The most ambitious (thus far) of the CSDCTVU crossovers takes place this week. ‘’ll be reviewing the first two eps here; Lex Pendragon will take over with Parts Three and Four.

The Big Day arrives for Barry and Iris. Several invitees encounter trouble getting to town. Two guests are squabbling, while two others have a too-public debate about their relationship. One guest acts like a drunken obnoxious doof. Two others drink a little too much and wake up in bed together.

In short, it begins like every wedding ever—until the point where it resembles every superhero wedding ever, and Nazis, accompanied by alt-reality versions of some familiar heroes, crash the party at the most predictable point imaginable….

Title: “Crisis on Earth X, Parts One and Two”

Cast and Crew
Directors: Larry Teng, James Bamford
Writers: Robert L. Rovner, Jessica Queller, Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim

Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash
Candice Patton as Iris West
Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers / Supergirl / Overgirl
Stephen Amellas Oliver Queen / Green Arrow / The Dark Archer
Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers
Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon / Vibe
Tom Cavanaghas H.R. Wells / Eobard Thawne / Reverse Flash
Caity Lotz as Sara Lance / White Canary
Franz Drameh as Jefferson Jackson / Firestorm
Victor Garber as Dr. Martin Stein
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory / Heat Wave
Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow / Killer Frost
Jesse L. Martin as Joe West
Colin Donnell as Nazi Villain
Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton
Patrick Sabongui as Captain David Singh
Christina Brucato as Lily Stein
Isabella Hofmann as Clarissa Stein
William Katt as the Minister
David Harewood as J’onn Jonzz
Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen
Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott
Jessica Parker Kennedy as Caterer who is obviously someone important
Robyn Bradley as Wedding Planner
Frederick Schmidt as alt.Metallo
Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West / Kid Flash

Premise

Most of the CW’s DCTVU heroes turn up for Barry and Iris’s wedding, only to find themselves under attack from Earth-X,1 a version of earth where the Nazis conquered the world and evil versions of Kara and Ollie lead the charge to other worlds, assisted by that most disloyal traitor, Eobard Thawne.

The second hour ends with a cliff-hanger and our heroes in most dire peril.

High Points

This crossover plays like an actual crossover comic movie, instead of linked episodes.

The first fight scene demonstrates the kind of conflict we see often in comics but rarely on the small screen.

Mick Rory makes the perfect obnoxious wedding guest, and provides laughs almost every moment he’s onscreen.

The encounter between Ollie and a certain villain seemed a little off—until we learn the full truth.

I could have done with fewer CW musical scenes (Melissa Benoist notwithstanding), but at least the CW drama feels character-driven, and integrated with the story, rather than slathered on top of it.

Low Points

Why does the episode treat the two key Nazi villains’ identities as a big reveal—twice? They can only be alt.Ollie and alt.Kara. We know that from the start, and the heroes, despite their frequent lapses of intelligence, should figure it out, too.

Behind-the-scenes and contractual issues can affect the story, and we have to accept that. Still, it seems odd that, with so many heroes, only the three leads turn up for the confrontation with the three major villains—and then they banter before going head to head. They’re like kids meeting to fight after school instead of metahumans battling over the fate of at least one planet.

If you want to catch Kid Flash, don’t blink; however, the episode gives him some reason to disappear. But the combined teams seriously need help. Can we have an in-universe reason why Supergirl doesn’t call in her overpowered cousin (among others) to help, given what is at stake? It would be wrong, of course, dramatically, but it should be explained. Cisco isn’t the only one who can open portals.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 This looks better than past crossovers, but it also hits the comic crossover elements (and the superhero wedding tropes) more closely than past crossovers.

Effects: 5/6 The effects look about standard, but it is network television, and they have a lot more effects to do than usual.

No wonder Ralph skipped this ep. He would have stretched the budget to breaking.

Acting: 5/6

Story: 4/6 I may feel differently when I see the entire work. Several of the developments seem odd in context, as I have addressed earlier.

Emotional Response: 5/6 It’s great to see an actual DC Crisis tale on the screen, with the superpowered fight scenes we expect. Believe it or not, that was William Katt, star of The Greatest American Hero (and Carrie White’s doomed prom date) playing the Minister.

Production: 5/6

Overall: 4/6 In total, “Crisis on Earth X: Part One” receives 30/42

Note

The TV Earth-X combines elements of DC’s Earths X and 3. Of course, it ignores questions like why multiple doppelgangers would exist on an earth where the Nazis won World War II by nuking multiple cities.