Crisis On Infinite Earths – Pt2 – Batwoman Review

Writers: Don Whitehead & Holly Henderson

Director: Laura Belsey

Starring: Ruby Rose, Melissa Benoist, Camrus Johnson, Grant Gustin, Tyler Hoechlin, Bitsie Tulloch, Caity Lotz, Brandon Routh, Tyler Hoechlin, Dominic Purcell, Matt Ryan, Katherine McNamara, Candice Patton, Kevin Conroy, Jon Cryer, Tom Welling, Erica Durance and Wentworth Miller

“Crisis On Infinite Earths” – Part Two: This article contains HUGE SPOILERS after the main review. This is for fans in the U.K who do not have access to this chapter. Also, you MUST see Supergirl Season 5 episode 9 before reading further.

You have been warned

This episode feels a lot more like an episode of DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow than Batwoman… but, this is “Crisis On Infinite Earths” after all. If the list of names in the cast list above doesn’t knock you for six, then nothing will. The good news is that it feels that you can skip this episode if you don’t watch all the other Arrowverse shows. If you are watching the whole crossover, though, please think of fans in the U.K. who won’t see this chapter, or any other episode of Batwoman, as no British network has the rights. Yep, you heard that correctly, fans in my home country will only get episodes 1, then 3-5 of this mega event.

Kate Kane’s future is key in this chapter, so, while this isn’t a Batwoman episode proper, it’s a vital part of her story. Her relationship with Supergirl/Kara Danvers is also expanded upon (after last year’s brilliant “Elseworlds”), so much so that I really want to see more of this pair as the Arrowverse’s World’s Finest Team. Ruby gives her best performance to date this week, as she meets her cousin Bruce, The Batman, for the first time on-screen.

Well… sort of.

Yes, we finally see (a) Bruce Wayne in the Arrowverse, and it’s none other than the legendary Kevin Conroy! This is an all-new version of the character and is almost a mix of the Batman Beyond and Kingdom Come iterations. The big spoilers are coming at the very bottom of this review, so all I’m saying here is that this is the darkest Batman we’ve ever seen on-screen… in fact, I’d go as far as to say that he’s second only to the Batman Who Laughs.

I know that many Kevin Conroy fans may well be up in arms at this portrayal, but I think it was brave, shocking and totally unexpected. I loved it because it shows us just how great a hero the “true” Batman really is.

Superman (Supermen?) Vs Lex Luthor

This episode also sees the return of Jon Cryer’s Lex Luthor. Many scoffed when Cryer was cast, but he silenced all his critics and has rapidly become one of the greatest Luthors of them all. Of course, what is Lex Luthor without Superman? This episode features not one, not two, but three Men of Steel! It’s no secret that I’m a huge Batman fan, but I absolutely adore the amount of Superman love in this episode.

Tyler Hoechlin and Brandon Roth are both incredible, and seeing Tom Welling return as Clark Kent made my heart jump for joy. Seeing my personal two favorite Lois Lanes – played by Bitsie Tulloch and Erica Durance – was the icing on the Kryptonian cake.

Conclusion

This wasn’t high art, or deep, dark psychology… no. Batwoman episode 9, “Crisis On Infinite Earths” part two was pure, adrenaline pumping, action-packed comic-book craziness, and I loved every second. From the buff, mean and moody Luke Fox to the hilarious antics with Mick Rory and baby Jon Kent, and the super sarcastic alternate Waverider Gideon, this story had me grinning like a loon, from start to finish.

The episode also contained some of the best CGI and flying action ever seen on TV. Brandon Routh in particular looked great in the Super suit, and his battle with Tyler Hoechlin’s Man of Steel was phenomenal. Add in Lazarus Pits, John Constantine, magic and cosmic carnage and this was some fine entertainment indeed.

SPOILER ALERT – Online episode breakdown:

Harbinger recruits Earth-74’s Mick Rory and his Waverider. In the wake of Oliver Queen’s death, the Monitor consults the Book of Destiny and learns of seven Paragons. Two have already been found, Sara Lance and Kara Danvers, but to find two more, Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Iris West-Allen must locate a Superman, while Kate and Kara locate a Batman.

Complicating matters, Lex Luthor steals the Book and traverses the multiverse to kill Supermen; though he changes tack after encountering Earth-167’s Clark Kent. When he finds Earth-96’s Superman at the same time as Clark’s team, he forces the Kryptonians to fight until Lois stops him.

Meanwhile, Kate and Kara locate Earth-99’s Bruce Wayne. Kate tries to convince him to join them, but Kara learns he’s a killer; leading to a confrontation wherein Bruce is accidentally killed.

Elsewhere, Sara, Barry Allen, Mia Smoak, and John Constantine take Oliver’s body to a Lazarus Pit on Earth-18 to resurrect him; but the soul-restoration doesn’t work.

Back on the Waverider, Ray Palmer builds a “Paragon detector”, which identifies Kate as one of the Paragons. Meanwhile, Unbeknownst to everyone, Harbinger is approached by the Anti-Monitor.

This episode continues the “Crisis On Infinite Earths” crossover event that began in Supergirl season 5 episode 9, continues on to The Flash season 6 episode 9 and Arrow season 8 episode 8, and which will conclude in a DC’s Legends of Tomorrow‘s special.

Crisis On Infinite Earths – Pt1 – Supergirl Review

HOLY CRIMSON SKIES OF DEATH! – DICK GRAYSON, EARTH 66

Crisis On Infinite Earths is here and the Arrowverse will never be the same. The Supergirl chapter of this epic event was nothing short of thrilling, action packed, and deeply emotional. This exciting hour of television featured surprising cameos, incredible action scenes featuring multiple heroes, and the heartbreaking death of Oliver Queen/Green Arrow. Let’s breakdown this incredible first chapter!

The voice of The Monitor (guest star LaMonica Garrett) explains the birth of the Multiverse. The explanation turns dark as he begins to tell of the anti-matter wave taking out universes. We get brief cameos from various other Earths including: Robert Wuhl as Alexander Knox (from Batman 1989) (Earth-89), Alan Ritchson and Curran Walters as Hawk and Jason Todd/Robin (from Titans) in San Francisco on Earth-9, Russell Tovey as The Ray on Earth-X, and last but not least Burt Ward (from Earth-66) as Dick Grayson. Each of the Earths are obliterated by the anti-matter wave.

Meanwhile, the heroes of Earth-38 gather to discuss the world wide earthquakes. J’onn (David Harewood) arrives and warns them of the coming Crisis. Realizing their world as well as Argo is in danger, they ban together to save as many people as possible.

On Argo City, Clark (guest star Tyler Hoechlin) and Lois (guest star Elizabeth Tulloch) gush over their baby son Jonathan. Kara (Melissa Benoist) appears via hologram to warn them of the planet’s imminent destruction. The red skies appear and the planet begins to quake. The people of Argo run in terror as Alura Zor-El (guest star Erica Durance) tries to calm them, She helps Clark and Lois send the baby off world in their only pod. In a beautiful homage to the Superman films, the pod blasts away before Argo is destroyed.

Meanwhile on Earth 1, Harbinger (guest star Audrey Marie Anderson) gathers various heroes including Oliver Queen (guest star Stephen Amell), Mia Smoak (guest star Kat McNamara), Barry Allen/Flash (guest star Grant Gustin), Kate Kane/Batwoman (guest star Ruby Rose), Sara Lance (guest star Caity Lotz), and Ray Palmer/Atom (guest star Brandon Routh).Clark and Lois are revealed to be alive, with Harbinger saving them at the last minute. She brings them all to Earth-38 to inform them of the pressing threat. They quickly formulate a plan to save the people of this Earth and locate the baby Kryptonian whose pod went off course in the aftermath of Argo’s destruction. Brainy (Jesse Wrath) and Sara accompany Lois on a mission to retrieve the baby while the rest of them defend the people as they evacuate the planet. Team Supergirl including Nia (Nicole Maines) and Kelly Olsen (Azie Tesfai) help guide people into rescue ships. They also require Lena Luthor’s (Katie McGrath) help in creating a Transmatter Portal that will help get more people off world. Though she still harbors resentment for Alex and Kara, she still aids them in this life or death endeavor.

Meanwhile, Clark and Kara mourn the loss of Alura and Argo. Superman questions whether he deserved a life without the cape. Kara encourages him that they both deserve happiness. She also reminds him that Krypton is a spirit not place. Oliver and Mia share another heartfelt moment in which he gifts her with her own Green Arrow suit and officially passes on the mantle. Following this, Oliver meets up with Barry. Barry tells him that he is fated to die in this Crisis. Oliver is furious and confronts the Monitor, who tells him that their deal does not apply to this Crisis.

Brainy locates baby Jonathan in Star City on Earth-16, but in the year 2046. If that rings a bell, that’s because it is the same Star City 2046 that was visited by the Legends in the first season of DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow. Once there the trio encounters and older Oliver Queen and finds the baby safe and sound. Sara and this alternate universe Ollie share a beautiful reunion that reflects the reality of Earth-1.

Back on Earth-38, Oliver, Mia, Barry, Ray, Batwoman, Supergirl, and Superman engage with the Anti-Monitor’s army: an overwhelming amount of Shadow Demons. A Quantum Tower arises which holds off the coming anti-matter wave, but not for long. The heroes are successful in getting three billion people to safety, but The Monitor appears saying the battle is lost. He teleports the heroes to Earth-1, but Oliver refuses to leave until everyone is safe. He fights to his last breath and makes a noble sacrifice. The Monitor brings him back to Earth-1 where he dies surrounded by his friends and family. Nash Wells appears, now Pariah, as he unknowingly unleashed the Anti-Monitor from his cage. He now is serving his penance as he fated to watch the villain’s actions unfold. He announces that things have changed and they are all doomed.

Thus concludes part one! I am absolutely blown away by this first chapter. I was not expecting the death of Oliver to happen so soon. However, it was a beautifully heartbreaking moment. It still hasn’t fully registered for me though. The rest of the episode was simply magical in every way. I really enjoyed the cameos at the beginning and the epic shots of the heroes working together I also appreciated that it also still felt like and episode of Supergirl at points. I also liked that each main character from Supergirl (minus Eve, Andrea Rojas, and Dey) appeared and had a part to play.

Overall, this lived up to hype so far. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

Stay tuned to Earth-9 for more Crisis recaps & reviews!

Constantine – S1 Ep6 – The Rage of Caliban Review

So, I’ll be honest I am not sure what to think of this episode. On one hand it was so good and on the other I felt it was a bit meh. So, we start off, it is around about Halloween time, so automatically 10x creepier! The opener again was a bit shorter but showed a bloody room with a male and female dead. Maybe I’ve never really noticed before, but John is a very hands-on person, using all of his senses. He uses such different techniques to aid him, although I did wince when he licked the wall. But with that and some other smoky device we find out what we are dealing with——- possession!

Manny pops in again to be, well, not very much help to Constantine. He warns John of the darkness, an ancient being beyond measure and that John is going to stem the tides of attack. Nothing new, however, I feel that some of the dialogue between the two is almost for the audience i.e. explaining why Manny doesn’t just tell him what’s happening (reminds me of Lord of the Rings and those damn eagles). But the conversation is also important to remind the viewers that there is something lingering in the background- that although we are facing a malevolent spirit, that this may be part of some larger grand scheme.

The character of Henry, an almost teen boy, is introduced and I am hooked a little more. Here we see a timid child, parents help soothe him etc etc but then we see him being taken over by said spirit. “I’m feeling much better now” is jarring. Kudos to the actor playing Henry (Max Charles)- he done a fab job!

So, one of my issues with the episode is that I find it a little too predictable, not the details but the overall arc. Constantine always has great storylines but this one in particular left me a bit meh. The meeting at the bar and visit to the first survivor etc was very predictable to me as well as how it actually pans out in the end. There were some stand out pieces though- the bulb scene was plain creepy and done well in showing what we are up against. I did notice this episode has a lot of ‘jumpy’ bits, more so than usual. On this topic actually one thing the episode done very well was with the sound. The sounds, music, silence… all just fitted so well with what they were trying to achieve.

The other issue I have with this episode is the trio- John, Zed and Chas. Chas wasn’t in it too often, although useful when he was. I’d like to see development of his character that he’s not just a plot device, I would like to see more of their friendship and his background. Zed was absent in this episode which gave it a slightly different feel. I did read that this was because this specific episode was supposed to be episode two of the series and we hadn’t been introduced to her yet, but since they changed out the order, she was just absent. Perhaps they thought as I did, that this episode wasn’t as strong as the ones previous so didn’t want it so early on in the season? Who knows…?

Back to the story…After an almost DING light bulb moment, Constantine connects the dots and goes to fix it all. The clown house/house of horror thing was again very creepy and jarring! So, I don’t give too much away the spirit is kind of laid to rest, depending on how you look at it.

The episode ends with Constantine, having a puff, and thinking of the upcoming battles ahead “the world is dark and full of pain for everybody”.

Constantine – S1 Ep5 – Danse Vaudou Review

We start our episode in New Orleans at a bar- a saxophone plays a version of ‘oh when the saints’. It fills the air as a young woman chats on her phone down an alleyway and off to the side, an intoxicated man pisses against the wall, flashing his police badge. The appearance of a mask woman changes everything. Very sinister and without apparent motive. And on this note our opening scene ends. This opening felt shorter than others, although I haven’t compared to check, but wow what a start. Constantine gets their openings right- it really hooks you in, filling you with intrigue. One thing I did notice in this episode that I haven’t really noticed before is the title sequence- it has so much detail that I will go back and watch again a few times to see it all.

John, Zed and Chas are all together again. I cannot quite get the feeling of how the trio work together, I feel we haven’t seen their full potential- especially Chas! (Later in the episode we see one of his ‘abilities’, and it is a rather useful one- you can see why he helps John!) But as a trio I am not sure, but what I am sure of is that there is still tension between John and Zed. Back to the episode- we do find out that Zed has a psychic connection to the map, which is seen by a droplet forming on its own at the place they need to be.

Back to New Orleans and we are introduced to another one of Constantine’s gadgets- a watch that can show the presence of spirits! We are introduced to Detective Jim Corrigan who happens to be the cop in charge of this investigation and also happens to be the cop who was pissing up an alley way and saw the masked woman. Constantine’s conduct with others can be very dicey at times, and this shows with Corrigan.

We cut to a scene of an older man picking up a young hitchhiker called Phillip. The creepy old man ends up ploughing into a tree after Phillip suddenly disappears from the seat beside him and appears all bloody in front of the car.
However, as Zed had a vision of this area, they are one of the first at the crash site and Corrigan ends up arresting John. Zed is getting stronger and this is when it really hits home. There is a lot of potential surrounding what she can do- which will make for a very interesting character arc.

As John is arrested, Zed and Chas separately investigate what I will call ‘scissor stabby lady’ and ‘bloody boy’. Few things we know after their separate investigations- Chas heals exceptionally well and Zed is/was classed as a missing person, which only adds to the mystery of her background. The missing link comes in the form of Papa Midnite, who’s character I very much am beginning to like. Something is wrong with Papa’s magic and they need to heal it, alongside letting the dead rest in peace. Guilt powers the way and the souls are eventually laid to rest.

Harrowing words end the episode from Papa Midnite to John- ‘All of your efforts are in vain. The darkness is coming. Heralded by someone close to you. Someone will betray you’.

This episode, in my opinion, was very interesting. It has given us glimpses into the future and what they may explore as a ‘B Story’ plot line such as Detective Corrigan, Zed’s background’ or even Papa Midnite’s character. As mentioned I would like to see more trio work, and more of Chas. Ideally I’d like John and Zed to continue to tease us with their sexual tension! Every episode is of a good standard, each episode is so different from the last but there is just a ‘Constantine feeling’ that generates through them all.

Constantine – S1 Ep4 – A Feast of Friends Review

The episode starts at an airport, focusing on one man, one rather sweaty looking man. Guilty of something? Anxious? Just too warm? I hate airports too, I totally get it. But as he is looking increasingly sweaty and as if he is up to something , he is hauled in for an interview. His customs interview doesn’t go to plan as expected. When someone utters the phrase “don’t open the bottle” you know that within the minute shit will go down! Cue the bugs then cue the opening sequence.
-Excellent opening again, a constant for Constantine… (I am truly sorry).

Tone of the episode drastically changes to Zed and John in a park. One thing I have noticed about this episode is there are a few good Constantine quotes. The first being John offering sage advice to Zed- “sometimes control is letting go”. I am not sure where I want this friendship/ relationship/ whatever it is to go. There is clear chemistry but there is something missing for me, not sure what.

They head back to HQ and find that it is none other than the man from the airport- Mr Gary Lester. We find out that Gary and John go way back and there is obviously unresolved issues between the two of them. However Gary is here for help. A flashback to Sudan tells us what they are up against- a boy created as a live sacrifice to hold the demon. Gary tried to atone for Newcastle and performs an exorcism, capturing the demon in a bottle. But it escaped at the airport and is out of control.

Now at this point I should mention that the demon (Mnemoth) is creepy, as in creepy crawlies, as in a swarm of beetles. I think John said Khapra beetle but that really isn’t important, but we know it’s a hunger demon. The episodes takes us through a chain of victims. The demon enters a human body through the mouth and consumes… the security officer, person at the market, person at the meat locker and cinema all frantically look for a food source and eat until the demon kills them and they go on to their next ‘host ‘. The demon causes violence and aggression and it does not discriminate.

Through a visit to an old Shaman friend John knows how to contain the demon since his failed first attempt. The demon is too strong for a small glass bottle and it seems to get strong with each new host. One thing I will say about the vision scene is the eyeball thing- gross. While all this is happening Gary escapes from Zed’s company.

‘Between thought and action comes temptation. Always’ – Constantine

When John find Gary (while searching for a hit) they have a heart to heart which changes my view on both characters slightly. Gary has lived with the same guilt John has, but instead of throwing himself into ‘work’ Gary threw himself at drugs. Gary was ashamed at what went down, but John doesn’t blame him, he blames himself.

The final scenes are powerful, exciting and heartbreaking. Powerful scene of a willing sacrifice. The demon is finally trapped inside a live human body. We see the lengths people go to to save others. We see Gary make peace with himself. We see Zed’s apprehension of John Constantine. “Everybody has the capacity to change”. Who is John Constantine!? A man for the greater good no matter the cost?

All in all a great episode. I have read critique of shitty CGI and B-movie feels but to be honest I was so immersed in the story I didn’t notice anything afoot. I do feel that Zed was a underused in this episode and well Chas who was nowhere to be seen. I appreciate Manny’s drop ins, I like the ‘stop time’ framing device that alerts his presence and I saw a deeper meaning to his and John’s relationship. The last scene shows us that the writers aren’t afraid of ending it in a rather grim way. And I’ll be honest, I did shed a tear.