December 7, 2016: “Arrow” 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 second of the “Invasion” crossover episodes on “Arrow”, in which Oliver (Stephen Amell) wakes up to a life where he never got on The Queen’s Gambit. Robert (guest star Jamey Sheridan) and Moira Queen (guest star Susanna Thompson) are alive and well. Laurel (guest star Katie Cassidy) is his loving fiancée and their wedding is imminent. Everything seems perfect, but Oliver starts to notice small imperfections that make him question this new reality. Meanwhile, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and the recruits take on a new threat with help from The Flash (guest star Grant Gustin) and Supergirl (guest star Melissa Benoist).

InvasionOriginally Aired: November 30, 2016
WRITTEN BY: Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle
DIRECTED BY: James Bamford

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)
John Barrowman (Malcolm Merlyn/Dark Archer)
Neal McDonough (Damien Darhk)
Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance)
Susanna Thompson (Moira Queen)
Nick Zano (Nate Heywood)
Rick Gonzalez (Rene Ramirez/Wild Dog)
Joe Dinicol (Rory Regan/Ragman)
Jamey Sheridan (Robert Queen)
Erica Luttrell (Laura Washington/Cyberwoman)

3Rating – 3 (out of 5): Arrow lost the mission when it foolishly allowed Ollie to ride off with Felicity at the end of season three… then killed off Laurel as she no longer served any purpose due to being supplanted by Sara… and Felicity! Since then I resist watching Arrow, but the crossovers with The Flash are just irresistible and I usually relent for these episodes. Ollie trapped in a Black Mercy type of situation, while his friends share in it as well made for a great episode, and seeing him admit that he would never be happier than he was with Laurel, was wonderful fan service those who support the true romance that is Green Arrow and Black Canary. However, as good as the episode was for Arrow, it totally detracted from the purpose of this crossover. The Dominators are an afterthought, if that, and the other heroes have very little role. A great example is Wild Dog, who dislikes metas, until Supergirl saves him all of five minutes later. The tag-team beat down performed by Supergirl and Flash was extremely excessive… and excellent! It so rare that there is an instance to see aspects of the comics come to life, and sometimes you just have to be happy when they do.

The worst thing that can be said about the crossover, thus far, is that the premise just isn’t working. This is more of a hang-out fest than the world’s greatest heroes coming together to sort out a problem that besets the planet. It’s closer to the JLA/JSA crossovers, than the Invasion storyline. Still, ratings are strong, and if you’re enjoying what you see, you can only hope that lessons are learned from the mistakes made here.

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

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December 7, 2016 7:28 am

It simultaneously had to be part two of the crossover in addition to being the 100th episode of its respective series. In this way it has inherited a problem a lot of comics have where the priorities of a particular series are compromised a little or a lot by the need to be part of the editorially mandated event running through all the titles. As well as some of the awkwardness that can at times come from being the “street level” series existing in a shared universe with super powers, magic, multiple universes, and now of course aliens. That said… Read more »

December 7, 2016 11:57 am
Reply to  MattComics

Good point on it also being the 100th episode. That’s a lot of weight to carry; it might have been better to have the crossover the following week, but the network wants their year end ratings.

Steve Eden
Steve Eden
December 7, 2016 4:43 pm

I felt that this was pretty much a crossover of three shows, not four. “Supergirl” only had Barry and Cisco in cameo appearances. Supergirl was pretty much wasted in the other shows. The winning over of Oliver was one thing, but not including Kara in the first mission was out of character. Ollie has been around enough to know you don’t omit your strongest ally. And Kara saving him from falling to his death was rather predictable (“Hey, thanks – I didn’t trust you before, but since you saved me, now I do!”). It almost felt like this thing was… Read more »

Steve Wright
Steve Wright
December 12, 2016 8:55 am

This was my favorite of all the episodes. And, that’s saying something. It did put the Dominators on the back burner but we have to remember that this is a TV show, with a TV Budget. They can do amazing things now, and they have during this crossover, but they have to dial it back sometimes. This was the perfect way to dial it back. Arrow has really improved and found itself again this year. And, it showed in this episode. I do agree that Team Arrow wasn’t needed and a bit off. Wild Dog could have agreed to just… Read more »

Steve Wright
Steve Wright
December 12, 2016 8:57 am

Oh…and with the ratings for these episodes being ridiculously higher than their normal episodes you can expect more of these crossovers (maybe not all show encompassing but between one or two). And, with a higher budget. They are proven ratings and money makers for the CW. They will do more…..and I also expect that the crossover event will be re-edited into one massive movie and be released on DVD with extras.