The Clock Tower: 'Crisis On Infinite Earths' Is Off To A Bonkers, Heart-Wrenching Start

(Welcome to The Clock Tower, where we'll break down the goings on of the The CW network's Arrowverse. We'll touch on things like themes, cultural impact, lead-ins to major events, ships, and more every week! Warning: this Clock Tower is filled with spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.)Welcome to the super-packed Crisis on Infinite Earths edition of The Clock Tower. We're going to break down the best moments, the most interesting tidbits, and all the cameos that brought a cheer. Just bear in mind, we've still got two more episodes to go before this little Crisis situation is complete. You won't see those until January 14 though, so let's break down what's been exceptional so far.

Holy Cameos, Batman! 

Never in my life will I have the appropriate words to explain the devastation of hearing both "Oracle" and "Barbara" in this universe, only to have her immediately snuffed from existence. Yes, we've gotten an Oracle reference before. And yes, The Birds of Prey fam was never going to play for long, but I will never stop holding out hope that Barbara Gordon will someday make her way into these stories.Joining Babs are a myriad of other fun surprises. Burt Ward dutifully occupying Earth 66, Titans' Robin, Lucifer chilling on Earth 666... there were a ton! Tom Welling and Erica Durance's Clark and Lois unfortunately fall under the cameo category as well, but we still got a good long moment with the two. 

World’s Finest

The story between Supergirl and Batwoman is, without question, my favorite part of Crisis on Infinite Earths so far. In the biggest crossover yet, one that's filled with awesome moment after awesome moment, these two heroes shine through in the brightest possible way. Kate Kane and Kara Danvers get the story between their two symbols that many of us have waited to see in live action our whole lives. Both heroes have fundamentally different ideals, methods and world views, but we saw them lay the foundation of their sisterhood as their portion of Crisis unfolded. The thing about that sisterhood is that it doesn't come without its tests. Having the two become best friends simply due to proximity and gender would have been exhausting and lazy. Instead, their partnership is met with two major trials. The first ends up being a murderous Bruce Wayne, who we'll discuss more a bit later. The second, and the infinitely more important, is the kryptonite that Kate steals from said murderous Bruce Wayne. Grief can be a hell of a drug. After watching over half of her earth be wiped from existence, Kara's ready to do whatever it takes to get them back. This includes driving herself mad with the Book of Destiny, all the other lives in the multiverse be damned. The two ladies have a brief but passionate argument, wherein Kate tells Kara that she'll stop her, Kara tells her she won't be able to, and it seems for a moment that the two heroes will have their war before their friendship is forged.Then they don't. Kara realizes that if Kate's standing in her way, it's for a reason. When Kate sees that she has that trust, she chooses to tell the Girl of Steel about the kryptonite, and hands it over. Instead of taking it, or blowing up, or running away, Kara tells her to keep it. It's a tried and true moment we've seen played out between folks wearing those two symbols for decades. And, let me tell you, it played like gangbusters. It was the perfect moment and I gobbled it up like an extra-large fry from Big Belly Burger. It's so easy to forget the small when you're telling a story of this magnitude. But all those big moments don't mean one single thing if you don't have small, meaningful beats in your story. This takes us to my favorite moment in all of Crisis on Infinite Earths, a story about gods and monsters and time travel and multiverses. The best moment in the crossover (so far) is Kara Danvers and Kate Kane sharing a beer. It's simple, it's small, and remembering it makes my heart swell. 

The Bat of the Future

I could spend a lot of time going on about why Batman matters to me, but we've got a lot of ground to cover so you're going to have to trust me just this once. When I realized where they were going with Kevin Conroy's Dark Knight, a big part of me felt robbed. Here we were, with the Kevin Conroy finally getting his shot at a live action Bats and he's some murderous monster? No thank you.There was also a big part of me that was sad. Maybe the character's shifted beyond repair and we'll never see the Batman who abhors guns, refuses to murder, and genuinely wants to help his city again. The thing is, the episode was meant to make us feel that way. That sadness over who this hero had become had a purpose. Eventually, part two of the crossover comes right out and says it—Bruce Wayne isn't the Bat of the future. Kate Kane is. A man who seeks to murder another who protects the inhabitants of Earth solely because he's different from him will never be a hero. We've had an insane number of Batmen over the years, to varying degrees of success. It's time for Batwoman to give it a try. As for Kevin Conroy? You can tell he's having the time of his life! I came around on this whole plot in a big way.

Keep Me in Your Heart

Crisis's biggest surprise so far was killing Oliver Queen right out the gate. It was clever, really. If there's no way to avoid everyone knowing what you're about to do, move up your timeline! The Green Arrow's sacrifice was heavy, but it was also extremely in character. Oh, and saved approximately one billion additional people. No big! As always, it was the interaction between Mia and Oliver that hit the hardest. He uses his dying breath to remind her to find William and Felicity, that he loves her, and to keep him in her heart. There's another small moment in this scene that really stands out, but it's not delivered by Oliver. Barry Allen has never met his niece, Mia Smoak. There's a brief introduction and then a lot of, well, trying to save the universe. After Oliver takes his last breath, you see Barry lay a hand on Mia's shoulder. It's not a focus. There's no "moment" where the two share devastated looks. It's simply a small comfort between two people who've just lost a family member. Whoever wrote it in should absolutely pat themselves on the back. 

Hope Shines Through

While Conroy's Batman was of the Kingdom Come variety in costume alone, Brandon Routh's Superman walked right off the page. There may not be any mention of Magog, and this Supes still dons the cape, but this Clark Kent has lost it all. Except for, of course, his hope. Lois, Jimmy, and Perry might all be gone, but The Daily Planet runs on and Metropolis remains protected.Let's be clear: both Tyler Hoechlin and Brandon Routh (you too, Tom Welling) portray exceptional versions of Kal El. There's no "but" to follow. They're collectively great! Seeing multiple Clark Kents meet is fatal levels of adorably awkward, and I dug every moment any of our Supermen got to share on screen together. Seeing Routh back in the cape was a highlight that didn't rest on its laurels. There might have been nostalgia driving the excitement, but no one phoned in this version of Superman. He's got a little bit more wrath, just as he should, and a whole lot of heartache. Most importantly, he's got Brandon Routh's love for the character. Some folks might say that such a thing doesn't matter, but it's hard to agree with them when you watch the heroes of this universe. Whether it's the big or the small, it's clear that all of it means a great deal to them. Also? Routh busted his butt to get back in Supes shape! Yeah, there's some air brushing on that suit, but take a look at his bicep as Ray Palmer. He absolutely put in the work here.

Wait, What?

This one's brief, but it can't not be acknowledged. Y'all, Kate Kane straight up killed Bruce Wayne and we're just not talking about it. We've all just... collectively rolled with it. There's no real narrative out here I just feel like a crazy person because yes it was an accident (and yes he deserved it) but she still pushed him away from Kara and he is still very dead! 

Keep Riding the Lightning, Son

There were a couple of things in Crisis that just didn't work for me. Unfortunately, Barry Allen's entire arc is one of them. Barry's story was even more predictable than Oliver's, but there was no surprise moment that helped add to the lack of tension. Our Barry is fine, Earth 90's Barry is gone, and a half-season worth of "build up" played out exactly as everyone assumed. John Wesley Shipp is the best and having to watch his Flash die was rough, but it felt like the moment was robbed of any real weight because of how much we all knew was about to happen. 

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

  • Mia basically confirming that Nyssa is still big mad at Sara.
  • Oliver's visible discomfort over folks not knowing about his daughter.
  • Everything about little Ryan Choi.
  • Iris and Lois both getting their chance to shine throughout the event.
  • Kate's panic over Kara saying Luke is cute.
  • Um, Oliver might become Spectre!
  • Lex Luthor. Oh boy. Cryer's always been pretty solid in the role, but man did he solidify just how absolutely deplorable he is in Crisis.
  • Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

    We've gone on for too long, friends. But worry not! There might still be a ton to discuss, and more characters to dive into, but Crisis on Infinite Earths doesn't continue until mid-January. We'll break down more Crisis happenings and keep digging in on what all of this means for the Arrowverse-at-large next week!