If you're having trouble figuring out the Monitor's (LaMonica Garrett) grand plan where Crisis on Infinite Earths is concerned, you are absolutely not alone. This deity-like character has been lording over Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, and even Batwoman this year, warning our favorite characters about a coming crisis, but he's about as hard to pin down as it gets in the Arrowverse, which is certainly saying something.
Luckily, TV Guide got to grill LaMonica Garrett about this mysterious character, who was first introduced in last year's crossover, Elseworlds. Little did we know he would become an integral part of the biggest crossover The CW has ever hosted. Funnily enough, Garrett was about as in the dark as we were.
"I read Crisis back in the day, and after I got the role [in Elseworlds] I reread it... just to kind of help me figure out who the Monitor was," Garrett told TV Guide. "When they announced that Crisis was the next crossover... that's when I found out about it just like everybody else, and I was like, 'Oh wow!' And being familiar with the story, the actor in me was like, 'Oh, I got more work. I'm not unemployed again!' But the fan in me was like, 'Oh this is going to be epic!' because I know how pivotal a role Monitor was in Crisis."
Even if you've read the Crisis on Infinite Earths comics forward and backward, it's still not easy to decipher the Monitor's motives behind the series of bizarre moves he's made on the inter-dimensional chess board. Handing out death sentences to both Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Barry (Grant Gustin), bringing Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) back to life, and prompting Nash Wells (Tom Cavanagh) to open up that ominous vault in Central City all seems like a bamboozling way to go about saving the multiverse.
"Everything he does is for a greater cause, and I think the great thing that the writers did [...] is every question that's unanswered right now, they tie it up at some point throughout the season or in Crisis," Garrett said of the Monitor's confusing methods. "I say this: With the Monitor, everything he does is to bring out something in a character that was missing or that was suppressed, and he goes about his own way of doing it, but ultimately what he needs gets achieved... He is the ultimate chess player."
While we don't exactly appreciate this guy playing chess with the hearts and minds of our favorite heroes, we're willing to be patient when it comes to discovering the how and why of it all. Until then, we can only assume that the Monitor is taking the necessary steps to counteract the evil notions of his brother, the Anti-Monitor, also played by Garrett.
We hardly know anything about the Anti-Monitor so far, except that he will be released by Pariah (Cavanagh) and he's intent on destroying the multi-verse. That seems to fit with Garrett's description of the guy, which basically boils down to him being straight-up evil.
"The Monitor, overall, he's a good person. He just goes [about] what he does in different ways we're not used to. But I think overall, he's doing a good thing, and he has that in him," said Garrett. "I think the Anti-Monitor is just evil. He just wants everything to burn. He wants annihilation."
If the Monitor, who hasn't exactly endeared himself to anyone in the Arrowverse yet, is essentially the "good twin" of this family, we seriously shudder to think what the Anti-Monitor will be like. Still, Garrett warned us not to be too quick to judge the Monitor, since we might find ourselves eating our words about him after watching Crisis on Infinite Earths.
"When the crossover happens, you'll see a side of [the Monitor] that will blindside people," said Garret. "You're used to seeing the Monitor show up — we're used to seeing him as the bearer of bad news. He never has nothing good to say. You'll see a side of him that, I think, by the end of the crossover you might even have compassion for him... He's layered. It will really go into detail about why he is the way he is and how he turned out that way. So that's going to be fun for the audience."
Crisis on Infinite Earths will kick off first with its Supergirl episode on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 8/7c. It will continue with Batwoman on Monday, Dec. 9 at 8/7c and The Flash on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 8/7c. The event will then return after winter hiatus for its conclusion with back-to-back episodes of Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow on Tuesday, Jan. 14 starting at 8/7c.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)