When the Arrowverse first started to really take shape, after the introduction of Barry Allen in Season 2 of Arrow, there was a lot of excitement over where they could go and what they could do with a shared tv universe. As it expanded, Arrow had several ups and downs, Legends of Tomorrow spun out of both Arrow and The Flash and started relatively weak but developed into one of the most entertaining shows on TV,
Supergirl was brought into the fold and found its own corner of the Arrowverse by tackling political and social commentary separate from the other shows in its own universe. All the while, The Flash maintained a consistently solid level of quality for the first three years. Then, the crossovers really began in earnest.
Invasion brought all four shows together for the first time and offered an entertaining showcase, but Crisis on Earth X and Elseworlds really took it to the next level, the latter culminating with the announcement that this year’s event would be Crisis on Infinite Earths, the biggest possible crossover they could do. It couldn’t have come at a better time, because, while The Flash hasn’t been bad over the past couple of seasons, it certainly hasn’t reached the level of quality of the first few years and the Arrowverse as a whole has felt like it’s stagnated quite a bit, with the possible exception of Supergirl, which is coming off its best season.
For that reason, the majority of excitement going into this season of Arrowverse shows has been in regards to the buildup to Crisis and the introduction of Batwoman, moreso than the standalone story of the shows themselves. While Supergirl and The Flash began building towards Crisis, they both remained relatively self contained to varying degrees of success.
Supergirl‘s season premiere was much more of a mixed bag than the other two, especially coming off the heels of such a strong season. Honestly, this actually felt more like an underwhelming epilogue to last season than it did the introduction to a new season given that everything felt like it was dealing with the fallout of the last episode. It’s interesting that the two villains of the episode were J’onn’s villains rather than Supergirl’s, one being the one Monitor introduced at the end of the last episode claiming to be J’onn’s brother.
Then, there was what seemed to be a resolution to the problems between Lena and Kara, before the reveal that there’s more going on with Lena. The fight scenes were relatively fun, if standard for the show. Ultimately, this episode left the show almost exactly where it was where it began and just kind of served to reintroduce everyone to what will seemingly be the overarching conflicts this season. 2.75/5 Super Bibles.
Then come the much anticipated pilot of Batwoman, who debuted in last season’s Elseworlds crossover. Strangely enough, this episode served as an origin story for Kate Kane (a glowing Ruby Rose), despite the fact that she debuted as an established superhero and would presumably return as such for Crisis.
Despite that, it was a pretty strong pilot, forgoing any false sense of danger for Kate, who we know will be around for a while, and instead establishing her relationships with all of the important supporting characters. This episode did an excellent job of establishing what Gotham is like at this point in time, who the major players are in the city, and what trouble lies ahead of Kate, all the while providing some entertaining action. All in all, this may have been one of the stronger Arrowverse pilots. 4/5 Bat Bibles.
The final, and arguably most anticipated because of its direct connections to Crisis, was The Flash. Shockingly, however, this episode actually wound up being a fantastic standalone episode, one of the best Flash has had in a long time. The ending did tie into Crisis, meaning that this episode actually managed to set up a Flash solo story and a Crisis story going forward this season.
On its own, it had an interesting obstacle for Barry to overcome given that he didn’t have to defeat a villain but rather save a person in order to save the city. It was a refreshing change of pace for the show and honestly an approach that I wish they would’ve taken with the Flash a long time ago. As good as that was, both stories that they set up going forward seem just as exciting and have me far more engaged with The Flash than I have been for quite a while. 4.5/5 Speed Bibles.