The Flash: “Invasion!”

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Jim’s Thoughts

In case you ever wonder why I never have a take on Supergirl, it’s because I don’t watch it. Unfortunately, that means I also missed the first part of this big four-part-crossover story between Supergirl, Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. You may remember Kyle and I gave up on LoT too, so it’s hard to get too excited about an event I’m only halfway invested in, and if you want to call foul on me reviewing this episode having missed last night’s, I can’t argue.

With that said, I disliked “Invasion,” and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Maybe I didn’t give it a fair chance, but it bored me. If this was part 2 of the series, I can only imagine how slow last night’s episode of Supergirl ran. Here, on Flash, we had three-quarters of the episode making winking references, like Barry saying Supergirl was more powerful than a locomotive (which is actually from Superman, but we’re used to this sort of misappropriation of big screen material), and the rest of it a large, nonsensical brawl in the spirit of Batman v Superman. Far too much of the episode was composed of clunky dialogue reminding us of who everyone is, and why each person is holding a grudge against someone else (mostly why everyone’s mad at Barry). There really should have been a flashing red light accompanied by a robotic voice announcing, “exposition alert” for the first three-quarters of the show.

While Flash/Arrow crossovers were all the rage last year while Legends of Tomorrow was being set up, I’ve never liked the dynamic. All these events do is grind each show’s separate momentum to a halt in favor of manufacturing some passing tension for them to work through.

As I’ve been saying, I’m ready for Barry to go back and undo all of this. We know it’s coming. Let the shoe drop already.

Kyle’s Take

Well, I’ve been yelling at the bridge Barry must cross (reversing time again) for the entire season, and all “Invasion!” showed us were billboards every inch of the road, telling us the bridge was ahead. It was excruciating.

Everyone’s mad at Barry (for changing the timeline). Barry must reverse time. Barry sulks in front of the future news article that doesn’t have Iris Allen-West on its byline. Barry must reverse time. The gang listens to future Barry—other Barry for Archer fans—tell them he made a mistake and must fix the timeline. Barry must reverse time. “Invasion!” reminds me of another Victor Garber (one half of Firestorm) project, Titanic, when we hear some variant of the Titanic being unsinkable fifty or more times in the first half hour. We get it; the Titanic will sink.

I’m three-quarters invested in this crossover instead of Jim’s half. Jim was right that we gave up on Legends of Tomorrow—that show revolves around doing the time warp every episode—but Geekly readers know that I watch Supergirl, and “Medusa” was a solid episode. But that’s because the minute and a half it took for Barry and Cisco to find Kara in “Invasion!” was all there was to her leg of the crossover. “Medusa” didn’t waste time with this crossover nonsense.

And it was nonsense. Like Jim, I never liked the crossover dynamic. Setting up Legends of Tomorrow last season all but killed Flash and Arrow, and we’ve seen a villain mind control heroes to extend a crossover (Rainbow Raider during the first FlashArrow). The Dominators are non-descript, little green men from outer space trying to take over the world. Their story could resolve in less than one episode, and the Arrowverse will tack on two extra hours.

I haven’t given up hope, but this season (for Flash and Arrow) needs to take a bigger step forward after the mid-season break.

Thanks for reading.

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