The Flash: Invasion!
November 30, 2016 5:28 AM - Season 3, Episode 8 - Subscribe

The crossover event continues with aliens attacking Central City and Barry asking the Green Arrow for help to stop them. But they soon realize the battle is bigger than they thought, so they track down the Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl to help. Once all of the super friends are assembled, they come up with a plan to attack but a shocking secret related to Flashpoint is revealed and suddenly no one is sure who they can trust.
posted by oh yeah! (16 comments total)
As someone who's been playing X-Com 2 recently, this is what happens when you engage a large group of sectoids before you've done an autopsy and started building mindshields.

I thought this episode was surprisingly good, with a emphasis on the surprise. Barry and Kara are great together, but giant team ups, in TV, film, and comics, have the usual problems with actually giving the characters room to breath. Even with all teams discarding some members it's still a huge number of people, which is cool for fights and makes decent dialogue difficult. It did a decent job though, and I liked pulling the rest of the characters into team Flash's "distrust of Barry" plot, because he's fucked up. I'm also, full disclosure, the father of a four month old daughter, so Diggle's line about Barry erasing a daughter from his life killed me. The battle between the mind controlled heroes and Barry and Oliver was good, I thought, even if I don't know why Diggle didn't just shoot Oliver at the end. I was also a little hazy on the effects of the mind control. They wanted to destroy Barry and Oliver, but also could be made angry and make stupid tactical decisions (Kara chasing Barry).

Random thoughts:
Particlevision! Such a genius idea.
HR training Wally in secret! That's bound to be comic gold, right?
Kara presumably can't be affected by Barry's timeline shenanigans, right? She seemed concerned by I think there's no changes in that universe (unless he moved her to Vancouver)
Mick's "skirt" comment seemed unnecessary but then he didn't use it, so I don't know what to think. I did like "I'm not calling you Supergirl, because that's dumb"
I really liked Professor Stein and Caitlin together. I mostly find Caitlin to be dead weight, but that was nice, even if I suspect it made zero sense to people not keeping up on Legends of Tomorrow.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:53 AM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yeah I'm glad I caught up with Legends for this crossover, that scene would've been so confusing. But I think it was implied well enough that he didn't know he had a daughter.
posted by numaner at 7:20 AM on November 30, 2016

Well I am not caught up with Legends, though I am only an ep or two behind. So I knew about the Barry message and had seen a brief bit of Stein flashing on the image of his daughter, though I think they stood that up well enough to get in context - the olderBarry message says they're coming back to a changed timeline and then Stein clearly indicates he doesn't know who she is. My only issue was that Hollywood's aversion to men dating similarly-aged women meant I was wondering if we were finding out that Stein had a different wife than he thought he did.

I did find it puzzling that Caitlin wouldn't know her. All of Team Flash had a lot of contact with the Stein family when they reunited them after the accelerator Stein/Robbie merge. Yeah it's workable with various gyrations but part of keeping these things working IMNSHO is not giving the audience opportunities to wonder if they know the show bible better than the writers.

I guess this is going to be a long season for me because I seem to be a time nihilist. Oh no my daughter never existed! But I never knew she existed and I have a son I love, so eh whatevs. I just cannot get worked up about this idea that there's some abstract mythical stuff that I never knew and have no emotional attachment to. I have a kid and he's way more important to me than some theoretical what-if, even if there was a yes-if that I can't remember because it never happened.

Cisco is the only one who has some good I-feel-this reason to be pissed, as he is down a brother he knew and loved. Stein is a distant second, what with this very inconvenient situation where he remembers nothing of this new family member (though the show's inconsistent metaphysics seem to imply that his memory will eventually shift around till he never knows different. You can decide the rules are different for time travellers who spend time outside the timeline though that didn't seem to work that way for Barry). Caitlin might have cause to be pissed but it's entirely plausible that those powers were gonna show up on that timetable anyway.

I'm not even sure about the Cisco thing; Barry barely interacts with Flashpoint Cisco and it's very possible that brother is dead too. Without the zany Flash season 1&2 adventures perhaps that one never reconciled with that brother and was simply not as put out by the death so it didn't come up. Barry lived in Flashpoint for, what, six months? Maybe Cisco's brother would have died the same way without the resets.

And, as has been said here before, none of the timelines we've seen have ever been the original. They always had Thawne's fiddlings and the artificially hastened particle accelerator accident. (Shhh, don't wonder why we had Kid Flash and supers in a universe where there wasn't WellsThawne there to empower Barry.)

Kara presumably can't be affected by Barry's timeline shenanigans, right? She seemed concerned by I think there's no changes in that universe (unless he moved her to Vancouver)

Harry Wells and Jessie had memories of the originalish Thawne-made timeline (they don't remember the training lab) so if we treat their metaphysics rules as defined as consistent (hahahahah) then Kara's universe is unaltered as well.
posted by phearlez at 9:31 AM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

I thought this episode was surprisingly good, with a emphasis on the surprise.

Likewise. I actually loved this episode, and I'm honestly not sure of the last time I could say that about an episode of this show. Stuff:

* Supergirl elevated this episode like two letter grades for me.
Kara and Barry are great together. Like, "I wish they'd start a Justice League together already" great. It's not just that she's awesome, (I love the CWverse Supergirl), it's that Barry is better around her too.

I also appreciated them going ahead and making her as overpowered as the situation warranted. I laughed out loud when she completely destroyed the team during training, and I appreciated the line, "Doesn't he know she's *invincible?*"

(I did want her to maybe point out that comparing Kryptonians to Dominators just because they're from space is completely wrongheaded, but it was worth passing on the common sense to watch her work.)

* I appreciated that Oliver was the one to cut Barry some slack.
I am not an Arrow watcher. Still, I get the impression Ollie has screwed up a lot, and I appreciate him having some perspective about it. I also like that he considers Barry reliable now that the two of them have worked together more.

* Diggle's great.
Like, fun enough that I'm reconsidering my 'meh, I don't need to see this' stance on Arrow.

* Mick/Kara was as funny as any other Mick/anybody pairing.
Melissa Benoist is great - I could see Kara trying to figure out just how serious Mick was. Like, 'this must be a joke? Is this a joke?' all over her face.

As for this:
Mick's "skirt" comment seemed unnecessary but then he didn't use it, so I don't know what to think. I did like "I'm not calling you Supergirl, because that's dumb"

I think that was about Mick being made pretty uncomfortable by Supergirl's presence. She kicked all of their asses completely effortlessly, then demonstrated One More Power. I'm pretty sure he was trying to take her down a peg just to make himself feel better.

* No Nick, hooray!
It would've been cool to see Amaya - she could support her own spinoff - but I was so glad Captain Duh wasn't around.

* Mean Cisco is better than Brooding Cisco.
I'm still not big on them setting up an external, dumb reason for Cisco and Barry to be fighting, but if it's necessary? This was definitely the place it needed to go: Cisco being cold, but professional.

* Everyone is treating Wally horribly except for HR.
I liked Cisco at least lampshading it: 'what's another lie between friends?' I also liked both that HR wasn't sold on helping initially, but that he appreciates that Wally actually needs help.

Joe and Iris are being absolutely horrible about this. I get it - they don't want to lose him, and they can't stop thinking of him as a dumb kid instead of a young man with potential - but it seems to me that keeping someone ignorant can't keep them safe, and that Iris should appreciate that more than anybody.

* I'm with Bulgaroktonos about ParticleVision being genius, and I would totally go on that tour.
Also, I remain glad Tom Cavanaugh gets to play a new crazy incarnation of Harrison Wells every season, and would watch an entire show revolving around this premise. I also still want a 'Council of Harrisons' episode.

* I think the stuff with Martin Stein is the best use of Flashpoint they came up with.
Most of the stuff surrounding Flashpoint is tragic: Wally found out he 'should' have had powers, but then he didn't. Cisco's brother died. Caitlin's turning into an insane villainess. It's all fine, but it's all a little easy - like, even someone as dim as Barry can see how he messed up with all that. There's nothing to really talk about.

Stein's change is more interesting to me because it's arguably a net positive: he has a daughter, and she seems nice... but all the same, his personal reality just got completely rewritten by some jerk doing something someplace else, and he's eventually going to forget the original timeline. Like, *there's* a mind screw. It's totally shades of Philip K. Dick, and Victor Garber sells it. So... I'm glad they're doing something more philosophically interesting with the whole storyline.
posted by mordax at 10:11 AM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Currently watching. I'm 40 seconds into it and I already hate it. This 'x Hours earlier' thing is overplayed and infuriating. I'm not looking forward to the next 42 minutes....
posted by FallowKing at 11:01 AM on November 30, 2016

I have to admit, I really enjoyed this episode. I like how Barry figured out a way to get Kara to destroy the mind control device by making her angry enough to destroy it herself, in the guise of chasing him around ("Hey Supergirl! Let's finally see who's faster!")

And of course, Sara would have to remark on how "hot" she thought Kara was. If they spent any serious time together, who knows what would happen.

With all the stuff going on between Barry and Cisco, I have to wonder if I need to binge-watch Flash for the past season or so. I know broadly what's going on, thanks to having watched The Flashpoint Paradox on Netflix and what I've read on various forums (including FanFare), but I still feel like I'm missing a great deal.
posted by Roger Pittman at 11:25 AM on November 30, 2016

With all the stuff going on between Barry and Cisco, I have to wonder if I need to binge-watch Flash for the past season or so.

Do you mean the previous season? Or earlier in this season? Because there's nothing you really need to know before S3E1 to follow all this, except perhaps I think Barry deciding fuck this noise and finally going to save his mom made more sense in the context of the end of season two.
posted by phearlez at 12:45 PM on November 30, 2016

It really didn't. Barry's dad had been killed, which maybe affected Barry's mindset adversely, but on the whole everything was okay, the bad guy finally beaten, Iris finally into Barry for whatever that's worth (a lot to Barry, some negative value to everyone made uncomfortable by the idea of Barry boning his sister) -- basically, all was well. And then Barry -- whose judgment was so bad by the end of season two that the other members of Team Flash literally would not leave him alone in a room by himself -- went back and tried to fix everything.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:09 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, I wouldn't call it a good or reasonable choice, mind. More that it seems a little more understandable why, after 44 episodes, Barry suddenly decides yeah he's gonna do it. Some episodes back from there he finally embraces the reality of the situation and that she's gone and this is the world as it is... then it gets shittier again. His prior acceptance was just a setup for getting the stool kicked out from under him, so when he gets another quiet moment why not decide to just rewind lest this just be yet another lull on the way down?
posted by phearlez at 2:31 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Another Den of Geek article - DC CW Crossover Explained: What is Invasion and Who are The Dominators?
posted by oh yeah! at 6:25 PM on November 30, 2016

It was 'k.
I was expecting worse but hoping for better.

Now, will Iris survive to the end of the crossover?
posted by FallowKing at 6:36 PM on November 30, 2016

FK I personally hate that Iris being lied to was an entire season's motivation, and now, she's Captain Iris Von Liarpants anytime she feels the need "to protect Wally."

Unless that's some bulljive from the Flashpoint Paradox, the irony is too strong for me now. Everyone lying gets people hurt in the FlashVerse, and they all should know this by now!!!!!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:47 PM on November 30, 2016 [4 favorites]

Well, there were plusses and minuses to this. The best part to me was Kara's horrified face at Mick during his whole conversation.

I figured that was a daughter for Stein. I am grateful that's not his much younger wife, though. I was afraid they'd go there.

I think hitting Barry over the head over and over again about Flashpoint is just gonna irritate everyone.

As a non-comic person (more or less), the whole Dominators thing confuses me. Wait, what, these things have been around since the 50's and nobody knows?! Really?!
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:14 PM on November 30, 2016

As a non-comic person (more or less), the whole Dominators thing confuses me. Wait, what, these things have been around since the 50's and nobody knows?! Really?!

"The government has been keeping aliens a secret from us since Roswell" is pretty common across the culture, though. Personally I was just glad they didn't do the bog standard Area 51 & Roswell specific cites.
posted by phearlez at 8:01 AM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Squee!!! The Hall of Justice! (Seriously, nobody else here has remarked on the architecture of the STAR Labs hanger?)

I really loved this episode, and I've been pretty down on the Flash this season. Everything felt so RIGHT for a big DC crossover, I can't be bothered to nitpick or quibble about time paradoxes or the Flashpoint effects: Speedy's back in the suit, we've got Firestorm instead of Steel, the teams are catching each other up on what's been going on in their lives. All is right with the DCCW universe. (I'm not even going to whine about the crappy alien FX or design.)

I've got a big smile on my face after that episode, and honestly, that's all I ever wanted from a superhero show on TV.
posted by sardonyx at 6:49 PM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

I am over a season behind on Flash, so this was super confusing!!!!!!!!! But still entertaining. Actually, surprisingly so.

The opening dialogue between Barry and Oliver made me giggle, because it was so obviously written for the cold open and when we got to that point later in the episode it did not work in its "real" context at all. Oliver goes from "It's not your fault Barry" to "You really stepped in it this time!!" I don't even know if I would call it a writing flub because the cold open worked so well, but later in the episode it made me giggle.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 11:06 AM on December 3, 2016

« Older Insecure: Broken as Fuck...   |  Drunk History: Hamilton... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments