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Everything You Need To Know About The CW Crossover

Photo credit : Bettina Strauss/The CW
Everything You Need To Know About The CW Crossover
Every fall, CW's superhero series — Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow — come together for an epic adventure that spans across all the shows. Some years, the crossover delivers the best episodes of the season (such as the first one between The Flash and Arrow), while some years they lack the cohesiveness to form a compelling story (remember the Hawkgirl arc, which didn't deserve to be the focus of one show, let alone three?). The difficulty of coordinating this massive undertaking has never been more apparent than this season, with each show's lead actors being sidelined for multiple episodes to accomodate the crossover's production (Arrow put Diggle in the Green Arrow suit, The Flash and Supergirl relied heavily on flashbacks and secondary characters, while Legends put Sara in a coma). Will it be worth it?

With this year's crossover event just around the corner, we've gathering intel on what our favourite caped crusaders will be up to this time. Spoilers ahead!

Fobert Falconer/The CW

Don’t Call It a Crossover
In previous seasons, the crossover was spread out across the week. But this year, it's being compressed into two nights, with Supergirl and Arrow (on a new night) kicking things off on Monday, Nov. 27, and The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow wrapping it up on Tuesday, Nov. 28. Also, these episodes aren’t as self-contained as previous seasons. "When we did them last year, it was like, "We're doing an episode of Supergirl, and then an episode of Flash, and then an episode of Arrow, and then an episode of Legends.' This year it’s a four-hour movie," Arrow star Stephen Amell said recently. "The note that I got when I was speaking with one of our producers is, 'When you tune in, aside from the opening graphic, stylistically, if you didn’t know what order the shows were in, you shouldn't be able to tell.'" Also, Amell says instead of calling it a crossover, "it really is, for the first time, an event. It's not a crossover anymore. Call it a crossover if you want. But it's kind of like calling the Super Bowl just a football game."

Bettina Strauss/The CW

The Plot
Titled "Crisis on Earth-X", the crossover's first hour kicks off with many of our favourite characters from all the CW superhero shows gathered in Central City for the wedding of The Flash's Barry and Iris, but the ceremony is interrupted when villains from another timeline (Earth-X) attack. The bad guys include evil Earth-X versions of Supergirl (Overgirl), the Green Arrow (the Dark Arrow), and the Flash (Dark Flash).

Jack Rowand/The CW

The Bad Guys Are Bad. (Maybe Too Bad?)
The crossover borrows from DC comics history and the animated series Freedom Fighters: The Ray by featuring Earth-X, an alternative Earth where the Nazis won WWII and have continued to reign. But surely in this current political climate, the CW will shy away from depicting our beloved heroes as actual Nazis and… [reads episode descriptions] …uh, nope, they are really going with Nazi counterparts. But surely they are just featuring Nazis so we can see them get punched in the face as some kind of cathartic release and they won't have emotional arcs or be sympathetic… [sees the cast talking about a passionate kiss between Nazi!Oliver and Nazi!Kara]…um, ok. Wow. To be fair, Arrow once forced a lesbian to marry a straight man with zero plot payoff and The Flash has a character who refers to women by their measurements instead of their name, so perhaps it's too much to expect this particular TV universe to be "woke."

Katie Yu/The CW

Familiar Faces Return
Besides our favourite costumed heroes, some of the non-masked characters from each show will take part in the crossover, including Supergirl's Alex and Winn, The Flash's Joe and Cecile, and Arrow's Felicity and Digg. We'll also get our first glimpse at The Ray, played by Russell Tovey. Wentworth Miller will reprise his role as an alternate version of Captain Cold (seeing as the Earth One version is dead). Perhaps most intriguing is the rumour that the Earth-X version of Prometheus will be played by a long departed Arrow actor.

Katie Yu/The CW

A Heroic Sacrifice
Much like last year's crossover, which featured an alien invasion, there promises to be an emotional gut punch amid all the fighting and special effects. "I think what happened with Barry and Iris' wedding is we had to get the four shows together," Arrow's Emily Bett Rickards recently said. "What's the best way to do that? A celebration. What's the best way to ruin a celebration? I think that's the best way to have this theatre of tragedy and for people to see it." If a tragic death does take place, it seems like the Legends of Tomorrow cast may be the one to take the hit. "We get to do the most tragic and heart-wrenching part of the story, which is weird 'cause normally we're the funny show," Legends executive producer Phil Klemmer told Rotten Tomatoes. Though there’s no confirmation about who may be departing the Waverider for good, perhaps the recent contract news surrounding Wentworth Miller and Victor Garber offers some clues. 

Bettina Strauss/The CW

Romance Is In The Air
Just because Barry and Iris' wedding is interrupted in the first hour, we're not ruling out the possibility that they'll be Mr. and Mrs. Flash by the end of the crossover. (Does anyone else feel like their relationship is progressing faster than Barry on a treadmill?)  And they may not be the only superhero couple taking a big step in their relationship. Arrow's executive producer Wendy Mericle said the crossover is "really Oliver's story... it really explores the question of true love, and what does that look like? It's emotionally really compelling, and you're going to be surprised by what he learns and how he learns it and who he learns it from." If you ship WestAllen or Olicity or both, you may want to chill some bubbly before the crossover. If you don't, we guess you can just fast-forward through the heartwarming character development and focus on our heroes fighting their Nazi doppelgangers. Yay?  

The crossover episodes air Nov 27 & 28 on The CW. In Canada, Supergirl airs on Showcase while Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow airs on CTV. 

(Photos: Robert Falconer/Bettina Strauss/Jack Rowand/Katie Yu/The CW)