SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Elseworlds, Part 2” the second part of the 2018 “Arrowverse” crossover, which aired Dec. 10.
“Arrow’s” leg of the “Elseworlds” crossover had a little more to think about than “The Flash’s,” mainly because it served as the first introduction to Ruby Rose’s Batwoman. For that, it accomplished its job. Kate Kane aka Batwoman may not have been as prominent a character in the second part of the three-night, three-episode event as originally assumed, but brought with her a lot of intrigue and proved to be a story well to which the DC on the CW series could return, regardless of whether or not she gets her own show down the line.
“Our goal was trying to create a setup, story-wise, where we could meet her, introduce Gotham a bit, plant some visual things and have people wondering, ‘What is this world she’s a part of?,’” Caroline Dries, who is developing a “Batwoman” series for the network, says. “We realized the best way to do that would be if our guys just went to Gotham, she helped out with their story, and she shooed them away.”
“Elseworlds, Part” found Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) still exhibiting each others’ powers. Although the tail end of the first part of the crossover event teased that they would be heading to Gotham City to get answers, they made a pit stop in Star City first. The same red skies and lightning storms that appeared over Central City in “Elseworlds, Part 1” followed the duo to Star City. Oliver was hoping that Diggle (David Ramsey), Curtis (Echo Kellum) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) could figure out what that meant. But, due to the relationship troubles he had been having with Felicity, he didn’t want her to know about the power swap.
Finally making it to Gotham, Barry, Oliver and Kara (Melissa Benoist) spent a couple of humorous minutes debating the existence of Batman. Barry and Kara believed he was real, but Oliver was adamant that he was just an urban legend. How could Batman be real if Oliver was the first vigilante, after all? It was a fun scene, even if it didn’t push the plot, because it poked at how far “Arrow” has come from the moody “Batman Begins”-esque days of Season 1.
Typical to Gotham fashion, the three are in the city for all of 30 minutes before they’re held at gunpoint. Proving just how much Barry and Oliver have been rubbing off on each other as they’ve taught each other about their powers, Oliver wasted time trying to talk the robbers down, and when that didn’t work, Barry nearly shots one in front of Gotham PD. This landed all three superheroes behind bars.
Of course, they didn’t spend too much time in the clink before they were bailed out — anonymously. And when they left the police department a car was mysteriously waiting for them. They got in and a short ride later they finally met Kate — their benefactor. Her generosity extended even further, allowing them to use the building she’s renovating to research the mysterious men Cisco (Carlos Valdes) vibed — The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) and Dr. John Deegan (Jeremy Davies).
Back in Star City, Team Arrow — now joined by Cisco and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) — realized the storm following Barry and Oliver was someone trying to breach to Earth-1. They began to work on building something that would help pull whoever was on the other side through, but soon enough relationship drama took the spotlight as Cisco spilled the beans about Barry and Oliver’s predicament, which left Felicity understandably hurt about being kept in the dark — and then more upset when she found out Iris (Candice Patton) was able to see the difference so fast, but she was not.
In Gotham, the trio learned Deegan was an employee at Arkham Asylum and they planned to head there. But first, Kara and Kate bonded over their similiarities — primarily being cousins to some of the world’s biggest heroes. Neither woman revealed her own superhero alter ego, though as Barry, Kara and Oliver headed off to Arkham, Kate, now suited up as Batwoman, was close behind, so it appeared to only be a matter of time before more truths were revealed.
Once entrance to Arkham has been gained, the episode turned into a bit of a Batman appreciation fest, with a scene chock full of Easter eggs and imagery of classic villains, including as Penguin, Poison Ivy, The Riddler and Clayface.
Diggle and Oliver were the first to find Deegan, who revealed he tried to give himself powers when he attempted to rewrite reality but instead swapped Barry and Oliver’s by accident. In an attempt to distract the two so he could make an escape, he released the prisoners in the asylum. This led Diggle and Oliver to have to take on the majority of the inmates themselves, although Killer Frost (Panabaker) had a run-in with Nora Fries (Cassandra Jean Amell).
Barry and Oliver arrived just in time to see Nora flee that fight, and Oliver tried to stop her with a bolt of lightning but accidentally broke a canister of Scarecrow’s fear gas instead. This led both him and Barry to hallucinate each others’ first villains: Oliver faced off against Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanagh), while Barry squared off with Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). While each man though he was fighting his arch-nemesis, the two were actually fighting each other.
“We wanted it to be the Season 1 big bads,” says “Arrow” showrunner Beth Schwartz. “It made both characters who they are and got them to really understand one another from way back. It’s the people who started their journey.”
Batwoman was the one to pull the two off each other, and she took everyone out of the asylum, where they met up with Supergirl (Benoist), who had been busy chasing down Deegan and taking The Monitor’s reality-rewriting book from him. Supergirl pulled Batwoman aside and told her she knew her true identity. She also lamented the fact that they didn’t get to team up as much as she would have liked, thinking they’d make a great team. “World’s finest,” Batwoman agreed.
Barry, Kara and Oliver headed back to Star City with the book in tow. The first thing Oliver did upon returning home was talk with Felicity about the struggles they’ve had the last few months when Oliver was in prison and Felicity was going to darker places trying to catch Diaz (Kirk Acevedo). Oliver commented that as a couple they have been evolving, which is good, but that the one thing that won’t change is how he feels about her.
But the lovely sentiment was interrupted when ‘90s Flash (John Wesley Shipp) was finally able to breach into the city. He was running ever since the Monitor came to Earth-90 and explained to the gang that the Monitor had been traveling across different Earths testing heroes for a coming crisis.
After commenting that this Diggle looked strange without his ring, it became apparent this Flash had a lot of insight, but he couldn’t explain anything else because the Monitor showed up on the streets of Star City. Barry, Kara, Oliver and ’90s Flash went after him, but he whisked ’90s Flash away and pulled his book — revealed to be the Book of Destiny — back to him. He also warned the group that somebody else was coming, and it was somebody much more powerful than him. He did applaud the group for being able to get the book in the first place, even if just briefly, but then he disappeared with it, leaving the group with a lot of questions — and yes, concerns.
The Monitor returned to Deegan, telling him to dream bigger. Once again, reality got rewritten, this time leaving Barry and Oliver dressed in identical clothes but with no powers — and with a flyer saying they were wanted men. As they narrowly escaped being captured by cops — one of which is Diaz — they got stopped by something much worse: a black-suited Superman.
*This story has been updated. A previous version misidentified the actor portraying Reverse Flash.