Though Supergirl‘s fall finale was marketed as the kickoff of The CW’s big four-part DC crossover, The Flash is really where things get set into motion. Thankfully, like the Supergirl episode that preceded it, this episode of The Flash, “Invasion!” is very much an episode of its own. It is just another story in the scarlet speedster’s third season. There is an insane amount of characters in the episode, but thematically, everything fits with the story that The Flash has been telling this season.

For that reason, “Invasion!” might be the strongest yearly crossover episode yet for The Flash or, at the very least, on par with the first one ever. Hopefully, the Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow installments will be just as strong, but things are off to a running start (even though if it is technically the second day of DC week).

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Heroes vs. Aliens

It takes a big threat to bring all of these groups together, and as you undoubtedly know from the countless commercials hyping the event, the threat is aliens — aliens known as the Dominators who have apparently been terrorizing the Earth since the 1950s. (All those stories about Area 51 on true on The Flash‘s Earth.)  Barry finds the Dominators’ ship as it crashes to Earth, and he is quickly told by the director of ARGUS, Arrow‘s Lyla, to stay out of it. The US government has the Dominators handled. (Spoiler alert: they don’t!) 

Since Barry sitting out a big event like the Dominators would make for incredibly boring TV, he instead assembles a team. Barry recruits the Green Arrow, Speedy (from retirement), Spartan and Overwatch from Arrow and the entire Legends of Tomorrow team. Of course, he also takes Supergirl from her separate Earth. Be ready to curb your expectations for Kara Danvers on The Flash because she is pretty much the fourth tier of the gigantic crossover. 

Flashpoint Fallout … Again

Instead, the big moment of the crossover, besides the alien invasion, is yet more fallout from Barry rewriting the timeline from “Flashpoint.” This is actually a fantastic decision for the crossover because it keeps this big event firmly feeling like an episode of The Flash. The impetus for the reveal comes from Legends of Tomorrow as the two parts of Firestorm have uncovered a message on board their time travel ship from future Barry. Still, the major arc of The Flash season 3 has been Flashpoint. 

Forty years from now, Barry will apparently inform the Legends of Tomorrow team about the changes he made in Flashpoint and the continued effects it will  have on the past and future of the timeline. (There is also a small moment of the crossover where we find out that Martin Stein of Legends of Tomorrow has a daughter now because of  Barry. This explains why Stein has been experiencing  mysterious visions on his show. This is a sloppy part of the crossover since it has very little to do with The Flash and everything to do with Legends.)

Cisco finds out about future Barry’s message, and since he is still super mad at Barry, he gets Barry to confess to everyone about Flashpoint. The reactions are not very positive, especially from Sara Lance, who would like nothing better than to change the past to save her sister, and Diggle, who has an infant son and not a daughter because of Barry’s time meddling. The harsh feelings get so intense that when the President is kidnapped, everyone but Barry and Oliver go off to save the day.

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Brothers in Padded Leather

This will end badly for pretty much everyone involved, but first, Oliver tries to give Barry a huge pep talk. Barry is feeling guilty about how he ruined everyone’s lives, both in the present and the future. It’s an incredibly heartwarming scene that Oliver cheers up. Most of Ollie and Barry’s scenes up to this point in the crossovers have been kind of adversarial. The first-ever annual crossover was “Flash vs. Arrow,” after all. Throughout all their adventures (and personal differences), Oliver and Barry have grown stronger together as partners and friends. It is only fitting that Oliver is the only one who stays by Barry’s side.

The comradery between Ollie and Barry becomes very important because when the rest of the heroes meet up with Dominators, they are brainwashed. The kidnapping of the President is a trap by the Dominators to ensnare the heroes and control them. This is really just an excuse for the heroes to fight each other, which is becoming a trope of these crossovers, but it doesn’t get any less cool. The fact that it’s Barry and Oliver (with a failed assist from Wally West) versus everyone makes the CGI fight fest all the more special and awesome. 

Barry and Oliver eventually save their friends from the brainwashing, but the Dominators have other ideas. While the team celebrates their victory and Supergirl flies off to find other mind control devices, the Dominators lash out once again. The Dominators grab several of our heroes, including Thea Queen, Sara Lance and, most important, Oliver himself, by some kind of tractor beam. (Oddly, Ollie is the only one that Barry personally tries to save.)  It’s on this cliffhanger that the crossover event ends to be continued on Arrow.

What did you think of the second/first part of the crossover? Are you looking forward to the next two installments? Were you expecting Supergirl to have a bigger role? Do you think she will in the next two episodes? Was it a good move to devote so much time to Flashpoint?

The Flash season 3 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Flash Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.