TV Review: Batwoman: 'Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part 2'

"Finding Paragons is a boring side quest. And I don't really get the purpose as it relates to the story." Shawn Bourdo
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A pair of Sentries are teaming up to take on the five-part "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event.  If you would like to start at the beginning, please read Part 1.

Gordon S. Miller

This was my first Batwoman episode so I have no idea about any of the storylines other than what I may have heard in Supergirl. There seems to be some serious family battles and intrigue taking place with Kate, but a few hours removed, I'm not sure how I would do on a pop quiz.

It is very odd for “CoIE Part 1” to have contained such dire consequences for the Multiverse that numerous universes were wiped out and Oliver gave his life to save a billion people only to have Part 2 find the gang doing nothing about the antimatter wave while they search for more teammates. Granted, the inclusion of many of the characters was fun, but it didn't seem the time for it.

The Monitor sends the heroes on a quest to find the seven “Paragons,” heroes across the Multiverse who need to be wrangled together to help with the Crisis. Seems odd they weren't gathered before, which, I believe, Barry points out. Two Paragons are already assembled: Kara and Sarah. The clues suggest they also need to find versions of Superman and Batman.

Like I suggested before, the Monitor is a terrible strategist. He brings the previously deceased Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) to Earth-1. Luthor steals the Book of Destiny, which was destroyed during “Elseworlds” but the Monitor retrieved it, and universe-hops in order to kill every Superman he can find. I don't know Luthor to be a serial killer, but that seems to be the state of modern villains.

Luthor finds his way to the Smallville universe, but Clark Kent (Tom Welling) defeats him in an ingenious way that lets fans know his life after the series ended, but he is not a Paragon. Luthor then goes to the Superman Returns universe, which allows Routh to get back into the blue and red suit, though as an older version of the character, influenced by Kingdom Come. He is revealed to be a Paragon, which apparently was the Monitor's plan: letting Luthor lead Superman and Lois (and also Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton) who joins the fight) to the Paragon, yet not caring about the people he killed along the way.

Kate and Kara go find a future Bruce Wayne/Batman (Kevin Conroy, making his live action debut as the character after years of voice work in animation) who wears an exo-skeleton to move around. The Kate of this world is dead and this Bruce/Batman resembles the one from The Dark Knight Returns, but he turns out not to be the Batman they are looking for, Kate is, so while a fun diversion for fans, the Monitor (and the writers) is again not thinking these things through.

The third storyline finds Barry and Mia wanting to use the Lazarus Pit to revive Oliver. John Constantine (Matt Ryan) assists them. While the impulse of the characters is understandable, this will undercut his sacrifice and the story, but resurrection is no easy feat.

In contrast to Part 1, this episode was well structured, delivering a lot of cliffhangers leading into commercial breaks and the final one where viewers get to see the Anti-Monitor. I am curious to see if there will be any mention of the number of universes lost to the antimatter wave while everyone was working to build a team.

Shawn Bourdo

The sixth annual crossover moves to the newest Arrowverse series.  The story splits into a couple different side quests.

Kate and Kara are off to an alternate Earth to find an old man Batman.  There's talk of finding some Lazarus Pits on other planets to resurrect Oliver.  The appearance of Constantine (and him calling Barry - "Speedy") is a highlight.  The hope of bringing Oliver back to life is too easy of a cop out even for a mainstream TV show.  Lois and Clark's appearance in the crossover didn't sit well with me at first.  I do appreciate that they are helping to connect the previous Smallville universe to this one as a thin line, deep back bend way to acknowledge the existence of all the previous Superman worlds.

The interaction between Clark and Lex was a fun piece of nostalgia.  I just haven't ever warmed up to Jon Cryer as a diabolical Lex.  I almost resent the amount of time spent with old Batman and Supermen because these are just not characters that have mattered in the shows I love.  This isn't a reward to the loyal viewer - it's a pandering annoyance.

Finding Paragons is a boring side quest.  And I don't really get the purpose as it relates to the story.

Overall, a pretty big letdown as far as a Batwoman episode goes.  The intriguing story of Kate and her sister has dominated this season and seeing her step outside of that should feel fresh but it doesn't feel right.  And trying to get Oliver's soul back is way off anything that the show usually features.  The Kate and Kara moments are the best of a bad bunch and I hope that the result of this crossover is to make it easier to put these two together sometimes.

Hopefully The Flash will offer more interesting story development tomorrow night.

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