You know when parents have to sit through their kid’s school play for an hour, when all they really care about is the five minutes that their kid is on stage? That was me this entire crossover event. Although I have nothing to do creatively with any part of Legends, I felt like a proud mother seeing the clique pop up on The Flash this week, even if that episode was a whirlwind of craziness.
This week’s episode of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, “Invasion!” wraps up the DC crossover week on The CW. I’m going to assume that if you’ve gotten to this point, you’ve watched all of the cross-over episodes and should be caught up, but if not, here’s your recap:
The crossover started with Supergirl (check out Ade’s review of it!), and ya’ll, it was kind of meh. The “cross-over” component didn’t really happen until the last minutes of the episode, where Cisco and Barry climb into Kara’s universe to ask for help with some serious trouble in their own universe. The trouble, we find out in The Flash, is that an alien race called the “Dominators” are threatening to destroy Central City – and these buggers are unstoppable. The Flash also recruits the help of Oliver (Green Arrow) and The Legends to help him out. Sidenote: when the Legends made their epic arrival in their Wave Runner, stunning everyone else with their technology, I was so proud.
During The Flash (click over to Brandon’s review of it!), Jax and Dr. Stein confront Barry with the message that they discovered from future him. The message states that current Barry isn’t to be trusted, and that the flashpoint tampered with time and everyone’s current lives are possibly different because of that. Yikes… Eventually, the entire crew learns of Barry’s screw-up, right before they go out to battle the Dominators. Barry, feeling sorry for himself, decides to stay behind. Oliver stays behind with him. This ultimately hurts our team, when the rest of the squad hop into battle without a leader and get swept under the Dominator’s alien mind control. Eventually Barry and the Oliver face off head to head with the mind controlled team, and are able to return Supergirl to normal. The Flash ends with Ray, Oliver, Thea, Diggle, and Sara being captured by the Dominators, which carried us into….
Green Arrow, where it was all about… Green Arrow. The captured team finds themselves in an alternate universe, where everything is perfect. Oliver is able to experience how normal life would’ve been like if he’d never become the Green Arrow, and the rest of the team also see how much happier their lives could’ve been. Eventually they are able to escape the alternate reality, take over the alien space pod, and are rescued by Heywood in the Wave Runner. However, they learn that the Dominators have constructed a weapon to use on Earth, and they are pursued back to earth by a bunch of other alien pods.
We wrap up the story this week with Legends, where the team learns that the Dominators have returned to earth because of Barry. Barry’s flashpoint broke the truce between Earth and the Dominators that had been established in the 50’s, and the Dominators believe that Barry screwing with timelines proves that meta-humans are a danger to the universe, and thus must be eliminated. The Dominators give the team a choice – either they give up Barry, or they face the destruction of the Earth. Barry offers himself up as ransom, but the squad refuses, deciding to take on the aliens. The team must both take down a metabomb that the Dominators have deployed (yay – Jax is the one that destroys the bomb!) and thwart off the millions of Dominators that have landed on earth (but conveniently don’t cause any damage).
While all that’s going on, Dr. Stein faces his own alien – his daughter. During the Flash, Dr. Stein learns that he suddenly has a daughter that he has no memory of. This week, Dr. Stein realizes that he’d caused his own aberration when he convinced his younger self to spend more time with his wife, causing him to…ahem…. conceive a child. His daughter is brought on to help develop the weapon that is later used to take down the Dominators, which makes Dr. Stein uncomfortable. It’s not until he realizes how similar he and his daughter are, that he accepts her as a “real” person. When Jax confronts him about it, he convinces Jax not to bring up his daughter to the rest of the Legends. I smell trouble.
We even got time some travel this week. The Legends decide to go back to 1951, the first time and last the Dominators attacked Earth, to interrogate them about their intentions. Heywood, Mick, and Amaya bring along Felicity and Cisco to take down a alien baddie from the past, only to find themselves and the alien that they take down being taken into custody by the government.
They all save the day, and Barry seems to feel a little bit better about screwing up everything. Whoppee for him. Cisco gives Kara an amulet that will allow her to travel to and from their worlds, so fans of Supergirl and The Flash can likely expect more mini-crossovers between those two.
Before I dissect Legends, let’s chat about the previous crossover episodes. I wholeheartedly agree with Ade and Brandon that Supergirl should’ve done A LOT more. I mean, if fans only tuned into Supergirl this week for the crossover, I’m sure they were severely disappointed. The entire introduction of the crossover story technically had to happen during The Flash, which might be why Brandon felt like it was too jam-packed. The Flash was responsible for introducing the Flashpoint debocle, all of the crews meeting, and the Dominators, ALL while servicing it’s own characters and storylines. Whew.
However, maybe I’m crazy but I really liked the invasion episode of The Flash. Personally, I thought the pacing was done well, and while the entire episode had to be intense and full of action to fit in a storyline that should’ve been in two episodes instead of one (once again, Supergirl you let down the team), I found it to be really thrilling and I enjoyed really seeing the conglomerate of the DC universe come together.
Now what really disappointmented me was Green Arrow (sorry Ade). Oh my goodness. The Flash really got the momentum going on the cross over storyline, so that I came into Green Arrow ready to continue on that hard and fast train. Nope. Green Arrow slowed it ALLLLLL the way down, making nearly the entire episode about Oliver. The entire crossover story pacing felt completely thrown off. In fact, we barely touched on anything to do with the Dominators in Green Arrow. All we learned was that they are planning to take over the earth and that they speak Hebrew. Wow. After all the stuff the Flash gave us, I was disappointed at how slow paced Green Arrow was. I agree with Brendan and Ade that alternate universes are fun, but come on. I don’t want to watch an episode where 80% of the show is comprised of Oliver reliving a life that he could’ve had, when we have sooooo many other storylines and characters to service. Not to mention, because Green Arrow focused so much on Oliver (who, by the way, is irritating), 2/3’s of the story had to be told by the Legends.
Then we got to the Legends, and it was meh. You know what though, I’m not putting the entire blame on the Legends. No sir. Since Green Arrow failed to move the Dominator story line, well anywhere, the Legends had to fit in the second and third act of that story in it’s episode. While I liked the twist that the Dominators arrived on earth because of Barry, I felt as if the entire story ended up feeling a bit rushed. I also don’t feel as though there was any sort of “oh snap, all is lost” moment during the cross-over. While it can be argued that the oh snap moment happened when the Dominators demanded they receive Barry or take over the world, we all knew that they weren’t going to give Barry up, so that turning point didn’t feel strong.
I almost feel like this episode suffered from the same thing The Flash did. The emotional arcs almost felt buried underneath the plot points that had to be stuffed in this episode, and there were some moments that I struggled to see the connection. Oliver had an attitude towards Kara the entire episode for some odd reason, and while they attempted to give them beats together, I lost that entire emotional storyline. I just chalked it up to Oliver being a hater since he’s finally met someone that could kick his butt and not even think twice about it. I appreciate, however, that even though the Legends had a lot of work to do, they stayed true to their time travel component, and incorporated them going back to 1951.
Also, I have to give props where it’s due – after nearly six episodes of inactivity, Jax came through as the MVP this episode. He was the one that stopped the metabomb, and I’ve never felt prouder for a stranger in my life.
Overall, I felt the entire cross-over was…okay. I think the threat was awesome and the twist of it being influenced by Barry was extremely strong. However, there were four episodes to beat out this story and I feel like only two episodes were utilized to the fullest. Supergirl missed the boat in laying the foundation of the story, and Green Arrow kind of missed the boat on building up the main conflict, leaving The Flash and Legends to stuff in double of it’s contents into their episodes. I needed our heroes to be a little more screwed, and I needed to feel a little less disoriented with what was going on.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. I love cross-over episodes and I really enjoyed watching the four teams pair up together. For what it’s worth, I thought the Dominators were a strong adversary and I thought it was executed well, although I wish every episode gave that story equal treatment.
I’m going to miss everyone together!
Season 2, Episode 7 (S02E07)
Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8PM on The CW
Writer based in LA. Just trying to write good stuff while deep conditioning my hair.
Keep up with all of Vanessa’s reviews here.
Vanessa Jay | Contributor