Series 2, Episode 8
(Invasion! Part 2)
So, we're onto the first proper part of the crossover now, since despite it being billed as a four episode crossover event, it really is only three episodes (and a tiny scene at the end of another one). In my opinion, it would have been better to just go the whole hog and stretch it over all four episodes, but then, in my opinion it would have been better to use Flashpoint to merge the worlds of Supergirl and the other shows. What do I know.
Still, crossovers! Those are always fun. Well, apart from last year's big crossover, that was actually pretty terrible.
Anyway, in this week's episode of The Flash, with Iris urging the group to discourage Wally from using his powers, and Cisco still furious with Barry for Flashpoint, the STAR Labs team faces a crisis when an alien race called the Dominators land on Earth. Seeking to stop them, Barry gathers Ollie, Thea, Diggle, Felicity, Jax, Stein, Mick, Sara, Ray, and Kara to join him, Cisco, and Caitlin in taking them down. When the Dominators kidnap the president of the US, however, and the team fractures as a result of learning about Flashpoint, Barry and Ollie end up facing off against seven mind-controlled heroes.
|Wait, so if Ollie is Batman and Kara is Superman, does that mean Barry is Wonder Woman?|
Okay, so firstly, we're set up for the Dominators kidnapping the president of the US by their leader remarking that they must go after 'the leader of the humans,' but that makes negative amounts of sense. The president of the US isn't, no matter how you look at it, the leader of the humans, or anything else. He's not the political figure with the most influence over economics and politics, that's the president of Russia and the chancellor of Germany. He's not the head of government with the most people, that's the premier of China, or the head of government with the most countries and territories, that's the Prime Minister of the UK. He's not the head of state with the most people or the most countries, that's the Queen. He's not the political figure who commands the largest military, that's again the premier of China.
The president of the US is not a tremendously important person, so it's a bizarre little nugget of jingoism and American exceptionalism for him to be singled out as the leader of humanity, and for the episode to throw this in as if it doesn't even warrant being questioned.
One nice thing about this episode is that it actually does somewhat continue the storylines from last week. We get a nice moment with Caitlin discussing her new ice powers with Stein, and him giving her some advice; Cisco continues to be furious at Barry; everyone else finds out about Flashpoint; and HR offers to train Wally as a speedster, paralleling how Thawne!Wells trained Barry.
|The big three.|
Everyone finding out about Flashpoint is especially interesting since, while it might not have an effect on Arrow, it will certainly have an effect on Legends of Tomorrow, since that show has been directly affected by Flashpoint, since it freed up Thawne to go speeding around the timeline.
All of which raises the question of whether this pattern will continue in other episodes of the crossover: Will we get a continuation of Arrow's plotlines in the Arrow part? A continuation of the Legends of Tomorrow plotlines in the Legends part? Where exactly are Amaya and Nate, anyway, and will they be eventually joining this crossover?
As far as the actual episode goes, the element that makes it stand out is definitely Kara's inclusion. Since Kara is such a charismatic, bubbly character, and since Melissa Benoist is so good at playing off other people, every interaction that Kara has with someone else is a highlight, and she easily steals the spotlight away from the rest of the admittedly massive cast. The show even seems to acknowledge this by giving Kara a front and centre role in the story, having her be the member of the team with the most knowledge about the Dominators, and having her be the most immediate and dangerous threat when the team is mind-controlled.
|Barry's no good terrible day.|
In fact, it's actually difficult to think of much else that truly stands out about this episode. Felicity and Cisco are certainly fun, and we get some nice interactions between other characters (Barry and Ollie have some great interactions, and Caitlin and Stein's conversation was lovely), but none of that is really new or special to the crossover. The Dominators themselves barely factor into the episode, either, appearing in maybe three scenes in the whole thing.
So, that was the first/second/whatevs part of the crossover. Fun, but not exactly amazing -- but then, the whole thing does have another eighty-four minutes or so to redeem itself, and way more characters it needs to work in (since we already know Ollie's apprentices and Slade are going to show up), so we'll see how that pans out.
Actually, quick question, why did Barry not go and get the Hawks to help out as well? I realise that Mari McCabe's actress is busy currently, but surely getting the Hawks seems like a no-brainer. Also, going and nabbing Jesse and Harry from Earth-2. Why didn't Kara suggest grabbing Clark, Hank, Alex, Mon-El, and Winn? Like, if this is an all hands on deck situation, why are not all hands on deck?