Superhero Weekly: The Invasion Crossover

Spoilers will invade your screen, but nobody will be harmed.

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

Supergirl finally reveals… Medusa? Shouldn’t the name of this thing be Kryptonian? Anyhow, it turns out to be this chemical agent created by Kara Zor-El’s father. The weapon specifically targets non-Kryptonian aliens. And someone forgot a very freaking important detail here. To Kryptonians, Terrans aka humanity would also be an alien race. That means that this formula would really lay waste to everyone but Kara and Clark.

But I did like Lena’s angle with her mom, Lillian. From the beginning, I was already calling on Lena to have been convinced too easily. It was obvious that Lena had the scientific knowledge to nullify the agent and render it inert. It was still a cool twist, albeit an extremely obvious one and fortunately Katie McGrath didn’t add any hesitation and/or shifty acting to give it away. Of course, she’s made herself a very powerful enemy. I don’t think Cadmus or Lillian are done.

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

Dr. Eliza Danvers also visits her daughters, as this is really a Thanksgiving episode. Everyone seemed eager to make a reveal, but I only cared about Alex. She doesn’t get to do it. A portal opens and closes above the table. On the plus side, Eliza does get a lot of things done. She helps with the Medusa agent, she talks to Alex about her sexuality and last and definitely least, she tells Kara that Mon-El has a thing for her.

Mon-El has so far been portrayed as self-indulgent and immature. Now he’s slowly revealing a new leaf. It’s welcomed but still too little to warrant him being taken seriously yet. The result is, I didn’t expected the kiss. His infatuation with Kara better be genuine. That said, that was a decent kiss. The other surprise that wasn’t so unexpected was Alex and Maggie. I love the imperfectness of Maggie approaching Alex, which is a lot closer to the stumbling and awkward way that relationships happen. No fairytale-ness just people walking on eggshells. It wasn’t so much the kiss as the approach that was so clumsily but realistically done.

We didn’t really get any invasion-themed shenanigans, just a little last minute visit from Barry and Cisco.

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

The Flash actually included the same last minute scene from Barry and Cisco showing up at Kara’s place. Then Flash went all invasion and that’s when to my chagrin I have to admit that crossovers are all about certain really cool scenarios between characters but not about really about a threat. Actually the whole alien thing is a little played out, but this particular conception had way too many holes.

Overall, the biggest weakness of the Dominators was that they never really opted to kill any of the superheroes, even when they had them dead to rights, right in front, captured, unconscious and even mind-controlled. Actually, other than one Dominator shooting the president (no, not Linda Carter, this happens in the Arrow/Flash-verse) there were no shots fired in the direction of the super-team.

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

So there’s literally two plots to take out the superheroes, one in The Flash and one in Arrow. The one here is really about mind-controlling everyone but Barry and Ollie. And the reason for Barry staying behind is almost as stupid as the one for Ollie. Barry is left behind because of a secret message left in the Waverider (I binged Legends last weekend) that only Stein and Jackson had heard so far. When revealed, due to Cisco finding the recording, everyone (but Oliver and Kara) stops trusting Barry for some reason. The emerald archer stays behind because he’s not willing to leave without Barry.

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

So after the Super-Friends (yes, I noticed the Hall of Justice hangar, more later) walk into an obvious trap literally through the front door (use stealth, dammit! Is it the first time you walk into an enemy’s lair?) in a group, the Dominators activate a device and presto – everyone’s hypnotized. Next up, it’s the Flash and Green Arrow versus the mind-controlled team. Barry relies on Supergirl’s speed and invulnerability to play a game of chicken where he gets her to destroy the mind-controlled device.

The next move, kidnap the non-powered superheroes. It’s a cliffhanger leading to Arrow. I’m willing to bypass the obvious villain-captures-James-Bond-and-doesn’t-kill-him level of naiveté from the Dominators here because this was a cool fantasy world to visit.

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

I think Arrow has best used the theme of the invasion, not because the Dominators do anything smart but because we get a What If scenario that brings back so many characters that were gone. It’s Oliver and Laurel’s wedding and both of Oliver’s parents are alive. We have Thea Queen, Sara Lance, Ray Palmer and John Diggle as the Green Arrow. They all start having visions. The central part of it all for some reason is the building that once was headquarters of Queen Consolidated, became Palmer Tech and now has a sign for Smoak Enterprises. Why this building, I can’t say. Actually I guess it just had to be one. It’s not the first time we see the Smoak sign here, but let’s not dwell on that for now.

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

Eventually, everyone has to face their inner demons and some actual ones as Deathstroke, Malcolm Merlyn and… (do I really have to type his name again???) Damien Darhk appear to do battle. Eventually they break free of the whatchamacallit and escape the mothership in a stolen ship (there’s so many plot holes to comment later on this “escape”). They only get saved from a swarm of other ships by the Waverider.

It’s up to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow to tie it all up. Did they? Kind of. There was something of a plan when they decide to kidnap a Dominator from the past. The ship they steal in Arrow ends up being the ship they use to return the Dominator. However the whole plan of going back to the past breaks apart, and turns out it becomes a reason for the Dominators to judge the metahumans a threat earlier on. Not quite sure why or how the Dominators later decide Barry Allen is the person that personifies the metahuman threat though. We’re led to believe it’s because they want to break apart the team, or at least that’s the general feel that I got.

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

Also one thing that kinda irked me greatly. Oliver takes a moment to ask Supergirl to sit out a meeting between them and the new president because he’s trying to keep some “semblance of normalcy”. This translates in my book as “completeness of bullshit”. Why exactly did he picks this moment to be a complete dick to Kara is unfair, unwise, shit for brains and a bunch of other behaviour that is not fitting of a supposed superhero. Guess anybody can have a xenophobe but it’s how we act on it that matters. I still haven’t forgiven Oliver for this one.

We also get to visit with Professor Stein and Dr. Caitlin Snow as they try to think of a way to neutralize the alien threat. Caitlin resorts to involving Stein’s daughter – a person which Stein has deduced has been created due to a timeline alteration that he might have contributed to by talking to his former self.

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

The leadership was a bit all over the place. Barry feels immensely awkward leading everyone. Oliver plays backseat leader for a bit, but it’s obvious he’s calling the shots. Supergirl kind of hangs back and waits to see what happens, but she’s the powerhouse of the group. Honestly, there was a little bit of a power void during The Flash until we get to Arrow and then it’s Olivier’s game.

Highs/Lows/Eeehleeens!

  • The first xeno-stupid person that tells me that Medusa didn’t affect humans because “humans are not aliens, duhhh” gets a free rocket trip to the nearest red sun. Yes, Cadmus could’ve altered the formula so it doesn’t affect humans either but if they had that level of scientific knowledge then a) someone should’ve mentioned that detail, b) they could’ve altered it to include Kryptonians, and c) at that point they could’ve created the agent themselves.
  • Alex and Maggie’s transition from cop buddies to a couple has been awkward and full of false-starts and misunderstandings. Which is a good thing! Relationships are complicated, more so when a margin of society has already attached so much stigma to what they label alternative. On the plus side, I was so happy that Eliza Danvers dissipated any awkwardness by meeting her daughter halfway. As Alex came out to her, it felt more like her mother pulled her in, which was a beautiful image.
  • Lena Luthor is now my favourite new character this season of Supergirl. Again, I’m glad they played it straight as she seemed to went along with Lillian/Madame Cadmus. That was smart.
  • This one’s obvious to everyone: James and Wynn should’ve been heard by Kara’s superhearing. Perhaps she can turn it off at will – which doesn’t excuse the two from whispering.
  • Maggie better not become the sacrificial lamb of any future storylines.
  • The kiss between Mon-El and Kara seemed a bit too soon, but was a decent kiss. The Daxamite seems to have done a bit of growing up, but I don’t see him ready for a full adult relationship yet. How come there’s a ton of people that didn’t realize that Mon-El pretends not to remember the kiss? The camera shows him having a serious look for a second after Kara pretends nothing happened. Mon-El was giving her an easy way out, but he obviously didn’t want her to take it.
  • J’onn expecting to be killed by the Medusa agent, ready to join his wife and daughters. That was a moment.
  • The obvious high/low is that Supergirl didn’t stop their show due to the Invasion Crossover. Instead, they just featured it at the end. To be honest, it was a packed episode already. It was enjoyable, and a lot of ground was covered but the Invasion didn’t spread to Kara’s Earth.
  • The Flash included the same scene from Supergirl, so you didn’t really miss anything if you started from here. The show literally put the whole Savitar/Alchemy plot on hold and focused on the Dominators. Who, overall, were not much on a threat considering that they didn’t really shoot anything at any superhero, I mean – not even once.
  • My biggest pet peeve with the Dominators is they literally have the team at their mercy twice and do not choose to just take them out. Even when the Flash is knocked to the ground, none of the Dominators choose to kill him off. To top it off, everything related to them (including them) is TV-quality CGI.
  • Kara’s introduction to the team is badass and adorable at the same time. She can fly! She can burn things with her eyes!
  • Seems Barry imitates Oliver’s usual m.o. of hiding things from people. Does it pay off? No, it backfires majorly. Do we really have learned nothing?
  • Once the team gets together, it doesn’t seem like they have something to do… And once they do, they go about it in the worse way. Let’s rescue the president by walking into a trap through the front door?
  • Everybody noticed the hangar kinda resembles the Hall of Justice from Superfriends? To make it more obvious, they CGI a version that looks exactly like it including the pool in front (which is nowhere to be seen when we  are looking at the real thing).
  • I get why Diggle has reason to distrust Barry, but not necessarily everyone else. Kara definitely still does. And if the team is going sans Arrow and Flash, why didn’t they agree on a leader? Kara was a definite candidate. Sara, who leads the Legends, was another option.
  • Once we hit Arrow, the premise of who the Dominators are is used to set up a What If scenario involving Laurel Lance, Oliver and Thea’s parents, a ton of previous enemies and literally the Dominators have everyone in dream stasis. I did enjoy the fantasy world, it was a way to give everyone closure. Seeing Laurel again was worth the entire crossover.
  • So the heroes wake up, but can’t do anything because they’re chained up. Nope, they are not. Well, they can’t leave the room because they’ve got Dominators watching over them. Nope, nobody else there. Okey, the room is locked. Nope again. There are guards outside. Nope, unguarded. They ran into a pack of Dominators who have guns. Nope again! They are unarmed and facing away from the corridor. Actually, they’ve left a gun-like device right there which Oliver picks it up and fires. Unfortunately they don’t know how to pilot a craft to escape. For some reason, the darn thing flies on anybody’s will. Who knew. Such a daring escape.
  • Okey I was being sarcastic but yeah… Crossovers are not about super complex plots.
  • Things get a little more hectic but serious in Legends, where we learn the Secret Agent Man that told Layla to fall in line in Flash was in charge of some secret agency back when the Dominators appeared for the first time.
  • The idea to capture a Dominator turns afterwards in a “rescue” of some sort. What exactly did that accomplish? I didn’t buy the Dominators willing to let everyone go if Barry surrendered. Of course, he wanted to do it (Barry has a bit of a hero complex sometimes). The rest of the team decides instead to fight the powers that be.
  • “This is a job for Supergirl,” says Felicity. And Barry feels left out. Come on, Barr! It’s not always about you man. Let Kara shine by herself once in a while. You already got to use her to destroy the mind-control device, didn’t you?
  • Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) makes a reference to Kara looking a bit like her cousin. It’s an indirect reference to him playing Superman and we all caught it.
  • Nope, still haven’t forgiven Oliver for being mean to Kara. I know it was done in the name of dramatic license, but we all admire Olivier’s tenacity to survive the odds in his life and grow as a person. Suddenly, he pulls a xenophone lateral move, and coming from him it’s really disappointing. I mean, Mick calls Supergirl a “skirt” but you kind of expect him to do that. I didn’t expect that from Oliver.
  • Honestly, I don’t remember where they fight the cyborg-woman, but I loved Barry tagging in Kara in as if it was a wrestling match.
  • Wild Dog decides he’s not calling Supergirl anything. And I throw in the towel with this guy. He really deserved to get his ass kicked and he still deserves some more.
  • “You called Tech Support?” I wished they’ve given that line to Cisco.
  • Not quite approving the look of Steel yet. Completely agreed with Mick making fun of his costume. Seriously, Nate Heywood could’ve toned it down a notch. That costume is a bit of a slap in the face.
  • Mick asking Sara if the new president is hot. I know they were going for a joke, and one that involved Sara so that Mick doesn’t sound like an asshole. However, he still is.
  • Did we honestly include the entire time travel with Cisco just so he could forgive Barry? Seems like we did.
  • Wally gets scolded for running into danger AGAIN. I mean, when the world is in the brink of extinction. Honestly, I expected Wally to go Kid Flash and Caitlin to go Killer Frost for the sake of saving the world.
  • I wished they’d all go out and not just Oliver and Barry before everyone departed back to their own adventures. After all, everyone was a part of it. You can imply they all went back later, you don’t even need to include that in the show.

That will do for now.

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