It's here, DCTV fans! "Elseworlds" premiered its first episode tonight, and it was chock full of Easter eggs.
Last season, "Crisis on Earth-X" was very much a movie that had to fit into a TV format. This season, it seems more like each installment of "Elseworlds" will be a very special episode of the show in question, leaving the writers and producers a lot of room to have fun with the Easter eggs and references.
There were a lot, and we had cable issues pretty much throughout our staff (yay, living on the East coast in winter time), so we're gonna run them down here and hope we got at least most of them.
So...check out what we spotted, let us know what we missed, and feel free to argue semantics with @russburlingame on Twitter!
John Wesley Shipp's The Flash
John Wesley Shipp, whom The Flash fans will remember either as Henry Allen or Jay Garrick, first played The Flash (Barry Allen, not Jay) in 1990, in a short-lived TV series that remains a fan-favorite to this day.
Besides Shipp's Flash, other characters who debuted on that series before coming over to The Flash on The CW years later include Tina McGee (Amanda Pays), Anthony Bellows (Vito D'Ambrosio), and The Trickster (Mark Hamill).
This is hardly the first time we have seen this scene...in fact, the "Elseworlds" opening scene aired at the end of Supergirl, Arrow, and The Flash last week.prevnext
Dr. Destiny has used reality manipulation and dream manipulation to control heroes in stories over the years, in the hopes of making himself a ruler.prevnext
During Crisis on Infinite Earths, the story for which The Monitor is best known, red skies were the sign of a world about to be eradicated by the Anti-Monitor.
In the pilot episode for The Flash, a headline from a future newspaper blared that The Flash had disappeared in a "Crisis," with another headline revealing that "red skies" had vanished from overhead. This was a reference to Barry Allen's death in Crisis on Infinite Earths.prevnext
Dr. Anthony Ivo, the co-creator of Amazo in the comics, had a long-running role on Arrow...as the owner of a ship called The Amazo, on which he used Mirakuru to torture and experiment on people he took hostage at sea.
Ultimately he was brought down by Oliver and company, and the wreck of The Amazo was one of the defining images of Lian Yu for years.
It is somewhat interesting, then, that they credit the Ivo Robotics company's A.M.A.Z.O. robot's ability to mimic metahuman powers with the use of a synthetic AI based on Mirakuru...!prevnext
This is one that is not really an Easter egg or a reference, but a running gag from The Flash that would not necessarily make sense out of context to people who are only tuning into that show for the crossover.
The short version is that it is pretty well-established that Iris is a terrible cook. We don't actually see her cooking that often, so the joke really only comes around every once in a while, but including it here was kind of a nice way to break up the narrative of Oliver's shock and to give her a believable(ish) reason that she was not fully processing how weird "Barry" was acting.prevnext
The most obvious musical choice in the episode is "Somebody Save Me," the theme to Smallville, which played over establishing shots of Smallville that were very reminiscent of that show's opening credits.
That is far from the only time the music acquitted itself well in the episode, though.
There are little, obvious things -- like the Green Arrow stuff using Green Arrow music, and both Superman and Supergirl getting appropriate themes.
One that was a nice touch, but a little harder to quite notice, was the decision to use a string-heavy song that sounded kind of inspired by Danny Elfman's Batman and The Flash themes when transitioning out of the Shipp-Flash scene at the beginning and into Gotham City at the end.prevnext
At some point, someone will decide that joke has run its course. But not today, Satan.prevnext
Freaky Friday/Quantum Leap
But there is a subclass of people who will say Quantum Leap instead of Freaky Friday since it is less of a cultural touchstone but technically a bit more accurate to the mechanics of the swap.
"Elseworlds" takes a page out of the Legends of Tomorrow book (remember last year when they cited both Groundhog Day and Star Trek: The Next Generation in their time loop episode?) by just getting both jokes out of the way right off the bat.prevnext
Oliver isn't her type
In spite of the fact that Barry and Oliver's lives seem to be seamlessly swapped, there would appear to be at least some differences in the universe around them.
Almost every time Green Arrow and The Flash have crossed over, Iris West-Allen has made a comment about how attractive Oliver Queen is. This time, her idea of Barry looks just like Oliver Queen -- and now she doesn't find Oliver (actually Barry) attractive at all.
Near the end of The Flash's first season, Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm (Robbie Amell) joined forces with Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin). The trio faced off against Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanagh), with Oliver shooting Eobard with a special arrow and then saying the following line:
"Nanites, courtesy of Ray Palmer. They're delivering a high-frequency pulse that's disabling your speed. You won't be running around for quite a while."
Ultimately, the arrow didn't have too profound of an impact on Eobard, but Oliver's line of scientific babble (which you can watch here) would live on. The line particularly caught on in the hiatus between Arrow's fifth and sixth season, with fans creating a wide array of memes and even fan videos involving the line.
Some just played off of how amusing the line was, while others mashed it up with other Arrowverse moments -- and even some from other pieces of pop culture. During the hiatus, the meme basically took over Arrow's subreddit, which has gone through quite a few evolutions over the years.prevnext
Now that he has Oliver's skillset, Barry Allen is really enjoying going up the salmon ladder, Oliver's signature piece of workout equipment, during a visit to the disused Arrow lair.prevnext
Bertinelli crime family
The Bertinelli crime family gets a name-drop in this episode, reminding us that they still exist and maybe teasing a future appearance for Helena Bertinelli, the Arrow antihero known as The Huntress...
...or is it something more?
Given that The Huntress has strong ties to Gotham and Batman, it is interesting that when they needed a random villain for "Elseworlds" they went with that particular crime family...and then sent the heroes to Gotham (and Batwoman) at the end.prevnext
"Who the frak is that?"
It seems like it has been a while since we got a good Battlestar Galactica reference out of Cisco, but there really is no better time to revert to form than during the crossover.
Also, who the frak is The Monitor?prevnext
Fans have long wondered and joked about the lack of toilets in the cells in The flash's pipeline at S.T.A.R. Labs.
Now, we know not only that they are there, but that it is kind of unbelievable nobody has ever used one to break out before.prevnext
Anatoly, who has been a major supporting player in the last few years of Arrow, is a Russian mobster better known to comic book fans as the supervillain the KGBeast. He was last seen squaring off with Ricardo Diaz a few weeks ago.
Another live-action version of Anatoly appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as Lex Luthor's enforcer.prevnext
Argo City and the Jewel Mountains
Earlier this season on Supergirl, there was a reference to Superman being off-planet, visiting Argo -- a floating city made up of Kryptonians, ruled by a council that his aunt (Supergirl's mother) is a part of.
We get a little payoff for that here, as Lois Lane apparently went with him. Since she and Clark are dating and she knows Clark's secret identity, it may have been as much about selling whatever cover story Clark was using to cover his vacation days at the Daily Planet as anything else, but among the things she mentions are the Jewel Mountains, which have not only been referenced on Krypton, but are a major feature of the world's geography in the comics.prevnext
Clark has a line that on Argo, both he and Lois were "strange visitors."
That is a reference to Superman being referred to as a "strange visitor from another planet" in his radio and TV show introductions in the old Adventures of Superman days.
The characterization has become a part of his identity as much as "faster than a speeding bullet" now, and there was even a new character created and named "Strange Visitor" in the late '90s.prevnext
Shot in the back
It hardly even needs to be explained, since it was all given away in dialogue, but obviously the decision to have Barry shoot Oliver in the back when they were experimenting with their powers and limitations was a laugh put in to play on the fact that Oliver had done the same to him during a previous training encounter.prevnext
Amazo is an android created by Anthony Ivo and Dr. T.O. Morrow (the guy who made Red Tornado on Supergirl), which has the ability to mimic the powers of the Justice League.
There have been numerous different takes on Amazo over the years, although a favorite of mine is when he couldn't mimic just anybody's powers, it HAD to be the Justice League...so they defeated him by disbanding the League and then defeating him when he couldn't get around the logic to absorb anyone's powers.prevnext
"It's not even Tuesday"
When he realizes how much they've been through already this week, he responds with "...and it's not even Tuesday," a reference to the fact that this is the first new episode of The Flash that has aired on Sunday instead of Tuesday...ever.prevnext
When Cisco asks Clark, "who are you?" and Superman answers "a friend," longtime fans likely burst out in smiles and cheers roughly with the same frequency as they did when the Smallville theme came on.
That, of course, is a nod to Superman's introduction to Lois Lane in Superman: The Movie. It is one of Superman's most-quoted lines in all of media.
Among other places, it showed up in the pilot of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and in the Dan Jurgens-written comic book series Superman: Lois and Clark.
Hoechlin's Superman topping it off with a shirt-rip to revael the costume is perfect.prevnext