“World’s Finest” was, well, fine, but not great. I kind of think that as someone who hasn’t watched even a single episode of The Flash (though I am peripherally aware of it, what with not living under a rock), it was just hard for me to get very excited about the crossover between the two shows. That said, Barry Allen was a nice addition to the team for a single episode, but I don’t think I could deal with him more often. As Cat Grant pointed out: “He was so unfailingly charming and nice he either had to be a superhero or a Mormon.”
The story of the episode is set up early, with the revelation of Siobhan’s powers and her hatching of a plan to band together with Livewire to take down Supergirl and Cat Grant. Unfortunately, this pair never quite manage to be a credible threat to Supergirl or, frankly, anyone else. When they are finally defeated, it’s practically the definition of anticlimax. Although I did get a little misty-eyed when the people of National City finally seemed to rally around Supergirl, I felt like that development really wasn’t earned. I would have preferred to see the show hold off on Supergirl winning back the city’s love until the penultimate or even the final episode of the season, especially after the way this episode ends.
While Barry Allen’s presence is pleasant and an interesting way of shaking things up—particularly as a way of moving things along with Kara and James’s relationship—it’s really not enough to carry the hour. Far too much time is spent simply explaining why and how he’s there, including an absurd whiteboard drawing of several circles being used to explain the multiverse theory, which comes off more as condescending to the audience than anything else. It’s just not that complicated a concept, and the show uses rather silly comic book “science” to explain it anyway (apparently Barry is just that fast), so the whole sequence just ends up being kind of unintentionally funny.
I did rather like the instantly friendly dynamic between Barry and Kara, but it wasn’t any material that couldn’t have been better off given to Cat or Alex (who is sadly absent this week), and the one lasting impact Barry has on this version of National City could easily be missed by an unobservant viewer: his giving the local police a way to hold and take care of metahumans on their own so that human bad guys don’t have to be sent to the DEO. On the one hand, I appreciate that this is a way of revisiting and resolving a theme from earlier in the season, but it’s done in such an offhand way that it doesn’t seem very important. At the same time, with a likely-final confrontation with Non on the horizon, Lucy Lane in charge of the DEO, and Alex and Hank on the run, this could mean that the show is working towards removing the DEO from the picture altogether. This may not be a bad idea, as the show has always struggled to balance its vastly different settings and CatCo is the more compelling of them, but it also feels like a cheap way to shuffle Lucy out of the picture now that she’s no longer necessary to maintain a love triangle.
In many ways, “World’s Finest” feels a little like the show spinning its wheels. Before the final few minutes of the episode, very little of consequence actually happens, and then it’s as if everything is happening at once, leaving us with a cliffhanger setup for the last two episodes of the season.
- Siobhan’s Silver Banshee makeup looked like garbage.
- Winn was cute this week, which I never say, but it’s true this one time.
- KARA AND JAMES IS HAPPENING… OH SHIT.
- I feel like there is definitely going to be at least one major character death in the next two weeks, but I don’t even want to guess which one. Before this week I might have hoped for Winn, but he’s starting to grow on me now that he’s not being a gross Nice Guy™ towards Kara.