Real Geeks, Real Stories

The Flash Flashpoint: DCTV Invasion! Crossover

“You know you look beautiful. The weight of all these worlds on your shoulders,” explains Mon-El (Chris Wood), before fulfilling the dreams of all Karamel shippers and kissing Kara.  Supergirl Medusa” (2×08) is a fifty-fifty split between romantic entanglements, and a chapter about disillusionment. The episode not only features Karamel development, but Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) and Maggie Sawyer (Florianna Lima) finally decide life’s too short to not be together.  I applaud the Supergirl writers abilities to develop such an authentic lesbian relationship between two characters without any known powers. The angst found in their pairing has not really been explored too much in the other DCTV shows, and helps separate it from the rest. Meanwhile, most of the episode’s heartache comes from the relations between humans and aliens.  Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong) uses a Kryptonian virus to kill all other alien species on Earth. “Be your own hero,” argues Kara to Lena Luthor (Katie McGarth), about her mother’s current evil ploy against alien kind. This scene stands out when Kara leverages her own heritage disillusionment against Lena’s desire to stay loyal to her mother.  Predictably, Lena chooses her own path, and Lillian is temporarily removed from the game board. I caution Kara from putting too much faith into a Luthor; because we have all seen this story play out before.  The Kryptonian threat to all alien kind on Earth-38 parallels Supergirl’s adventure fighting against the Dominators on Earth-Prime.  Good thing, she will make some new super friends to help share the weight of all these worlds on her shoulders.  

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The FlashInvasion!” (3×08) illustrates Greg Berlanti genius behind developing this DC universe across four different series.  The episode features some adorable superhero meet-cutes, but does not lose sight of Barry Allen’s story.  After encountering an alien crash landing in Central City, Barry (Grant Gustin) decides that he needs to call in Team Arrow, the Legends, and even his own alien friend.  Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) is more than willing to join the fight, but Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Iris (Candice Patton), are busy holding him back from the action.  Allowing the crossover episode to include some West family drama is inherent to the series, and prevents other antics from getting out of hand.  In addition, The Flash writers effortlessly flesh out Barry’s Flashpoint guilt through his friction with both Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and John Diggle (David Ramsey).  As always, the biggest treat in any crossover are the brotherly talks shared between Barry and Oliver (Stephen Amell), “Barry, the world isn’t different because you changed the timeline. Change happens. Tragedy happens. People make choices and those choices affect everyone else. You’re not a god, Barry.”  Boom drop the mic.  If only The Flash writers would stop having every other character tell Barry that he’s not a god.  In this point actions are louder than words, just re-watch “Killer Frost” (3×07).  I suppose Barry will have to wait to learn his lesson as “Invasion!” bridges The Flash ending to the Arrow 100th episode setup.  

Arrow -- "Invasion!" -- Image AR508b_0007b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Willa Holland as Thea Queen and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The Arrow writers use “Invasion!” (5×08) as both a fanservice love letter, and an illustration of Oliver’s understanding towards Barry’s Flashpoint decision. “You don’t think that I wouldn’t go back, to make things different,” well let’s have the aliens use their technology to show us what might have been. I appreciate how quickly Oliver began to understand that his present reality is an illusion, and the real plot involves him rounding up his fellow captives. Some subconscious changes were obvious with everyone Oliver has lost being brought back to life, while others drew an interesting paradox. In this alternative reality, John Diggle picks up the hood, and finds himself in an unorthodox partnership with Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards).  Oddly enough, Oliver didn’t need much convincing to leave, it was surprisingly Thea (Willa Holland) not wanting to give up her newfound happiness, “Why can’t you just for a second accept that maybe this is the reward for all the sacrifices you have made?”  Well for starters, none of this is real.  The writers do a good job not only focusing on how the Queen’s Gambit sinking not only changed Oliver’s life, but also characters on both Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. There are some real nice moments between Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) and Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), while Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) finds himself another fiancee.  Oliver and company realize the Smoak Technologies building is a cover for their gateway home; a series cast hologram farewell included. Just like on The Flash the writers retain fundamental series elements as Felicity, Cisco, and the new vigilante misfits crew hack alien technology in present day. Now our super friends find themselves in space to face-off against the Dominators.    

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“You did mister Allen, when you used your powers to disrupt the normal course of time,” explains a captive Dominator about their reasons for coming to Earth. The alien invasion continues on Legends of Tomorrow (2×08), but really this episode continues to explain how Barry Allen drives this crossover. The team remains divided on their faith in the fastest man alive, until Cisco finds himself inadvertently changing the timeline. I really enjoyed Cisco’s friendship with Felicity throughout the entire crossover, “team tech” really stole the show.  “Unlike your friend Barry, I have the luxury of fixing my mistakes,” states Dr. Stein (Victor Garber) after learning that he is responsible for a time aberration; his newfound daughter. This is a great side story that fits nicely into a crossover about Flashpoint regrets. Meanwhile, the writers continues to pull on the divide between metahumans and vigilantes from the Arrow episode. “Metahumans or not. Superpowers or not, you are Earth’s mightiest heroes,” states Kara before heading home through a breach.  The DCTV universe continues to expand, and we often lose sight of the differences between these larger than life episodes.  This DCTV crossover simultaneously highlights their heroic differences, and also illustrates their human similarities.              

 Tweet me your The Flash season 3 theories @sjbelmont 
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