The difficulty with Batwoman Season 1 Episode 9 being only the second part of the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover is that they're still in the early days of this conflict.
That means there's a lot of plot-juggling and character-spinning and tension-building, but not a lot of real pay-off.
That being said, it was an engaging offering with a lively pace, some familiar faces/voices, and quite possibly the funniest inside joke ever written in the Arrow-verse.
Yeah, I kind of promised our crew they'd never have to do another crossover.Sara Lance
(To get it, you have to understand how much the crews of the Arrow-verse shows LOATHE the crossover events. It's a logistics nightmare.)
If Supergirl Season 5 Episode 9, aka Part 1, set up the problem (ie. imminent destruction of the multiverse) then Part 2 presents a potential solution (ie. find the Paragons).
As Barry rightly points out, the whole Paragon solution is a very conveniently-timed cure-all. Even more convenient is The Monitor being able to just re-enter the time stream and retrieve the Book of Destiny the heroes destroyed last go-round.
But before we look at why the Book of Destiny could only name two and hint at another two Paragons, leaving three unknown (wth), there's a side-trip here that seems extraneous but probably isn't.
In case you missed it, Oliver Queen died.
Oliver died the way he lived. A hero.Sara Lance
He was ready for it but apparently no one else was. Not even The Monitor.
And like too many other deaths in the Arrow-verse, the quick-fix for that is a Lazarus Pit.
Despite having Sara, an actual resurrected individual, and Constantine, the friendly neighbourhood working class warlock, clearly warning against the use of the pit, Barry and Mia are determined
One would think that Barry would've been given a mission by The Monitor but if he wasn't, I suspect it's because Oliver's resurrection is very much a part of The Monitor's plan.
Which Paragon do you think Oliver will turn out to be?
The search for the most-traumatized Superman is a frustrating one if one were to try to follow any sort of logic in their approach.
First, Clark-38 and Lois are on their own looking on Earth-75 when Iris conveys the intel that Luthor is breaching every which way to kill every Earth's Superman. Immediately, they discover that Luthor's beat them to Superman-75.
Then, Iris is suddenly with them. When exactly does she arrive?
Fine, okay, Iris is with them when they arrive in Smallville on Earth-167. Luthor arrives after they do, zaps them back to the ship, and has a pretty entertaining interaction with Farmer Kent.
Briefly, Tom Welling's happily-ever-after power-free Clark-167 was probably my favorite and I wasn't even a Smallville fan.
Knowing that Luthor is hunting Supermans ("SuperMEN" sounds wrong) AND somehow having the ability to track his breaches, how do they get AHEAD of him and meet Clark-96 first?
Wouldn't he have breached directly into the editor's office? Even if he planned to make 96 fight 38, he should've been waiting with a revved up 96 cocked and loaded.
Not being a Supergirl follower, this was my first time seeing Jon Cryer in the role and it was a hard sell for me.
Maybe it was the giddiness with which he skipped through that first breach on his way to his extremely selective genocide mission.
Maybe it was how easy it was for Lois to clock him over the head. It just didn't seem Lex Luthor-ish enough.
Kara: Lena killed you.
Lex: Yeah. Only for a little while.
He seemed best-suited for the role in that first scene with Kara. Comfortable in his skin. Elsewhere, he served his purpose but it didn't have the manipulative calculation I expect from Lex Luthor.
And that brings us for the search for the Paragon of Courage, the "Bat of the Future."
Props for casting Kevin Conroy as Earth-99's Bruce Wayne. After all, he has portrayed Batman longer than any actor but few would know him to see him since it has been in animated productions.
It's like a wise man once said, 'Battle not with monsters, lest you become a monster.' I've lost track of how many people I've killed.Bruce Wayne
And I love how dark they went with him. Mostly because it's exactly the end I see Batman facing if he weren't to die on the job. Bitter, jaded, and lost.
Meeting Luke Fox-99 was awesome as well. Seeing a totally different side (and front!) to Camrus Johnson was eye-opening. I have no doubts that Luke-99 is well on his way to being Batwing if not already there.
Kara: Earth-1 villain?
Kate: Only friend, actually.
Kara: Oh, well, at least he's cute.
Kate: Nope, no, let's not make that weird. That's weird.
Now, this was ostensibly a Batwoman episode and Kate does get the big reveal at the end, unveiled as the real Paragon of Courage, having defended her friend in the face of her Earth-99 cousin's anti-extraterrestrial sentiments.
However, Batwoman was not truly central here. Furthermore, some of the exposition Kate shared really messed with the timeline I had been built in my head.
Since Kate didn't add the red wig to her costume until Batwoman Season 1 Episode 3, I had assumed that all the events of Season 1 were happening before the Elseworlds crossover last year where she was introduced as a full-fledged vigilante hero, red wig and all.
However, her chat with Kara places this adventure immediately after the events of Batwoman Season 1 Episode 8 which doesn't make sense at all.
Kate: You know, the Bruce I knew wore a different kind of suit.
Bruce: Lifetime of injuries. But you've aged well. For a dead girl.
Kate: I died?
Bruce: Five years ago.
Kate: Huh. Never been a ghost before.
And why Kate has Bruce-99's Kryptonite carrier ... I can't even.
With Part 3 airing tomorrow and NOTHING until the new year, make sure you watch Batwoman online to fill in those cold, dark, DC-less, winter nights.
And while you're doing that, riddle me this:
Are the voices in Harbinger's head the potential futures being written through the Book of Destiny or has she become a receiver for those who mess with time?
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.