8:05am PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
DC TV Watch: CW Showrunners Preview the (Super) Four-Way Crossover
Welcome to The Hollywood Reporter's weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on TV. Every Friday, we round up the major twists, epic fights, new mysteries and anything else that goes down on The CW's Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Black Lightning and Fox's Gotham.
Break out the tissues | With only a handful of episodes remaining between now and the upcoming four-show crossover between all of The CW's Arrow-verse shows, the producers are opening up about the heart at the center of it. "The biggest surprise will be the emotional component of the crossover," Arrow executive producer Wendy Mericle tells THR. "I don't think anyone is going to see that coming. It's very much a dark love story. It's the underpinnings of that that will make the Earth-X element a real contrast to that. Oliver [Stephen Amell] has a big role to play in it, and it's bigger and better than any crossover we've done in the past. It's going to be epic."
Finally unmasked | After a year of waiting, Arrow finally revealed the identity of masked killer Vigilante, and it turned out to be presumed dead ex-partner and ex-lover of Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy), aka Black Canary. The night he was shot in the head in front of Dinah was the same night of the particle accelerator explosion, and the dark matter that gave Dinah her canary cry also changed Vincent Sobel (Johann Urb). But instead of finding Dinah right away, he let her believe he was dead and started killing people that he believed deserved to die. While the initial moment of Vincent unmasking was anticlimactic, since his face was unfamiliar to viewers, the emotional fallout for Dinah having to deal with her ex coming back from the dead and causing problems for Team Arrow is sure to give Harkavy some meaty material to work with this season.
The center of it all | "In typical hero-villain fashion, the wedding is not the wedding that Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) probably dreamed of," executive producer Todd Helbing tells THR. "This crossover is so different. Any time you're trying to keep the narrative going on four different shows, it's challenging. The Earth-X scenario we put everyone in really played into the story that we wanted to tell."
Worst party ever | But before the wedding bells can ring, the bachelor and bachelorette parties took place, and the night could not have gone worse for the future Mr. and Mrs. West-Allen. Barry ended up drunk, thanks to a super-shot of Cisco's (Carlos Valdes) making, and Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer) managed to get all the guys arrested at a strip club — where Joe's (Jesse L. Martin) sort-of-step-daughter was performing. Talk about an awkward discovery for Joe. At least all the girls banded together at Iris' party to save Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and help her realize that her Killer Frost side doesn't have to be a killer. Iris and Caitlin bonded to the point where the future bride asked Caitlin to be her maid of honor.
New hero alert | Back in the season three "Flashpoint" premiere, a throwaway line about a superhero named Citizen Cold saving the day didn't seem like anything more than a fun Easter egg. But according to the network's official synopsis for the four-show crossover, Wentworth Miller is returning (as part of his last run of episodes on The CW's DC series) as Citizen Cold, a friendly superhero ally of everyone gathered for the big wedding. Does this mean that Captain Cold's doppelganger from the Flashpoint timeline will somehow travel to Earth-1 to help battle the Earth-X villains? Or is Citizen Cold from Earth-2 or Earth-X or any other Earth? And what will this heroic version of Captain Cold be like? How different will he act? So many questions that a short episode synopsis can't answer!
Legends of Tomorrow
Can the Legends make you cry? | Echoing Mericle's comments, Legends of Tomorrow executive producer Phil Klemmer reveals that, surprisingly, it's the Legends team that will end up bringing the waterworks during the four-show crossover. "You'll be most surprised that Legends is capable of making our audience cry," Klemmer tells THR. "I thought last season really leaned into the comedy, and that season three we tripled down on that. There's some ludicrous moments. Things get bananas, and yet in this crossover, we have this thing that happens that will honestly move you to tears." Calling it "a testament to our actors that they can do this comedic, super-rompy fun show that also has moments of genuine emotion," since the final episode of the crossover takes place as an episode of Legends of Tomorrow, expect some big heroic sacrifice or climactic last-second miracle save to really play with your emotions.
Super epic | "You will be surprised to see that we cram more superheroes onto the bridge of the Waverider than is physically possible," Klemmer says of the massive final conclusion to the four-way crossover. "I was responsible for writing a scene that had, like, 22 people in it, and I had to keep a list just to remind myself who was in the scene. I think we need a wider lens to make sure we can keep everyone in the same frame. It's preposterous. And then you have doppelgangers, just trying to keep track of who was in the scene and what costume they're supposed to be wearing was a real math and science."
Voice of evil | The mysterious big bad of Legends this season has only been named so far as Mallus by those afraid of his potential for power and evil. But soon he will be heard, as Fringe alum John Noble has been cast as the voice of Mallus, first appearing in this week's episode. Now this doesn't mean that Noble will be playing the live-action character onscreen, however, as The CW's DC series are infamous for having actors voice villains before unmasking them as a completely different actor, like The Flash's Zoom (voiced by Tony Todd, played by Teddy Sears) and Savitar (voiced by Tobin Bell, played by Gustin).
The inevitable heartbreak | As much as viewers hoped this moment would never come, it finally did: "Sanvers" is no more. Unable to compromise their views about having children, Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Maggie (Floriana Lima) were forced to break up during this week's Supergirl. It's no surprise that the wedding isn't going to happen, as Alex had been struggling with Maggie's desire to not have children, but that didn't make their split any less painful. Leigh and the Supergirl showrunners, however, have made it clear that they will continue to explore Alex's storyline as she continues to grow. Producers are aware of the "Bury Your Gays" trope and, while Lima's availability cut the storyline short, there is one small victory in their split: Maggie wasn't killed off.
No holds barred | The Fox drama committed to its crazy new M.O. with no hesitation during this week's episode. Goth Lee (Morena Baccarin) killed Firefly (Camila Perez) and became the leader of the underground criminal fight club. Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) mocked Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) in the most over-the-top and hilarious skit to a crowd of MMA-loving, blood-thirsty criminals. Grundy (Drew Powell) ripped off his fight opponents' arms and hit them with their own detached appendage so much the crowd now routinely chants "Stop hitting yourself!" during all his fights. It was as if everyone was competing for the wackiest storyline, and everyone delivered. Gotham has finally found its sweet spot: losing the seriousness and just having all-out fun.
Promotion and demotion | i still hasn't lost the heart at the center of the series among all of its insanity, as Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Bullock (Donal Logue) essentially dissolved their friendship during this week's episode. Bullock put his alcoholism ahead of his work duties at the GCPD and ended up getting demoted while Gordon was promoted ... to Bullock's former position as captain. Awkward ... and heartbreaking as hell, as this series has spent three years building up the friendship and partnership of these two men, only to tear it down in just a few episodes.
Gotham airs Thursdays on Fox. Supergirl airs Mondays, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow air Tuesdays, Arrow airs Thursdays; and Black Lightning will premiere midseason, all on The CW.