Tonight begins The CW's first full re-run of their two-night, four-part event, "Crisis on Earth-X."
Featuring characters from Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow, the storyline centers on a battle between those heroes and the villains of Earth-X, a world where Nazis won the second World War and a brutal Oliver Queen is the latest Fuhrer.
The series was a hit with fans and critics, as well as delivering the big ratings The CW has come to expect from their "Arrowverse" crossover events.
When the episodes aired, we did a lot of breaking down what they meant, what worked, what didn't, and what was coming up next.
One thing we did not do is the kind of fun looks back that we usually do for feature films, breaking down the best, funniest, and coolest moments of the story.
Well, it's that time. As you're watching "Crisis on Earth-X" tonight and tomorrow, here are our ten favorite lines -- with a little fudging of the rules -- in "Crisis on Earth-X."
(And yeah, the fudging of the rules comes right up on you: the first couple of "lines" here are not lines, per se, but we're counting them because they're more than lines and less than scenes.)
Basically the whole introduction
The standout line in the introductory scenes was probably Martin Stein's understated, deadpan "That is a serious breach of courtesy!" but the combination of the high-stakes battles going on (Barry duking it out with King Shark while Kara curb-stomps a Dominator, among others) and the everyday comedy of the forgotten RSVPs made for some great comic beats.
They also helped to re-establish most of the characters and their personalities for any casual fans who might not watch all of the series and might require some reminders.prevnext
Basically anything Heat Wave says
Whether it's "Say...didn't I kidnap you once?" or delivering the bad news to Stein that he had liberated a bathrobe, Heat Wave's usual low, rumbling comic genius is in full bloom in "Crisis on Earth-X."
"Your daughter insisted I not walk around your house naked, so I found one of your dresses. You're out of milk." Gold.
Dominic Purcell, like David Ramsey on Arrow, manages to consistently stare down the absurdity of the universe he is now a big part of.
Some of it really is unstated, though: the fun of watching him interact with Captain Singh (...wait, what was Singh doing there a week after he had that blowout with Barry?...whatever) was a highlight of the wedding itself -- well, the wedding that happened before the whole Nazis from another Earth thing.prevnext
"Nazis? I hate Nazis."
The "I hate Nazis" bit was a great bit of comic timing on the part of the major superheroes who all collectively said it together. Even before that, though, Stephen Amell's line-read on the incredulous "Nazis?" was pretty incredible.
Given the nature of Earth-X, it was clear from the get-go that there would be a lot of cracks about the attackers being Nazis. The announcement of the storyline came shortly after an alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Tennessee got out of hand and one of the rally attendees drove his car into a crowd, killing a counter-protester, and so given the volume of discussion about Nazis in the popular culture at the time, the number of on-the-nose lines about the villains being from Earth-X was relatively minimal.
And when they did resort to discussing the Nazi elements of the story, it pretty much always worked. Especially in this first moment of incredulity and frustration.prevnext
"Super-speed: I don't have it."
Once again -- the early parts of the crossover seem to dominate this list.
Not because we didn't like the later parts, but more becuase if you're talking about lines of dialogue rather than action beats, the early stuff is where the meat is. Once the fighting starts, the really good lines get fewer and farther between.
But yeah -- the first time The Flash and Supergirl join up with Green Arrow to face down the villains from Earth-X, the former speed out of STAR Labs, leaving the latter to arrive on a motorcycle a few moments later, comically reminding his teammates that he is the only one in the fight who doesn't have powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.prevnext
"Because I like men. And I like women."
While the meat and potatoes of "Crisis on Earth-X" is big superhero action, one of the things that it did very successfully was to explore the implications of an Earth where the Nazis won the war.
Introducing a pair of alternate-Earth superheroes (The Ray and Citizen Cold) who were gay, and one (The Ray) who was in a concentration camp was a good way to remind audiences of the realities of a world like the one the heroes were fighting against.
Arguably the strongest aspect of it was the conversation between Sara Lance and the evil doppelganger of her father, in which he first asks her why she is working against the Reich. When she tells him that she is bisexual, he acknowledges that his own daughter was -- before he ordered her death.
It was a darkly powerful moment between the two characters, with a lot unstated, but the simple and plainspoken way that Sara communicated her "crimes" really put the conversation into perspective.prevnext
"Why do you have a Kryptonite arrow?"
Oliver Queen here manages to get his hands on a Kryptonite arrow.
How? Well, nobody really knows. He does not actually explain how he found it, or whether Kryptonite is already a known thing on our Earth. It has never been mentioned in Supergirl's previous appearances that we can recall, so how he even knows of its existence or that it could hurt her...well, it's a lot.
But Oliver, in some ways, is a lot like Batman. He's paranoid, he's brilliant, and if you give him prep time, he can beat almost anybody.
(Oh, and the kryptonite arrow is likely a wink and a nod to Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, in which Oliver wields one against Superman in his capacity as one of Batman's lieutenants.)
Including Supergirl, almost. The Kryptonite arrow could have been a lot more effective if she did not have her gang with her, but even beyond the actual existence of, and use of, the Kryptonite arrow, the best bit of it is the way the good Kara responded to the revelation.prevnext
"They wanted to wait..."
When Fuhrer Oliver takes down Heat Wave and Killer Frost, he asks if anyone else "wants to be a hero." While the eventual saviors of the day remain in the shadows, Team Arrow arrives to take on the twisted version of their mentor.
"They wanted to wait, but I didn't think we would ever get a better intro line than that," says Mister Terrific.
Unfortunately, this is the part of the story where the villain's threats are on the rise, so that cool line doesn't actually yield a win for Team Arrow...but it was a great entry to the crossover for the heroes, and sets up a very similar entry point for some of the absent Legends later on.
Cisco's "I just love a good pop culture reference in a moment of crisis -- also, THAT" when asked what he is laughing at is about pitch-perfect. That and "who needs an army when you've got Legends?" could easily have taken this spot.prevnext
"Get the hell off our Earth"
Felicity Smoak had the great monologue of the crossover, when, after the audience saw her doppelganger cowering before the Reich, we got to see the Earth-1 Felicity give the Eart-Xers their last chance.
"My grandparents didn't survive the Holocaust so the world could be ruled by Nazis," Felicity told Oliver-X. "So if you want Kara, you've got to go through me, and even if you do you're not going to win. Because we won't back down, we will keep fighting. So get the hell off our Earth while you still can."
Even Oliver-X's response -- "as final words go, those weren't bad" -- qualifies as a pretty great line.prevnext
Up, up, and away -- Man of Steel
But -- yeah. In the final chapter of "Crisis on Earth-X," there were a pair of moments that stood out as particularly fun.
"You need to fly her up. Up! And away! Now!" is what Wells tells Supergirl when her doppelganger is going nuclear on board the Nazi Waverider...
...and then when Supergirl falls to Earth from that "up, up, and away," Citizen Steel catches her, quipping that it would take "a man of steel" to do so.prevnext
Jax's eulogy for Martin Stein was heartfelt, heartbreaking, and helped to chart a direction for Jax and the Legends post-Crisis.
Of everything in "Crisis on Earth-X," probably the most impressive thing was how effectively the writers, and the Legends cast, dealt with the loss of Martin Stein. It carried over into the midseason finale, "Beebo: the God of War," the best of the Arrowverse 2017 finales.
Equally great were Stein's moving last words, in which he implored Jax to embrace life, and not to regret losing him.prev