With reality altered yet again and Barry Allen, Oliver Queen and Kara Zor-El now criminals in a world ruled by a tyrant Superman, can our heroes overcome The Monitor and The Book of Destiny?
Infinite Crisis (John Deegan's behavior as the fake Superman is not unlike that of Superboy Prime), Injustice: Gods Among Us (Superman ruling the world as a tyrant, leading an organization that mostly exists to massage his ego, heroes from another Earth including a good Superman coming to fight the evil Superman, Supergirl imprisoned ), Scarface (Carlos Valdez seems to be doing an Al Pacino impression playing a crime boss), The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (Cisco paraphrases this poem), All-Star Superman (Lois Lane is wielding the Solar Hammer from this story), Crisis on Infinite Earths (the final scene with Psycho-Pirate), Arkham Asylum: Serious House on a Serious Earth (The state of John Deegam at the end of the story is like that of Doctor Destiny), The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes (John Deegam as Doctor Destiny, but with the Book of Destiny instead of Dream's Ruby.), Larry Niven's essay "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex." (The problems of an Earthling/Kryptonian pregnancy are briefly mentioned.) and the Christopher Reeves Superman movies (the idea of flying around the Earth quickly to alter time and the sequence where The Flash and Supergirl do so, Lois's dress when she's having dinner with Clark in the Fortress of Solitude, Superman making an engagement ring by crushing coal into a diamond.)
John Deegan says he saw nothing about Supergirl existing in the Book of Destiny before she and Clark fought Amazo in "Elseworlds - Part 1". Yet Kara has come to Earth One before during Invasion! and Crisis on Earth-X.
John Deegan's face is horribly dried out and emaciated once The Book of Destiny is destroyed, yet his hands look perfectly normal
Tyler Hoechlin has a good deal of fun playing both versions of Superman. Again, we wish he and Elizabeth Tulloch's Lois Lane had their own spin-off. Maybe after Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Stephen Amell doesn't get many chances to do a good old-fashioned ranting speech at The Powers That Be, but when he does he sounds like the Oliver Queen from the comics. Still wish he had the goatee, but his moment against The Monitor is phenomenal.
Solid effects work all around, but the scene of the two Superman fighting is probably the best.
The episode opens with a parody of Kara's usual opening monologue, delivered by John Deegan.
The first shot we see of Mr. Ramon seems to be a tribute to the Al Pacino movie Scarface, with Cisco counting a pile of money in his club.
Mr. Ramon paraphrases the Robert Frost poem "The Road Not Taken" with his line "I have ledgers to keep and miles to go before I sleep."
Mr. Ramon refers to Superman as Super-Dick. This could be a nod to the website Superdickery, which compiles classic scenes from Superman comics of Superman seemingly being a jerk for no reason.
Alex says that the IT guy she was dating was now dating Pam from HR. This could be a nod to Pam Poovey from the series Archer - an HR person with a reputation for dating all her co-workers.
During the fight where the two Supermen go through an office building, a woman sees this and shouts "Bizzaro!" This is a nod to the Bizzaro Superman - a popular Superman villain who either hails from an imperfect copy of Earth called Bizzaro World or is a imperfect clone of Superman made by Lex Luthor, depending on the reality.
Barry's idea that he and Kara can slow down time by running around the Earth super-fast is a tribute to a scene in Superman: The Movie where Superman makes time run backwards while flying around the Earth very quickly.
When Lois Lane shows up with Braniac-5 and Martian Manhunter, she is wielding a large hammer. This was alter identified by actress Elizabeth Tulloch as The Solar Hammer - a counterpart to the Cosmic Anvil in Superman's forge in All-Star Superman. Superman uses them to make small suns for a baby sun-eater he keeps as a pet.
Lois makes mention of a study from Harvard that says women are better in a crisis than men. This may be another clever bit of foreshadowing that Clark won't be around during Crisis on Infinite Earths.
The whole dinner sequence in the Fortress of Solitude is a tribute to the Christopher Reeves and Margot Kidder Superman movies. Lois' dress, Clark being a bad cook and Clark making an engagement ring by crushing coal into a diamond are all taken from the movies.
The man wearing the golden mask in the final scene is The Psycho Pirate - a JSA villain with the power to manipulate the emotions of others. He became a figure of some prominence after Crisis on Infinite Earths, being only one of a handful of beings who remembered the existence of the multiverse. The Psycho Pirate primarily operated out of Gotham City and famously ruled the city by using his powers to take control of Bruce Wayne and Alan Scott. (The secret identities of Batman and Green Lantern.)
The Psycho-Pirate quotes the tag-line from the original ads for Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Barry suggests that he and Kara can literally slow down time by traveling around the globe in opposite directions at just over Mach 7. This will create enough centrifugal force to slow the Earth's rotation and everything on the planet's surface.
Dr. John Deegan: My name is John Deegan and I'm from Gotham - a city in grave need of heroes. As a doctor at Arkham Asylum, I did my part by protecting this city from the criminally insane. But the world didn't understand my methods, so I worked in secret until one day when a cosmic being recognized my potential and gave me the chance to be something greater ... someone greater! Now... I am Superman!
Barry: People don't become heroes because of circumstance. They become heroes in spite of circumstance!
(Oliver draws his gun.)
Dark Superman: Idiot. I'm bulletproof.
Oliver: I know.
(Oliver turns and shoots the support cablse that are the only thing holding up the crane that the Dark Superman set on fire earlier. We hear a group of children in the path of the shuddering crane scream.)
Barry: You want to be Earth's hero? Save the children or stop us!
Oliver: Your choice. (mockingly) Superman.
Kara: You're a monster.
Dark Superman: (smiling) No. I'm Superman.
Monitor: I must confess - my interest is piqued. You possess neither power nor abilities, yet still manage to outwit an opponent with the powers of a super... man.
Barry: It's just one word. Superman.
Ollie: (annoyed) What is this? Hmmm? If you're testing us, then let us get back to it!
Monitor: Oliver Queen. A man who channels his hubris and anger and calls it strength. Are you truly that eager to die? (he regards Oliver) No... not eager. Willing. Ready to. Good. There might be hope for this universe yet.
Barry: If that's supposed to be a pep-talk, I've had better.
Mr. Ramon: All right. I've got ledgers to keep and miles to go before I sleep.
Superman (To Ollie) Still Barry?
Ollie: Oh, no. We-
Barry: No. Yeah.
Superman: Oh! So it's fixed? That's great.
(Oliver makes a face as Barry looks to him as if to follow his lead. They both glance back at Mr. Ramon. Superman takes entirely the wrong meaning from their hesitation.)
Superman: (quietly) Oh no.
(Superman glances between Ollie and Barry and then back at Mr. Ramon.)
Superman: (hesitantly) Kara?
Mr. Ramon: Mr. Ramon.
(Dark Superman has just caught Kara and Alex in the hall trying to escape.)
Dark Superman: I warned you.
Kara: (trying to lie, badly) No, I tricked her into opening my cell. We don't know each other!
Alex: (firmly) Yes, we do. She is my sister.
(Alex gives Kara a look. Kara smiles a bit.)
Dark Superman: (mockingly) Awwwww. Well, then you can burn together.
(Dark Superman's eyes begin to glow red. Suddenly, a breach opens. Ollie, Barry, Mr. Ramon and Superman emerge. The Dark Superman's eyes go back to normal and he looks stunned as he sees the real Superman.)
Superman: Hi. (smiles) Nice suit.
Green Arrow: I'm not afraid of you! I'm not impressed by you! Stop with these games and show yourself!
(Green Arrow is teleported into The Monitor's subspace platform.)
Monitor: So much passion. And hubris. To think... that if you just yell loud enough you can command a god.
Green Arrow: You're not a god!
Monitor: Yet there isn't a name for what I am, so I suppose "god" will have to do. Your time is limited. I'm not sure what little remains is best spent making demands of me. I already told you what you had to do.
Green Arrow: I know what happens to Barry and Kara.
Monitor: Hmmm. And now you're here in the faint hope I can alter it.
Green Arrow: Well, you just said you were a god. (defiantly) Now I don't think you're testing us to see if we're strong enough. I think you're testing us to see if we're good enough. And I don't think, in any of the universes you've tested, that anyone has ever stood and confronted you like this.
Monitor: (turning away from Green Arrow) Yes. You are the first in a multitude.
Green Arrow: I'm not who you need!
(The Monitor stops in mid-step.)
Green Arrow: You said I'd pass the test if my knew my true self?
(The Monitor turns back around to face Green Arrow.)
Green Arrow: My true self is filled with darkness. But Barry and Kara are different! They inspire hope! They inspire people, because they are the best of us! And if this test of yours is going to kill our best chance of stopping this crisis? (pauses) Well, as gods go... you're not a very smart one.
Monitor: The universe is a complex piece of machinery and balance must be maintained. One change requires another. How would you propose I keep the balance?
(Green Arrow looks pained as he considers this.)
Superman: You can't just wear that symbol on your chest and call yourself a hero, Deegan. Our powers amplify who we are. And the way you've been using yours? Tells me you don't have the mettle for this.
Dark Superman: (frantic) No, no! You're wrong! I did - I didn't think big enough! (panting) I won't make that mistake again!
(An Amazo robot appears by his side, willed into existence by the book. Superman tries to use his heat vision on the robot but it responds with a blast of its own, sending Superman flying into a car.)
Dark Superman: You see?! There is no defeating me! I am the master of this world!
(Suddenly, Braniac-5, Lois Lane and Martian Manhunter emerge from a breach portal.)
Lois: Blah, blah, blah. That's a bit much don't you think?
Superman: (confused) Honey?
Lois: Yes, dear?
Brainiac-5: (walking forward towards Amazo) So... an enormous robot...
(Amazo shoots a heat-vision blast that goes between Lois and Brainiac-5, missing them both.)
Brainiac-5: ... with the powers of Superman. (almost smiling) This is exciting. (looking back to Lois) Uh, thank you for including me.
(Brainiac-5 goes into a run and starts to fly at Amazon. They meet in the middle and go spiraling into the sky.)
(Amazo's body drops down between all the heroes. Brainiac-5 flies down a few seconds after.)
Brainiac-5: Does the book say anything about what I should do with this? (holds up Amazo's motherboard.)
(John Deegan lies in a cell in Arkaam, his eyes vacant, his face gaunt. We hear a voice from the next cell.)
Man From Next Cell: Don't worry, Doctor. Everything is as it should be. The stage is set. Worlds will live. Worlds will die. And the universe will never be the same!
(The man is revealed to be wearing a gold featureless mask as he turns around to the camera. It is the Psycho-Pirate.)
John Deegan has reimagined himself as the Superman of Earth One. He looks like the Superman of Earth-38, but wearing an all-black costume. It is revealed he got the idea from The Book of Destiny when he saw the battle with Amazo from F509.
Barry Allen and Oliver Queen have been turned into a group of robbers called The Trigger Twins.
John Diggle, Alex Danvers and Killer Frost now work for Superman in what was STAR Labs. Their organization is never given a name, but they are a peace-keeping force that back-up Superman, though Killer Frost says all they really do is get paid to massage Superman's ego.
STAR Labs is now decorated with the House of El symbol and is a base for Superman's peacekeepers.
Kara is Subject One and kept in a cell in the STAR Labs Pipeline.
Deegan tells Kara that he saw nothing about her or "The Man of Steel" whose face and powers he took apart from their battle with Amazo in F509.
The power dampeners in STAR Labs' cells are capable of weakening Kara's powers. Her cell is also equipped with sonic speakers that inflict tremendous pain on her due to her super-hearing.
Deegan reveals that he rewrote the destinies of everyone on Earth One so nobody is living the same life.
The Alex Danvers of Earth-1 is a closeted lesbian and a workaholic, whose background is close enough to that of the Earth-38 Alex Danvers that Kara is able to guess enough to convince her that, in another world, they are sisters.
Barry and Ollie plan to find this world's version of Cisco, breach to Earth-38, find the real Superman and get him to come fight the new Superman while they try and fix reality.
Barry makes reference to the Earth-2 Cisco he met in 213, describing him as not being very helpful.
The Monitor tells Barry and Ollie that self-sacrifice alone will not win the challenge but they must also know their true self.
Cisco Ramon is a club owner and crime-boss in Central City's underworld in the new reality. He insists on being addressed as Mr. Ramon.
Gary Green is a bartender and super-villain fanboy at Mr. Ramon's bar.
James Olsen is one of Mr. Ramon's bodyguards. He is known as Superman's Worst Pal.
Barry is able to persuade Mr. Ramon not to kill them by saying that he knew his brother Dante - the brother Barry
Mr. Ramon made his fortune using his powers to break into bank vaults.
The Alex Danvers created for Earth One is said to have dated a guy in IT. This could be a reference to Winn Schott. He apparently started dating Pam in HR.
Kara can speak Japanese. Alex taught her the language when she first came to Earth.
Kara wins the trust of the Earth One Alex by reciting a Japanese poem that Earth-38 Alex taught to her the first night they snuck out to fly together.
Earth-38 Alex spent a summer in Nagano, Japan when she was 6. She got homesick and a girl from the village took to the temple in secret one night. Alex wrote a wish on a note and put it in a crack in the wall of the temple, hoping it would come true.
Apart from being 7 instead of 6, the Earth-1 Alex did the exact same thing.
The little girl in the village taught Alex the poem, which in Japanese roughly translates to "pinky swear."
Kara tells the Earth-One Alex that her Alex was also drawn to a life of service, that she's in charge of an organization and she doesn't hide who she is or dare back down when she's told to do something that's wrong. He tells her that she wants a wife and children some days and that she's optimistic and thinks she can have everything she wants in life - it's just a mater of if, not when.
Superman has encountered other books that can rewrite reality like The Book of Destiny before and he knows how to use them. The author operates them through sheer force of will but changing the story in the book comes at a cost.
Mr. Ramon says he served time at STAR Labs.
Mr. Ramon runs for it once the Supermen start fighting.
Oliver starts fighting Diggle and Killer Frost in the elevator.
The Dark Superman's "Fortress of Solitude" is the STAR Labs Time Vault.
Superman is able to use the Book of Destiny to start restoring reality. He gives Barry and Ollie their powers and training back before the Dark Superman reclaims the book.
Oliver Queen is revealed to still have his Kryptonite Arrow.
As Deegan begins rewriting reality again, the STAR Labs building briefly acquires the double-lighting bolt symbol worn by the Nazis of Earth-X.
Superman reveals that he saw it written in the Book of Destiny that Kara and Barry die trying to slow down the rotation of the Earth. They decide to do it anyway.
Ollie asks Superman to get the book back from the Dark Superman. All he tells Superman about what he'll be doing is that he has an idea.
Lois arrives from Earth 38 with Martian Manhunter and Brainiac-5.
Brainiac-5 fights the new Amazo. J'onn focuses on protecting the civilians. Lois and Superman take on Deegan.
Time slows down just as Lois is sent airborn by the dark Superman. Superman catches her.
While time is slowed down, Oliver Queen emerges and shoots The Book of Destiny.
When the book is destroyed, it leaves John Deegan a comatose, desiccated husk.
Clark has finished fixing up the Kent Farm. He says he wanted to make sure it was perfect for Ma. This seems to indicate that Jonathan Kent is dead in this reality.
Clark tells Kara he's sure she is stronger than he is and that she and Alex will keep having each other's backs, even if Kara isn't part of the DEO.
Lois reveals that she's pregnant. She and Clark are going back to Argo City for a year so there are no complications with the pregnancy.
Clark asks Kara to take over protecting the Earth for him for a while, since he doesn't plan to be Superman for a while so he can focus on being a father.
Clark proposes to Lois Lane. She accepts.
As is their post-team-up tradition, Oliver and Barry go off for a drink alone.
Ollie says the one thing he'll miss about super-speed is the sense of clarity he felt when he entered Flashtime when nothing else was moving but him.
Barry guesses that Oliver talked to Monitor and did something to rewrite his and Kara's destiny. Ollie denies this, though he admits he did talk to the Monitor.
Barry tries to get Ollie to hug him again. Ollie refuses this year, but he does make a toast to appreciating what you have for however long you may have it.
Oliver gets a call from Batwoman, asking if he's sure John Deegan won't be a problem. She asks because she's been spying on him and he apparently made a new friend in Arkham Asylum, where he is not a patient.
The episode ends with Psycho-Pirate talking to John Deegan and assuring him that everything is going according to plan.
A title card at the end of the episode tells us to expect to see Crisis on Infinite Earths in Fall 2019.
Earth-1 - Centeral City
Earth-38 - The Fortress of Solitude.
Earth-38 - Smallville, Kent Farm
Oliver, Barry and Mr. Ramon apparently made 16 other attempts to travel to Earth 38 before they got it right.
Amazo's fight with Braniac-5 takes place entirely off camera.
The Bottom Line
As a finale for the crossover, fantastic. As an episode of Supergirl... well, it's a little odd that Kara doesn't seem to do that much in an episode of her own show and that all the focus is on what her cousin and Barry and Oliver are doing while Kara is in prison. At least Kara escapes based on her own ability to empathize with people and isn't rescued by the male heroes but it's still a bit weird. Still, it's not like Kara wasn't awesome in the first two parts.