THE FLASH Review: “Invasion!”

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Man, Cisco really screwed up on this week’s episode of THE FLASH. I’m sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Just like this review, the episode starts in medias res with Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Steven Amell) pinned down and under attacked from the rest of team. But, we gotta take things all the way back to Monday night where Ade Adeniji pointed out in his Supergirl review that throughout the episode, holes in the space time continuum kept opening up throughout the episode. We see at the very last moments of that show Barry and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) arrived to get Kara. Why you ask? Well The Flash explains that as the first part of “Invasion!” is pretty much the anchor (and technical first episode) in the big Arrowverse crossover.

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Even though this is a crossover event (with all four shows logos combining as one, as well as their themes), this is still very much an episode of The Flash. Sure the main throughline might be The Dominators against everyone, but we still have our secondary storylines to deal with such as Wally’s (Keiynan Lonsdale) urge to be a hero. I feels as if now the are spinning wheels with his character. We had a great moment tonight where he says Kid Flash with a huge grin on his face. This episode would’ve been a great time to have him finally suit up (even though he has no training) and help out. Yes, Iris (Candice Patton) points out that the team had to come together because the aliens that have landed, or as their know The Dominators, are too powerful, but it was obvious that they needed all the help they could get. Having Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Iris constantly tell him no now feels like the .

Same goes for H.R. (Tom Cavanagh), in which the show really doesn’t know what to do with. Yet. We’re two-thirds into the season now, so we’ll see, but his idea of opening up S.T.A.R. Labs to the public is his first good one. It can bring revenue to the lab and also as H.R. stated can bring him some much needed good publicity. Him being the face of S.T.A.R. Labs, as well as using his quirky charm is a good fit as it was on his Earth. I’m glad he also took it upon himself to train Wally. Let’s hope we see Kid Flash and H.R. become more integral parts of Team Flash.

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Now for this crossover. When The Dominators crash land, Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) now head of Argus, tells Team Flash that The Dominators are too tough for Barry to take on and urges Barry to sit this one out. Well, Barry can’t stand by, so he travels to Star City just as Oliver and Diggle (David Ramsey) are about to take down (or get taken down by) Vigilante and asks for their help including Felicity’s (Emily Bett Rickards). For those of you who have not been keeping up with Arrow, Oliver’s sister Thea (Willa Holland) is retired. Well, because they’re going up against aliens, she decides to suit up which is so badly handled considering the arc she’s going through on Arrow. Much like the rest of the recruitment and the assembling of the team, it’s rushed as Oliver sends out a signal to The Legends for their help. Barry and Cisco return with Kara.

Now, the only time I agreed with Cisco this episode is that Oliver should’ve been team leader. Oliver, however thinks that since this is Barry’s mission he should lead, even though Oliver is guiding him in front of the group. Cisco has every right to be angry with Barry, truly he does, but his forcing confessions out of people is old. This is twice now (maybe the third) this season that a forced confession has consequences and this time for the worse. Martin (Victor Garber) and Jefferson (Franz Drameh) tell Barry and Oliver of a message he left forty years into the future about Flashpoint to Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) and how it greatly altered the future. Oliver says to not tell the rest of the team until The Dominators are dealt with. Well, Cisco happens to find the recording and forces Barry to confess about Flashpoint and this comes at the worst possible moment. The team was ready to go out into battle as one and now that has come undone. Yes, they should all be angry at Barry, but c’mon Cisco really? Oliver stays behind as the rest of the team doesn’t want to work with Barry specifically Diggle which is understandable. But, with having that guiding hand in the field which they needed, The Dominators put the entire team under mind control.

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Barry and Oliver then head out to handle things with an assist from Wally. They barely manage to destroy the mind control machine without being killed by the rest of the team. As they all get their senses back and agree that every one of them is needed including Barry, the team sans Barry is taken by The Dominators aboard their ship and what looks like to be an episode inspired by The Thirteenth Floor and The Matrix, most of the team is stuck in an alternate reality on the Arrow “Invasion!”.

So yeah they addressed Flashpoint with the whole Arrowverse assembled and I was hoping that Barry would tell Oliver about Laurel (Katie Cassidy) being Black Siren from Earth-2 who they have locked in S.T.A.R. Labs. Maybe this will be addressed on Arrow since it looks like Oliver is living in domestic bliss with Laurel in the dream world. But, we need to do something about Cisco man. It now seems that his anger at Barry is gonna get someone killed sooner than later. I’m also glad they got to Martin’s issue about his past rewriting itself. Oliver also providing Barry the voice of reason this week was well done relating the loss of his parents and how anyone in his shoes would’ve done the same thing.

I feel as if Supergirl should’ve set up this crossover better as it was a marathon sprint to get to everyone together and a lot of it was very sloppy. There was much ground to be covered and it did it all as quickly as it could to lead to…mind control? I had fun seeing these heroes together (many for the first time) and bantering as well as brining up continuity issues but it was too much for one episode.

So tune into this week’s Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow as the “Invasion!” crossover continues. See ya next week true believers!

Click here to see our third installment of the DC crossover reviews with Arrow.

TB-TV-Grade-B+

Season 3, Episode 8 (S03E08)
The Flash airs Tuesday at 9PM on The CW

Read all of our reviews of The Flash here. 
Read our reviews of more of your favorite shows here.


A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is a indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop) .
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @bwood0824
Keep up with all of Brandon’s reviews here.

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