Pariah enlists Black Lightning after the Flash of Earth-90 shares what he learned from his battle in Elseworlds. With the help of Black Lightning, Barry, Cisco and Frost come up with a plan that could save them all. Meanwhile, Iris has a heart-to-heart with Ryan Choi, as John Constantine and Diggle return to an old familiar stomping ground with Mia Smoak to retrieve Oliver Queen's soul.
Crisis on Infinite Earths, Day of Judgement, Mike Carey's Lucifer and Green Arrow: Quiver.
If the Anti-Monitor had the capacity to destroy all of the positive matter universes at once (as The Flash of Earth-90 claims when he explains the fail-safe that kept him on the treadmill), why didn't he just do that instead of using the anti-matter cannon to erase them all gradually? (Perhaps he didn't have the power to do that.
For that matter, if the Anti-Monitor created Pariah, why give him the power to transport other people from across realities?
Cress Williams has a nice turn here, managing to balance Black Lightning's anger over his family's death and his shock at all the wonders he is seeing having just found himself among other superheroes for the first time in his life. Yet despite all the strangeness and stress, Jefferson's inner nobility shines through.
It's an all-too-brief moment, but Brandon Routh's speech about hope needs to be sent to every Warner Bros. executive who keeps wondering how Superman should be handled in the movies.
Another brief but wonderful moment? Grant Gustin's Barry Allen getting ready to sacrifice himself and his quick farewell to Caitlin and Cisco - the two friends who have been with him since the beginning.
Matt Ryan and Tom Ellis play off of each other brilliantly and you can count me among the many who would love to see a Lucifer/Constantine spin-off.
The writing in general is fantastic, balancing most of the major players and giving everyone a little moment to shine.
The opening scene depicts New Gotham on Earth-203 just before it and its version of Huntress and Oracle are destroyed. Ashley Scott and Dina Meyer reprised their roles from the Birds of Prey show for this scene. Their Earth is designated 203 after the year in which the show aired - 2003.
When Ralph Dibny first sees all the other heroes on the Waverider, he exclaims "Holy All-Star Squadron!" This is a nod to All-Star Squadron - a collective of all the superhero teams who fought against the Axis Powers in DC Comics past, including the Justice Society of America, The Seven Soldiers of Victory and the Freedom Fighters.
This episode introduced the character of Dr. Ryan Choi. In the comics, Dr. Choi was the protege of Dr. Ray Palmer and the fourth superhero to use the name of The Atom. In the Arrowverse, he is a scientist and expert on miniaturization who is a great fan of Dr. Ray Palmer's work.
In the comics, Ryan Choi is a single man. In the Arrowverse, he is married to a woman named Amanda and they have a newborn daughter named Simone. Amanda seems to be a nod to Amanda Turner - a student of Ryan Choi's from The All-New Atom, who had a crush on Ryan which he was totally oblivious towards. Simone seems to be named in honor of writer Gail Simone, who co-created Ryan Choi.
While imprisoned in the Waverider's brig, Lex Luthor is seen to be reading The Count of Monte Cristo. This was the same book Oliver Queen read in prison during Arrow Season 7. The book is about a man whose quest for revenge causes him to destroy everything he values - an apt summation of Lex Luthor's actions during Supergirl Season 4.
Tom Ellis reprises his role as Lucifer from the Fox/Netflix series of the same name. His Earth is designated as Earth-666 after the so-called Number of the Beast.
Lucifer and John Constantine never encountered one another in the comics before this episode aired, so there is no baseline for guessing what the favor John did for Mazikeen that Lucifer refers to might be. The show-runners of Lucifer have teased, however, that they might address this in Season 5. While nothing official has been said yet, Constantine's actor Matt Ryan has said he's game for a cameo.
There's a bit of comedy where Lucifer intentionally misprounces John Constantine's name as "Cons-Tin-Tyne" rather than the usual "Cons-Tin-Teen." The irony is that, according the the comics, the first pronunciation is the correct one, though the movies and TV shows have said it "Cons-Tin-Teen"
The journey into Purgatory to retrieve Oliver Queen's soul resembles a scene from Green Arrow: Quiver - a 2001 storyline which brought Oliver Queen back from the dead, revealing his still-living body to be a Hollow - a body without a soul. Part of the plot involved convincing Oliver Queen's spirit, which was at peace, to return to Earth and inhabit a cloned body that possessed only part of Oliver Queen's memories.
The Flash of Earth-90 refers to a wife named Tina. This is a nod to Dr. Tina McGee, who was Barry Allen's fastest companion (no pun intendend) in the 1990 The Flash show. This confirms that the will-they/won't they romance between the two ended in a "will."
The practice of stealing energy from another person or moving objects and using it to fuel your own velocity was a common trick of the Wally West incarnation of The Flash. In this episode, The Flash of Earth-90 steals the speed of The-Flash of Earth-1 to give himself the power needed to destroy the anti-Matter cannon.
As in Crisis on Infinite Earths #8, The Flash sacrifices himself to destroy the Anti-Monitor's anti-matter cannon. The computer animation during this scene almost perfectly replicates the scene from the comic.
Danny Elfman's Flash theme can be heard during this sequence.
Curiously, Black Lightning's Earth is never given an official designation or number in this episode.
The journey to Purgatory also draws upon the storyline of Day of Judgement; a mini-series based around the search for a new host for The Spectre among those dead heroes who sought a way of achieving redemption for their past misdeeds. In the end, the fallen Green Lantern Hal Jordan became the new Spectre.
Black Lighting recognizes the two Supermen, saying they are fictional characters on his Earth. This was a frequent occurrence in the classic DC Comics multiverse, with Barry Allen having been a fan of The Flash comics starring Jay Garrick and taking the inspiration for his name from him. He would discover later that Jay Garrick was real on another Earth. The theory put forth was that certain writers had a subconscious attachment to other Earths and they would "imagine" real events while writing their stories.
The Monitor addressed the Anti-Monitor, through the possessed Harbinger, as Mobius. This was a name given to the being that became the Anti-Monitor in the New 52 Justice League comics. This background is being rewritten even now by the current Justice League series, which revealed that the Monitor Mar Novu and Mobius were brothers and they had a third brother who became known as The World-Forger.
In the new mythology of the DC Comics omniverse, the mother of the Monitor, Anti-Monitor and World Forger was a Sixth Dimensional goddess named Perpetua, who had been charged with constructing the Multiverse and set her sons to watch over her creation. The World-Forger made new universes, the Monitor oversaw their development and Mobius made sure the light of creation did not breach the Omniverse made up of these multiverses. The three brothers were forced to turn upon their mother and built a vast wall to imprison her - The Source Wall. This wall also wound up taking up Mobius' function, causing him to swear revenge on The Monitor, who had first proposed their rebellion. He would later discover the power of the Anti-Life Equation and become corrupted by it, now calling himself the Anti-Monitor and plotting to destroy all life in the multiverse.
The Death of the Monitor in the penultimate scene is taken directly from the comics, except that in that scene only Pariah was there to witness Harbinger being possessed by the Anti-Monitor and dealing a deadly blow to the Monitor. Here, most of the heroes are assembled to try and stop Harbinger from assassinating The Monitor.
Cisco locates the Anti-Monitor's lair on Earth-1 by triangulating anti-matter wave particles on the Earths that are left to find the source of the anti-matter wave. This leads them to the bunker that Nash Wells was trying to break into, thinking it was the hideout of The Monitor.
According to John Constantine souls choose their own prisons when sent to Hell or Purgatory. In Oliver Queen's case, his soul is trapped on the island of Lian Yu - presumably because it's the first place he envisioned when asked to think of a place to be trapped forever.
Constantine says that souls in Purgatory start losing their memories and slowly forget who they are. This makes it necessary for someone to remind them who they are before they can be restored to life.
Vibe says that the Anti-Monitor's lair has a crazy vibrational frequency, due to it being a Nexus between Earth-1 and the anti-matter universe.
The Anti-Monitor's lair houses an anti-matter cannon which is generating the waves unmaking reality. It is powered by a treadmill, which is being run on by The Flash of Earth-90, who appears to be nothing but a red blur in one place to non-speedsters.
An anti-matter force-field keeps The Flash from leaving until Vibe sets up a portal that lets him leave. He is also required to keep running because of a fail-safe that will destroy all the Earths at once if he leaves the treadmill for too long.
The Netherverse is a space between worlds, where The Flash of Earth-90 was sent after being banished by The Monitor in Elseworlds. It was from this place that the Anti-Monitor retrieved The Flash and put him to work powering his anti-matter cannon.
Ray Palmer's second paper on subatomic density manipulation was the foundation for Ryan Choi's work on miniaturization.
Cisco says that reversing the treadmill's directional velocity could make the anti-matter wave recede and funnel back into the cannon, destroying the machine and the wave. This would also, Pariah hopes, free him from Anti-Monitor's control.
Pariah: I am no longer Nash, I am Pariah. And I'm here to bear witness.
Cisco: To what?
Cisco: Mm-hmm, new name, new suit guess no one's consulting me anymore, huh? Wait, what exactly happened?
Pariah: I searched these tunnels as Nash for Mar Novu to kill him, expose him as a false god, and now I'm being controlled by another god.
Cisco: And that's the... Anti-Monitor?
Pariah: He laid a perfect trail for me to follow, but all along, he was manipulating me so that he could gain a foothold in this universe.
Frost: Why didn't you resist him?
Pariah: His will was too strong and now I am forced to bear witness as he destroys world after world.
Diggle: So why did we take a detour to another parallel Earth?
Constantine: So many Earths are already gone. The pillars of magic are crumbling, leaving me the worse for wear, so I can't get us into Purgatory. But don't worry, squire. Luckily, I know a guy.
(Constantine knocks on the back door of the club. By happy coincidence, it's already opening. Lucifer Morningstar stands there with a woman on each arm.)
Lucifer: ...Oh, you're gonna love her. She's pretty much up for everything.
(The two women laugh but fall quiet as they realize they have company. Lucifer's smile fades as well.)
Constantine: Always a pleasure to see you, Lucy. It's time.
Lucifer: Excuse me, ladies. Seems like you're not the only ones who want a piece of me. I'll see you later.
(The two ladies walk off, leaving Lucifer to look at Constantine with barely repressed disdain.)
Lucifer: Johnny. I'd like to say it's a pleasure to see you on my Earth outside my club. It's not. (turning to Mia, smile widening) Hello. Don't believe we've met. Lucifer Morningstar.
Mia: Lucifer Morningstar? As in The Devil?
Lucifer: Yes, exactly. So tell me. What is it you desire?
(Lucifer fixes Mia with a look. THE look, in fact.)
Mia: (stammering) I I, uh I desire to get my father back.
Lucifer: Daddy issues! Why didn't you say so?
Constantine: Look, I don't know if you have an Oliver Queen on your world, but ours has, uh, shuffled off this mortal coil.
Lucifer: A soul retrieval, blah, blah, blah, the worlds are ending. It's all very Biblical, John. Okay, okay. I'm only doing this 'cause I owe you for Maze.
Constantine: (smirks) Yeah, you do.
Lucifer: (points to Diggle, who is clearly fed up with all this) You remind me of my brother, by the way - tall, dark, annoyed by me.
Diggle: You gonna help us or not?
Lucifer: (sexily) Oh, flirt. The Devil always sees through on a deal.
(Lucifer pulls out a Devil Tarot card out of thin air, which he passes to Constantine.)
Lucifer: Take this card. You'll have a limited time once inside Purgatory, and once the picture completely fades-
Constantine: Our souls will be decimated, blah, blah, blah.
Lucifer: And trapped in eternity forever, so I don't recommend it. Consider us even, John Cons-Tin-Tyne
Lucifer: Is it? I don't care.
Lois Lane: It's ironic. I'm watching the biggest event in history, the destruction of every Earth, and no one will ever read the story.
(The Superman of Earth-96 suddenly appears from a breach.)
Superman-96: I couldn't save them.
Lois: You wanna take a minute? Looks like you could use a breather.
Superman-96: (shaking his head as he gasps for breath, touching his emblem) Put this on... this crest... I made a promise to keep fighting. No matter what.
Lois: Hey, why'd you add black to it?
Superman-96: (smiling faintly) Because, Lois... even in the darkest times... Hope cuts through. Hope is the light that lifts us out of darkness.
(The Flashes have just explained the anti-matter cannon to Black Lightning.)
The Flash-1: Can you contain that much energy?
Black Lightning: Let's find out.
The Flash-1: I know how to stop the cannon. This is what The Monitor meant that day in the Time Vault. This is what I've been running towards all these years. It's time for Flash to vanish in Crisis.
The-Flash-90: Sorry, kid, but this has to happen.
(The older Flash touches the younger, and a jolt of lightning passes between them. Suddenly, the younger Flash slumps over, unable to stand.)
The-Flash-1: Barry, what are you doing?
The-Flash-90: I'm momentarily stealing your speed. You play the speedster game long enough, you learn some neat tricks.
Caitlin: Wait, why are you doing this?
The-Flash-90: Novu said the Flash must die in Crisis. He never said which one.
The Flash-1: I appreciate you helping us, Jefferson. I know what you've lost.
Black Lightning: (quietly) My world I lost the love of my life, my two daughters. Nothing will ever be okay again.
The Flash-1: I know. That Flash, the Flash from Earth-90... he looked just like my dad, Henry Allen. He was a resilient man. He spent years in prison for the murder of my mom, a crime one of my enemies committed and framed him for. Through all that, he never lost his light. Times like this... I try and do the same.
Black Lightning: My father, uh, Alvin Pierce...he was a good man, too. Reporter. Spent his life giving a voice to the voiceless. He was murdered when I was 12. But I still carry the lessons he taught me to this day. I passed them along to my girls. (takes a deep breath, still in shock) My girls... Anyway, I get it.
(Black Lightning pauses and snorts, clearing his nose, steeling himself.)
Black Lightning: Look. I don't think Henry or Alvin raised any quitters. So... we should honor their memory and rage against the dying of the light.
The Flash-1: Dylan Thomas.
Black Lightning: (smiling softly) Well, all right then, Flash.
The Flash-1: (returning the smile) It's Barry. Barry Allen.
(Barry offers Black Lightning his hand.)
Black Lightning: Jefferson Pierce.
(The two shake hands.)
Batwoman: Hey, Kara. Listen, I... I get you wanted to bring those people back. You have the biggest heart of anyone that I've ever met. I just don't want to see you get hurt.
Supergirl: You know, I gotta say. For someone who was unsure that they were the Paragon of Courage, took a lot of guts to do what you did.
Batwoman: Maybe. But I have hope that there's a better way. Which is why which is why I wanted to give you this.
(Batwoman holds out the Kryptonite device she was given by Bruce Wayne of Earth-99)
Supergirl: Kryptonite?! Why do you have that?
Batwoman: It was Bruce Wayne's. He lost hope and I never will.
(Supergirl regards the device then looks up at Batwoman.)
Supergirl: Keep it. I have the courage that you'll never have to use it.
(Batwoman smiles softly in response.)
(The Paragons are teleported into a space station in a bad state of repair.)
Batwoman: What the hell just happened?
Supergirl: Where are we?
White Canary: (looking around, stunned) This is the Vanishing Point.
Batwoman: What does that mean?
White Canary: It's a point outside of time and space.
Martian Manhunter: What happened to the Waverider and the others?
Superman-96: The Anti-Monitor. He used Harbinger to attack us. Pariah must have sent us here knowing that the Anti-Monitor couldn't follow.
The Flash: Well, we have to go back. We have to go back right now!
Martian Manhunter: Barry, we can't. They're gone.
(There is a long pause. Suddenly a red light seems to come from within Superman as he clutches his stomach, looking pained.)
Superman-96: Something's wrong.
Supegirl: (terrified) Kal? Kal?
Superman-96: Something's wrong.
(Superman collapses as Supergirl comes to hold him. The light grows more intense as more "wounds" seem to open on his body.)
Supergirl: Hey, hey, hey!
Superman-96: I can't
Supergirl: Come on. Please.
Superman-96: Fix it. Fix it.
Supergirl: What do I do?
(Supergirl looks to the other heroes but they have no answers. The light grows brighter, enveloping Superman completely. Suddenly it starts to fade, revealing Lex Luthor and his copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. Lex opens his eyes and looks around, surprised and then smiles.)
Lex Luthor: Oh, I am so happy that worked.
Supergirl: Lex, what did you do?!
Lex Luthor: Well, I held the Book of Destiny and I saw you seven Paragons due to be stranded at the Vanishing Point. And I thought destiny could use a little rewrite.
(Lex reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a folded page. On the page, he wrote LEX LUTHOR in sharpie over the symbol meant to represent Superman. If looks could kill, Supergirl would kill Lex ten times over and it's a wonder her heat-vision hasn't kicked in. The other heroes aren't much happier, except for Ryan Choi, who merely looks confused.)
Lex Luthor: So. What do we do now?
Earth-203 is destroyed.
Barry retrieves Cisco, Frost and Ralph to help deal with the Crisis.
This is, as Frost notes, Ralph's first time taking part in a crossover event.
Cisco helps Ray to repair his Paragon detector.
J'onn and the Superman of Earth-96 agree to lead the evacuation of the Earths that are still alive to Earth-1.
Lois says that she'll run coms and coordinate the teams.
Mick Rory-74 is babysitting Jonathan Kent.
Sara is keeping an eye on the soulless but now-living Oliver Queen.
J'onn is revealed as the Paragon of Honor.
Barry is revealed as the Paragon of Love.
A man named Dr. Ryan Choi is revealed as the Paragon of Humanity.
John Diggle arrives on the Waverider, having just been informed that Harbinger had disappeared and that Oliver Queen died and is now alive again as a soulless savage.
It is explained once again that they need to retrieve Oliver Queen's soul from the afterlife to restore his body, as John Constantine did with Sara Lance in A405.
The Monitor restores Cisco's vibe powers, saying they are needed to save the universe.
Iris, Ralph and Ray go off to search for Dr. Ryan Choi in Ivy Town, where he teaches at Ivy University.
Barry, Frost and Vibe return to Earth-1 to investigate the Anti-Monitor's lair. They are joined by Pariah.
Pariah does not remember his life as Nash Wells, beyond once having been Nash Wells.
Vibe uses his powers to see what Nash Wells did to open the portal to the Anti-Monitor's lair.
Lex was able to use the Book of Destiny by focusing on his hatred of Superman.
John Diggle, John Constantine and Mia Smoak travel to Los Angeles on Earth-666 so that John can call in a favor to get them to Purgatory since his magic isn't working. The favor turns out to belong to Lucifer Morningstar, who agrees to help John because he did something for his employee Maze once.
The Flash of Earth-90, last seen in Elseworlds, is found in the Anti-Monitor's lair, trapped on a treadmill that is powering the anti-matter cannon unmaking reality.
The Flash of Earth-90 confirms that the first test run for the anti-matter cannon destroyed Earth 2. This occurred in A801. As Cisco and Caitlin note, this means that Jesse Quick and Harry Wells are probably dead.
Ryan Choi is reluctant to help the heroes, saying he has a wife and kid he needs to be with if the world is ending.
Earth-73 is one of the last Earths wiped out. According to Lois Lane, once it passes, only 7 worlds including Earth-1 remain.
The Monitor reveals that he lost his family and admits to being more concerned about his work than spending time with them.
Pariah summons Black Lightning to contain the power in the cannon.
Kara wants to try to use the Book of Destiny to remake the vanquished Earths. Kate says she'll stop her by any means necessary because she's afraid of what will happen if Kara dies trying.
Both Flashes enter Flashtime in order to discuss a solution in relative comfort. This trick was first seen in 415.
The Flash of Earth-90 refers to having a wife named Tina.
Iris convinces Ryan Choi to come with her, Ralph and Ray.
The Barry Allen of Earth-90 steals the speed of his Earth-1 counterpart and uses the excess energy to overload the anti-matter cannon, dying in the process.
Jim Corrigan confronts the group in Purgatory as they are about to leave with Oliver.
John Constantine says he knows Jim Corrigan - the two met in C105. This Jim Corrigan, however, is a different version than the one John met there. (The first was played by Emmett Scanlan. This one is played by Stephen Lobo.)
Jim Corrigan says that Oliver can't go back to life because it is his destiny to become the new host of the Spectre.
Oliver reluctantly agrees not to leave the afterlife and Diggle, Constantine and Mia are forced to go back without him.
Kate reveals that she has Kryptonite to Kara. Kara tells her to keep it, as she trusts Kate not to use it.
Black Lightning recognizes the two Supermen, but says that Superman is a fictional character on his Earth.
Harbinger is revealed to be possessed by the Anti-Monitor.
The Monitor addresses the Anti-Monitor as Mobius and says that allowing his creation was a mistake.
The Monitor is killed by Harbinger.
Pariah sends the Paragons to Vanishing Point - the former headquarters of the Time Masters, which was destroyed by the Legends in L115.
Superman-96 is replaced by Lex Luthor, who wrote over page of Book of Destiny detailing who the Paragons and who will still be in Vanishing Point after being sent away by Pariah.
Earth-203: New Gotham
Earth-1: Ivy Town: Ivy University.
Earth-1: Central City: The Anti-Monitor's Lair
Earth-666: Los Angeles: An alley behind the nightclub Lux.
John Constantine did some favor for Lucifer involving Mazikeen at some point in the past.
The Barry Allen of Earth-90 married the Tina McGee of his world.
The Bottom Line
The event gets better with every passing episode.