Arrow S06E08 “Crisis on Earth-X” Part 2

Arrow S06E08 “Crisis on Earth-X” Part 2

0 comments 📅04 December 2017, 21:05

Airing in the UK on Sky 1, new episodes every Thursday (Aside from this week)
Wendy Mericle and Ben Sokolowski
Director: James Bamford

Essential Plot Points:

  • Team Arrow assemble to interrogate the Earth-X Prometheus.
  • It’s Tommy Merlyn.
  • The team put their heads together trying to figure out what’s going on. Harrison fills them in on Earth X-a horrifying alternate earth where the nazis won.
  • Tommy X and Olly bond. Tommy is traumatized, a shell of a man who prefers death to being alive. He’s panicky, desperate to protect his family.
  • And then Tommy smiles and turns and quietly, methodically, explains every single person Olly lives is going to die. Badly. And then he kills himself.
  • Olly X sees the biosensor in Tommy’s suit trigger; his best friend is dead. He’s murderous, and only Kara X stops Wells and Olly come to blows. Olly X refocuses his team; they need the prism. Kara X reassured him and they kiss.
  • Felicity briefs Curtis and she and Olly talk. Felicity reassured him that thanks to the Black Siren incidents they know a little bit about doppelgängers. Olly, being Olly decides they need to have the relationship talk. Turns out Felicity doesn’t want to get married but does love him. Olly, because he is the living Avatar of ManGuilt, insists he wants to get married. Felicity asks him to respect her in the choice and thankfully he does.
  • Stein confronts Jax and asks why he’s still angry. He opens up, admitting Stein is the closet thing he’s got to a dad and without him he’s lost.
  • Alex and Sara meet and Alex is adorably awkward around her first ever gay one night stand. Sara is incredibly chill. Alex is incredibly not so. When Kara shows up Alex opens up about how wrong it was and Kara sets her sister straight; she had to do what was right for her. She is also INCREDIBLY happy for her sister which is adorable.
  • Felicity and Iris talk relationships and the Olly awkwardness. There are no easy answers and they’re saved by an alarm; the Nazis have resurfaced and are raiding an optics firm.
  • Olly, Barry and Kara head over there. They’re confronted by Thawne, Olly X and Kara X who reveal their true faces. They also reveal Olly and Kara X are married.
  • The Flashes fight. Olly draws on Kara X and she gloats about how little it will do.

  • It’s a Kryptonite arrow. It HURTS. She’s furious, Kara is deeply freaked out and the Earth X’ers collapse a nearby construction site to cover their escape. Kara, Olly and Barry save the construction crew but the building is still coming down. Until some smartly placed cable arrows and some Kara spot welding hold it together.
  • Back at Star Labs, Felicity and Wells figure out that the device they’ve stolen could be converted to a neutron Bomb. Wally breaks the news about the evil doubles and Alex cracks the case; the blood cells on the Kryptonite arrow are flooded with solar short wave radiation. They can track the Earth X invaders using that radiation.
  • At their hideout, Thawne makes it clear that Olly X has a choice; his wife or the Reich. Kara X is so loyal she’s prepared to sacrifice her life so Olly X doesn’t have to make the Hard choice.
  • At Star Labs, Mick is fascinated by how Caitlin lets her alter ego out. He’s also getting his beer on. Bless.
  • Barry and Iris take a moment to try and process Thawne’s return. Iris has absolute faith in her guy and it helps. Olly arrives and tells them to cherish and recognize what they have because that will make them stronger. Barry tells his best friend that they have the same thing and Olly is close to saying something very stupid when Felicity walks in. They’ve got a location and after it’s done, the pair will talk. They roll out.
  • The fight begins and Kara X and Thawne lead the fight. Olly X? Is at Star Labs.
  • The alarms trigger and Mick switches from amiable doofus to soldier. He and Caitlin’s other half will hold the line.
  • Kara X puts Olly down. HARD. He struggles to his feet, tries the Kryptonite arrow again but she’s ready this time.
  • Olly X goes one on one with Mick and takes him out. Killer Frost makes her move but he’s ready for her too. The rest of Team Arrow too.
  • At the depot, the assembled heroes look victorious. Until Metallo arrives and takes Kara and Firestorm out of the equation. The others are taken down. They’ve lost.

  • The heroes come round, shackled up. Thawne gets an actual honest to God supervillian monologue. It’s interrupted by Kara X collapsing. Olly X comforts her and explains the true nature of the mission; Kara X is dying.her blood has been flooded with solar radiation. She can be saved but to do so she’ll need a heart transplant.
  • Kara’s heart.
  • The prism they stole will be used to simulate a red sun to weaken Kara long enough for the operation.
  • At Star Labs Felicity and Iris are still loose. They hear something and witness the heroes being locked in containment cells.
  • And under a red sun, in an open containment pen, the others wake up.
  • On Earth X.


This is FUN. From the opening to the brilliant Kryptonite arrow reveal to that final shot, this is an episode that doesn’t so much run with its premise as sprint off, hugging it and cackling maniacally.

It’s also got a ton of room for some welcome character beats and, well, some not so welcome ones. The stuff that works outnumbers what doesn’t by a good margin and shows a welcome variety of tone. Alex’s brief interactions with Sara are simultaneously funny and awkward. Barry and Iris, finally on the same page and finally the adults in the room, bring an almost Chandler and Monica energy to their scenes together. Mick Rory’s fascination with Caitlin’s powers could be creepy but instead plays as genuine, funny and weirdly sweet.
Even the Earth X’ers get moments like this. Tom Cavanagh has the time of his life as old school original Thawne and gets some actual monologue time here. Likewise Melissa Benoist plays Kara X as both a more rigid and disciplined version of Kara and a woman losing a race with her own mortality really well. Stephen Amell too clearly relishes playing two versions of Olly; the man on some level he once wanted to be and the man he is.

The only problem is, the man he is, right now, isn’t very interesting. Olly deciding the middle of an invasion of multi-dimensional Nazis is a good time to whine about marriage is annoying. Olly being unable to get past that is very, very annoying. Especially as everyone else, especially Felicity, clearly has. Like we touch on below, there are reasons for it but unfortunately those reasons are both tiresome and the only thing this entire episode that feels like filler.

Get past that though and there’s some great stuff here. Colin Donnell’s cameo as Earth X Tommy is flat out chilling and the action sequences are amazingly well staged and cheerfully unpleasant. Alex Danvers and Sara Lance in particular are pulling zero punches and that, combined with Olly’s arrow trick, gives the fights a grounded, bloody-knuckled feel you wouldn’t expect from a show involving multi-dimensional Nazis.

Frantically paced, character heavy and with only the occasional stumble this is a great second chapter with a major escalation of scale and stakes as it’s finale. At the halfway point, Crisis on Earth-X is looking like a highlight of this year’s Arrowverse seasons. And there are still two full episodes of Nazi punching and dimension hopping to go!

The Good:

  • Stein figuring everything out without needing to be told is great

  • Colin Donnell as a broken, traumatized and profoundly evil Tommy is AMAZING. You don’t realize how much the show has missed him until he starts talking.
  • Olly slipping into Arrow voice when he gets emotional is s lovely touch
  • Chyler Leigh’s visceral terror and confusion at what’s happening to her is heartbreaking and brilliantly realized. Likewise, Kara’s simple, pragmatic compassion for her sister. This is really difficult, necessary stuff for mainstream TV to tackle and the shows are doing a great job of it.
  • Olly’s incredibly grumpy arrival on the bike is brilliant.
  • Felicity referring to Olly X as ‘Oliver in the High Castle’
  • Mick Rory, mustard enthusiast!
  • Some solid to great special effects throughout but the standout has to be the building collapse. It’s a great way to balance the super speed joke from earlier too; OIly isn’t as fast, or as strong, as the other two. But in situations like that? He more than carries his weight.
  • The closing fight is great. It takes great pains to show the different ways these people do what they do and it’s especially nice to see Alex Danvers front and center. Alex doesn’t fight with the flair of Olly or Sara but, if anything, she’s more effective than them at times. We defy you to look at her ‘armlock, throw, shot to the head’ finishing move and not wince.

The Bad

  • Olly! Captain ManGuilt! It’s maybe a little churlish having this here given that it’s a great beat for the character but still, Olly is awfully tiresome this episode. We get that he’s from an intensely traditional family and equates ‘marriage’ with ‘relationship’ but a lot of his scenes this week feel like manufactured drama.
  • They figure out what the prism is being used for AWFULLY fast

And the Random:

  • James Bamford is a veteran stunt coordinator and stunt man who has appeared on shows ranging from Sliders to Stargate Atlantis. He started on Arrow as a stunt coordinator and has directed several episodes as well as ‘Survivors’ for Supergirl.
  • Wendy Mericle has worked on Eastwick, Smallville, Eli Stone and many others. She’s an executive producer on Arrow, wrote the Vixen tie in series and has written episodes such as ‘Lian Yu’ and ‘Fallout’.
  • Ben Sokolowski has written for Arrow on episodes like ‘Midnight City’ and ‘Nanda Parbat’. he also wrote several episodes of The Flash and worked on The Transporter: The Series, and The Listener.

Best Lines

  • ‘We’re gonna need a moment alone.’
    ‘Why would nazis from 1945 wanna crash my wedding?’
    ‘Crab legs.’
  • ‘Good thing we’ve got a metric ton of smart people in this room. And Rory.’
  • ‘I’ll stop vibrating my hand, you stop breaking my wrist and you?…be 10% less brooding.’
  • ‘What’s another word for flash?’
  • ‘QUICK REMINDER! Super speed! I don’t have it!’
  • ‘The most powerful being on the planet! Weakened by saccharine Americana!’
  • ‘Couldn’t have saved one for me?’
    ‘I’m saving Nazi you for you.’

Review by Alasdair Stuart

Click here for more of our Arrowverse coverage

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first one to write a comment

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.