Arrow S5 E8 (The CW) Invasion!

The Flash/Arrow? The CW? Who Me?

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One of these things might not be like the others, but yes, I am doing recaps of The Flash (The CW) this season. I don't usually cover Arrow (The CW), but I have watched the show a few times, and I did commit to recap the entire crossover series, so here we are.

Anyway, I have watched every episode of The Flash since its inception and I find it both a starkly different (lighter) take on Superheroes but also occasionally provocative (sometimes in ways that the writers might not have intended).

If you haven't read yesterday's recap, read about The Flash S3 E 8 "Invasion" here.

As always, if you have not watched Arrow S5 E8 "Invasion!" come back after you have, in other words, * Spoiler Alert *

Blue Pill or Red Pill?

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The Arrow's Invasion episode starts with the human heroes teleported to the Alien Mother Ship where they are unconscious and entombed in cocoons (well, technically the episode is told out-of-order, so you don't learn this until later, but you know what I mean).

Apparently, these cocoons induce a Matrix-like experience where the occupants all interact with each other in a fictitious but seemingly real version of their own world in which they experience life without many of the tragedies that they really experienced.

For example, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is living in his parent's (who are both alive again) mansion and he is about to marry Laurel Lance aka Black Canary 2 (Katie Cassidy). While Oliver is walking and talking about life after marriage with his Father they are confronted by an armed mugger but saved by the Green Arrow (who turns out to be John Diggle in this alternative fantasy-scape).

Before they are saved, part of Oliver seems trapped in his fantasy life while the part of him used to being Green Arrow acts to stop the mugger. In his mind, he sees small bits and pieces of a life that he lived before entering the matrix.

He is supposed to go straight to his wedding rehearsal dinner but instead he ends up using those bits and pieces of his memories to fumble his way to Team Arrow headquarters where he runs into John Diggle (David Ramsay) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) who are very surprised he knows the secret codes to get into their headquarters.

Later, Diggle chases Oliver down to tell him that his own memories are playing tricks on him and that he is not sure that what they are currently experiencing is real. They start to figure out, together, which of the people in this Matrix are REAL and which are representations of the optimal reality that the Matrix is generating for them.

It turns out the REAL people are Ray Palmer aka Atom (Brandon Routh kind of odd/ironic that he is in a DC crossover with Supergirl but as a different character), Olver Queen, John Diggle, Thea Queen, and Sara Lance aka OG Black Canary (Caity Lotz). 

All of them are ready to work together to escape the simulacrum except for Thea, who is pulling a Cypher (Matrix reference) because she doesn't want to leave this world where their lives have not been so full of tragedy and where they have their parents back (although her real Father is Malcolm Merlin but whatever).

Ultimately, she decides that the steak is fake (see above) and that her real family is Oliver Queen, so she joins forces with "Team not really super but certainly heroes" to take out some goons and heads to Smoak Industries (which for some reason is where they can escape from the pods back into reality).

Once they exit the pods, they find themselves on the alien ship. Olver finds and figures out how to operate an alien weapon and starts blasting the aliens. The whole crew finds a hanger bay, and somehow they magically figure out how to fly alien ships and go back to earth.

I am going to go ahead and say everything that happened in that last paragraph was totally ridiculous (except for the "exit the pods" part). I am all for good fun, but sometimes when you write yourself into a corner, you should change strategies?

Just saying...

Meanwhile Back On Earth

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So, the parallel story going on throughout most of this episode is Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdez) joining forces with Felicity and the rest of the support staff of Team Arrow (including a bunch of new people that I don't recognize) in trying to figure out what happened to the disappeared human heroes.

Without going into too much detail, in order to make sense of the clues they have, they need some tech that was stolen by a Doctor who has made herself into a Cyborg using the tech. I wish I could explain this better, but it was presented exactly this way.

By the time my mind got around to giving up on how they could track down not only the Doctor who stole the item, but also figuring out how the item was being used, and where the woman using the tech was they were already fighting her.

The Flash (Grant Gustin) and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) go along to help, and for some reason one of the human support folks really doesn't like supers (thinks they are an abomination against God or something like that). Of course, the supers save him from getting fricasseed by Doctor Cyborg and he quickly decides they are no longer that bad.

Okay, well anyway, they figure out (somehow) that the alien language operates along similar lines as old Hebrew, they figure out how to translate alien code, and figure out that the missing heroes are on the Alien ship. 

Then the heroes show back up and they figure out that the Aliens abducted them to gain some strategic information and that the full-scale invasion is about to commence.

The last thing that happens is a master shot of a gigantic Alien ship headed directly for Earth 1.

A Few More Thoughts About Arrow Invasion!

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At times, especially inside the Matrix, this was a really fun episode. At other times, it suffered from trying to stuff way too many ideas into one episode-itis IMHO.

If "The Dominators" can just teleport humans at will, why did they even bother with trying to fight them? And if they can't use the alien tech to teleport Meta's, why did the mind control stuff work on Supergirl (meta, alien), Meta's, and humans all at the same time?

Why did Cisco and Felicity's "computer magic" allow them to trace a missing element through a crime to a person and to a place? I mean even Criminal Minds doesn't abuse "computer magic" that blatantly (and that is a CBS show). 

If you are not familiar with "computer magic" it is when someone on television or in the movies, usually someone presented as a hacker or expert, can in five seconds do things it would take real programmers or hackers weeks to do. POOF, "computer magic."

Has there ever been a sketchier use of a villain than this cyborg Dr? I would say between Shade and Dr. Cyborg you have probably seen the shakiest villain backstories in the history of either show.

Why isn't anyone more concerned about the missing President?

I don't think he was mentioned once throughout the entire episode? Usually, and I could be wrong, most teams of heroes would be at least nominally concerned with trying to get a kidnapped POTUS back (even when members of their team were also kidnapped)?

And let's just forget about the escape from the alien Mothership..Not since the original Independence Day has people figuring out how to fly an alien ship seemed more absurdiculous.

Oh well, the Matrix stuff was fun. Legends Of Tomorrow (The CW) finishes up the crossover tonight.

What did you think of the Arrow episode of the Invasion Crossover?

Who was the most poorly explained villain in the history of The Flash or of Arrow?

Why do you think you could fly a Dominator ship?

Let me know what you think, leave a comment!

The Matrix
Starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano