‘Arrow’ 8×08 Review: “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Four”

We‘re back! After the Christmas break, the crossover is back on Arrow 8×08 with “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Four.”  The episode has been one of the worst of this entire crossover.  A boring and chaotic episode, where only the last minutes are worth it … to piss us off.  Do you want to know why I say this? 

Here we go!

After the destruction of the entire Multiverse, it was time to shed light on the origin of the villain of this crossover, The Anti-monitor.  Throughout the history of the Monitor, we discover that it was he who created the Anti-monitor, by being driven by greed and ambition. In hindsight, he is the primeval cause of this Crisis. While it is not the most original story in the world, it is appreciated that they give us a context to understand why all this is happening. It is also appreciated that they don’t spend too much in this story.

Having said that, I have not been able to avoid getting excited with the review of all the struggles that Oliver has fought during these years. All of them have brought him here. Every sacrifice, every death, every arrow, every mission … everything.  While remembering everything he has faced, we reviewed the journey of this show, where we started and how far we have come. And although this episode and the mistakes they have made over the years have pissed me off, I have felt pride in everything we have experienced. In accompanying Oliver here. It has been a long journey. But it was worth it. Oliver has grown and we have grown with him.

I was already in tears, and listening to Barry tell Oliver twice that he trusts him with every fiber of his soul has disarmed me. I have a lot of issues with Barry and I really want to kick him in the ass sometimes, but that has moved me. Oliver may tell him to throw himself down a ravine and Barry would do it, because he has blind faith in Oliver, and knows that if Oliver asks for something, it is for a good reason. That is a sincere friendship, and it’s beautiful. Too bad that this kind of detail is forgotten by The Flash writers, when they discredit Oliver at every opportunity they have.

What I didn’t like is the voice of the dead that they have put on Oliver. I understood that it is because Oliver is like a living dead, but it has been too forced and difficult to understand, as much as the Anti-monitor.

My grace period with Barry Allen continues in the scene they both have together a little later. Barry finally finds out about Oliver’s deal with The Monitor. Didn’t Barry already know? Well, apparently not. The fact is that Barry is upset. He doesn’t want to accept the reality of what is happening and everything Oliver has sacrificed for him and Kara. His family and even his own life. What Oliver tells him seems precious and meaningful. He tells him “life is the easy part.”  What really shattered Oliver, what broke him, was that he had to sacrifice his family. That was the really difficult part. The part that breaks his soul into a thousand pieces. Oliver loves his family above all, even himself.

Afterwards, what Oliver continues to say also seems quite significant. He mentions that giving everything, sacrificing everything is what heroes do. This, all of it, shows what a true hero is. Oliver Queen is the definition of HERO, with capital letters.  There’s no more.

And we reached the peak of the episode. The final fight and the second death of Oliver. The first thing I have to say is, what are those things they fight against? They look like the Harry Potter Dementors. So I will baptize them with that name #sorrynotsorry.

The second is that it makes no sense to kill Oliver again, when we had already suffered his death. For what? Since they were going to kill him again, they could have corrected the mistakes of the first death. That is, Diggle should have been by his side this time, just like Mia, William and Felicity (although the latter’s non-appearance is more understandable for reasons beyond their control, but not for the others).

But they have killed him again for the same reason, and with the same mistakes. And on top of that, neither of those two characters, his brother and daughter (not to mention William, Felicity and the rest of the team) are in the final tribute they make to Oliver. Nonsense. Disrespectful. They don’t respect Oliver or Arrow or even in his “death.” How the hell do they dare?

Of course, I don’t believe for a moment that this is Oliver’s final fate. Remember what I always tell you: look at the invisible clues, not the arrows with neon lights. Oliver has died twice, as if making it clear that there is no way for him to return. Too clear. But, and it is a great but, Oliver says something at the time of his death, “this is not an end, it is a beginning” that gives way to asking: What beginning? They leave an ambiguous meaning on purpose because it can refer to the new beginning of the Multiverse, or something else. Like having people looking for Oliver in the next episode and convincing themselves that he is dead, but his body doesn’t appear anywhere.

There were two possibilities in this crossover. Either the end of it solved the death of Oliver or they made us believe that he was dead and later, in Arrow, it would be discovered that he is still alive, but only his closest relatives, his family, knows it and for the rest of the world he is dead. They have decided, for the sake of “surprise” (prioritizing surprise over plot), to go for this second option. In addition, in a bad way, causing the audience to suffer twice the death of the character that started it all, and without respecting him or his history at all.

Having said that, let’s analyze the scene itself. It has been a good detail that they have placed the mythical phrase “you have failed this city” with some modification to adapt it. It reminds us of the beginnings.

I have loved and been broken in equal parts by the fact that Oliver regretted not being able to see his family again. It has made me furious that the producers have not even done him justice with this. They haven’t even let him have them by his side. Oliver is dying, he knows it’s the end but it doesn’t matter … nothing matters, he just wants to see them again. Make the last thing his eyes see and his heart feels be his family by his side.  All of his family. For which he is sacrificing everything.

Oliver knows that it was worth it, in the end they have succeeded. His family will live in the new universe created from his sacrifice. He would do it a thousand times more.  For them. Just so they can live happily and safely. Just so they can simply exist.

Barry, Sara and Kara try to bring him back, fight for him, but Oliver knows there is nothing to do. And this is where the phrase he says that I think hides a world of possibilities “it is not the end, it is the beginning.” He goes in peace, he is at peace.  This brings us back to the crossover of season 4 in which Oliver has a conversation with Barry and tells him that he is at peace, that loving Felicity, forming a family with her, has given him a peace he never thought he had.

Now, despite everything he leaves behind, Oliver feels at peace because he found the love of his life and had a wonderful life with her and their children. A life that he would not change for anything. A life for which he would sacrifice himself a thousand times. And a thousand times more. As many as are needed. He leaves them, but he does so knowing they can be happy. And that makes him smile in the midst of pain and desolation.

Oliver has one last message for Barry and Sara: they must move on, the world needs them.  And he sacrifices himself so that they can live, and not be sorry. And then, he releases a single tear, a single tear is allowed for everything suffered, sacrificed, lost, for all broken dreams … for what could have been and was not. That’s when Oliver dies.

The paragon of all Paragons is gone. To which Barry can only thank him. The person who saves them all. But who saves him?  #SaveOliverQueen2k20

As some last loose notes, seeing Oliver disappear has hurt. A lot. Very much. It’s like tearing our hearts again. It has been cruel and unnecessary.

It was a pleasant surprise to see The Flash of the movies make a cameo. I don’t know how they will have achieved it but bravo for them. The scene has been short, but very funny. It is also an attempt to stop criticism about who is the best Flash, debates that have been happening for some time. It is a statement that there is room for both.

Of course, we must refer to the succession of past scenes that have been seen throughout the episode. About this fact I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, it has been nostalgic and beautiful to review, in broad strokes, the history that brought us here. On the other hand, it was repetitive and tired.

Finally, we must comment on the fight between Kara and Lex. I was surprised, and not in a good way, that they used the crossover for such a personal battle. Frankly, I have disconnected in those moments because I‘m not interested in Supergirl, which is why I don’t watch her show, so I’m not interested in seeing her fight with one of her villains.  Good special effects but bad strategy using the crossover for a personal battle.

In the section of stunts, little to say, just highlight the final fight between heroes and dementors, since special effects are well used, within their means. Although, honestly, I prefer a more real fight and not so much one about powers. Something like that, with so many special effects doesn’t fit on Arrow, and is not what we look for when we watch this series but, in short, that happens with crossovers.

In conclusion, being as frank as ever, the episode has been boring.  The last minutes have been the only good thing (and they made us mad). Didn’t those echoes and the sudden scene / Earth changes make you crazy? They drove me crazy. And a lot. I didn’t get used to a scene when, suddenly, we were already in another and listening to the characters talk to those echoes. It has been disconcerting and I’ve gotten quite dizzy. Like a noise of scenes without any sort of order, in which basically the same thing was said, repeated until satiety. 

As if this were not enough, as I have said before, I have mixed feelings about the repetition of previous scenes of the series and other crossovers. While it is true that they produce a feeling of nostalgia, it’s much ado about nothing. Although a few scenes would have been perfect, so much repetition of scenes has made me feel like when you put on a new episode of a series that you love and is made with scraps of previous ones. It is a disappointment and a waste of time. It has felt like they had to fill minutes and as they had no ideas they put past scenes.

I think I‘m not mistaken if I say that we are facing the worst crossover of all those they have done, and one of the worst episodes of Arrow too. They have wanted to do so much … that they have forgotten that the main thing is a story that engages, has continuity and connects with the public. And this story, with the only audience with which has connected has been with comic books fans, that are not even a tenth of the audience that watches the shows of this universe.

Agree? Disagree? Don’t hesitate to discuss everything with us in the comments below! 

Arrow airs on Tuesday on The CW at 9 pm.

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