The Flash (The CW): S3 E8: "Invasion"

The Flash? 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.

have watched every episode of the show 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 last week's recap, read about "Killer Frost" here.

As always, if you have not watched S3 E8 "Invasion" come back after you have, in other words, * Spoiler Alert *

Crossover Time: Cheers and Jeers

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Jeers:

I know Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) is involved in the "Invasion" crossover, I know Supergirl is a popular character and show but that doesn't mean that it should be called "Part One of the Epic Four Night Crossover Event."

I am not a usual Supergirl (The CW) watcher, but I got seated on the couch entirely ready for the start of the invasion of "The Dominators" only to find that the "crossover" part of Supergirl amounted to a less than one-minute bit at the very end of the episode that was entirely reproduced (in greater detail) the next night on The Flash.

No offense, Supergirl seems like a fun show, but I don't watch it and had no idea what was going on at all. I don't think I should be roped in to trying a show I had no desire to sample based on a false promise.

How about in the future you just admit the Crossover even actually is a three-night event and that it starts with The Flash on Tuesday?

Cheers:

I do, however, want to extend my kudos from last week The Flash Writer's Room.

If you have read my recaps since last season's finale, you might have literally thought I was a writer for the show over the last two weeks (I am not).

Every ethical objection I have been raising over the last few months was repeated during the dressings down of Barry by first Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and later by many of the other heroes as they learned about Flashpoint from Barry (Grant Gustin).

Barry was dressed down for hubris, for playing fast and loose with millions of people's lives, and even for changing John and Lyla's baby from a girl to a boy. 

Thank you, it is important that characters make an emotional and spiritual journey and that they face the consequences of their actions. This is what makes GOOD series different from the formulaic nonsense CBS often pumps out.

Not only does it make me feel better about my love of the show, it also makes me feel more than a bit vindicated for having the temerity to suggest that the show was ignoring the massive ethical consequences of Barry's understandable but self-serving actions.

The Dominators

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Okay, so if I was following this correctly, in 1951 aliens started appearing on earth to abduct and study earthlings (usually military personnel).

They, aliens called The Dominators (for some reason),  have been gathering this information in order to invade Earth and apparently they have decided that now is the time to strike. 

Good Old HR (Tom Cavanagh) is in the middle of showing off his plans for turning STAR labs into The Flash Museum when Team Flash gets a satellite notification that a meteor is about to land right in the middle of Central City.

The Flash dashes off to chase the meteor but it ends up being a spaceship and not a meteor. After investigating the ship, Barry almost gets run over by 4 or 5 CGI Aliens.

Invasion On!

Barry Allen, as The Flash, goes to visit Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson) who is investigating the scene of the landing the next day with the Feds (she is the Director of A.R.G.U.S. which in the larger DC Universe is the federal military research organization responsible for the creation of the Suicide Squad). 

Lyla tells Barry that these aliens will be far too much for him to handle on his own, so he goes hunting for allies. He has Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdez) use his Vibe powers to teleport them from Earth 1 to whatever Earth Supergirl resides on, he goes to Star City to recruit Team Arrow, and he goes to an abandoned STAR Labs hanger to recruit "The Legends of Tomorrow." 

Army Training, Sir

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Superman and Supergirl have always had one Achilles heel as far as I am concerned, they are just too damn powerful. 

In my opinion, the Superman comic book, for instance, only got interesting once it started starting the story process with ways to challenge Superman in ways that he was not invulnerable or where his invulnerability would not help him.

Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) apparently knows but does not entirely understand this because he suggests that they all train against Supergirl and then tells her "not to go easy on them or him." 

I mean, let's be honest, If she didn't go easy on you, you would likely all be dead within minutes. And that is doubly true of Green Arrow who isn't endowed with any superhuman powers.

So, anyway, she kind of suspends herself above them and proceeds to dispatch of all of their attempts to attack her.

I am not really sure why this was "training" for fighting aliens? They only train for what seems to be a few hours, so I am not really sure what kind of team building it was either (hence my Stripes reference above).

I suspect the actual purpose of this was to allow Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber) to pull Barry to the side and share a recording they found in the future where an older Barry says that other heroes shouldn't trust him because of what he did with Flashpoint.

After the training, they decide to elect a leader which everyone seems to think should be Green Arrow, but Oliver wants it to be Barry (even though he appears not to want to lead the group). Cisco insists that Barry should play the recording for the larger group and that he also explain everything he did to Earth 1's timeline before accepting the leadership mantle.

Many of the members of the larger team are shocked. For instance, this is the first time John Diggle hears that he used to have a daughter where now he has a son. Of course, the real problem here is that Barry's actions literally erased a living person from existence, but the writer's making Barry face John here is a big step in terms of character development.

Anyway, aside from Oliver, who seems totally unconcerned, nobody wants Barry to be the leader. So, Barry and Olver agree to stay put while the rest of the team follows Supergirl to go find the aliens who have managed to kidnap the POTUS and have holed up in an abandoned warehouse somewhere in Central City (sigh).

Mind Control

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So, the Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, and the rest of the non-support staff members of Team Arrow, head into the Wharehouse to take on "The Dominators (I don't make up the silly names)."

As I suspected, the Supergirl frontal assault training didn't prepare them very well because they walk, run, and fly right into a trap. 

I will give the writer's some kudos here too (before I start complaining again), Supergirl is invulnerable everywhere physical but, if you can get through the impervious skin, her brain could be controlled. But, why would the humans be equally vulnerable to weapons that targeted her? 

So, I am not going to suggest that it makes much sense (since at least one of the member's of the new crossover team is herself an alien while most of the rest are humans) but the aliens unleash a mind-control device and turn the entire crossover team into brainwashed alien allies.

Note to writers: When you set it up as aliens who have been planning since 1951 and a bunch of heroes who decide to carry out a blind frontal assault with no tricks or nuance, I guess it is not entirely surprising that the Aliens "dominate" the heroes. Maybe, in the future, at least play up a hubris angle or something?

The aliens then send the mind-controlled heroes back to STAR labs to wipe out Green Arrow and The Flash. Obviously, Barry and Oliver realize almost immediately that they are outnumbered and outgunned (Barry is pretty powerful, but Supergirl by herself could destroy both of them with relative ease).

Wally as Kid-Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale) decides he needs to help despite being told that he is not ready he goes out and gets seriously injured by Supergirl (more on this in a few seconds).

Barry tells Oliver to fight a holding action while he goes out and challenges Supergirl to a race. Barry races her all the way back to the Alien's warehouse (for some reason the Aliens have vacated it) and tricks her into destroying the mind-control device.

Once the mind-control device is destroyed, everyone gets their brains back (and onward to Part Three tonight).

Why Are They Holding Kid-Flash Back?

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Not going to lie, this Wally isn't ready to be Kid-Flash subplot is starting to annoy me. Why? Because earlier in the season, we already saw it play out once before.

Harrison Wells came to get help from Team Flash in convincing his Daughter Jesse Wells (Violett Beane) not to use her speed force to become Jesse Quick.

I seem to remember that all of Team Flash helped convince Harrison that he should encourage Jesse and help her use her powers to the best of her abilities so that she can be the best Jesse Quick that she can be.

Amnesia? 

What the hell, we had to suffer a month of Wally whining about not having his powers and now that he does have his powers Iris West (Candice Patton) is lining up everyone on Team Flash to convince him not to use them.

Sorry, seen that, been there, done that, saw the pictures (see above).

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Everyone in team Flash was lying to him about his powers and discouraging him from using them (except HR who is sympathetic to Wally but doesn't want to be even more unappreciated on Team Flash).

Now, because Supergirl kicked his butt, we are going to likely get more weeks of Wally being an annoying instead of a fun character. Sadly, I suspect this is what is going to push him, at least for a time, towards being seduced by the Dark Side on Team Savitar (until at the last minute he betrays them tipping the balance against the Speed God). 

So far, Joe (Jesse L. Martin) has been the Wally whisperer, but if they keep telling him not to use his powers, I suspect even Joe is going to stop being persuasive to Wally. At least at the end of the episode HR agrees to help train him (although HR is not a scientist and has no discernable powers, so kind of confused how this is a boon exactly).

I guess I just think you should let Kid Flash be the goofy member of Team Flash. He is too old to be treated like he is totally immature and too annoying to let be whiny all season long about the use of his powers.

So lots of stuff to do over the next two nights, they still haven't beaten a single Dominator (although I think they only invaded with like 4 ships of 4 aliens?).

Oh, and since "The Dominators" also kidnapped the POTUS, I guess they have to save the fake President too.

More tomorrow!

How did you like the Crossover Episode?

Did You Agree that the Wharehouse Battle Was Poorly Thought Out?

What Do You Think of Wally this Season?

Let me know what you think, leave a comment!

Stripes (Extended Cut)
Starring P.J. Soles, Harold Ramis, John Candy, Bill Murray, Warren Oates