The Flash S3E7, Review – Invasion! Pt. 2

It’s crossover week! The highly anticipated 4-show crossover has arrived, is it everything it’s been hyped up to be? This Flash episode was a lot of fun, but there were some overwhelming and messy aspects to it. While you do not necessarily have to watch all four shows, there might be little tidbits overlooked when watching. I, for instance, found myself lost when it came to the characters of Legends of Tomorrow. While I’m acquainted with most, as they’re familiar faces from either Arrow or The Flash, their story line is lost on me.

The Flash is part two of four, but if you tuned into Supergirl you’ll be highly disappointed to see Barry and Cisco only made a brief appearance at the end. It’s a scene included in this episode, so you won’t even have to tune in.

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The episode begins with briefly touching upon the loose ends from the previous episode. Caitlin is using her power dampening cuffs to stay in control, and Wally is quickly gaining speed just as he always wanted, much to Joe and Iris’ dismay. Cisco has not forgiven Barry and has resorted to ignoring the speedster.

A presentation given by H.R. on his plans for the future of Star Labs is cut short by an alien spacecraft crash. Yes, an actual alien crash landing! The team is excited to cut H.R.’s information session short and investigate further. From here the episode takes off at full speed. The aliens seem to be well known to the government agencies involved– well known for being incredibly destructive that is. Realizing his small team cannot take on the daunting task alone, he brings together the greatest team their world has ever known. They don’t have a cool nickname, but they certainly look like they’re ready to take on a team of nasty aliens.

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With the newly formed team from across four shows, they chose a Star Labs avia  tion hangar to train in and test their skills in preparation for battle. Now this is what I expect in a superhero crossover; team bonding, showing off, witty banter! They even have a team leader, nominated by Oliver; the maybe not so qualified Barry is set to lead them into their biggest fight yet. It’s a relief from the Team Flash drama currently going on, or it would be if Cisco didn’t make a point to remind Barry of his mistakes at every exchange.

Felicity tries to break through Cisco’s self-imposed wall, but he feels justified in his anger. I understand his grief is powerful, but for a guy who was not fond of his brother, you can’t help but feel it’s partially guilt for not trying harder.

With mostly everyone ready to fight under Barry’s lead, a wrench is nearly thrown into the plan. Jefferson and Professor Stein, the duo that makes up Firestorm, reveal to Barry and Oliver a recording Barry sent them from 40 years into the future. It’s a warning of an impending war: that Flashpoint did more damage than initially thought. Barry is forced to admit his wrongdoing and in return receives quite the judgment from Jefferson and Professor Stein. Oliver, on the other hand, takes it in stride, “You made a mistake. It’s part of the job.” Despite being rough, and a little scary, Oliver is a great mentor and reacted perfectly. Barry has heart; he would never intentionally harm someone’s life for a selfish reason. For now, the Firestorm duo will keep it under wraps as the alien visit is much more pressing.

While our superhero team tests their strengths against each other, the government agencies prepare to take on the aliens themselves. They decided to take an offensive move, a plan that ultimately leads to their demise as the president is captured.

The daunting crisis surrounding them leaves H.R. and Wally to fall to the wayside. Wally is frustrated with the lack of direction and turns to H.R. for help as a mentor. H.R. rejects the idea, leaving Wally at a loss once again of what to do with his powers.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Caitlin is given great advice on her budding powers by Professor Stein. He, of all people, understands what it’s like to be trapped in a body that isn’t his. He assures her no matter what, she’ll always have their support.

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Remember that wrench? Well, Cisco of all people, manages to find it and tear the comradery apart in one swift go. He demands Barry come clean to everyone about Flashpoint and the changes made because of him. As expected, no one is pleased with his actions. Even Diggle is upset to find out he had a daughter instead of a son. What gets me is those from Legends of Tomorrow. They go through time, and from what I understand, often change time themselves. They shouldn’t be passing judgment against Barry.

It’s Oliver and Kara who come forward to Barry’s defense. Kara will always trust Barry, and Oliver refuses to leave with the team without Barry. No one has a problem with that and off they go into a trap, failing to rescue the president and falling to the alien’s mind control.

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Barry needs a lot of support;  a friend is rare to find so having Oliver there is a big deal. Their exchange reminds Barry they’re all human, after all, and who wouldn’t change the time to save their murdered mother? To spend one more day with the one they love, it’s hard to pass up.

Their moment is cut short as word gets out of the destruction the team is causing. They’re under the control of the aliens and are destroying nearly everything in sight. While it becomes a dire situation of Oliver and Barry versus everyone else, it gives us one of the greatest superhero fights to date. I had to watch it twice just to get the full impact of the sequence. Now this is a crossover!

Barry manages to destroy the mind control signal, freeing the team from their destructive programming and saving the world– or at least the city.

Even Wally managed to get his five seconds of fame, before getting himself beaten to a pulp. It’s enough to earn H.R.’s interest and promise that he will train him. Finally! Give that boy an outlet so he stops trying to test fate.

There is one positive outcome from the battle, as Barry seemed to have earned Ray Palmer’s respect and in turn the rest of his team’s as well. Message or no message, they’re with him. It’d be more touching if their team and Green Arrow’s team wasn’t just abducted by the aliens! Just like that, they’re gone! Well, it’s on to Arrow to see what happens next.

Overall, I thought this was a fun crossover episode. They continued with the main issue of Flashpoint, and the affected relationships, while also touching upon each new arrival’s interaction with Team Flash. Yet, at times it felt overwhelming to have a large group come together and not quite have a resolution to the problem at hand. Next week we face the mid-season finale, I’m looking forward to a slower paced episode and maybe more answers to Savitar and Doctor Alchemy.

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