‘The Flash’ Elseworlds, Part 1 Crossover Recap and Review

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The Flash 2018 Elseworlds Part 1 Recap

Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent, Bitsie Tulloch as Lois Lane, Grant Gustin as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, Stephen Amell as Barry Allen/The Flash, Carlos Valdez as Cisco Ramon and Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl in ‘The Flash’ “Elseworlds, Part 1” (Photo: Katie Yu © 2018 The CW Network)

“Oh Barry, what have you done this time?” asks Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) after waking up in Barry’s bed and discovering Iris (Candice Patton) believes him to be Barry Allen in The CW’s The Flash episode of the three-part “Elseworlds” crossover event.

In the opening scene of “Elseworlds, Part 1,” Dr. John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) delivers a lecture to fellow psychiatrists on giving patients the ability to be “super” beings (metahumans). One attendee calls him Dr. Frankenstein and walks out, followed shortly by the remaining attendees.

A disappointed Dr. Deegan is met in the parking lot by a mysterious figure, Monitor, from Earth-90 holding a box. Monitor warned Earth-90’s The Flash they brought this on themselves, and on Earth-1 Monitor tells Deegan he needs him to help reshape this world and to think big. Deegan opens the box and says he can see it all.

Jump to Central City and Barry finds himself sparring with Diggle (David Ramsey) who believes him to be Oliver Queen. They receive an alert and Diggle tells Oliver he could really use some back up. Barry’s hesitant but suits up as the Green Arrow and heads off with Diggle. Barry doesn’t shoot an arrow but instead uses his fists and fighting skills to break up a firefight between the Bratva and the Bertinellis.

While Barry’s dealing with life as the Green Arrow, everyone at S.T.A.R. Labs believes Oliver to be Barry Allen. Oliver’s called into action and suits up as The Flash when an alarm sounds at Ivo’s warehouse. Oliver clumsily races past the warehouse and has to circle back. The speed’s difficult to adjust to, but Oliver’s real trouble comes when he attempts to throw lightning. He overdoes it and accidentally activates Ivo’s android, A.M.A.Z.O.

Oliver speeds off, grabs Barry and Diggle, and returns to the Arrow’s lair. Barry can’t get over how cool their “Freaky Friday” thing is until Oliver lets slip he woke up with Iris. Barry instantly adjusts his way of thinking and says they need to figure out how to fix this right now.

Barry and Oliver’s next stop is at S.T.A.R. Labs where, understandably, Team Flash doesn’t believe they’ve swapped bodies. Iris seems completely convinced Oliver is Barry, pointing out Barry isn’t her type. The rest of the team aren’t sure what to believe and lean toward a shared psychosis. They wind up locking the pair in the pipeline for safekeeping.


Handcuffed and stuck in a relatively small cell, Oliver tells Barry he’s been locked up in some awful prisons but at least they all have toilets. Barry rolls his eyes and uses his foot to step on a switch and a toilet pops out of one of the walls. “Sure you can’t hold it?” asks Barry before figuring out Oliver was asking because he plans to jam up the plumbing to disable the power dampener.

Oliver talks Barry through dislocating his thumb in order to reach into the toilet, and Barry talks Oliver through how to phase them out of the cell. Barry and Oliver need the extrapolator to visit Earth-38 where they plan on asking Kara to help them. Iris figured out their plan and has the device. Barry talks to his wife as only he would and she realizes that in her heart she believes him. She gives Barry the device so they can leave, also warning him to never change into Oliver since the Green Arrow’s actions are driven by anger. (Arrow fans took exception with that description, slamming The Flash writers on Twitter for their characterization of Oliver Queen.)

Cisco (Carlos Valdes) is in S.T.A.R. Labs and notices the strange occurrences in the atmosphere. (The sky is red). He then has a puzzling vision of Monitor and Dr. Deegan.

Over on Earth-38, Kara (Melissa Benoist) is spending some time on the Kent farm with Clark (Tyler Hoechlin) while Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) visits. The Kent farm is the same one from Smallville and the show even plays the Smallville theme as it spotlights Earth-38. Barry and Oliver show up asking Kara for help and fortunately she knows Barry is Barry and Oliver is Oliver. She doesn’t know why their identities have been swapped but agrees to help figure it out.

Back on Earth-1, Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) and Elongated Man (Hartley Sawyer) are battling a new foe, A.M.A.Z.O. – the robot Oliver accidentally unleashed at Ivo. It copies their powers and then flies off.

The Flash 2018 Crossover

Grant Gustin as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow and Stephen Amell as Barry Allen/The Flash (Photo: Katie Yu © 2018 The CW Network)

Once more to the Kent farm we go and Oliver and Barry decide to train to in order to get comfortable with their swapped powers and abilities. Barry gets payback by shooting Oliver with two surprise arrows. Oliver gets angry thinking Barry isn’t taking this training seriously. He attempts to get Barry angry by insulting his team and Iris, but it doesn’t work.

Later, Oliver tells Barry it made him mad that Barry wasn’t taking it seriously and that when he shoots his arrows and fights, he channels all his dark memories and that’s what works for him. Barry explains that when he runs, he focuses on how much he loves his friends and family; it’s his happiness that enables him to run faster. He reminds Oliver he was smiling and having a good time when he was learning how to phase. Kara reveals she was waiting for them them to realize they need to learn from each other in order to use their new skills.

At S.T.A.R. Labs Cisco nicknames the robot A.M.A.Z.O. and Sherloque and Iris let the team know Barry and Oliver went to Earth-38. Knowing they need them back to take down A.M.A.Z.O. and realizing Barry and Oliver’s story about swapping might be the truth, Cisco vibes to Earth-38 to retrieve them.

Cisco informs Barry and Oliver that Team Flash believes them and they’re needed back on Earth-1 to stop A.M.A.Z.O. Barry and Oliver turn to Kara and ask if she could come along to help. She agrees and looks at Clark. Lois says if he doesn’t go along she will. Cisco isn’t sure what’s going on and asks Clark, “Who are you? Clark replies that he’s a friend as he pulls apart his shirt and reveals the classic Superman emblem.

Gathered at S.T.A.R. Labs, Team Flash comes up with an idea to beat A.M.A.Z.O. Sherloque reminds everyone the robot/android is a computer and they should just find a way to turn it off. Cisco and Caitlin quickly come up with a virus to shut down the robot.

Barry, Oliver, Kara, and Clark head out to fight A.M.A.Z.O. and after an amazing but short battle it appears as though Superman has delivered the final blow to the robot. Unfortunately, A.M.A.Z.O. rises from the huge crater created by Superman’s power punch and copies all their powers.

It’s Barry’s turn to come up with a plan and he suggests Oliver use his speed to lure A.M.A.Z.O. into a trap. Oliver complies, and the team uses Killer Frost’s ice breath, Supergirl’s heat vision, and The Flash’s speed to attack A.M.A.Z.O. but he stays one step ahead. Oliver lures A.M.A.Z.O. back into the area where Superman and Supergirl are waiting to grab him. Barry gets into position to shoot an arrow into A.M.A.Z.O. with the virus Cisco breached to him attached.

Supergirl knocks A.M.A.Z.O. off his feet as he chases Oliver. Superman, Supergirl, and Oliver grab A.M.A.Z.O. and hold him still. “You have failed this city,” says Barry in classic Green Arrow mode as he shoots the arrow into A.M.A.Z.O.’s eye socket. The robot reacts to the virus and explodes.

With the immediate threat to Central City over, Superman returns to Metropolis.

Barry notices Iris is upset and she confesses she heard how different he became while focusing on being the Green Arrow during the fight. She didn’t like how cold and ruthless he was about putting down A.M.A.Z.O. and makes him promise to stay her Barry and to not become like Oliver. (Another slam on the character who launched The CW’s superhero franchise.) Barry promises.

Cisco tells Kara, Barry, and Oliver about his vision of the mysterious figure and says he believes it’s important and tied to them switching. Cisco vibes the vision with Barry and Oliver and the three of them see Monitor with Dr. Deegan. The figure looks at them and warns they’re too late, that they can’t stop what’s already in motion and they might as well give up.

Cisco ends the vibe and has a bloody nose. Kara asks if he’s okay and he says, “Nope, not even close,” as he walks off and Oliver speeds draws what they saw. Kara doesn’t recognize the two men in the drawing, but Oliver believes that doesn’t matter because he knows where to find them. He points to a building with the name “Wayne” on it and Barry asks, “So, what’s our next move?” “We’re going to Gotham City,” replies Oliver. The final shot is a reveal of Batwoman played by Ruby Rose.

The Flash Season 5 Episode 9 – “Elseworlds, Part 1”

Action-packed and extremely funny, season five episode nine titled “Elseworlds, Part 1” kicks off the three-part crossover featuring Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl characters. “Elseworlds, Part 1” is perhaps the best start of any of the crossovers The CW has created thus far. The identity/power-swapping of Barry and Oliver as their world and its reality have been messed with provides plenty of humor, and both Grant Gustin and Stephen Amell are up to the challenge. Amell in particular gets a break from his usually very serious character to play a much lighter version of Oliver. The entire scene with Iris fawning over a freaked-out Amell as Barry as she makes a delicious breakfast is hilarious.

The stand-out performances of this episode were delivered by Grant and Amell who have fantastic chemistry together and make each scene they play as Barry and Oliver sizzle with extra energy. The humorous scenes, including the one of Barry and Oliver arguing while trapped in the pipeline, are just as strong as the serious scenes. The pairing of these two is what makes the crossovers so entertaining and enjoyable.

With Barry, Oliver, and Kara heading over to Gotham City, it shouldn’t be long before they meet a new ally…Batwoman.

GRADE: B+

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Kevin Finnerty

Kevin Finnerty

Professional film critic since 2003 and a member of the San Diego Film Critics Society. Host of “The Movie Guys” radio film review show from 2007 through 2013. Film and television critic for Showbizjunkies.com and a movie buff since 1973.
Kevin Finnerty
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