December 3, 2016: “The Flash” Episode Review – “Invasion”

Superman Homepage reviewer T.A. Ewart (aka liheibao) reviews episodes connected to the “Supergirl” TV series, airing on The CW.

Check out his review of the first of the “Invasion” crossover episodes on “The Flash”, in which, when aliens called the Dominators attack Central City, Barry (Grant Gustin) speeds over to Star City to ask the Green Arrow (guest star Stephen Amell) for help in stopping them. Realizing the battle against the Dominators is bigger than they thought, they track down the Legends of Tomorrow, and Barry and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) create a breach to bring back a secret weapon – Supergirl (guest star Melissa Benoist). Once all of the super friends are assembled, they come up with a plan to attack but a shocking secret related to Flashpoint is revealed and suddenly no one is sure who they can trust. Meanwhile, Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) wants to join the battle against the aliens but Iris (Candice Patton) tells him he’s not ready.

InvasionOriginally Aired: November 29, 2016
WRITTEN BY: Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg
TELEPLAY BY: Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing
DIRECTED BY: Dermott Downs

Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen/Green Arrow)
Franz Drameh (Jefferson Jackson/Firestorm)
Victor Garber (Martin Stein/Firestorm)
Willa Holland (Thea Queen/Speedy)
Caity Lotz (Sara Lance/White Canary)
Dominic Purcell (Mick Rory/Heat Wave)
David Ramsey (John Diggle/Spartan)
Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak)
Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer/The Atom)
Grant Gustin (The Flash)
Carlos Valdes (Cisco Ramon)
Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin Snow)
Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers/Supergirl)
Audrey Marie Anderson (Lyla Michaels)
Christina Brucato (Lily Stein)
Donnelly Rhodes (Smith)
Jerry Wasserman (President of the United States)

3Rating – 3 (out of 5): The Flash, with no doubt, is easily the best written of The CW DC Superhero offerings. Barry Allen as The Flash is the heart and soul of the universe these heroes inhabit; a stalwart spirit who’s relentless positivity allows him to inspire in the fashion that heroes are supposed to. However, it seems that Barry will be challenged greatly this year by his decision to give in to a selfish desire, and the ramifications of the Flashpoint timeline he created… which is a shame. The crossover viewers were looking forward to is mired in the petulant attitude of Cisco Ramon, and his hypocritical blaming of Barry for his brother’s death. It seems in this time line, Cisco must have never revealed Barry’s secret ID to save his brother’s like, a move that could have easily cost Barry his own. All of the players have made mistakes, but never in hopes of personal gain, but to do what was right. The short-sightedness of those decisions should make them wiser and more empathetic, but that’s taken a back seat to making Barry a blame ragdoll, who hasn’t been kicked around hard enough it seems.

The crossover aspects are light, with the race between Flash and Supergirl being the highlight, but starting with Supergirl, it doesn’t feel that any show truly wants to surrender a single episode of their own storyline to make Invasion what it should be. There are literally characters standing around with nothing to do, and it isn’t because more was taken on than could be handled, but a confusing unwillingness to tell the story that the heroes/heroines were brought together to tell.

Check out the “Supergirl – Episode Reviews” Contents page.

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December 4, 2016 1:21 am

As someone who watches all these shows – Arrow, Flash, Legends and Supergirl – I thought this crossover did a pretty good job of balancing what was going on with the characters in their own shows with the story of the crossover. It was always going to be a juggling act and some balls were always going to be dropped. I’ll admit that Supergirl got pretty short shrift in this crossover and was more of a supporting character but apart from getting sidelined for one scene by Oliver I thought she was given a quite a few moments to shine.… Read more »

Steve Wright
Steve Wright
December 5, 2016 11:41 am
Reply to  andramus

Arrow has been very good this year. Definite rebound after the last couple of years and their 100th episode was the highlight of this crossover even IMO. I agree completely with your post. They tried to do something UNHEARD of in network Television and for the most part they pulled it off. I mean, the fight scenes and special effects were amazing. And, when they do this next year i expect it will be even bigger. Why? Because the ratings bumps for the shows was insane. That will allow them to sell ads at a higher amount for this event… Read more »

December 5, 2016 1:59 pm
Reply to  andramus

Very good review! I appreciate your candor and open minded, thoughtful opinion.

December 4, 2016 10:01 am

I kinda expected the reaction to Supergirl to be a bit bigger but they sort made up for that in the training session where everybody is getting their butt kicked but instead of being bitter most of them are like “She’s badass!” I also liked that even after the big confession goes down about Flashpoint when Barry asks Kara if she still trusts him she says “I will always trust you.” I like that her belief in her friend was unwavering even knowing the scope of his mistake. I was also pleasantly surprised at how understanding Oliver was about it.… Read more »

December 5, 2016 11:29 am
Reply to  MattComics

I kinda expected the reaction to Supergirl to be a bit bigger but they sort made up for that in the training session where everybody is getting their butt kicked but instead of being bitter most of them are like “She’s badass!” I really liked that scene of Supergirl just taking whatever they could dish out, and with a smile no less, but it also showed the problem with her being used ineffectively. She’s too powerful to be implemented arbitrarily, so much so that her best moments all involved teaming up or contending with the Flash. To have to have… Read more »

Steve Wright
Steve Wright
December 5, 2016 11:46 am
Reply to  liheibao

This is why they had Oliver ask to sideline her. That was the single biggest mistake of the crossover. So much so that it was so stupid I almost threw my remote. It was just stupid and not at all in character, no matter how much they tried to have oliver justify it. yes, he pushes back but in that situation he would NEVER sideline their greatest weapon no matter what. That was stupid…can you tell I think it was stupid? Cuz, it was. In reality Supergirl could have taken out every ship fairly easily just by flying through them… Read more »

December 5, 2016 12:26 pm
Reply to  Steve Wright

I was gonna save my thoughts on that for the Legends episode discussion but I agree that Oliver’s decision with Supergirl making zero sense but it is also sadly typical of a syndrome that seems to happen in Justice League and crossover stories all the time. Writer finds some cheap excuse to get Superman (in this case Supergirl) out of the main action so they don’t have to write around their power set because they’re afraid of making the others look weak or ineffective. This usually results in Superman being captured, mind-woogied into fighting the League, or having to go… Read more »

Steve Wright
Steve Wright
December 6, 2016 11:16 am
Reply to  MattComics

It really was a great event. Just an absolute blast. Even when the hero’s did fight there was a legit reason and it didn’t last long. I thought the training session with Supergirl was hilarious. But, it does open up the question that if the Flash is going up against someone as powerful as Savitar why wouldn’t he ask Supergirl to help him? She is the ultimate weapon. Not even Savitar could defeat her. Now, she could very well end up helping him by the seasons end (I actually think we are going to get a massive even where Superman… Read more »