The Good: Good performances, Decent direction, Moments of character
The Bad: Introduces/returns new characters to the mix in an already-crowded pageant, Somewhat simple plot, Whatever happened to Mick Rory?!
The Basics: The Flash is given the crossover installment "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3," which allows characters from other shows in the DC Television Universe the chance to shine.
One of the real tragedies of the crossover event that began with Supergirl last night is that by the time The Flash episode in the series comes up, the narrative momentum on The Flash has been utterly killed. Coming off the series high of "Therefore I Am" (reviewed here!), "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3" seems entirely like a non-sequitor. Indeed, time has passed and The Flash and other heroes of the DC Television Universe have popped up for a completely different adventure that has absolutely nothing to do with The Thinker (Clifford DeVoe).
"Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3" picks up right after "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 2" (reviewed here!) and it is impossible to discuss the new episode without some references as to what came before. After all, Barry Allen and Iris West's wedding was broken up by interlopers from Earth-X and most of the heroes of the four DC Television Universe shows ended up on Earth-X in a concentration camp. As well, the point of the whole invasion - and the theft of a technical device nicknamed the Prism - was finally made clear: the Earth-X Supergirl needs a new heart, so the villains intend to drain Supergirl of her powers, then perform surgery on her to steal her heart. And fans of The Flash are likely to be most thrilled (or bewildered, if they've missed the prior installments) of the return of Eobard Thawne - this time as a temporal remnant still wearing the face of Harrison Wells.
The inherent weakness of "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3" is that the crossover hinges on so many of the characters teaming up . . . but there have been so many who have no surfaced (both from the regular shows or the Earth-X doppelgangers). So, the viewer goes into "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3" with a pretty good sense that Wally West, most of the Waverider crew, and several other heroes have simply not popped up yet and are likely to be integral to the resolution of the story. Sadly, "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3" does not keep viewers waiting very long as Sarah and Dinah Lance's father appears very quickly on Earth-X, as does another familiar face.
On Earth-X, the heroes of Earth-1 (and Alex), find themselves trapped without their powers and outfitted with collars that might well kill them. Cisco Ramon awakens in one of his own cells, near Dr. Snow, Harry Wells, and the Black Siren. Kara is prepped for surgery under a light of a red sun. On Earth-X, Sarah Lance's father arrives as the commandant of the concentration camp and he has the Earth-1 heroes, and another detainee, out for execution. The group is rescued by Leo Snart, who frees the Earth-X native, The Ray. Getting back to Star City, The Ray reveals that he is from Earth-1 also.
While Felicity sends a distress signal to the Waverider, on Earth-X General Schott orders his freedom fighters to destroy the facility that contains the breach that will send the heroes back to Earth-1. Alex attempts to reason with Winn Schott, while Dr. Stein reaches out to Jefferson Jackson to apologize to him for wanting to retire. While the medical procedure on Kara begins, Felicity manages to knock the power at S.T.A.R. Labs out. On Earth-X, Oliver Queen impersonates the Fuhrer. There, he sends the alternate-Waverider to Earth-1.
Melissa Benoist continues to rock in "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3." Benoist continues to play both Kara and Earth-X Kara and there are long scenes where Benoist is tasked with acting opposite only herself. Benoist manages to take on an entirely different body language as the evil Kara. More than simply hair and make-up changes, it is Melissa Benoist's performance that truly lands the major scenes in "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3."
The other performance winner in "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3" is Jeremy Jordan. Jordan plays the alternate version of Winn Schott and the authoritative stance and voice he approaches the role with is pretty incredible.
It's hard not to be absolutely thrilled by the appearance of Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart. Miller has had a rough couple of years, but any opportunity to see him in action is truly a thrill. The moment Miller appears on "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3" the viewer is likely to get completely giddy and simply thrilled by every frame he is on screen.
The relationship moments in "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3" work much better than in the prior two installments. Seeing Dr. Stein finally acknowledge the essential truth between him and Jefferson Jackson is delightful. It's good writing to finally have a smart character like Stein also be emotionally smart.
Like most of the prior installments, "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3" is hardly an episode of The Flash; the surprise adversary is a throwback to the first season of Supergirl and Eobard Thawne's scenes are all upstaged by the emotionally-open, plan-oriented version of Leonard Snart. It is the characters from Legends Of Tomorrow and Supergirl who actually have the most to do in "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3," while The Flash characters are stuck playing second fiddle on their own program.
Ultimately, "Crisis On Earth-X, Part 3" might not be much of an episode that relates to the rest of The Flash, but it is a solid penultimate act to the crossover event!
For other crossover episodes on The Flash, please visit my reviews of:
"Flash Vs. Arrow"
"Legends Of Today"
"Duet" - The Flash
For other television reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.