The Flash’s eighth episode (“Crisis on Earth-X, Part 3”) got me right in the damn feels. A lot. From the concentration camps (“I loved the wrong person”) to Sara’s unflinching bravery in the face of almost death, this was a powerful hour of tv. One character we met on Earth X was The Ray (Russell Tovey), a rebel, who literally stands as a light against the darkness (aka the Nazis). The Ray happens to be in love with Earth X’s Snart (Wentworth Miller), who is nothing short of passionate and badass, a force for good and right. It was touching to see such love in even the most dire and unexpected circumstances (“You know I can’t say no when you look at me like that.” “That is why I look at you like that.” SWOON, y’all.). That’s often when love shows up, when it is least expected.
That aside, watching Oliver parade around as Evil Oliver was brilliant. Seeing Evil Captain Lance was gut-wrenching, especially when Sara and he came face to face. But Paul Blackthorne did such a wonderful job in the role, playing it to the very hilt. Jeremy Jordan, as General Schott, was somewhat less satisfying. But I think that heartlessness in a leader is not admirable, even in hideous circumstances (“You don’t seem to know how to take an order”). It wasn’t Jordan’s acting that I questioned or disliked. I simply could’ve done without such brazen coldness. It felt offkey, because of the dearth of compassion. I did think that, in contrast, Chyler Leigh’s Alex was flawless. From arguing with Winn to talking with Sara (who gave some sage advice: “But you still can’t fight your way through an army of Nazis alone. And you’re scared.”), there was a frantic earnestness to her, a savage desperation to get back and save her sister. But there is always a softness to Alex, a goodness that I enjoy. Even in those wretched circumstances, that goodness never dimmed. And it was refreshing.
Not unlike Jackson and Stein finally having a heart-to-heart, wherein Stein apologizes and calls Jackson his son. It was in that moment that I knew something bad was going to happen to Stein. That was further cemented by Firestorm separating. My heart fell on to the floor, watching Victor Garber’s eyes go wide with disbelief. While the plot point seemed obvious, it still carried an emotional weight. I think, in a weird way, Stein often functioned as a Dad on Legends. Maybe I’m carrying over a little of his Alias character, but still. I think he deserved better than getting shot in the back.
Speaking of sacrifices, Kara ends up offering herself up to save Felicity and Iris (who had just tried to save her). As much as I love Kara, I found myself tired of the heart surgery storyline. Sure, Evil Oliver loves Evil Kara and Dark Flash is terrifying holding a surgical saw. But it didn’t give Melissa Benoist a whole lot to do or work with. That aside, I loved Iris and Felicity, quoting Die Hard and Terminator (“Come with me if you want to live.”) and kicking ass. They make a formidable team, and I absolutely want them to go on more adventures. I mean, after Earth I is safe and free of Nazis.
So say we all, nerds. So say we all. After all, as Oliver said, “It’s the duty of the strong to protect the weak.” If there was ever a time in recent history to stand up for what’s right, no matter what, it’s right now.