose’s Kane is a little hostile, but witty and confident, giving Barry, Oliver and Kara somewhere to work, as long as it gets them out of her city.
While the boys are busy working on trying to locate Dr. John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) Kara takes the chance to get to know their saviour a little more. The dynamic between Kate and Kara is brilliant – on the face of it, the two women couldn’t be more different, but the more they talk to each other, the more their similarities begin to show – not least the fact that both are somewhat in their cousin’s shadow. If Batwoman does get her own CW series (and based on her Elseworlds appearance, she should) it would be nice to see her and Kara get the chance to work together again, and create their own “world’s finest” team, as the Arrowverse could use a little more girl power in their leading characters.
From talking to Kate, Kara finds out that Deegan is working at Arkham Asylum, as has been accused of performing experiments on his patients, though the charges against him have always been dropped. Managing to work their way into the asylum, Oliver and John wander through the halls in search of Deegan, where we get some wonderful Batman Easter eggs, such as the names of some of Gotham’s most notorious villains on the cell doors, and a Riddler riddle scrawled on the wall. But, their plan to have Deegan change Earth-1 back to normal is foiled when he opens all the cells in the asylum, leaving them to round up the crazies before they get away. And just to make things worse, a dose of the Scarecrow’s gas sees Oliver and Barry fight each other while thinking that they are facing one of the other hero’s antagonists. It’s a great way for the two to reach a deeper understanding of what the other has gone through, proving that there is no way to be a hero without carrying some sort of weight on their shoulders.
Back to the tech wizards, and together Felicity, Curtis (Echo Kellum), Cisco (Carlos Valdes), and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) work out that the crazy lightning is consistent with a “dimensional breach” meaning someone is trying to get through to Earth-1. That person is John Wesley Shipp, who is not Jay Garrick as many suspected, but Earth-90’s Barry Allen, whose Earth was ravaged by The Monitor (LaMonica Garrick). This all leads to a super obscure (and somewhat vague) explanation of what The Monitor is trying to achieve through his book plan, where he must find an Earth that is strong enough to withstand an incoming attack. It really just leaves you wondering why he chose Deegan out of everyone on Earth, and why he then gives him another chance to rewrite reality.
With only an hour of Elseworlds remaining, and time having been rewritten once more, Oliver are in a worse position than before, as powerless wanted men to be brought to justice by those they brought to justice when the world was right. And we don’t even know what’s going on with Kara yet.
A great, action and banter-filled episode, Elseworlds is definitely delivering on the lighter story we were promised, as well as successfully introducing Batwoman as a hero in her own right with the potential for more. However, it’s beginning to seem as though Elseworlds has been heavily promoting certain aspects of the crossover that don’t actually seem to feature that much in the overarching plot.