Supergirl 2.08 “Medusa”
Most of this episode is just waiting for the goods to come. Aside from some impressive showdowns – a physical one between Kara and Cyborg Superman, a verbal one between Kara and Lena Luthor – the teases of the Flash’s arrival just made the sting worse. As a Supergirl episode, it’s definitely a good one, probably even great considering how much went on – Lena finally breaking bad EXCEPT THAT SHE DIDN’T, Hank Henshaw fighting Hank Henshaw, Alex and Maggie finally get together. Then finally, Barry and Cisco show up to hype us up for the week. The only mark against this episode is how much it made us wait for what we came for, otherwise, it’s one of the best Supergirl episodes.
The Flash 3.08 “Invasion!”
Now this is where the crossover really kicks off. The opening scene is gripping, with Barry and Oliver in the midst of an epic showdown….against all our other heroes! A spaceship crashes in Central City, bringing with it the Dominators, an alien race that can control people’s minds and other bad stuff. Barry decides an enemy this dangerous needs the attention of everyone he knows. He nabs team Arrow, calls the Legends and runs to Earth 38 to pick up Supergirl. And he has them meet at the Hall of Justice!!!! Hall of Justice!!!!
The crossover events in the Arrowverse is the ideal for the teamup adaptation that’s so prevalent in comic book filmmaking. Films spend years building up to a massive teamup event, but really that whole narrative is better meant for television. Which each show having it’s own overarching narrative, they can break from their plots in order to have some ridiculous fun that doesn’t have any weight on their own shows. It’s perfect. I love crossover week.
Barry gets named team leader, which is a dope idea for how they’re setting up their version of the Justice League (which while we’re going down this idea, I’m pretty sure their Justice League is going to be a reformed Justice Society of America, since they exist in the Arrowverse). Even though Oliver is feeding him direction, Barry is the optimist the team needs at the head.
With the Legends involved, they play Barry’s message from the future for Barry and Oliver. Turns out, Flashpoint goes deeper than just this season. Due to compounding alterations, a war comes to pass 40 years from now and older Barry has cautioned Rip Hunter and the Legends not to trust anyone in this new timeline that Barry’s created. One of those changes, Stein has a daughter now. Cisco breaks the news to everyone, causing a schism in the newly formed group. Diggle gets the best line of the episode when he sees the Waverider and remarks astonishedly “You know I’ve never done drugs, I was always afraid I’d see weird stuff.”
We end where we began, with Barry and Oliver facing off against their mind-controlled teammates. They split the fight up, with Barry taking on the metas and enhanced powers heroes and Oliver laying on the whooping against the more hand-to-hand heroes. Wally comes through and saves them all until Supergirl knocks him out. The Flash leads Supergirl on a life or death chase in order to get her to take out the signal controlling them. It works. Then, everybody but The Flash gets abducted. And one last note, finally, Oliver has a battle where he runs out of arrows. So he goes full on hand-to-hand like the action hero he is and it’s so much fun to watch. I love crossover week.
Arrow 5.08 “Invasion!”
Oliver lies in stasis aboard the Dominator’s ship, living through a projected perfect life where he never got on the Queen’s Gambit. Both his parents are alive, he’s engaged to Laurel, who’s also alive (duh). It’s like his own personal little Flashpoint. Malcolm Merlyn is still not a villain. Ray Palmer is engaged to Felicity Smoak. The others abducted share in this hallucination. Diggle is the new Green Arrow. Little reminders of their actual life poke through, disrupting the dream.
It all leads to a breakout that has Arrow do what it does best – the action. They have a big brawl in a courtyard against manifestations of Malcolm Merlyn, Damien Dahrk, Deathstroke and other henchmen that’s pretty dope with its longer takes and the camera floating from each fight to the other. I feel a little bad for Diggle, because he had the least exciting manifestation to fight. Oliver had Deathstroke, Thea had Malcolm, Sara had Dahrk, but Diggle just has some random Dahrk and Deathstroke henchman. They couldn’t get his brother to sign the check to appear?
Every member of Team Arrow shows up except for Artemis, who gets the sad state of being the only person on these shows not in the crossover. I know we last left her as a secret traitor working with Prometheus, but nobody even mentions her? It’s also the 100th episode of Arrow, we made it all the way to syndication baby!
Also, one thing that’s really felt in this episode is how each of the shows still got to be really good episodes of their own program throughout this crossover. The 100th episode is no better time to tap into the theme of legacy that has been a part of this season of Arrow. Oliver is confronted with an entire life not lived, but comforted by the ghosts of those who he’s lost along the way.
Legends of Tomorrow 2.07 “Invasion!”
After escaping the Dominator ship, the team decides to travel back to 1951 to the first Dominator encounter and kidnap one to gain intel. Unfortunately, after capturing a Dominator, Amaya, Mick and Heywood get captured by the government. Felicity and Cisco bust them out, and then they all bust the alien out and set him free. Back in 2016, the government tries to do the same with Barry, Oliver, Sara and Ray. There’s something highly pleasing about watching our heroes lay the beatdown on shadowy government agents.
Turns out, another casualty of Flashpoint is that the Dominators feel threatened by Meta-Humans once again, and want Barry to surrender himself to them in order to stop them from wiping out all metas across the world. Because Barry is the nicest person on the planet, he agrees to give himself up, but not if some inspirational speeches from everyone can stop him!
Then we get the sequence we’ve all been waiting for – everyone just fighting aliens. There’s an indescribable joy in watching something as inherently silly as Green Arrow punching out an alien. I love crossover week. It’s the only time where something as ridiculous as this can happen in my life. It’s also a funny moment to see Mick and Sara ogling the president. Shoutout to Caity Lotz showing her comedic chops and nailing the “dashing one archetype” of her team week after week. Cisco and Barry finally make up and I let a tear roll out. After everyone goes home, we still have time for a touching exchange between Oliver and Barry. They realize they never hang out unless the Earth is in trouble, and have a drink to catch up. They have a fitting conversation for the both of them, realizing that their normal lives in their respective Flashpoints were happy, but they were never full. It’s a thoughtful moment of reconciliation for the both of them on their respective journeys and the proper way to end this crossover.
All in all, each episode was great, but The Flash tops the power rankings as the best episode of this crossover. It had the most gleeful mixture of all these heroes, and really set the stage for further crossovers and eventual Justice Society of America comprising each of them. Great crossover, everybody! See you all next year, will there be a 5th show by then?