FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 3×08 – “Invasion!”

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The Flash (3×08) – “Invasion!”
Written by:         Aaron & Todd Helbing
Story by:              Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg
Directed by:       Dermott
Downs
Please
note: I am not reviewing the crossover as whole, this is a review of the Flash
episode.
So after
Supergirl does just a bit over the bare minimum of crossing over required for
people not to think this was all false advertising we open on Barry and Oliver
getting their asses kicked by pretty much the rest of the cast.
Then comes
the obligatory jump back in time so we can see how we got here.  So for all intents and purposes the episode “opens”
in STAR Labs with Wally test out his new powers.  It’s still pretty clear to Cisco and Caitlin
that Wally is ahead of Barry at the beginning and Joe and Iris are from happy
to hear that. 
In fact,
Iris is so unhappy she starts plotting to hide how well Wally’s doing from him because
she’s jea- worried about him.  (Sorry, sometimes it’s hard to tell those two
apart.)  After all the secrets and
fallout they cause, Cisco is not interested in keeping secrets.  However, he surrenders just before Wally
comes down to see how he did.  Joe offers
him a “consolation” dinner and the Wests leave just before HR gathers the team
together for his latest idea for STAR Labs. 
Essentially, it’s a rehash of his initial idea for turning STAR Labs
into a Museum only this time with an emphasis on recreating the Accelerator Explosion
using Virtual Reality.
Unfortunately
for HR, they’re interrupted by an alarm. 
In this case, it’s a satellite alarm meaning a falling meteor.  Barry races to the crash and finds not a
meteor but a space ship full of pissed off looking aliens.  The next morning the government has gone full
Roswell cover-up, but Good News!  Lyla’s
here.  Bad News!  She thinks this is really bad setting up:
Even Worse News! The other government agent wants the head of ARGUS to shut up
and go home.
When Barry
clues Lyla in to what he saw she has him gather up the Team to brief them on
the situation.  Meet the Dominators.  War mongering aliens that have visited Earth
before with bad results for us until they just decided to leave.
So after
telling a super hero team all about invading aliens, Lyla goes all passive
aggressive and tells them to sit back, relax and let the government take care
of this.  That’s just not gonna happen
Lyla.  Cut to Star City where Oliver and
Diggle about to get killed by Vigilante, Barry rescues the pair and clues them
in on the invasion.  Felicity points out
that they still don’t have the numbers. 
Well good thing there’s still two other DC/CW-Verse shows!  They head to some “old” STAR Labs facility-
Call upon
the Legends crew while Cisco and Barry plan to make a hop over to “Earth-38”
and pick up Kara.  Meanwhile, Cisco still
acting (understandably) hard to Barry.
With gang
all gathered up it’s time to check in on our villains.  It seems they’ve got some sort of evil device
they’re setting up. They also have a creepy sounding language so that’s good.
Back at the hangar,
Kara’s getting up to speed while the group starts trying to figure out how
things will work.  Who’s in charge for
example, this is when Cisco makes it a point to say how much he trusts Oliver
No one else seems to take this as the obvious red flag that it is and
decide to put Barry in charge.  Barry
shows how good he is at being a leader by being kind of terrible at it then
gets the gang training.
But first,
the groups break up and start catching each other (and viewers like myself that
don’t watch every show) up on what’s happened: 
Oliver training Barry, Ray getting a new suit, Snart dying, tension
between Barry and Cisco because of his role in Dante’s death.  Meanwhile, Wally shows up and Iris earns
sister of the year by telling Wally that’s he’s just not up to snuff.  (There’s tough love and then there’s what you’re
doing, Iris.)  There’s also one, very big
problem.  Stein and Jax found a message
from a future Barry telling them that Barry changed the timeline while they
were traveling and screwed things up significantly and he is not to be trusted.
Jax thinks
it would be best if they told people exactly what was going on and that
Flashpoint might have something to do with the Dominators.  He apparently forgot that Oliver Queen was
involved.  Telling people at the beginning
about potentially life-ruining/earth-destroying secrets?  That’s just not how it’s done!  Better to let it fester for a while so they
can deal with the immediate threat. 
After the others leave, Stein has a vision of a girl and he and Caitlin
leave to look into it.
Meanwhile,
in another hangar, Lyla and the other government agents brief the President on
the Dominators.  He thinks they need to
take on the Dominators head on, so of course they show up and abduct him.
Back at STAR
Labs, Wally has figured out that Iris and Joe were lying to him and he is
pretty pissed off about it.  So after
telling them off, Wally runs into HR and asks him to train him.  HR eventually says no, though he didn’t seem
convinced.
Across town,
Caitlin and Stein talk about Killer Frost on the walk up to his house.  As they get to the door, the girl in Stein’s
vision greets them warmly and surprise! She’s Stein’s daughter in this
timeline.  Stein is not happy and has to
leave.
Back at the
Hall of J- hangar, Cisco finds the
recording and this is why you tell people up front about problems!  He brings the message to everybody and there
are all understandably furious with Barry. 
To make matters worse they have to go save the President but nobody
trusts Barry.  So while Barry and Oliver
stay behind, the rest go to save the President at an abandon salt mine.
Trap?
Trap!  The Dominator’s evil device is a
mind-control device and turns everybody into their minions.  Meanwhile at STAR Labs, it’s a real blast
from the past!  Barry’s looking at Thawne
April 25th, 2024 edition of the Central City Citizen and things are
apparently still changing.  Most notably,
the article about Flash’s disappearance is no long written by Iris but by
someone named “Julie Greer.”
Barry
realizes now that he may have screwed things up so badly that there’s no way to
fix it.  Fortunately, Oliver is there to
put things in perspective.  He did
something anyone in his position with his powers would do and regardless of if
the past was changed or not they have to deal with the present.
Good point,
and timely considering the rest of the gang has arrived to kick their
asses.  Back to where the episode began,
things become basically one big fight scene. 
Wally shows up to make the save on Barry but is injured to Barry leads
Kara back to the salt mine and pisses her off enough make a mistake and destroy
the mind control device.  So, that’s one problem
out of the way.  Wonder what happens
next?  The Dominators abduct everyone but
Barry, that’s what happens next.
I won’t lie,
I haven’t liked the crossovers all that much but credit where credit is
due.  This was pretty good.  I haven’t watched Arrow or Legends yet so I
don’t know how they wrap things up but I enjoyed this.  They even managed to move the Flash plot
along.  Most notably, it’s now very clear
that the Flashpoint storyline is not finished but we haven’t even really seen
the full ramifications of the Flashpoint to this point and something will
likely happen this season that is even more devastating than what we’ve seen
thus far.  (Which makes sense since
rumors persist that Supergirl will be folded into the DC/CW-Verse proper.)
Wally’s plot
took another step forward and the rift between Barry and Cisco is
compelling.  There were a couple of silly
moments, like the STAR Labs hangar for example. 
However there was nothing that bounced me out of the episode so that’s definitely
a positive.  The episode felt crowded,
but I just don’t think that can be avoided when you bring the casts of four
shows together.
In the end,
I must judge this as an episode of the Flash, not as part of a crossover and as
an episode of the Flash it’s fine.  Not
as terrible as All-Star Team-Up but not great and they are in desperate need of
a great episode at this point.  Here’s
hoping they fix that with the mid-season finale.
Three Things We
Learned This Week:
1)     
Something Barry changed in the past makes him a
liability to the CW-Justice League in the future.
2)     
Due to Flashpoint, Iris was unable to write the
article about Barry’s disappearance in 2024.
3)     
HR has offered to train Wally.
Three Four Questions:
1)     
Was this invasion caused by Flashpoint?
2)     
Why was Iris unable to write the article in the
future?
3)     
Why did future Barry warn the others not to
trust him in the past?
4)     
With the attention they drew to it, is there a
reason that Diggle and Lyla’s daughter became their son that’s important to the
future of the DC/CW-Verse?
Just another guy on the internet.