ARROW 7.09 Review “Elseworlds, Part 2”

That's not Batman...

This post contains spoilers for Elseworlds.
Check out last week's Arrow review here.

Crossover week continues and we’re on the verge of a full blown crisis! That verbiage is absolutely intentional, but there’s still a whole episode worth of goodies before we got to Mar Novu and his infinite earth nonsense. After years of Arrow looking a little more like Batman than the Green Arrow, we finally step foot in Gotham City. And what a perfectly broken disaster it was.

Bruce Wayne and Wayne Enterprises have always existed in the DCTV universe. Oliver acknowledged them seasons ago. But that didn’t make seeing the tower for the first time any less exciting. Barry, Oliver, and Kara all take their respective shots at the city soon after their arrival. It’s easy to poke at the crumbling buildings and the factions of society that have spiraled into violence. And that’s exactly why Gotham will always need the Bat Family. Ruby Rose couldn’t have been more perfect as Kate Kane. Every hero’s alter ego is important, but so often we see writers forget that what’s under the mask is the most critical. Kane slays as Batwoman, but the reason Rose and the writers killed it with this new addition to the Arrowverse is because of how well they nailed Kane’s love for Gotham.

Part Two takes the time to notice Bruce’s absence multiple times while still making you believe it’s safe in Kate’s care. Or, you know, as safe as Gotham’s ever going to get. Clearly we all want to know where Batman is, but while he’s on his little hiatus, Kate’s got their city under her wing. And the password to the wifi is Alfred. And there’s an R & D guy still on the payroll who could help. I could spend a whole paragraph talking about the little tidbits Kate Kane dropped to Kara, Barry, and Oliver, but we’ve got to get over to Arkham Asylum.

It’s a small nitpick, and I bring it up mostly because it seems unprofessional to not acknowledge something as a little lacking, but I wish Arkham were more stylized. The architecture was so droll compared to what we’ve grown to expect. It would have been nice to at least make the waiting area a little less ‘meh’, but I begrudgingly accept why the effort wasn’t taken. That teensy complaint aside, there are still plenty of Easter Eggs waiting for us inside of the Asylum.

First we see Edward Nygma and Oswald Cobblepott’s cells as we take a little jaunt down the hall (the third is for Marc Guggenheim, Arrow’s previous showrunner). For those who follow Gotham over on Fox, you know that their little stint on the show is about to come to an end, which makes their sudden mention in the Arrowverse noteworthy. The same can be said for the introduction of Nora Fries, and her husband’s fun little gun. Less so for Bane, but it was still a fun one-off.

Finally, there’s Scarecrow’s fear toxin. Part One was all about the understanding that Barry and Oliver are motivated by different emotions. Part Two gives the two a chance to learn a little bit more about their respective pasts. When the toxin hits, Oliver as The Flash sees Reverse Flash, and Barry as the Green Arrow sees Malcolm Merlyn. Now, it makes little sense that either of them felt any real fear over seeing the other’s arch nemesis, but multiverses are weird. The two kick the crap out of each other to eventually be saved by Batwoman. Their mission gets them the book they were after, but it also solidifies an understanding between the two heroes that wasn’t quite as strong before.

Batwoman happily says goodbye to the heroes who let half of Arkham out of their cages for her to clean up, but she first has a moment with Supergirl. The two had a brief chat mid-episode about Bruce, Gotham, and their larger-than-life cousins. That chat formed a foundation of friendship that blossomed into a whole damn house before Part Two was over. Kara knows who Batwoman is, Kate knows who Supergirl is, and no part of it’s weird. Before departing, Kara mentions that it’s a pity they’re leaving so soon, as she and Kate would make a great team. If you yelled at Kate responding with “World’s Finest”, please know that you’re not alone. And that I may be tearing up again. It’s fine. It’s just a lot to see that friendship done justice in live-action.

Did you think that the comic book goodness was going to end after they left Gotham City? Well, you’re wrong, because we’ve still got a bunch more squeal-worthy moments to cover. John Wesley Shipp’s Flash finally made his way to Earth Prime, and he’s got a warning for our heroes. That warning is interrupted by him looking at John Diggle and asking him where his ring is. Why? Because Earth 90 John Diggle is the Green Lantern just as the Gods intended.

Now, Mar Novu and his little book. He’s not quite there as a villain, but he’s not making anyone’s day very good. After making John Wesley Shipp’s Barry Allen poof off to, well, wherever the hell he sent him, he tells the heroes that he’s there to test their universe. Presumably, his version of “testing” involves the utter decimation that he brought upon Earth 90. He tells them something worse is coming, and that he needs to find the right universe to take it on. Mar Novu mentions a Crisis event, if you will.

What does it all mean? We’ll find out tomorrow. Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel, old chums! You know what to do if you had thoughts on Part Two!