The Flash: Invasion! Review
The CW’s The Flash: Season 3, Episode 8: ‘Invasion!’ officially began the big crossover event with it’s other shows Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. There was so much to love in the episode when they have all of these heroes teaming up on the small screen. Even though much of the plot went into fighting the Dominators, there was also some heavy drama dealing with the after effects of Flashpoint to still treat this as a Flash episode.
The episode didn’t spend a lot of time forming the team together, which is something that worked well in the show’s favor. It felt pretty rushed as Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) tried to recruit as many of his friends as he can, including Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). With a crossover of this magnitude, it’s good that the episode didn’t waste time trying to get all the heroes united. However, the episode did feel slow at times even if they did speed things up with forming the team. We don’t get to see them fight the Dominators until the end after spending so much time training.
The Dominators didn’t come out as really compelling villains. Let’s not forget that this is coming off of the comics, which isn’t that much into detail about this alien race. The two things that help stand them apart are their strict caste system and their curiosity of the growing metahuman population on Earth. There’s only two episodes left from the crossover, so here’s hoping that we get some backstory on these guys. All we see them now coming off of this episode is that the Dominators are these alien invaders who look like our concept of aliens.
Besides the villains, the episode relied more on the chemistry between all these heroes. So we have all these heroes who don’t trust one another and must learn to work as one. Even having an alien on their side doesn’t do them any favors. There were some really hilarious moments with some of the characters. For one thing, Diggle (David Ramsey) tries to process the concept of time-travelers, metahumans, and aliens. Seeing this normal guy being plummeted into this strange new world he’s living in gives us some funny scenes. Another one was when Mick Rory/Heatwave (Dominic Purcell) starts butting heads with Kara remaining unconvinced with her superpowers. Even having Mick give Kara a new nickname was just fun to hear coming out of his mouth.
What the show went more towards was the drama as the team was forming. Much of the drama was with the consequences of Flashpoint. After Barry revealed what went down, the heroes suddenly lost faith in him. He was thrust into being the leader for the team since he brought everyone together, but he was having some problems with that and was not his best in this crucial time. Flashpoint was the biggest issue coming out of this season, but its finally taking effect with the other shows. Not only is Cisco (Carlos Valdes) not in friendly terms with Barry, but even the rest of the team are not okay with him changing the timeline for his benefit without considering the ramifications of his friends’ lives.
We also learned the full story on future Barry’s message that was left to Rip Hunter. Even if it didn’t reveal much on what he did, the message did provide further proof that Barry doesn’t have what it takes to be a leader. This helped in the interaction between Barry and Oliver. Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin did start this whole crossover in the Arrowverse, so it was cool to see their partnership strong as ever. It was also good seeing Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) working with Martin Stein (Victor Garber) again like old times when he was part of Barry’s team.
The pacing of the episode wasn’t fast in certain areas, but it still worked out in the end. It gave viewers a chance to see Barry’s inner struggle as a leader and trying to keep things afloat with the team. This also allowed a balance in the episode so we can spend some time with each of the cast. Everybody had their screen time, even some of the smaller members like Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). Speaking of Wally, his subplot kind of felt out of place in this crossover even though this was also being treated like a Flash episode. That was something that should’ve been left out for another episode.
The end of the episode was a huge pay off as we got to see the biggest superhero fight on television. After being mind-controlled by the Dominators, we got to see Supergirl, the Atom (Brandon Routh), Firestorm, and the rest of the team fighting against Green Arrow and The Flash. It doesn’t get any better than that to see this epic battle between heroes. It was a great way to sum up the episode, especially getting to see both Flash and Supergirl outrun each other with their superspeed. It was a spectacle that was worth watching and made up for the mediocre fight between Barry and Savitar.
The start of the ‘Heroes versus Aliens’ crossover event had a great start with The Flash. Even if we didn’t get to see any action with the aliens, it was great to see the episode explore the dynamic with all the heroes. It explored the clash of heroes as all of them were put together in one place. It even finally addressed the Flashpoint arc as it integrated with all the other shows. Even if it took some time to build up the overall plot with the aliens, the climactic battle gave some awesome action sequences.
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