This week in the Arrowverse brought about moments that were greatly anticipated both within and outside of the universe, as Barry & Iris walked down the aisle at last and the latest annual crossover of the shows began. There is something that will always be cathartic about watching heroes beat up Nazis, especially in this turbulent time that we live in. So it was very exciting to see what the heroes would be taking on this year, easily the biggest out of the four years of crossovers and not just because of the four hours, and in just it’s first hours the crossover easily delivered. That’s because right away the promise from producers that this event would not be like last year’s Invasion! where Supergirl was barely a prologue and the other three shows sort of did their own thing even within the overall plot, is true. From the start with the opening titles to the style of the names of each city as all the players are introduced shows that this truly was put together as one full four-hour event cut into four pieces.
Overall the build of the whys and wherefores of the event is a bit slow, but there is no time wasted this year in getting the characters together and mixing up their interactions so that it’s not just the same characters from the same show hanging out with one another. It’s a shame that last week Supergirl just began to finally put it’s plot together and now it has to take a week off. That being said, the bit that was given at the start with Mon-El and using him and his return from the future (but also the past because of hibernation) with a wife & the recent breakup of Maggie and Alex as a reason for the sisters to take a trip to Barry & Iris wedding to try and shake off their funk, was a good way to go. It addressed part of the new plot that last week brought to the forefront without letting it dominate this event.
Another drawback is that since this was put together as a four-hour movie essentially the first hour is spent building up suspense for things that the trailer already spoiled, such as the fact that the Nazi villains are evil counterparts of our heroes. To drag out that reveal they kept the dark Arrow and Supergirl and others in masks with voice modulators till the last possible moment. Watching this event all four episodes back to back to back to back and not having seen the trailers would likely give a fuller experience. Watching it broken up, as I am doing for these reviews, is bound to lead to things feeling too slow in some cases. The first act of most movies, after all, is spent with the buildup usually, and this is the first act of the event after all.
All that aside, this was a very interesting beginning to the event. Barry & Iris wedding takes the spotlight and is given time to grow before it’s ruined, which is perfect. Having it ruined quickly would have been too much of a cliche. This also means that all the characters have plenty of room to interact with one another and bring up their issues and things going on in natural ways. That’s the episodes strong point. While this is a Supergirl episode, no one’s issues or plot points really take over & overall things were weighted equally. Kara and Alex romance issues and healing is on the same level as Oliver and Felicity trying to figure out where things are going with them and on the same level as Professor Stein and Jax issues dealing with trying to break apart from being Firestorm.
Putting all these dysfunctional heroes in one space where they didn’t have to worry about a threat till the end of the hour led to so many great moments. Mick was at the center of many of those because that’s just what Mick does so well, from his moments with Caitlin & her Killer Frost side to his moments with Captain Singh and the bathrobe moment, it all worked well. There was also the awkward fun hookup of Alex and Sara added some interesting implications about the Earth hopping possibilities. Also, it’s not a wedding episode of a show until someone has the awkward hookup. It would have been nice to see Winn and J’onn along for the ride, but there were enough heroes packed into one room it’s easy to see why the writers didn’t try to shove in more. There was enough drama and hilarity to make up for any missing characters or plot references.
Once the action finally does begin it’s worth the wait for the choreography alone. Something that many of the shows, especially Arrow, have excelled at this season is having amazing fight scenes. Watching these heroes run around catching bullets, shooting arrows and unleashing their various skills and powers onto the attacking Nazis was a joy to behold. The comic book fan within was screaming with joy, as these moments easily could have been leaping off of a comic book page. They were that good. Love that it was remembered to use the Legends memory erasing device to keep all the secret identities safe after the attack. Though honestly the enemies wearing the masks to the point where Kara can’t recognize that Overgirl has the same powers and hair and such as her is ridiculous. Also while I respect the plan of Wally keeping Joe and Cecile safe, the minds behind this show once again writing Wally out of things is an utter disappointment. Poor Wally needs his time to shine again and the shows are now allowing it.
This year’s crossover got off to a pretty great start, making sure that it gave weight to the epic scale of having all these heroes in one place as it built up the plot towards all the big things that are bound to be coming. Every character felt perfectly like themselves and their interplay showed such promise and why these crossovers always need to be an annual thing as long as these shows run. Honestly, it perfectly felt like the first issue in some of the best comic book crossovers through the years. That’s a great thing since these shows are adaptations of comic book characters and storylines. Unlike last year where they only had the three shows spread through three nights to dive into the plot, this year the writers clearly are making use of an extra episode to build things up and not be rushed right into fighting and super action. With three parts remaining there is plenty of time to get to all that Nazi punching to come.
Score: 8.5 out of 10