Elseworlds: Part 1 – Can Barry And Oliver Handle The Body-Swap?

This article would have been out a bit sooner, but The CW station in my area said they had a “power outage due to snow” and accidentally played episodes of Friends instead of the crossover event (the reaction on Twitter spoke for itself)…Anyways, The CW brings us another year of its always entertaining cross-over event!  This year’s event looks to take fans to Earth-90 while also bringing in Superman, Dark Superman, and the introduction of Batwoman.  Will this year’s event impress?  Read on for Part 1!

Earth-90 — The episode begins with the scene we saw at the end of last week’s episode regarding what looks to be the complete destruction of Earth-90.  We do get to see this Earth’s Flash, which I love is John Wesley Shipp in his costume from the 90’s version of the show (which I still think is a bad ass suit).

Dr. John Deegan — A jaded psychiatrist who is given the burden of transforming the world (also known as Dr. Destiny in the comics).  The reason he is chosen?  His vision. I am assuming this will somewhat work like the Speed Force and whatever he changes will clearly have consequential ripple effects.

Flip-Flop — This is the interesting part I have been looking forward to seeing.  Barry and Oliver changing places.  Oliver wakes up with Iris making him breakfast and kissing him, much to Oliver’s surprise. Oliver is now Barry and Barry is Oliver.  Got that?  This is done really well.  Iris is carrying on as if everything is normal while Oliver is clearly uncomfortable, but to his surprise, he actually has Barry’s powers. What was also great was when Oliver said, “Oh Barry, what have you done this time?” obviously assuming Barry messed up…again.

I really am enjoying the episode.  There are little, humorous details to add to the fun.  Oliver looking like he pulled a hammy, reaching for his non-existent bow, then not having any clue what to do so he says, “You have failed this city!” which Cisco reminds him isn’t his line!  He is reverting back to what he knows, only it isn’t helpful in this new role. It’s cool seeing Oliver try to adapt, but not knowing anything out of his own perspective, even down to the awkwardness of Iris’ public displays of affection, which he calls her out on.  They honestly made me laugh.

Star City — Now it’s Barry’s turn.  Oliver wants to go see Barry because he realizes that they have somehow switched roles.  Barry is just as confused when he is sparring with Diggle and getting his butt kicked. Barry soon realizes he has taken over Oliver’s skills as well. Barry’s quirky awkwardness is still apparent and is a funny contrast to Oliver and his world.  The episode shows just how different the two actually are.

Barry and Oliver finally get together to figure out what is happening (while Barry is getting some reps on the Salmon Ladder).  Barry thought it was all fun and games until Oliver let him know that he woke up in bed with Iris!  This episode is definitely fun. The rest of the team doesn’t believe Barry and Oliver because there are no facts to back up the situation.

Getting Iris On Board — Even though the team doesn’t believe them, Barry and Oliver realize they have to get Iris on board.  Oliver has a conversation with Iris, which comes across as hurtful since she talks about Oliver’s life being driven by anger (especially after going behind Felicity’s back).  Team Flash take down Barry and Oliver to try and get to the bottom of the issue. As the two are locked in Star Labs’ cells, I finally got the answer to where prisoners go to the bathroom!  Oliver brought it up and Barry showed a secret compartment where a toilet comes out (nice job taking care of the subtle questions, writing team).

How do they get out?  Well, they each have to take a play out of the other’s bag of tricks.  Barry has to dislocate his thumb to get out of his cuffs, and Oliver has to phase them out.

Help From Smallville — Since no one believes them, Barry and Oliver decide that they need to go to Earth-38 to find Kara to help them. Kara doesn’t see what Earth-1 sees.  She sees Oliver and Barry as they truly are and they also meet Clark Kent.  While Oliver is trying to train Barry, a bit of karma happens and Oliver actually gets shot with arrows!  This was a great nod to when Oliver initially trained Barry. Interestingly enough, this pisses Oliver off and he talks about how Barry doesn’t train, relies too much on Iris, and how his team let him down.  The differences in their mentalities have become even more evident in this episode. The two have a great conversation discussing each of their perspectives and how they handle situations differently.  It was once again really well done, and interesting to see their different perspectives and how they have to survive this situation differently.

Kara interjects and lets them know that they have to act the part that they are now in.  Cisco comes to Earth-38 in order to get their help against Amazo.

Back on Earth-1 —  An android (Amazo!) is running rampant from Ivo Labs which harnesses the powers of Team Flash. He not only scanned their meta DNA, but used a mirakuru mixture as well.  This is also a cool connection to Dr. Ivo from Season 2 of Arrow who was on the stranded ship (accurately named Amazo). The awesome team-up of Flash, Green Arrow, Supergirl, and Superman fight to take down Amazo, but fail as he copies their powers. The team takes down Amazo using teamwork and a virus.  Even with Amazo destroyed, Barry and Oliver still have not reverted back to their original bodies, and this worries Iris.  She does not want Barry’s new role to overtake him turning him into Oliver mentally.

The end of the episode has Cisco vibing to show Barry and Oliver the plan that is unfolding.  Although they don’t know who the individuals are, they do know that they must travel to Gotham City, which shows a quick glimpse of Batwoman before rolling the credits.

The writers did a good job avoiding possible plot holes by giving Barry and Oliver the skills of the other individual and not necessarily having to “learn” everything. The comic mythology was also strongly represented.  Overall, the episode was extremely fun and entertaining! What did you think of the first part of the cross-over event? Leave your thoughts in the usual spot below, and thanks for reading!

The Elseworlds cross-over event continues with Arrow and 8 p.m. on The CW.

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Mark Cook

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