CW 4 Part Crossover: Invasion!
So, for those of you who are unaware of what this four part crossover is, let me explain. The CW is home to four superhero shows which include Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and the newly acquired Supergirl (its first season aired on CBS). These shows run a regular season with very little interaction in-between each other. However, since The Flash began, these superhero shows have done a crossover once every season. Each year they get more expansive as more shows are added. This year, having four shows, they were able to do a four night event which formed a rag-tag Justice League (although it was more like a 3 part crossover. More on that in a bit, though). Anyway, the premise behind this was that aliens come to Earth and attack, which forces these heroes to band together to find out why they are here and to ultimately put a stop to them.
Let me first just say that the mere concept of this alone is just pure awesome for anyone who is a fan of superheroes or even TV in general. Something of this caliber has never really been done on television and is pretty amazing to see. For this review, though, I believe it will be easiest to talk about each of the nights separately.
The first part of the crossover began with Supergirl. And really that’s it. Supergirl’s episode could hardly be considered a crossover episode as it had generally nothing to do with the crossover until the last scene. We got clued in that something was going on, though, as a couple of times throughout the episode a wormhole would briefly open up but would close just as quickly. The episode ran just like any other Supergirl episode with light-hearted quips and alien mishaps. The episode itself was pretty good but, for anyone that doesn’t normally watch Supergirl and was just there for the event, it was probably a disappointment. I honestly feel they did this to try to pull anyone who doesn’t watch Supergirl into watching it. At the end of the episode, after everything is all resolved, Kara goes back to her apartment only to have Barry and Cisco show up and tell her they need her help. She quickly accepts as they step into the wormhole and that’s it. What a tease!
The Flash is really where everything began. An alien spaceship crashes in Central City and, upon speedy inspection, the Flash discovers alien invaders. After talking with Lyla, he learns they are called the Dominators and they have been to Earth before. He realizes he’s going to need help with this one. Barry contacts Oliver and company and tells them they all should meet up to talk about this threat. He also contacts the Legends crew. So, the super-cast of these three shows all get together in a flight hangar and meet Supergirl for the first time. Now, I’ll just say I love Melissa Benoist as Supergirl and to see her interact with all these characters is great. In general just seeing all these live action heroes together is just a great treat. So, they all agree they need to prepare for this alien threat and what better way than to spar with an alien. Team Arrow and The Legends crew all try to fight Supergirl but to no avail. Later they are all called in to action as the President is kidnapped by the Dominators. They all rush into action only to be mind-controlled. Luckily, Barry and Oliver stayed behind because of team issues (everyone was mad that Barry fucked up the timeline and changed things in their lives). Now Green Arrow and The Flash must fight off their friends and break the mind-control. All in all, it’s a pretty satisfying display of superhero fighting. Oliver and Barry’s relationship is really what shines through here. Of course, Barry is able to break the mind control and, as they all regather and conclude the Dominators aren’t friendly, beams of light start taking members of the team: Green Arrow, Speedy, Atom, White Canary (Sara), and Spartan (Diggle). This is an awesome episode with great effects and is a great kickoff to the crossover. It’s fun, but is still able to get serious when it needs to be.
The crossover picks up in Arrow. At the start of the episode, it shows Oliver in a life where he never got on the Queen’s Gambit, meaning he never becomes the Green Arrow. Really this episode is basically a what-if episode with a little plot advancement here and there. It’s a very Arrow-centric episode as Oliver and the other abducted heroes share a life without heroism. Some of these highlights are that Oliver and Laurel are getting married, Oliver’s parents are both alive, and the most surprising one is that Diggle became the Arrow to atone for his military sins. One of my favorite little Easter eggs in this episode was how they explained the absence of Oliver’s best friend Tommy Merlyn. While at Oliver and Laurel’s rehearsal dinner Tommy’s father Malcolm a.k.a. the Dark Archer makes the comment that Tommy couldn’t be there because he’s a doctor and he couldn’t get back from Chicago. This is funny because Chris Donnell who played Tommy is currently the lead on the show Chicago Med. Anyway, Oliver starts to realize that things aren’t right and convinces Diggle of this. In realizing this they trigger a self-defense mechanism in the pods they are being held in. Villains from past seasons show up to fight them. So, in a great scene, you have Oliver and the others fighting Malcolm Merlyn, Deathstroke, a Mirakuru soldier, Damien Darhk, and a H.I.V.E. soldier. The adversaries are all defeated, and the captives are able to escape, resulting in them waking up inside the Dominators ship. The last second before Oliver escapes is really a great moment for fans of Arrow as he sees all the people he has lost and those who have guided him on his path as they all say something encouraging. They then escape in a shuttle and are rescued by Nate Heywood, who pilots the time ship Waverider. Ray deduces that the Dominators were gathering information from their minds about metahumans, using the hallucination as a distraction, to help them complete a special “weapon”. This episode is great because it works both as a good crossover episode and is a wonderful episode of Arrow. To be honest, though, it is the least exciting part of the crossover event.
This story concludes in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. This was probably my favorite of the four episodes as it has the most team up appeal. With everyone now back in 2016, Nate reveals the first Dominator invasion to have been in Oregon, 1951. He takes Mick Rory, Amaya Jiwe, Felicity and Cisco to kidnap a Dominator for information. The Legends successfully capture a Dominator to interrogate, but are themselves captured by Federal agents. While in custody, the Legends learn from the Dominator that the aliens arrived to assess the threat humanity posed now that metahumans have appeared due to the Justice Society of America. Felicity and Cisco rescue the Legends and help set the Dominator free. Meanwhile in Central City 2016, the team learns that the Dominators know about Barry’s manipulation of the timeline and that they demand his surrender in exchange for peace. After the Legends return, the team discovers that the Dominators’ weapon is a bomb that will kill all metahumans on Earth, with millions of collateral human casualties. The teams dissuade Barry from surrendering, with Cisco reconciling with him. With this comes the most epic moment of the crossover as all of them suit up and battle against the aliens. In a very Civil War-esque shot you see all the CW superheroes charge at the Dominators. Firestorm manages to transmutate the bomb into a liquid and the team forces the Dominators to retreat using a pain-inflicting nano-weapon. Later, as the heroes celebrate their victory, Oliver offers Kara his friendship, and Cisco gives her an interdimensional device that will allow her to travel and communicate between Earth-1 and Earth-38. It’s a great resolution and a nice epic ending to the event. My only thing is that I feel the Dominators are so powerful that they wouldn’t just be done with them but who knows maybe they will show up again (doubtful, though).
The CW’s hyped up 4 part crossover fails to initially take flight but, when it finally gets off the ground, it soars. The three episodes display just exactly why these shows are so great and successful. So, if you’re looking for a super show to watch, make sure to check these out.
For all things DC related come back here every week. Until then, stay nerdy my friends.
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Together Richard and Shawn formed the podcast The Language of Bromance and from there it has been nothing but fun. The duo laugh about things they go through, stories in the news and even getting serious discussing net neutrality along with other issues. Every so often their friendship turns to a bitter rivalry with their nerdiest creation the draft episodes. An original take on a best of or a top 10 list. The draft episodes are done like an NFL Draft 7 rounds where Richard and Shawn flip-flop picks on various topics.
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