Legends of Tomorrow “Invasion!” Review

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Posted December 2, 2016 by John Patterson in Nerdy Bits

So, I can’t really decide which episode was better, this episode of the crossover or Flash’s episode. So I’m going to settle on saying that Flash’s episode had the best story, Legends had the best character moments and interactions, and both had some pretty amazing action set pieces.

Legends always gives us interesting and new character interactions and dynamics. Ones we’ve, either, never seen before or haven’t seen in a while. We get to see Professor Stein and Caitlin working at Star Labs together again, Sara and Cisco interacting for, I believe, the first time, and Sara and Oliver have a sweet moment toward the end of the episode. Seeing Stein back at Star Labs, the place where his story really began, was like seeing someone return home after moving. It was also a great idea to have Caitlin be the one to help Stein get to know his daughter. It’s easy to forget how much Stein and Caitlin have been through together and how much they’ve helped each other throughout the past four years so being able to see the two of them interact again felt like a breath of fresh air. Keeping on the subject of character interactions and breaths of fresh air, we got a lovely moment between Sara and Oliver at the end of the episode where they talk about how it all started with the two of them on Oliver’s father’s boat. They talk about how if they’d never got on that boat so many things would have been different and the Dominators might have won. This moment, honestly, almost made me cry. I found it so much more emotionally impactful than anything they did on last night’s Arrow 100th episode. It was such a small moment but it spoke volumes about how far the characters and the shows have come. It was a great little moment. There were many other great moments, the three leads of the shows, Kara, Barry and Oliver, coming together and hugging it out, Barry and Oliver grabbing a drink, Cisco stressing Sara out aboard the Waverider. And I HAVE to mention the jokes between Ray and Felicity about Kara. When Felicity pops the champagne bottle and Kara is standing right next to her I had to do a double take because I thought there were two Felicitys. I had forgotten how similar they look. But Ray makes the joke we’ve all been waiting for. I was hoping with Supergirl on Earth-1 they’d make some joke about how Brandon Routh played Superman in Superman Returns and they did! Ray looks at Kara and say “It’s funny…..she kind of looks like my cousin,” and I died laughing. It was such a small reference but it was good enough for those who us who know Brandon’s acting history. That was a fantastic scene. So many moments that did so many different things for different characters.

This was another true crossover episode, where as the Arrow and Supergirl episodes were kind of just crossovers by name. Where both of those shows focused on character from that show, or in Arrow’s case, character originating from that show, Legends focused on multiple characters from multiple shows. We got a bit of a resolution to Cisco’s beef with Barry, we got more Barry Flashpoint consequences, we get a brief storyline about Oliver not really being ok with Kara being around, and we learn more about Stein’s daughter Lily.

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I’m glad we’ve finally resolved the Cisco beef storyline because a lot of fans, including me, were kind of over how Cisco was acting. Yes he has a right to grieve and mourn but he has been acting very childish so I’m glad it’s over. The resolution, however, was a bit unclear. Cisco goes back in time with Felicity and some of the legends to try and capture a Dominator. The Legends and the Dominator end up getting captured by the government and Felicity and Cisco go to save them. After he helps save them, Cisco says that they have to save the Dominator and after a bit of discussion they save it. This is where things get confusing. When they get back they speak to the Dominator who they saved and it informs them of a bomb that is made to specifically target metahumans and kill them to get rid of the ones with the potential to do evil things. Cisco then says this is his fault and it’s a result of him messing with time. I didn’t really get this plot point. It was not made clear if this was a new development in the Dominator’s plan or if this was the plan all along, before the Legends, Cisco and Felicity went back in time. It was stated in the Flash episode that they were there to study humans and would only retaliate if they were attacked but then in the Arrow episode it was stated that Team Arrow was captured because they didn’t have powers and so the Dominators could learn more about Metas and discover their weaknesses. So this plot point was a bit confusing but it did help Cisco to see things through Barry’s eyes and forgive him. And at the end of the day I’m glad we have happy, nice Cisco back.

It sort of seems like Barry’s Flashpoint consequences never end, and I’m not 100% sure how I feel about it. For the plot of the crossover I like it. It shows Barry just how dangerous meddling with time can be. But as for The Flash story overall I think we and Barry get it. They can hold off on hitting that point home for a little bit. But we discover in this episode that the Dominators are here because of Barry and because he created Flashpoint. Because of this they see metahumans as a threat and their powers as potentially dangerous. Barry, still trying to punish himself, wants to go but his the rest of the Justice Lea-I mean, the team, won’t let him. This showed that Barry fully understands the ramifications of his actions and is ready to accept the consequences but also that the team forgives him and doesn’t believe he needs to punish himself anymore. I don’t know if this completely wraps up the Flashpoint consequences storyline, I doubt it, but if it did I would not be unsatisfied.

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So we learned that Stein’s daughter Lily is in fact a result of Stein interacting with his younger self and not Flashpoint. Making her an aberration that Stein has created. This could make for an interesting and compelling future storyline on Legends. Stein originally sees her as an aberration that he has to fix but as he gets to know her he falls more and more in love with her. At the end of the episode, when Firestorm has to transmutate the metabomb, Stein uses his Daughter as motivation and Jax confronts him about it. Jax realizes that Stein has created an aberration and Stein begs Jax not to tell the rest of the team. I’m excited to see where this goes and if it’ll create tension between Stein and Jax and eventually the rest of the team.

We also get a brief storyline of Oliver being uncomfortable around Kara. He tells her he needs space because all of this new information of Aliens invading and different earths is a bit too much for him, it’s too different, which really offends Kara. It ends in Kara saving him and Oliver apologizing but it puts in perspective how crazy Oliver’s life has gotten. For 2 seasons of Arrow things were pretty normal. There were thugs and members of the league of Assassins but all of that is fairly normal and believable. Then people started getting superpowers. Then his friends started coming back to life and time traveling. Diggle is outright about his confusion and surprise but Oliver internalizes it so I understand why Oliver did this and where he’s coming from but I can see why this really hurts Kara. It was an interesting and believable storyline that wasn’t 100% necessary but shows us that Oliver is still trying to cope with the major changes to his world.

One of the few gripes I had with the episode was that Kara seemed to get a bit lost until the end of the episode where she has great moments with a lot of different characters. Throughout the episode she’s barely there until the last fight and then the end when the president is honoring the super friends. I understand that she’s a power house and kind of a deus ex machina but I would have liked her to do a bit more or at least have a better reason to stay behind other than “Ollie can’t deal”. Also the resolution of the overall story, while cool, didn’t really land for me. It was great to see Barry and Kara running around America planting the weapons on The Dominators but the idea that they all got tased and that was enough to make them give up on earth felt a bit weak to me. But the episode did provide a lot of great action, mainly the scene where agent Smith threatens Barry, Oliver, Sara, and Ray and then the last battle. And we now have a way for Kara to crossover to Earth-1 or have the members of Earth-1 go to Earth-38 at anypoint thanks to the device that Cisco made. I think that was a great way to establish future crossover on either end of the multiverse. We know the Dominators are coming to Supergirl later in the season so maybe Kara will need the help of Flash, Green Arrow, and Superman and we’ll get a proper TV Justice League moment.

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This weeks crossover wasn’t perfect. Supergirl only crossed over for the last 40 seconds of that episode and Arrow’s episode was more of a 100th episode celebration than it was a crossover but overall, I would say Felicity was right when she said “Best. Team-up. EVER.” This crossover has me really excited for the potential of future crossovers. Part of me wants to say I’d love to see them more often but then the rest of me knows it won’t be as special. But Barry tells Oliver that they should hang out more often and not just when the world is at stake and I agree. I’d love to see more smaller crossovers. I know that Supergirl and Flash are having a musical crossover later this season and I’d love to see more fun things like that or in the vein of what happened at the end of Arrow Season 3 and Flash season 1 where there is a scene or enemy that Barry or Ollie help each other fight. I’d love to see the character interact more but I do recognize that the limited interaction is what makes episodes like these really special.

Invasion

9.5

Final Score


9.5/10

Pros

  • Amazing character interactions
  • Great action
  • Resolution of storylines
  • Set up of new ones

Cons

  • Kara gets lost
  • Plot a little muddled



About the Author

John Patterson