Martin Carr reviews part 3 of The CW’s crossover event Elseworlds…
Taken in isolation rather than part of the larger whole part three of this trilogy is both refreshing, exciting, action packed and inventive. Watching Grant Gustin, Stephen Amell and Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman is an adrenaline shot for Supergirl which complements her extended ensemble massively. Convoluted shenanigans concerning a time bending book of destiny, random meetings with an armour clad Monitor and a blackened Man of Steel all add to that fulfilling finale which expands on last year.
With Kara imprisoned, Barry and Oliver on the run and Dr. John Deegan playing havoc with realities at will, for those not up to speed elsewhere ‘Elseworlds’ can be a touch confusing. There are nice moments between Hoechlin’s morally bankrupt Superman and Amell while Gustin still pulls off comedic asides despite the perilous plot line. As the years have gone on these cross over episodes have varied in quality and even featured full on musical numbers yet continued to evolve.
For myself it makes me wish I had followed The Flash and Arrow from episode one as these characters are not only fully realised, dynamic and substantial but less fluffy than Supergirl. This criticism is more constructive and subjective rather than a carved in stone statement. These are all fundamentally different shows which each bring something different to a universe which is for better or worse expanding, overlapping and co-existing in tandem. However what ‘Elseworlds’ does more than anything is give these actors a different perspective and different persona allowing them to flex a different set of acting muscles.
Brooks and to a lesser extent Leigh are given the opportunity to explore this alternate version of themselves, while Amell, Gustin and Benoist remain mostly unchanged. Only Hoechlin is given free rein channelling both Jeremy Davies and that blacker than pitch Superman. By turns vindictive, manipulative and cold blooded this Man of Steel holds sway even when faced with his true blue carbon copy. This is the stuff we have been waiting for and within this cross over episode it not only makes perfect sense, but also brings in a new Lois Lane who is sure to feature heavily later on. Combine that with the promise of further chaos in 2019 through the ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ monocle being bandied about and this closer truly ticks all the boxes.