‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ Part 2 Recap: The Search for the Paragons

In the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” recap for part 2, the heroes travel to Smallville, Metropolis and Gotham City while Barry, Mia and Sara face the fallout from Oliver’s death…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

It’s not an easy feat cramming a whole lot of highly anticipated cameos into five hours of television while simultaneously telling a compelling story but through the first two parts of the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover, the mission is being completed.

Part 1 kicked off with plenty of jaw-dropping appearances including Alexander Knox from Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman” as well as Burt Ward returning as Dick Grayson from the “Batman 66” series. The Titans even made a brief showing to add even more gravity to this ever expanding world where the Anti-Monitor seeks to destroy the multiverse.

The end of the first episode brought with it a shocking conclusion as Oliver Queen sacrificed himself to help save more people on Earth-38 before the wave of anti-matter washed over that world and obliterated it.

While Oliver’s passing had been teased since last years “Elseworlds” crossover, the fact that it happened during the first part of a five episode series was an interesting twist to say the least. Of course, letting Oliver go wasn’t going to be easy and those closest to him couldn’t quite say goodbye so an attempt was made to bring him back in part 2 with potentially disastrous consequences.

The latest episode also brought back some familiar faces from “Smallville” and a different Superman returned for an entirely different reason.

With that said, let’s get to our recap of “Batwoman” for the second part of “Crisis on Infinite Earths’…

Paragons

In the wake of Earth-38 being destroyed and Oliver Queen’s death, the Monitor is forced to turn to new allies in his attempt to stop his counterpart from demolishing the remainder of the multiverse. His new plan involves calling upon seven Paragons that will help make the final stand against the Anti-Monitor. Two of them are already in play as Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl is the Paragon of Hope while Sara Lance aka White Canary is the Paragon of Virtue.

Now the Monitor needs to send the heroes out to different parts of the multiverse to gather the remaining Paragons that he’s been able to identify while his powers begin to fade as the Anti-Monitor gains strength with every world that’s been destroyed. First things first, the Monitor has a different Wave Rider retrieved from Earth-74 so that the heroes will be able to travel from place to place while bringing back the various Paragons from across the multiverse. Mick Rory from Earth-74 also comes along for the ride while serving as a good babysitter for Clark and Lois’ baby son, Jonathan.

He does manage to reveal that he brought Lex Luthor back from the grave on Earth-38 because he plays an important part in the war to come. That doesn’t sit well with Supergirl, who saw Lex’s evil up close and personal just recently and if the Monitor is willing to resurrect him, she’s not so sure he can be trusted to save the multiverse.

Meanwhile, Kara is also facing the turmoil from Oliver’s death after he gave his life trying to save more people on Earth-38 before her world was destroyed. She wants to find a way to bring Earth-38 back but right now the options seems dangerously limited.

Sara, Mia and Barry are also struggling following Oliver’s passing, not ready to say goodbye to him just yet.

That’s when Mia realizes that there may be a way to save her father by bringing him to a Lazarus Pit where he can be brought back from the dead. Unfortunately, all of the Lazarus Pits on Earth-1 have been destroyed so she’s forced to seek out help from John Constantine to identify another world where one still exists.

Sara isn’t all that enthusiastic about the idea because she has personal experience with living, dying and being resurrected but she’ll tag along for the ride. Once Constantine figures out the world where they can travel, he tasks Mia, Sara and Barry with retrieving Oliver’s body and bringing him to the place where the Lazarus Pit might be able to bring him back.

The Dark Knight

The first person to seek out is the Paragon of Courage — the Bat of the Future — who resides on an alternate Earth years from now. Kate and Kara are tasked with finding this future Batman but when they arrive, it’s not the Bruce Wayne they expected to meet (side note, this Bruce is played by the great Kevin Conroy, who has been the definitive voice of Batman in the animated series for more than 20 years).

On this Earth, Bruce is a broken, battered man who can only stand through the help of an exoskeleton that keeps him upright. He’s surprised to see Kate because on this world, his cousin died five years ago.

Through the conversation she shares with this version of Bruce, Kate discovers that Batman on this world became disenchanted with playing the good guy, who always saves the day. As years passed and the criminals kept coming back for more, Batman figured out the best to stop his rogue’s gallery was to silence them forever. So Batman began killing his greatest villains — a trophy case in Wayne manner displays the Joker’s card, Riddler’s cane, the Penguin’s umbrella and a snow globe that once belonged to Mr. Freeze.

There are also a pair of broken glasses among Batman’s trophies and that’s when Kara figures out that the Bruce Wayne from this world killed Superman. His assistant Luke Fox explains that his battle to the death with Superman is what nearly broke Batman and why he’s in this exoskeleton.

In a panic, Kara reaches out to Kate to let her know that this version of her cousin is no Paragon of Courage. That’s when Bruce lashes out and attacks her with his kryptonite fueled exoskeleton as he seeks to add another Super trophy to his case. Thankfully, Kate stops him but during the fight, she kicks Bruce and he falls to the ground as his exoskeleton electrocutes him until he’s dead.

Kara and Kate are forced to return to Earth-1 without the Paragon of Courage after the Bruce Wayne of this world died.

Superman for All Seasons

As part of his work to bring back Lex Luthor, the Monitor also rescued the Book of Destiny, which has allowed him to creatively find the people needed to save the multiverse from its ultimate destruction. Lex has other plans when he steals the Book of Destiny and sets out to kill every Superman in the multiverse.

That forces the Clark and Lois from Earth-38 along with Iris West to seek out the various Supermen to save them from Lex while also trying to find the Paragon of Truth, that was teased as a Kryptonian who has suffered unbelievable loss during his or her life.

The first stop on Earth-75 reveals that Superman is dead — an homage to the classic Superman issue No. 75 where the Man of Steel is killed by Doomsday. The next stop brings them to Earth-167 where encounter the Clark Kent from “Smallville” played by Tom Welling.

The only problem is Lex Luthor shows up as well and with the Book of Destiny, he zaps them out of this world and sends them to another part of the multiverse.

Lex then experiences an entirely different kind of problem as he seeks to snuff out another Superman. It seems this version of Clark Kent moved back home to Smallville to raise a family with his wife Lois Lane and he gave up his powers thanks to a dose of gold kryptonite. Lex is stunned to see this version of Superman gave up being a god in order to start a family. Clark still manages to get the drop on Lex when he does try to attack and with one punch he thwarts this version of his archenemy from a different part of the multiverse.

“Still stronger” Clark tells him before Lex gives up killing this Superman because he’s not even Superman any longer. After he disappears, Clark spends a moment with his wife Lois before the two of them go to check on their daughters. A happy, powerless existence for a Superman who was always hesitant about his abilities anyways as “Smallville” gets a nice bow wrapped on it years after the finale.

Finally, Clark, Lois and Iris land on Earth-96 where they meet a Clark Kent who looks exactly like Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh does double duty in this episode). It turns out this is the Clark they’ve been searching for after discovering that his wife and friends were all killed following a gas attack on the Daily Planet by the Joker.

He’s now the editor-in-chief after losing Lois, Jimmy and Perry White in the attack.

Just when it looks like he’ll be convinced to come back to serve as the Paragon of Truth after revealing that he’s the Kingdom Come version of Superman, Lex Luthor shows up and uses the Book of Destiny to force this version of the Man of Steel to serve his every command. His first wish is forcing Superman to battle Superman to the death.

As Brandon Routh-Superman fights Tyler Hoechlin-Superman, Lois finally puts a stop to it by knocking Lex Luthor out so she can team with Iris to open the Book of Destiny and put things back the way they should be.

Once the fighting ends, Superman from Earth-96 agrees to return with them to help stop the Anti-Monitor in his quest to destroy the multiverse.

Resurrection

Mia, Barry and Sara along with John Constantine arrive on Earth-18 to use one of the last known Lazarus Pits to bring Oliver back to life. After a brief fight with Jonah Hex, who made a quick appearance, they put Oliver into the water and wait for him to rise from the dead.

When he finally springs back to life, Oliver attacks because this is just his body and his soul hasn’t returned. They use a tranquilizer to put him down as John Constantine uses a spell to try and bring back his soul so he can be the real Oliver Queen again.

Sadly, Constantine’s magic is running dry due to the interference from the Anti-Monitor as he continued to bombard the multiverse with anti-matter. That means Oliver is alive but it’s not really him because his soul hasn’t returned.

The worst case scenario that Sara imagined has come true as Oliver is technically alive but Barry didn’t get his friend back and Mia is still without her father.

Things are better back on Earth-1 where Kara and Kate have returned along with Clark and Lois with the Kingdom Come Superman, who has pledged to help stop the Anti-Monitor. A new Paragon is also found after Kate Kane was declared the real Paragon of Courage following her encounter with the other Bruce Wayne. The Monitor said the Paragon of Courage was the ‘bat of the future’ and that is exactly what she is as Batwoman.

She shares a drink with Kara, who snagged a photo from the other Bruce Wayne’s home that shows her happy with her sister, who didn’t become the villainous Alice on that Earth. Kara gives Kate hope that perhaps she can find a way to bring her twin sister back from the brink despite all the evil things she’s done.

This experience has also convinced Kara that perhaps she can bring back Earth-38 with help from the Book of Destiny. As dangerous as that might be, Kara is determined to save her world from the ultimate destruction.

Once Kara leave, Kate reveals that she took something of her own from that Earth as well — a sliver of Kryptonite taken from Bruce Wayne’s exoskeleton. Is Kate afraid that Kara’s need to bring back Earth-38 might doom them all and this is the only way to stop her? Is it possible that Kate is just planning for a future where she’s forced to take on Superman and/or Supergirl?

Finally, Lyla aka Harbinger faced increasing struggles in her servitude to the Monitor after she was summoned to an alternate Earth by a force of nature she didn’t understand. When she arrives, the Anti-Monitor finally reveals himself as he seeks to force Harbinger to serve him instead of his counterpart. This was a similar twist to the original “Crisis on Infinite Earths” comic books and Harbinger has a major role to play in the war to come.

“Crisis on Infinite Earths” part 3 airs on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on “The Flash” before the final two episodes air in 2020.  

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