“Invasion!” Part 3 Review: Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 7

Photo Credit:http://screenrant.com/legends-tomorrow-invasion-video-crossover/

Look, it’s not perfect, and certainly not high art, but now that it’s complete, “Invasion!” as a whole is one of the warmest, most entertaining pieces of television all year. The third part suffers a bit for having to do some legwork for Legends of Tomorrow, easily the weakest of the four series featured, but the second half kicked into high gear and aimed to be a satisfying conclusion not only for this show, but all of them.

So let’s get the negative stuff out of the way. The first half of the episode is largely focused on Steel, Heat Wave, Vixen, Cisco, and Felicity traveling back to when the Dominators first attacked in the 1950s to capture and interrogate an alien. Meanwhile, there’s an arc for Stein to come to terms with the daughter he manifested when playing with the timeline. These are done to give some of the Legends their chance to shine in an episode that is, frankly, part of their series. I understand why it’s all there, but having Supergirl sidelined once again in favor of much less dynamic characters is something of a shame.

The trip to the ’50s does hold some extra importance, however, as Cisco learns that the Dominators witnessing our heroes fight with special abilities in the past is what brings them back in 2016, attempting to vanquish a potential threat, chiefly metahumans.

The episode picks up when the secret service surrounds Green Arrow, Flash, White Canary, and Atom in 2016 and we learn that the US government is trading Barry Allen to the aliens for peace. The official in charge is also very aware of how Barry messed up the timeline with Flashpoint, bringing Barry’s arc this year full circle just as it seems like the world is going to end. This whole universe may have started with Oliver Queen putting on the hood, but Barry Allen is it’s heart, the selfless hero who doesn’t even question making the sacrifice. It makes it genuinely touching, as he walks off to his doom, when Oliver calls out, surrounded by the heroes fighting alongside them, refusing to let him go. The man who trained him, the heroes he inspired, even a villain he vanquished, and finally, at long last, his best friend are back at Barry’s side, ready to put up a fight for their idol. And as the Dominators land, it’s time for war.

The final fight was short but effective, playing like a heavily condensed television version of the final act of the first Avengers movie. All the heroes involved got their moment to shine, from Diggle to Supergirl. I also loved how Sara and Firestorm had a totally separate conflict that kept intertwining with the heroes’ overall victory, the closest these shows have ever really come to pulling a Return of the Jedi. Naturally, after some struggle, the aliens are defeated and evacuate the planet. It’s the only ending that could have happened, but I’m impressed with the sense of urgency and the high tension levels that were accomplished by the writers. The conclusion to “Invasion!” harkened back to the best of Arrow and Flash‘s finales (so season one’s for both and season two’s for the former).

Sadly, their defeat means that this collection of superheroes has to disband, likely until this time next year when something else is cooked up for them to fight. Many of the best moments of the episode are found here, as the heroes bask in their victory and do some warm reminiscing. Kara is accepted by all, especially Oliver who didn’t trust his alien comrade until she saved him in battle. Cisco even made a device for her to easily move between dimensions, meaning Supergirl can pop up on any of these shows and vice versa in the future. That’s only a good thing.

But then there was that very touching conversation between Oliver and Sara, where they talk about how this all started on that boat all those years ago. If you ever thought watching those early seasons of Arrow that it would evolve into this, well kudos to you.

It only got better from there, with Oliver and Barry sitting at a bar alone, having a beer once again debating who’d win in a fight. ArrowThe FlashLegends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl all have their drama where characters don’t get along, but this sense of camaraderie pervades all of that, even across shows. These shows work because Oliver, Barry, Kara, Sara, and the rest are people you want to get a drink with and suit up with if you could. Events like “Invasion!” remind us of the simplistic joy of superheroes. In the same year when dark clouds formed in Batman v Superman and Captain America: Civil War, this light, funny, exciting crossover reminds us why we keep coming back to these men and women capes. Or hoods. Grade: A-

Some Other Notes:

  • “She looks just like my cousin!” Ray gleefully claims in an obvious but still very funny reference to Brandon Routh’s single turn as Superman in Superman Returns.
  • I liked how Cisco’s conflict was resolved. By seeing how seemingly minor fluctuations in the timeline can cause a whole alien invasion, he understands Barry’s struggle with his powers.
  • Thea was all amped to fight aliens and then she went home before the actual brawl. What gives?
  • Man, I wish these characters got to hang out more often. This whole event was so delightful. And it can only get better. Remember, Supergirl also features Martian Manhunter, Ms. Martian, and the big man himself, Kal-El. Imagine a crossover next year set on Supergirl’s Earth where the team has fight Brainiac. Or even, gulp, Darkseid.
  • Honestly though, The CW should consider shortened seasons for all their shows, but maybe add a Justice League season in the spring to make this more long-lasting. They’ve already got Green Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, a former Black Canary, the Atom, Firestorm, and Vixen. There’s got to be a Justice League book somewhere with a similar lineup. Though I won’t complain if Batman or Wonder Woman get introduced…

By Matt Dougherty

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