Saturday, December 03, 2016

My Review of DC TV's Crossover: "Invasion!" (Supergirl/The Flash/Arrow/Legends Of Tomorrow)

Now, this is going to be something of a different kind of review. Usually, I do bigger reviews for one show, but with all four forming a crossover, I think it's only fair to look at each episode of Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and Legends Of Tomorrow for this one.

Written by Aaron Helbing, Todd Helbing, Marc Guggenheim, Wendy Mericle, Phil Klemmer, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg
Directed by Dermott Downs, James Bamford and Gregory Smith

Felicity: "Best team ever!"

First of all in National City, things started off on a completely different route as the consequences of Kara having her blood taken from Lillian Luthor resulted in the deadly Medusa virus being used in a bid to wipe out all aliens in the city. This meant for the second week in a row that Mon El found himself in danger while J'onn's White Martian storyline came to a rather abrupt conclusion, following the welcomed return of Eliza Danvers (Helen Slater) and Lena turning on her own mother. I was initially surprised to realise that this was actually the mid season finale but it was a good one nonetheless. As well as taking in Thanksgiving and putting a temporary defeat on Lillian (a great antagonist), there were also some lovely character moments, including Alex coming out to her mother and starting a relationship with Maggie and the dynamic between Kara and Lena continues to intrigued. Less successful was the predictable route they went with Kara/Mon El and I'm struggling to care with the Winn and Jimmy/Guardian storyline. As for the crossover, well, Barry and Cisco did appear at the end in need of Kara's help.

Then the action came into Central City where the Dominators have arrived and Barry and Cisco (the latter who can barely tolerate Barry for most of this crossover) work together to rope in, not just Kara but also Oliver, Diggle, Thea and Felicity along with most of Sara's crew (except Nate and Amaya, who sit this part of the story out). Seeing both Cisco and Felicity practically squee with the delight of so many heroes in the same room all at once. This year we've had DC do the big screen team up with Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice and next year we've got the Justice League. Here though, you've got several heroes meeting for the first time and Oliver's crew wrapping their heads around the idea of aliens and spaceships. Not only that but we also had the collection of heroes (except Supergirl here) reeling from the revelation of Barry's Flashpoint antics and a little bit of mind control as the Dominators didn't mess about in showing their hand with how powerful they truly can be. There was also moments for ongoing Central City storylines to continue such as Iris's overprotective side to Wally's newfound powers (he did manage to help and get hurt here) along with Caitlin continue to grapple with hers while helping Stein meeting his daughter for the first time. There were also some lighter moments, particularly with Mick's reaction to Kara but the end scene where Oliver, Sara, Thea, Diggle and Ray all got beamed aboard set up some craziness.

Of course in the midst of all this crossover madness, a 100th episode had to be celebrated. Back when Arrow debuted in 2012, I did wonder if the show would ever get to the same accolade that Smallville had managed to (and then surpass with over 200 episodes) but here we are, and this episode had to really walk a tightrope. On one hand, it needed to commemorate everything that the show had accomplished in the last five years along with playing it's part for the big crossover. On both fronts, it succeeded. Oliver, Sara, Thea, Diggle and Ray found themselves in a dream world where Robert/Moira were alive, Laurel was about to become a Queen, Diggle was the Hood and Ray/Felicity were engaged. Of course, Oliver began to realise that it was all false and soon enough, so did everyone else, even if Thea herself was a little unwilling to abandon the false reality. While it's a total cliche plot to run with, it's one that works to great effect as a slew of past faces are seen/heavily alluded and to be honest, it's actually one of the best episode that Arrow has also produced in the longest while as well. I also dug the team up of Felicity and Cisco in the present day as well as Barry and Kara having to work with the recruits (minus Evelyn, who was suspiciously absent here). As for the Dominators, they managed to lose their five captives but their plans were still going to go full steam ahead.

As for the final segment, well it certainly brought everything to a nice conclusion. Connecting the Dominators ongoing scheme with Barry's Flashpoint and also the mercy that Cisco and company had shown their leader in 1951 was certainly something of a shocker and the battle between all of the heroes and the Dominators was pretty epic stuff for the small screen. Over the course of these four episodes, we've had plenty of great moments here and there, but the main thing I can take away from this crossover is that all four shows are more connected than before (Cisco has given Kara a device to cross dimensions) and the sheer joy of seeing all of these different characters interact with each other onscreen. Even if Oliver was a prat towards Kara, he did embrace her towards the end of this crossover and all of the gang have managed to forgive Barry's messing with the timeline while Stein himself has now embraced fatherhood, even if there will undoubtedly be consequences later in the series for it, no doubt.

- Both The Flash and Legends Of Tomorrow somewhat altered their title sequences for this crossover. Arrow and Supergirl on the other hand didn't.
- Each of the shows this week had an expected rise in their ratings for this.
- I loved the look of the Dominators in this episode and it seems that Barry/Oliver/Sara's universe may have a female president now the previous one was murdered.
- Chronology: Let's assume it was shortly after Thanksgiving. Two of the main shows will be celebrating Christmas episodes next week.

For a crossover event, Invasion! set up the bar rather impressively. The Dominators made for a great threat, the merging of so many team ups and the fallout of Flashpoint all got the best look into here. There's been a lot of great television moments this year and this glorious crossover event was certainly one of them. I genuinely can't wait to see how they top this next year.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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