Following the events of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover, which ended last week, Batwoman and Supergirl's episodes tonight mark the first glimpse at the post-"Crisis" Arrowverse, where the history of the multiverse has been rewritten and three major worlds were merged to make "Earth-Prime," where all of The CW's DC Comics series take place on the same Earth and the heroes coexist. The world's history is largely unwritten, except that it's safe to assume most events from previous Arrowverse shows took place there...but here's something interesting: apparently Batman Begins -- or a story very, very similar to it -- took place at some point on Earth-Prime.
Tonight's episode began with Batwoman (Ruby Rose) saving a subway car that was barrelling toward the end of the line with no control over its brakes. She managed to save hunreds of lives, but when her grappling line snapped and came flying back at her, a hunky Gotham cop tackled her out of the way, saving her from serious injury and making headline news as Gothamites "shipped" the pair.
What came next, though, was pretty interesting: while investigating the almost-wreck, Luke (Camrus Johnson) tells Kate that hacking the train's internal computers and turning off the brakes should not have been possible. Specifically, he said that "every since the Scarecrow incident," Gotham trains were modified to run on an "independent analog system."
The "Scarecrow incident" in question is never elaborated on, but it seems pretty likely that it's a reference to the events of Batman Begins, which culminated in a massive gas attack on the city by the Scarecrow, who was working with Ra's al Ghul. Ra's was planning to use the city's monorail system to quickly and efficiently deliver the Scarecrow toxin to Gotham's water supply, and only failed becasue Batman and James Gordon managed to crash the almost-emptry train, killing Ra's al Ghul.
The implication, then, is that in the newly-relaunched timeline of the post-"Crisis on Infinite Earths" Arrowverse, a version of the events of Batman Begins took place on Earth Prime, the world occupied by Batwoman and the rest of the DC shows. Whether that means the rest of the Nolan movies took place in some form or another is anybody's guess. Maybe Batman's mysterious disappearance is because he is off having a happily-ever-after with Catwoman in Europe (we're kidding. Mostly).
While Christopher Nolan's Batman movies have never been connected to a larger universe of superhero characters, they did serve as an inspiration for Arrow, the gritty, street-level Green Arrow show that launched The CW's sprawling, interconnected universe of shows.
"After we did 'Elseworlds,' I said to the powers that be, 'I feel like I just introduced my wife to her new boyfriend,' because in many ways, Batwoman is carrying on the grim and gritty mantle of Arrow now that Arrow's going away. It was very surreal,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim, who co-created Arrow and served as showrunner on "Elseworlds" and "Crisis on Infinite Earths," recently said.
Batwoman has received mixed reviews, but has clearly connected with an audience, becoming the second-highest rated series on The CW, following only The Flash. It is not yet clear whether the series is the last launch of the first generation of Arrowverse shows, or the first launch of a new generation that will also include Superman and Lois and, possibly, Green Arrow and the Canaries.
Fans can get caught up by watching all five parts of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover on The CW's website or app now, or buying them through video on demand platforms. The post-"Crisis" Arrowverse begins this weekend with new episodes of Batwoman and Supergirl before Arrow and Black Lightning return next week.