Welcome to this week’s Crisis Crash Course, your weekly guide to all things Crisis on Infinite Earths-related in The CW’s Arrowverse! We’re less than three weeks out now from the beginning of Crisis, this year’s crossover between Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and newcomer Batwoman. In this week’s new episodes, a visitor from another Earth suggested a new perspective on a cosmic being, and a one character’s biggest secret was revealed at last.
Before we get to the in-show events of the week, with the Crisis so close now The CW has started releasing promo material for it. We linked to the first teaser for the overall event last week, and this week a series of show-specific TV spots began airing during the respective shows. You can check out those spots here. The network also released a series of new images from the event, including a first look at Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne, Tom Welling reprising his role as Clark Kent from Smallville, some more images of Brandon Routh as the Superman of Kingdom Come, and a shot of Iris West-Allen (Candace Patton) and Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) holding the Book of Destiny. Head over here to see those photos and more, and for some light analysis.
On top of all of that, The CW just today released an official poster image for the upcoming crossover:
The image features nearly all the Arrowverse’s heroes, plus a few extras, most notably Cress Williams as Black Lightning, John Wesley Shipp as The Flash of Earth-90, and Jon Cryer as a Lex Luthor. The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) sports his current mutton chops and cape in this image, versus the chop-less, cape-less look of the event’s first trailer. Are there two Monitors? Also of note is Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes), who appears to have once again become Vibe for the event. Or is it the Vibe of an alternate Earth? Given his ability to naturally generate breaches between worlds, it’d make sense that The Monitor would want to have a Vibe around.
On to this week’s events! While The Monitor may not have appeared in any episodes, his presence was definitely still felt in a few different ways.
This week’s episode of The Flash featured Nash Wells (Tom Cavanagh) apparently revealing the secret about his underground digging project to Team Flash. At the site of the dig, Nash revealed to Barry (Grant Gustin), Iris, Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer), and Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) a few things about The Monitor.
For starters, Nash called The Monitor a fraud, whose sole goal is to sow fear around the different worlds of the Multiverse. He also told the team that behind the wall he’s been hammering away at is a dimensional portal, which he said would lead them right to Novu. Barry tried to phase through the wall and was repelled, which Nash chalked up to eternium lacing the concrete.
Later in the episode, Nash recruited Central City Citizen intern and metahuman Allegra Garcia (Kayla Compton) to use her ultraviolet abilities to help him supposedly map the eternium within the wall, so he could then dig around it. As Allegra illuminated the wall, the eternium shone purple, while a series of letters also appeared in orange. Nash photographed the mapping and the letters.
That lettering isn’t ringing any bells for me as far as alien/alternate languages within the DC Universe go. It looks vaguely like Interlac, but I cant make out the letters if it is that. Any eagle-eyed viewers out there have any ideas?
Is Nash telling the truth? Between what he says here and what Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) learned a few weeks ago, we’re getting some conflicting messages about The Monitor. Oliver believes, based on the text of an ancient League of Assassins scroll, that The Monitor’s goal is not to prevent the crisis, but to cause it. Nash seems to believe he doesn’t have the power to do any of those things, and is just playing games with the citizens of the Multiverse. I’m not convinced either of them is particularly correct—as I’ve said in the past, The Monitor doesn’t appear to be either good or evil, as his only concern is the safety of the Multiverse.
While Oliver may be making a good-faith mistake, though, I think Nash may be outright lying to the team. We still know very little about this alternate version of Harrison Wells. Basic information like what Earth he’s from is still a mystery. He tends to swoop in when he needs something, but to otherwise have his own agenda. The episode’s final scene between Nash and Allegra did drop some clues about him, though. Allegra asked him why he was being so nice to her, and he told her that she reminds him of someone. She jokingly asked if she has an alternate-earth doppelganger, and he soberly replied simply, “Something like that.”
The logical conclusion is that Nash is referring to Jesse Wells (Violett Beane). On Earth-2, Jesse was the daughter of Harrison Wells, and would eventually travel to Earth-1 with him and become the speedster hero Jesse Quick. Following the destruction of Earth-2 in Arrow’s season premiere, the fates of that world’s Harrison and Jesse Wells were left up in the air. Could Nash Wells secretly be the Harrison Wells of Earth-2? He didn’t show up on The Flash until the episode after Earth-2’s destruction. Does he want revenge on The Monitor for allowing his world to be destroyed? And was his daughter killed along with the rest of Earth-2? With Beane still a series regular on CBS’s God Friended Me, she’s likely unavailable to return for the Crisis event, but it would be unfortunate to see the character essentially fridged off-screen to create motivation for her father’s arc.
But who knows? Nash could be an entirely different Wells, with an entirely different daughter who…also…probably died.
Speaking of Earth-2, let’s check in on Arrow.
The previous episode of Arrow ended with the Laurel Lance of Earth-2 (Katie Cassidy Rodgers) being approached by The Monitor with an offer: he will restore Earth-2 if she betrays Oliver. This week’s episode saw Laurel choose whether to take that offer or not.
With Oliver, Mia (Katherine McNamara), and William (Ben Lewis) planning a mission to Moscow to retrieve the plans for a weapon Oliver believes could be capable of destroying The Monitor, Laurel is tasked by Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson), who reveals her allegiance to The Monitor, with tagging along and making sure Oliver doesn’t get his hands on the plans. Lyla’s revelation to Laurel shook her, as mere episodes ago Lyla was consoling her over the loss of Earth-2 and helping her through her grief.
Throughout the episode, Laurel seemed to wrestle with what to do as she aided her friends in their mission. After a few conversations with an old Russian friend of Oliver’s about whether or not Laurel had truly changed her ways, the episode ended with Laurel choosing not to betray Oliver. She also took things a step further, bringing Oliver and John Diggle (David Ramsey), Lyla’s husband, along to her meeting with Lyla, revealing Lyla’s secret to them.
They didn’t have long to process the news, though, as Oliver, Laurel, and Diggle were all hit in the neck with tranquilizer darts and collapsed to the ground.
It hadn’t occurred to me before this week that A.R.G.U.S., the clandestine organization for which Lyla has worked for years, may have either been originally created to act as support for The Monitor, or manipulated into becoming that by Lyla, who has been the director of A.R.G.U.S. for several years following the death of Amanda Waller. If that’s the case, that takes Lyla’s betrayal to a whole new level for Diggle, who worked for A.R.G.U.S. until last season.
That’s it for this week! There’s only two weeks of new episodes left, which means only two Crisis Crash Courses left before the main event. Be sure to check back here for all your Crisis on Infinite Earths information before the event begins on Sunday, December 8th, on The CW.