This post contains spoilers for Crisis on Earth X.
DCTV is graced with several actors that many would say it doesn’t deserve. It’s always had an abundance of talent spread across all of its shows, some of which have spent time across the different properties in more than just the crossovers. Among them is Victor Garber, and he departs the Arrowverse in the most heart wrenching way possible.
It’s been known for some time that Garber would be leaving Legends of Tomorrow, but the arc with his wife, daughter, and future grandchild led viewers to believe that he wouldn’t be dying. Instead it was expected that his arc as Firestorm would come to an end, and he’d live out the rest of his years with his wife and family. Not today, hopes and dreams! You get infinite tears instead!
That sounds flippant, but it’s only because emotions are hard and Martin Stein’s death is up there with the hardest deaths in DCTV to date. The bond he and Jax formed wasn’t just as a superhero, but as father and son. Watching Jax help Martin let go was devastating, and it didn’t get any easier when he chose to pause his involvement in the war our heroes had found themselves in to go tell Clarissa the news.
In an earlier review, one of my only critiques was a concern that they wouldn’t acknowledge the Jewishness amongst these heroes. Watching Stein get killed by Nazis wasn’t quite how we expected it to go, but there was an importance to it. The Jews weren’t just victims of World War II, they were also soldiers both in uniform and out. The Arrowverse never quite deserved Victor Garber, but he was sent off in the most honorable way possible.
The final chapter of Crisis on Earth X is brimming with action, but it takes so much time for emotion as well. There’s plenty of time for snark between Cisco and Harry, and a comical scene between Citizen Cold and Heat Wave. Even these funny scenes add to the heart of the crossover, and by proxy what makes these four properties great. We see similar experiences reacted to differently based on character. Sara’s chill with everything while Alex is having panic attacks, Martin takes everything seriously while Felicity cracks twenty different jokes trying to cope with a situation. The DCTV writers show awareness of the characters they’re trying to get across, and it takes a crossover event like this from great to exceptional.
While there’s an abundance of truth to the individual characters all throughout the crossover event, some might have noticed that there was a big exception to that rule: a whole lot of killing on the part of our heroes. It’s not very tolerant of them to murder these people who are just exercising their beliefs, but you know what? If your belief is that a group of people should be eradicated from the Earth (this one, or any other) because they’re different than you, there’s no conversation to be had there. There’s no middle ground. We had a big war about it, the whole world was involved. Really this whole paragraph is to acknowledge that our DCTV heroes murdered a whole lot of Nazis on their big crossover special and to say one thing: good.
If you’re running down to the comments to point out that Barry let Eobard go, stick with it for like one more paragraph and then you can go do your thing. Barry did, indeed, let Eobard Thawne go. Was he a Nazi enabler and by proxy essentially a Nazi himself? Yes. Did he deserve mercy? No. Was it critically important that Barry let him go? Yes, it was. Barry has spent his whole life trying to find closure over his mother’s murder. Eobard ruined Barry’s life in almost every way possible, and letting him go means that Barry has moved past that. Barry Allen isn’t supposed to be the brooding mess we saw in season three of The Flash, he’s supposed to be this weird, heroic, goof that we’ve seen every day since he stepped out of the Speedforce. It’s nothing for Oliver Queen to kill his Nazi counterpart because a) he’s a Nazi, and b) there’s no character history there that would somehow make his story better if he decided to let Evil Ollie live. There’s also argument that he did Evil Ollie a favor, since he knows his heart and how broken he would be without the woman he loved, but that’s a whole different editorial.
That got heavy for a second there, but don’t worry! After Overgirl goes nuclear, Oliver murders Evil Ollie, and Barry lets Eobard Thawne go, they have a funeral and then a wedding! Actually, it’s two weddings. Why two weddings? Because Oliver and Felicity cannot stop stepping on Barry and Iris’ moment long enough for them to say “I do”. Please note that that is said by someone who is more team Oliver and Felicity than John Diggle himself. It’s delightful that those two pesky kids are finally tying the knot, but damn, let Barry and Iris do their thing, y’all!
Annoyance with Oliver and Felicity aside, Barry and Iris’ vows are perfect, they’re finally married, and the crossover finally got the one damn thing it was missing: John Diggle! It made sense that Dig wasn’t involved in the overall arc since he’s broken, but it was lovely to see him show up for the final moments. Everyone’s married, we got our kickass crossover with the traditional Diggle vomit moment, Nazis were felled, Leonard Snart’s sticking around on this Earth for a bit, that baby’s name is Ronnie, and everyone should have more than enough emotions to carry them to the next time DCTV decides to rip their hearts out.
After the Dominators last year, it was hard to imagine the team upping their game. Crisis on Earth X did that in spades, and now it’s time to start counting the days until next year’s big event. If you had thoughts on the episode, you know what to do! We want to hear your favorite moments, because if we covered all of ours in these crossover reviews there’d be a lot more words on the page.