Kane. Kate Kane. Batwoman enters the fold when Barry, Oliver and Iris make their way to Gotham in part two of this year’s Arrowverse extravaganza. Elseworlds continues as the heroes try to make sense of Barry and Oliver’s body-swap.
After waking up in a Freaky Friday nightmare and asking Kara for help in “Elseworlds Part 1“, the trio make their way back to Star City with a fiery red storm following them. The trio intercept an ARGUS mission (welcome back Joe Wilson) and loop Diggle and Curtis in on their secret.
Oliver asks Felicity for help, but firmly keeps her in the dark about his and Barry’s body-switch. Because lying to your wife has always been such a great idea and worked out so well for you in the past, Oliver. The body-swap is revealed when Cisco and Caitlin join Felicity and Curtis in Star City, blissfully unaware of the marital secrets.
Putting her personal circumstances aside the team works on learning more about the striking red sky. They learn that what they perceive as lightning could be breaches from another universe, possibly another speedster trying to get through to them. With the help of a quantum flux anchor Jay Garrick appears to them, trying to send a warning and urges them to get ‘the book’.
Despite Oliver’s trepidations about the Green Arrow making an appearance Barry joins him and Kara in Gotham. And Oliver was right to be cautious, as the superheroes run into trouble right away, when Barry fights back against some thugs trying to rob them. Believing they have come across the Green Arrow Gotham police throw the trio in jail for the night.
Their bail is paid by a mystery person, who turns out to be Kate Kane. After her cousin Bruce Wayne (yes, THE Bruce Wayne) left Gotham three years ago under very mysterious circumstances Kate has taken over and is now planning to turn his old enterprise into a real estate development firm. She also offers Barry, Oliver and Kara a place to operate out of, but not without making a not-so-subtle pass at Kara.
The trio find their target in John Deegan, a doctor at Arkham Asylum who has been conducting illegal experiment on his patient’s brains, but got acquitted on technicalities. As they head to the Asylum they are joined by Digg, Cisco and Caitlin, who report on their findings. Together the heroes break into Arkham Asylum to find ‘the book’.
Oliver and John make their way to Deegan’s office, passing a plethora of classic Batman villains. They find the man himself, who recognizes Oliver and is well aware of the situation he created. He throws the asylum into chaos after pulling an alarm and a handful of patients try to escape. The heroes fight hard to contain the hysteria and are offered support by another surprising masked vigilante – and she definitely isn’t Batman.
Caitlin runs into trouble when she finds herself face-to-face with a patient (a surprise cameo by the lovely Mrs. Cassandra Amell) who is quick to attack the other woman with a freeze gun. How ironic. Barry and Oliver come to her aid but ultimately fall victim to a toxic gas that has them fight each other. While Oliver hallucinates fighting the Reverse Flash (the Tom Cavanagh edition), Barry sees Malcolm Merlyn coming at him full-speed. Nothing like a bit of Barrowman to ramp up the excitement. It is Batwoman that breaks up the fight and sets the boys straight.
Kara had followed Deegan and was able to take him down and get her hands on the book, and the heroes reunite. Batwoman tells them to get out of Gotham, but not before bidding a heart-warming goodbye to Kara. The heroes head back to Star City where Felicity starts working on the book.
Oliver and Barry have a heart-to-heart (it really wouldn’t be a proper crossover if those two didn’t share a sappy scene to reignite their bromance) and they agree that walking in each other’s shoes for a while has helped them understand each other’s struggles. Barry urges Oliver to make things right with Felicity, and Oliver follows that advice.
The couple’s sentimental moment is interrupted by the arrival of who they believed to be Jay Garrick. The man introduces himself as Barry Allen from Earth 90 (on which John Diggle is apparently the Green Lantern!). He has come to warn the heroes about Mar Novu, the Monitor, who appears in the middle of Star City shortly after.
The Monitor tells Barry, Earth 90 Barry, Oliver and Kara that he has been testing several earths by re-writing realities. He believes a crisis is coming, someone much worse than himself, and that all universes will be combined into one, before re-writing reality once more.
Barry and Oliver find themselves powerless and on the other side of the law as the Trigger Twins, running from the police (hilariously including Ricardo Diaz and Malcolm Merlyn), and, as it seems, a darker, black-suited version of Superman. Which shenanigans does this set up for the final episode of Elseworlds?
Ah crossovers, we love them if only for their ability to provide us with more DC Comics Easter Eggs than any regular ole episode could. From subtly referencing the Green Lantern’s very special ring to fully introducing Bruce Wayne into the Arrowverse (it’s been 84 years …and yet we certainly did’ expect a full-on name-drop) this year’s crossover has a little bit for everyone.
The Arrow part of the crossover also introduced us to Kate Kane, and boy are we in trouble. She is a charming, flirty, crime-fighting redhead with a mind for business and a zero-tolerance policy for bullshit. We (and Kara) are half in love with her already, and we have yet to experience a full episode dedicated to her. The Batwoman pilot cannot come soon enough.
Elseworlds, as every crossover over the past few years, has brought Oliver and Barry closer together and has made them understand each other on a whole new level. Tonight’s episode will show whether the two of them can right the Monitor’s wrongs, or whether we will be ending Elseworlds with a streamlined reality.
“Elseworlds, Part 3” airs tonight at 8/7c on The CW.