I’ve been eagerly anticipating this crossover since it was first hinted at and I have to say, I’m thoroughly thrilled with the end product. Sure, the plot was thin in some places, the seams showed a bit in others, and the Supergirl portion of the event was disappointing, but overall? It was awesome.
I’m amazed at what the CW and the Berlanti crew accomplished on a TV budget and considering the constraints of their shooting schedules. I read somewhere that everyone had to work five straight weeks to get this done, and having nearly all the heavy hitters involved and showing off would have strained the best TV budgets.
The end result was a week of high-octane fun that also tied into several threads dangling on other shows and offered some character advancement for several members of the cast. That’s impressive.
When we last left our intrepid adventurers…
It turns out that the Dominators came to Earth back in the 50’s because of the JSA. Metahumans had appeared on Earth, and this apparently got the Dominators’ panties in a bunch, so they came to check it out. The governmental Men in Black managed to strike a deal with the Dominators that they’d leave Earth alone, as long as the metas didn’t get too out of hand.
Enter the Flash and Flashpoint, which was a dealbreaker. But no worries! The MiB strike a second deal with the alien pearl-clutchers: Earth’ll turn over the Flash, and the Dominators will bugger off and leave us alone. Barry, being Barry, is down for this deal.
Meanwhile, the Legends crew decides they need more intel, so they hightail it back to the 50’s to kidnap a Dominator to interrogate, bringing Felicity and Cisco along with them. This? Is glorious. This whole crossover was a four-part love letter to nerdy knowhow. Cisco and Felicity geek out the whole time and it’s a hoot.
(I want a whole crossover with just the nerds, by the way. Felicity, Cisco, Nate, Ray, Curtis and Winn save the world. Who’s with me? It’ll be brilliant.)
As expected, the kidnapping mission goes pear-shaped and the Legends – Nate, Mick and Vixen – get caught by the MiB, along with the Dominator they were trying to snag. Felicity and Cisco rescue them, but Cisco, being a decent sort, decides they also have to rescue the Dominator, which changes history.
Now the deal for giving up the Flash is a no-go, and the Dominators are here to drop a meta-killing bomb that’ll also probably devastate a sizeable chunk of the US in the bargain. The upside to this is that Cisco realizes how easy it is to mess up the timeline while trying to do something good and finally forgives Barry for Flashpoint and Dante’s death.
And after that comes the most amazing five minutes of TV this year, with the entire cast of the crossover throwing down with the Dominators. It is the best. Ass-kicking everywhere. Everyone gets a moment to shine. Firestorm transmutes an entire huge bomb into water. It’s awesome.
The actual resolution of the fight, which involves nanotech invented by Prof. Stein’s daughter being used to cause intense agony to the Dominators, was a bit anticlimactic, but at least it wasn’t the cliche “destroy the mothership which causes all the aliens to die” thing you usually get in this scenario, so I’ll let it slide.
With the Dominators defeated, the heroes congregate at the totally-not-the Hall of Justice for accolades from the president, followed by the wrapping up of loose plot threads. This is easily the character highlight of the crossover.
Brandon Routh got a call-out to his turn as the Man of Steel, Mick and Sarah agreed that the new president was hot, and Kara got to twinkle menacingly at the old CIA/MiB fart causing everyone headaches. Seriously, that girl is pure, weaponized cute. Adorable shouldn’t be that unnerving. Plus we got a group hug with Ollie, Barry and Kara, which was really what we all showed up for, and Mick dropped his “Hey Skirt, call me.” That plus Kara’s reaction killed me.
The episode finished with Barry and Oliver grabbing a beer together at some bar, presenting us with a solemn, heartwarming moment to finish on. More than any of the other characters, these two really went through the wringer during the crossover. Seeing them toast each other and agree that it was all worth it in the end was the perfect way to wrap up Invasion.
Line of the Night Award
Jax: “All right, Grey. Spill. How is it you have a kid?”
Stein: “I didn’t think I had to explain such matters to you, Jefferson.”
Jax: “Come on. You know what I mean.”
Stein: “When we traveled back to 1987, I gave my younger self a lecture about neglecting Clarissa, and he -”
Jax: “- followed your advice all the way to pound town.”
- Why were the Dominators so concerned about the Flash? There are so many other speedsters at this point we had problems trying to name them all, and many of them are perfectly capable of dicking up the timeline exactly the way Barry did.
- Wow. Citizen Steel’s helmet is awful. Ray should be embarrassed.
- Why is Legends of Tomorrow so much better at Flash’s CGI than The Flash is? Someone at LoT must’ve just watched the Quicksilver X-Men movies or something. They had some really good speed shots.
- Three episodes here plus that mention on Arrow and the whole season of The Flash, and I’m still not sure why Dig would be so upset over not having a Baby Sarah around. I could see being bothered a bit, sure, but it’s not like he completely lost a child, he just had a boy, instead. And notably, Baby John appears to be a bit older than Baby Sarah was, which would indicate that Dig and Lyla either got back together sooner or never divorced in the first place. I’d call it a wash, myself.
- As Jim pointed out, a cute little blonde with heat vision? Of course Mick’s in love.
And finally, IGN has an article detailing some of the crossover bits that got left on the cutting room floor. You know what this demands, right? Extended editions of the crossover on the DVD releases.