The Best of Infinite Worlds: Supergirl, “Worlds Finest”

This week was Supergirl‘s eagerly-anticipated crossover with The Flash! “Worlds Finest” was basically a 43-minute long meet-cute of two grinning superheroes trading trivia from their parallel universes and occasionally trading punches with two rogues in an odd little double-date/fight scenario. The episode brings some much-needed levity after several weeks of Bad Supergirl and Martian Manhunter’s dark past; plus, Barry Allen’s appearance tugs at a couple of plot threads that needed unraveling.

Spoilers for Supergirl 1×18 “Worlds Finest.”

We start about where we left off last week, with Siobhan Smythe getting examined by the DEO after her super-scream saved her life. But they’re befuddled: She’s neither Fort Roz prisoner nor Kryptonian—in fact, she’s very much human. A human with voices in her head, that is. A visit to her aunt’s Irish tchochkes shop reveals the truth: Siobhan is haunted by the Banshee, as are all of the women in her family. (“And you never considered why all of the women in our family are, shall we say, unlikeable? We’re cursed, Siobhan.” I like her aunt.) The Banshee calls to all of the Smythe women, and won’t stop until they kill the target of their hatred—if they don’t, the power will grow and take them over.

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

That’s about all the excuse that Siobhan needs, so she stalks over to CatCo to blow Kara out the window. Thankfully, a crackling red-orange blur arrives just in time to save the falling girl and inexplicably whisk her away into a pretty field. Imagine his surprise, however, when Kara calmly bats the fire off her body and then flies away.

Flash: “That’s a new one. I thought I was the impossible.”

It’s one thing to discover another superhero, but it’s something else entirely to realize that neither of you has ever heard of the other:

Flash: “How did you do that?”

Supergirl: “I’m Supergirl.”

Flash: “You’re who now?”

It’s a small moment played mostly for humor, but both Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist did a great job with this reveal that their characters are from alternate universes. After all, each is used to being the center of attention (for better or worse); to realize that a whole other version of Earth has kept on spinning without you is incredibly humbling, both a relief and (I suspect) a disappointment. National City also didn’t seem too perturbed to have a previously unknown superhero flash into existence… probably because they’re still frightened of Supergirl, despite her best efforts—including the truly selfless act of IKEA setup—to make up for her red kryptonite-induced destruction spree two episodes ago.

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

For Kara, it’s clear that her reaction verges more on relief: Here is someone who doesn’t have any preconceived notions about her. Barry is also the first superpowered person she’s really been able to level with, seeing as most of her encounters with fellow aliens have been with Fort Roz escapees who want her dead; and the other resident genius, Maxwell Lord, doesn’t harbor many warm and fuzzy feelings, either.

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

Of course, James Olsen’s first response is to feel incredibly threatened by the charming, handsome superhero who’s all buddy-buddy with Kara now. Winn mostly laughs upon witnessing this jealousy, because now he and James have even more in common. As I’ve said before, I like when the show explores James’ inferiority complex in relation to his Kryptonian friends, how even this very confident, very masculine version of Jimmy Olsen can be vulnerable. But it’s clear that in this case all of his sulking over how great Barry is was unfounded, because it was all building up to Kara and James confessing their true feelings for one another. Sorry to say, this is the kind of trope you see in crossover episodes: The character with a different perspective makes everyone see what had been right in front of them all along, blah blah.

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

Also because the show inexplicably had Cat Grant delving into Kara’s love life as well. Don’t get me wrong, it is hilarious to learn that Cat is the author of the 1998 guide to finding love, The Lighthouse Technique: Shine Your Light and Let Him Come to You. (Did anyone else think of Hamilton‘s Aaron Burr and “talk less, smile more” when Cat intoned “try less, shine more”?) But even in CatCo’s office, where subordinates are publicly fired and parties get interrupted by vengeful villains, this is crossing the line of what’s appropriate.

Speaking of villains…! Siobhan finds a kindred spirit in Livewire, who she breaks out of the DEO so they can take on Supergirl together.

Siobhan: “Figured we could team up.”

Livewire: “Like an evil Taylor Swift squad?”

Her reasoning is, Livewire wants Cat and Supergirl dead, Siobhan wants the same for Kara, but those two are protecting her. (Yes, Siobhan stared Supergirl in the face at the DEO and didn’t recognize Kara. smdh)

Winn: “Well, after [Siobhan] went all Mariah Carey on you, she just split.”

Barry: “Oh, we both have Mariah Carey, that’s good.”

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

All of the scenes with Barry, Kara, Winn, and James hypothesizing were just too damn adorable. I bought Barry’s theory about vibrating multiverses vibrating at the same frequency and colliding or whatever because it made sense, and because we knew he’d be returned to his universe by the end of the episode anyway.

Barry: talking about multiverses

Winn: “One where we’re all evil!”

Barry: “Been there. It sucks.”

Seriously stahp you guys.

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

Cat: “All four of you standing there, doing nothing. You look like the attractive yet nonthreatening, racially diverse cast of a CW show.”

Love it. Cat, of course, wants to brand this new superhero… she’s thinking The Whoosh, The Red Streak, The Blur. Barry suggests The Flash, because doesn’t that sound super cool and awesome?

Cat: “The Flash? Sounds like someone whose only superhero power is jumping out of an alley in a trenchcoat. No, I want intrigue, I want mystery, I want… The Blur.”

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

I have to call bullshit on Cat knowing who Barry was from the start, though. Or rather, if she does, then she can’t possibly have been tricked into believing that Kara isn’t Supergirl. Still, that shaky bit of reasoning aside, Cat shone in this episode without even trying. Two episodes ago, she was thrown from a building by Bad Supergirl and didn’t miss a beat. When Kara tries to convince her to run away from the escaped Livewire, Cat calmly (and challengingly, I think) responds that she has faith in Supergirl to save her.

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

But when Livewire and her new partner Silver Banshee have Cat handcuffed to a bench, with Livewire threatening to stop her heart, we see Cat break down, just a little. She doesn’t want to be saved for herself—she begs them to have mercy for her boys, because she’s all they have. Aww.

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

Kara screws up the first fight with Livewire and Silver Banshee by rushing into things without a plan. Now that people don’t want Supergirl to help them, Kara feels lost; she’s in such a hurry to prove herself that she’s making stupid mistakes. During a heart-to-heart on CatCo’s Balcony of Feelings, Barry tells her, “This is gonna sound ironic coming from me, but… You gotta slow down. Keep doing your good work. Don’t worry about the rest.”

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

And what do you know? All that Supergirl needs is a deus ex helicopter: When Livewire tries to bring down a copter in the middle of the fight, National City’s citizens watch in awe as Supergirl absorbs all of that electricity, to the point of nearly losing consciousness. Then follows a scene that was a cross between Peter Parker saving the subway car full of people in Spider-Man 2 (“he’s just a kid”) and the Class Protector scene from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Which is to say, the citizens all banded together to protect Kara, because she did the same for them.

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

Yes, two episodes seems far too quick of a turnaround for National City to trust Supergirl again, but hey, it means the fire department was able to hose down Livewire and Silver Banshee. I’m sick of Livewire at this point, but I’d like to see Siobhan return. Though she started out as a stock mean girl character, the curse—as well as more human issues, like being let down by her father’s failure to be a good person—give her interesting depth.

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

However, it will probably be a while before Siobhan returns, because now there’s a new conflict: Myriad! Astra and Non’s mysterious project has been activated, sending all of the residents of National City out to the streets like some sort of zombie horde marching into the distance. Including James, right after Kara kissed him. Awkward.

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

Maybe Kara shouldn’t have sent Barry back to his universe just yet; he probably would have some insight into whatever alien tech created Myriad, or at the very least he’d be dying to crack that puzzle.

Other Thoughts

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

  • The dialogue in this episode was so great, most of which I tried to put into the recap above. Here are a few more gems:
  • “I haven’t seen eyes that crazy since I had fondue with Ramona Singer.” “Kira, I thought I told you to tell Bernie Sanders I am not interested in hot yoga.” Cat Grant’s lines are like Celebrity Mad Libs.
  • Kara has a cute tic of self-consciously readjusting her glasses when Cat mentions Supergirl.
  • “What do you say we settle this like women? …What? I’m the only guy here.” Lookit Flash all about gender equality!

Supergirl 1x18 Worlds Finest The Flash crossover

  • Also, Kara’s expression at surprise ice cream is everything.

Natalie Zutter can’t believe it took her 18 episodes to make the “Balcony of Feelings” joke. You can read more of her work on Twitter or elsewhere.

32 Comments

Subscribe to this thread

Post a Comment

All comments must meet the community standards outlined in Tor.com's Moderation Policy or be subject to moderation. Thank you for keeping the discussion, and our community, civil and respectful.

Hate the CAPTCHA? Tor.com members can edit comments, skip the preview, and never have to prove they're not robots. Join now!