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What’s at stake in the Crisis on Infinite Earths finale

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The CW’s biggest Arrowverse event yet comes to a close

The cast of Crisis on Infinite Earths, including Supergirl, the Atom, Green Arrow, the Flash, Superman, and more. Katie Yu/The CW

With the first three episodes of CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths behind us, the multiverse is in big trouble — and it’s up to a couple of heroes to save it. The final two episodes of the Crisis are set to air in the coming days, and will likely have a lasting impact on the Arrowverse going forward.

Here’s how to make sure you don’t miss a second.

How to watch Crisis Crisis on Infinite Earths

All of the upcoming episodes of Crisis on Infinite Earths will air on the CW. The annual crossover will wrap up on January 14, with back to back episodes. Kicking things off will be Arrow, at 8pm ET, followed by Legends of Tomorrow at 9pm ET, which will serve as the Crisis’ finale.

If you’ve missed out on any of the episodes, you can catch up on the CW website or app, where you can watch without having to sign in to a TV provider. Further, if you don’t have cable, you’ll still be able to watch the episodes the day after they air on the CW website or app.

[Ed. note: The rest of this post contains spoilers for the first three episodes of Crisis on Infinite Earths.]

What happened in the first part of Crisis on Infinite Earths?

In the first episode of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, we said goodbye to the beloved Oliver Queen. Oliver sacrificed himself at the end of Part 1 to save “billions” of the inhabitants of Earth-38, and the Arrowverse seemingly said goodbye to it’s cornerstone hero.

Unable to accept his death, Barry Allen, Sara Lance, and Mia Smoak called on John Constantine (from the NBC’s show) to try and resurrect Oliver with a Lazarus Pit, which has been used in Arrow to save Sara Lance and Thea Queen. However, the pit only saves the body, not the soul. After making a deal with Lucifer (from the Fox/Netflix series), the group travels to purgatory — which happens to look a lot like the island Oliver was stranded on — to attempt to retrieve Oliver’s soul.

However, after they found Oliver, a mysterious figure appeared to tell him that if he returned, everyone that he loved would die. Oliver, being the hero that he is, elected not to return to the fight so that his loved ones could live. So is Oliver Queen really dead?

With Arrow coming to a close and virtually all of season eight being spent on getting Oliver ready for Crisis, everyone knew that Green Arrow would likely die. But he may not be totally dead — at least not yet.

When Oliver elected to stay behind and not return to earth, he may have become the human host of the Spectre — one of the most powerful beings in DC continuity. In the comics, the Spectre is a divine force responsible for punishing evildoers, but one that requires a human host to ensure that it never loses perspective. In the comics, that host is often Jim Corrigan (the stranger in purgatory who tells Oliver he needs to stay behind). But it seems likely that in the CW’s version of Crisis, the Spectre will be bonded to Oliver Queen.

In the original Crisis on Infinite Earths comic, the Spectre and the Anti-Monitor battled it out in an epic cosmic fight, which caused five different parallel earths to merge into one timeline. It’s possible that Oliver Queen could appear in the Vanishing Point (where the seven Paragons currently reside) as the Spectre and defeat the Anti-Monitor once and for all.

Bringing in Jim Corrigan seems to be a hint by directors that the Spectre will be making an appearance. And it would only seems right that Oliver Queen’s character would want to right the wrongs of evildoers on a cosmic scale.

Candice Patton as Iris West-Allen, Tyler Hoechlin as Superman and LaMonica Garret as The Monitor in Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 3. Photo: Katie Yu/The CW

What happened at the end of Part 3?

The last few minutes of Part 3 of Crisis on Infinite Earths were perhaps the most exciting — yet confusing — thus far. It was the first interaction of the team of superheroes with the Anti-Monitor, via Harbinger (Lyla Michaels). Unfortunately, our team of heroes didn’t fare too well in the first round, and the Monitor was seemingly killed.

Just before the last Earth was destroyed by the anti-matter wave, Pariah teleported the seven Paragons to the Vanishing Point, the only place safe from the Anti-Monitor. To top things off, Lex Luthor sharpied his own name into the Book of Destiny to replace Earth-96’s Superman as the Paragon of Truth.

As we return to the story, it’ll be up to Kara Danvers, Sara Lance, Kate Kane, J’onn Jonz, Ryan Choi, Barry Allen, and Lex Luthor to save the multiverse. So far, the folks at CW have kept their lips tight on what might happen in the future. However, as we mentioned before, some hints from the comics could give us an idea of what to expect.

It seems likely that our team of heroes will come face to face with the Anti-Monitor at some point, in an epic fight to save the multiverse. It’s also possible that we could see the emergence of a new universe with one singular timeline — meaning that all of the current CW shows would take place on the same Earth, instead of being split up. That’s how the original Crisis on Infinite Earths comic event ended, and it would definitely help make future CW crossovers much simpler.

But that assumes the multiverse survives in the first place. We’ll find out tonight!


Andrew Smith is a freelance contributor at Polygon. You can find more of his work at IGN, GameSpot, and his personal gaming website Guide Fall.

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