When the powers that be at Warner Brothers and CBS finally acquiesced and greenlit a Supergirl/Flash crossover, I wonder if they were intentional about airing it the Monday after Batman v Superman’s opening weekend? Because after two-and-a-half hours worth of self-serious grimdark, it was such a relief to see DC superheroes who actually, you know, enjoy being superheroes.
This has been a running theme of these recaps all season, but the producers on Supergirl seem to have a better grasp of what makes the Superman family work as characters than the current cinematic Superman braintrust. Seeing the episode “Worlds’ Finest” so soon after watching Dawn of Justice only heightened the contrast between the movie and television side of DC Entertainment.
If I had one critique, it would be that aside from the scenes with Barry, this wasn’t my favorite episode of the series. The twenty or so minutes that Barry is on screen interacting with the Super Friends is by far my favorite stuff of the season. It’s just that the other half — primarily the convoluted way that the villains pair up and Jealous Jimmy — is some of the show’s weaker elements. But let’s dive in to what worked and what didn’t.
We start off in the DEO where Winn has rushed Siobhan after she plunged off the roof of CatCo, unleashing her Banshee scream for the first time. The doctor is apparently a female version of Emil Hamilton, a character who, considering this week’s guest star, coincidentally has historic ties to S.T.A.R. Labs. Winn is relieved to learn his girlfriend isn’t an alien — which is weird considering his previous crush on Kara — but Siobhan is freaking out. She spies Chekhov’s Livewire being interrogated by Lucy, which is one of the episode’s eye-rollingiest scenes.
Of course, now that Siobhan has unleashed the Banshee, she starts hearing voices and sees flashes of her villainous destiny flash before her flashy (enough puns yet?) eyes. Her first move as a bad guy is to go to CatCo and murder Cat. Kara, gets in her way, and for her trouble, gets tossed out of the window. Of course, Kara can’t just fly away without giving away her identity, and landing on the ground unscathed would’ve been a giveaway too. Also, she’s unconscious. So how is she going to get out of this? Fortunately, multiverse-jumping Barry just happened to Flash into Earth-CBS just in time to catch Kara and speed her off to the desert. Flaming boobs and all.
After Kara pats herself down, she abandons her civvies and takes off back to National City. Barry, obviously taken aback, speeds after her and we finally get Supergirl and The Flash on screen at the same time.
This is easily the best superhero meet-cute in crossover history. Seeing these two finally sharing a scene together fills me with so much glee that I wish we could have two-and-a-half hours of these two hanging out and eating ice cream. Barry realizes Kara is more than metahuman and gives the CBS audience a quick “previously on…” about what he’s been doing on The CW. This is when they — and we — figure out Barry is from an alternate universe and Earth-CBS is distinct from Earth-CW.
Barry and Kara are in the Super Friends’ secret CatCo lair when Winn and James walk in on the new friends. Kara explains Barry is from an alternate universe and Winn has a new crush. Seriously, where are the Winn/Barry shippers? Because those two are magic together.
Barry also learns that Kara is an alien, not metahuman, and it’s also the best.
Really the scene is so sweet it actually includes ice cream and doughnuts. Forget Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the team-up I want to see is Barry, Kara, Winn, Cisco, Caitlin, Curtis, Ray, and Felicity in their own DC Super Hero Nerds franchise. As great as this whole scene is, it also introduces one of the aspects I was less impressed with: Jealous James. It’s a cute gag, I guess — and Winn’s reaction to seeing a frowny faced James is hilarious — but I could’ve done with a few less scenes of James side-eyeing Barry. I mean, Superman’s his best pal. If anyone is immune to Superhero Envy, it’d be James Olsen. At least Zack Snyder doesn’t show up and shoot him in the head.
Before the Super Flash Friends go on their doughnut run, Cat calls them into her office to discuss news of National City’s newest superhero. Kara awkwardly introduces Barry after Cat makes a meta CW joke and names the new hero The Blur (Smallville reference!), much to Barry’s chagrin.
Later, Siobhan visits a relative and learns about the Banshee curse inflicted on the women of their family. The only way to be relieved of the curse is to kill the person who has wronged them. Naturally, this solidifies her heel turn, so she somehow sneaks back into the DEO and releases Livewire, because why not.
It’s dialogue like that that makes me wish the whole episode was Kara and Barry eating doughnuts together.
Knowing that Livewire has escaped and is gunning for Cat, Kara takes Flash to the DEO to meet with Lucy and devise a “plan” for taking her down. I have to say, the chemistry that Grant Gustin displays on screen with Melissa Benoist and Jeremy Jordan is really good. It’s so good that it actually plays into James’ jealousy subplot. When he watches the Super Nerds interacting at the DEO, you kind of feel sorry for him. Then you remember, why isn’t Jimmy a nerd either?
When Mehcad Brooks was first cast, we were hoping he’d be bringing some Blerdness to the show. Clearly, by casting Brooks the show has gone in a different direction, making him more sexy and less nerdy. I still wish they cast Echo Kellum as Jimmy Olsen and Brooks as Mister Terrific, but that ship sailed a long time ago. Anyway, James needs a pep talk from his ex to get over his jealousy. Meanwhile, Barry and Winn (look at them!) create a device to track Livewire, and Supergirl decides to go in without a plan (Team Flash, they are not).
Flash and Supergirl speed over to Livewire’s whereabouts but are ambushed by Siobhan who has gone full on Silver Banshee (though we’re never shown if this is her true self emerged, or if it’s just an elaborate makeup job. The previous scene between the villains imply the latter, but whatevs). Unprepared for a super villain team-up, our heroes retreat and have to come up with a better way to stop the bad guys.
On CatCo’s confessional balcony, Barry and Kara share a heart-to-heart about what it means to be a hero.
The two head back to the DEO to better prepare for their next battle when Silver Banshee and Livewire kidnap Cat Grant right from under their noses. James tries to signal watch Kara, but is zapped by Livewire. Winn tries to talk some sense into his Siobhan, but gets tossed against the wall for his troubles.
After learning that Cat is being held by the villains in a park, Supergirl and Flash head back to the city, but this time ready for the fight. The fight itself isn’t great, but Supergirl’s confidence — with The Flash at her side — is all kinds of awesome.
The villains ultimately get the upper hand, but fortunately, the citizens of National City stand up for their hero and help save the day. It’s corny, but it works. The episode ends with Supergirl and Flash back in the desert preparing to send Barry back to Earth-CW. The two heroes have to combine their speeds in order to throw Barry back to his dimension, or something. Whatever, it’s just an excuse for the two to finally race.
After such a successful crossover, here’s hoping the two networks find ways for more opportunities to team up. I’m also hoping that there’s some type of Crisis event that can merge all of the multiple earths into a single universe, because I need these heroes to all be together all the time. Just need more singing next time.
Look at all the glee on their faces! Smiling superheroes. Who knew?