TV Review: The Flash – Season 3 Episode 8

The Flash season 3 episode 8: Invasion!


*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*

The big 4 show CW crossover event is finally here! I’ve been looking forward to this since I’d heard that it was coming a couple months ago. And when I heard it was going to be the INVASION! story line from DC comics, I was particularly stoked. I’d read most of that story line back in the 80s when it originally came out. Unfortunately, my memory wasn’t all that great at recalling specific details. I knew it had to do with a race of aliens called the Dominators that had big teeth, yellow skin, pointed ears and a big red circle on their foreheads. The bigger the circle the more important you were in their caste hierarchy. To refresh my memory I found a digital version of the INVASION! comics and started reading them.

One of my biggest ‘beefs’ with this 4 way crossover event is that, technically, it’s not a 4 way. I know, I know. I heard people saying how it will only be the last couple minutes of Supergirl and stuff. But I really question if that even really qualifies because they had the exact same scene in the Flash episode the next day! I guess, since it’s all four shows and Supergirl will factor in with Flash, Arrow and LOT then that’s more what qualifies it as a 4 way crossover.

That aside, I’m not liking how there’s little to no buildup on the part of the Dominators. With the exception of Future Barry’s audio message to Rip Hunter, there was no mention of them, their plans or agenda. They literally just fell out of the sky. In the comics they are worried about the increase of metahumans that Earth is producing and team up with several other alien races to, essentially, destroy earth and it’s ability to create metahumans. You knew that from the outset of the comics. But here, you have no idea what their goals are other than some old footage about them showing up in the 40s, having a firefight with the military and leaving again.

Hall of Justice

Anyway, I don’t want to down on the whole thing so here are some of the highlights (good and bad) for me in no particular order:

  • Nice to see the interactions with all of the different hero groups. Mick gets some good laughs and an awkward moment when asked by Supergirl how he got his name, Heatwave.
  • When Barry went to recruit Oliver and Diggel, why didn’t he just take out that rogue vigilante? He could have easily disarmed him and tied him up. This is a constant issue I have with Flash. He misses so many easy opportunities to just take out the bad guys because he monologues and loses the advantage of surprise or timing.
  • Cisco’s animosity, no hostility, towards Barry is becoming a nuisance. Barry made a mistake and he feels horrible for it. He can’t go back and try to fix it without, potentially messing up the timeline worse. Cisco either needs to let it go or get off the team. All he’s doing is creating disharmony and making everyone feel awkward.
  • Kid Flash makes his ‘debut’ to the angst of Iris and subsequently proves her right. Sort of. He did save Barry but got complacent and hit. Wally’s request to have HR train him is concerning to me because HR wasn’t around when Barry trained. Maybe he read up on all the training and watch videos and can then create a training plan for him but he doesn’t have the scientific know-how that the original Wells did so, if they try to tackle something new or if something goes wrong, I’m afraid HR won’t be much help with his ‘big picture’ solutions.
  • Supergirl fit in pretty well with all the teams. Even got everyone’s real and superhero names right! Would have liked to see a little more of the training with her. She’s another one that seems to squander opportunities. (Case in point, in a previous Supergirl episode she was held captive in a cage that was too strong for her to break out of. But when the villain came in and stood by the cage why didn’t she either grab her and force the guard to open the cage? Or use her heat vision to incapacitate the villain or the guard? There are so many times she monologues instead of jumps into action that could have ended the situation.)
  • The Hall of Justice!! Yes, we finally get a look at the thing that those of us that grew up in the 70s and 80s remember oh so well. I was a little bummed to see that it was just a hanger but they can modify it and make it a legit headquarters if they want. Might be better than Star Labs. It did give me some goosebumps when I saw it.
  • Did the Dominators actually kill the President or did they just transport him away or was he just a hologram? It didn’t look like the transport beam they used at the end of the episode. If they did kill him that’s pretty huge for the storyline!
  • I wonder why they didn’t bring in Steel and Vixen? Kind of weird to leave a couple heavy hitters on the bench. I know Steel is a newbie but Vixen isn’t and would have been an asset. I suspect we’ll see them in the next two episodes, though. And to that end, where was Ragman, Wild Dog and Mr Terrific? Were they too new as well? I would think that, at least Ragman would be helpful.
  • Professor Stein’s visions/attacks ended up being a manifestation of the shifting timeline where he now has a daughter and he was getting those memories in quick batches. Not sure if this change is because of something that was done by Barry or by LOT. Guess we’ll find out eventually.
  • Everyone turned on Barry way too quickly. But Barry needs to explain better and apologize. I can’t believe Oliver didn’t step up and vouch for Barry when the Cisco confronted him with the recording. It was Oliver that put down Barry’s desire to tell the others about it.
  • So far this INVASION! is on a considerably less grand scale than in the comics. It seems confined to one city instead of the whole planet. Guess they don’t have enough heroes to split up like they did in the comics but I’d like to see it a bit bigger. Maybe the next two episodes will do so. I’ll hold my judgement.
  • Really wish they would have brought Martian Manhunter over to the Arrowverse as well. Maybe they’ll bring him in the last episodes but I doubt it.
  • One thing I saw someone post was that Barry should have brought the alien killing virus back from Supergirls Earth (which is Earth 38. There’s significance in that) and use it on the Dominators. Problem solved. Guess that would have been too easy. Supergirl could have been like “Oh, you say you have a problem with aliens invading? Well, we just got our hands on a virus that will target just them. Here you go! Come back and visit when you wrap that up!”

Looking forward to the next two episodes. Arrow’s is the 100th episode and it seems like he’ll be stuck in a Dominator stasis pod for most of it while he plays out an alternate reality of his own in his head where he didn’t go on the yacht and his parents didn’t die. He didn’t become Arrow and he’s engaged to Laurel. I suspect it all goes awry and they bring back some villains like Deathstroke (but I doubt that Manu Bennett will be under all the armor. He hasn’t indicated he’s done any shooting for it but it could be hush-hush.) to torment him. We’ll see how much of the episode gets eaten up with that. But I hear it’s supposed to help Oliver get closure on a lot of his angst.

Rating: 7/10

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