This review contains spoilers.
1.18 Worlds Finest
It might have been a plan all along, or maybe just a case of fortuitous timing, but the fact that the Supergirl and The Flash crossover is happening this week, just in time for Batman V Superman‘s very, very, very bad reception, can’t be ignored. At the same time, it shouldn’t be a direct comparison either, because the two things are as far apart in tone, content and intention as it’s possible to be.
And as I’ve often said in my reviews of the yearly Flash/Arrow extravaganza, DC’s television universe has made the otherwise awkward (at best) set-up for expanded franchises look easy. It’s useful to note that Worlds Finest was anything but easy behind the scenes, however, especially when it feels like this is a long-awaited thing that’s happened. In reality, we’re extremely lucky to be watching it at all, and that makes it all the more sweet.
It’s pure fan service, which is a good thing. Doing things just for the joy of the audience has bad connotations among certain television fans, but personally I love it. These are silly superhero shows at their core, no matter what otherwise lofty ambitions they might have. But that’s the fundamental difference between this and Batman V Superman, because it’s all about wallowing in the joy of bringing two previously separate heroes together in one place.
It turns out Siobhan aka Silver Banshee is Supergirl‘s first metahuman, making it the perfect time for Barry to take a trip to National City. In terms of universe logic, then, our National City on Supergirl is Earth 3, and Barry’s continued mission to get faster allowed him to (accidently, at least) break through the barrier between it and Earth 1.
In short, Supergirl and The Flash are great together. Not only do they just look great side by side, but they have very much the same energy when it comes to approaching some of the campier parts of the show. That’s not surprising, of course, because they both spent years on the same uber-camp musical series, but that fact isn’t the only pleasing about their union.
Everyone just looks like they’re having a great time, which goes a long way on a show like this.
In terms of the checklist of what we’d like Barry to do while in National City, it’s basically taken care of from minute one. He and Kara bond over not just heroism but love of food, Barry comes face to face with the wrath of Cat Grant (“you look like the attractive yet non-threatening, racially-diverse cast of a CW show”), they go up against bad guys together, and they have plenty of heart-to-hearts to boot.
Yep, apparently Earth 3’s National City has The CW, and it airs neither The Flash, Arrow or – in the old days – Smallville (the presumed source of ‘The Blur’). My head hurts, in the best way.
Barry aside, I’m not too fond of Cat interfering with Kara’s love life, mainly because there’s very little precedent for her doing such a thing. Why would she want Kara and James to hook up, after she held such a grudge over Kara’s treatment of her son? Wouldn’t it distract her at work?
Also, James is obviously the worst and Kara can do so much better. Barry was supposed to be a temporary threat to their romance, but it just made me realise how terrible all the other guys on the show have been so far. The only thing I didn’t like about the episode was Barry opening shipping Kara and James.
But oh what a delight it was, quietly living up to all the expectations we’ve had for a crossover since before Supergirl even aired. This is how it’s done, and how I hope it’s done many, many more times in the future.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Manhunter, here.