The television crossover event of the season, Heroes v Aliens, continues here in this week’s episode of Arrow. To catch up on the Dominators’ attack on the Earth, you can click here for the first night with Supergirl, and here for the second night with The Flash. We’re under attack by aliens, and as the heroes regroup to fight back – five of them are kidnapped and subjected to mental probing. Meet me after the jump to find out what happens to Green Arrow, Speedy, Spartan, White Canary, and the Atom, in “Invasion!”
If you’ve ever read about the Dominators in the comics, you know they will mess with your head. They are geneticists, and mad scientists, and their favorite pastime is manipulation. So you know, when they have a chance to probe five non-metahumans, especially the kind who are giving them a hard time, they are going to kick the tires and give them a spin. And metaphorically, that’s what the Dominators do to Oliver, Thea, John, Sara, and Ray.
First, am I the only one creeped out by the fact the Dominators undressed and redressed them? Ew. Anyway, while the aliens are in the heroes’ heads, they give them the perfect illusion of life – something so wonderful that they won’t wake up and continue the fight against the Dominators. This grand illusion that includes all five of them (coincidentally all current or former Arrow cast members) is quite the tender trap indeed.
The Grand Illusion
In the shared fantasy world, Oliver is not Green Arrow, more importantly he seems to be happy – so we regular Arrow viewers know it’s not real – and he is about to marry Laurel Lance, the late Black Canary. She’s not the only ghost here, as Oliver’s parents are both alive as well. It’s kinda cool that they got those actors to return to these roles for this one time. We also get a shot of Tommy and Roy at the end although it’s not live. Thea is there, also stable and happy with her family around her, and Sara and Ray are both guests at the wedding.
I did say the Dominators will mess with your head. Oliver is happy, marrying Laurel. Thea is happy, with her family together and alive. Sara the same with Laurel alive, and Ray is back to status quo, a millionaire with Felicity as his fiancée. The shocker comes with John Diggle however – he is The Hood. Is that what John really wants? To be Green Arrow?
Some of our heroes are getting flashes of memory whenever something familiar from the real world triggers it. Seeing The Hood is a big trigger for Oliver obviously, and he and John get together on his wedding day and start putting the pieces together. John even produces a drawing he made of a Dominator that more resembles the comics version than the TV version, much like Vigilante.
Once Oliver and John are sure they are in some mass illusion, in a spinning shot that reminded me of Tommy Ross and Carrie White dancing at the Prom, a Dominator failsafe comes into the picture – Deathstroke, in keeping with the tone of this illusion occurring in the recent past. Oliver and John put up a good fight, but let’s face it, they’re not quite Green Arrow and Spartan at the moment…
You May Be Right
Meanwhile in the real world, Cisco has joined Felicity and Team Arrow at the Arrowcave to try to track down their friends, by using Cisco’s Vibe powers and a bit of Dominator tech they found. A regulator is needed, after some experimentation reveals Earth tech and Dominion tech doesn’t mix well. They track one such regulator to a metahuman named Laura Washington who has electrical powers. She looks a bit like Cyborgirl, who fought Wonder Woman a few times in the comics.
When Supergirl and the Flash are called in to help stop the new meta, Wild Dog is standoffish. He seems to be of the opinion that metahumans are a bad thing. When the Flash showed up, metas started coming out of the woodwork, and now that Supergirl is here, we have aliens. He does have a point, and he’s also suffered a bit by metahuman hands, so who can blame the guy?
Take a Chance
Just when the tide seems to have turned and Deathstroke is about to take out Oliver and John, Sara jumps in and finishes him. We in my living room said it at the same time as she did, “How did I do that?” The three of them are on track, they know they’re sharing an illusion, even if they’re not sure why. They get Ray, who too easily knows as well, but then again, Ray seems to be in this episode almost as an afterthought honestly. Then Oliver tries to get Thea…
Thea manages to acknowledge that this may not be real, and that maybe they don’t belong here, but she’s happy. Thea has her parents, she has her career, and she’s happy. She never died, she was never a psychopathic killer. She never had people she cared about torn from her. Thea doesn’t want to go, because even if it’s not real, everything in this weird Dominion matrix is perfect. As Oliver leaves her, all of our hearts break. Thea deserves her peace, and the Dominators take first blood.
This is also the one hundedth episode of Arrow, forcibly shoehorned into the middle of the Heroes v Aliens crossover, which explains Ray’s presence. The idea of seeing a world where Oliver Queen never was shipwrecked is inspired and perfect fodder for a landmark episode, but what tribute to the show would be complete without some emotional manipulation that is later taken back? So yeah, you guessed it, Thea rejoins the others, and you want to kick the TV.
As viewers recover from having their hearts wrenched, obstacles appear in the heroes’ way – Deathstroke back from the dead, Merlyn the Magician, Damien Darhk, and a handful of H.I.V.E. goons. They fight through them (although it might have been satisfying for Sara, as well as viewers, for her to kill even this illusionary Darhk) , and then are confronted by Laurel. Sorry, by now, and after the stunt with Thea, I have no more emotions to blackmail, so Laurel’s begging means nothing.
The heroes awaken on the Dominators mothership, fight their way to an escape pod, which is in turn is rescued by the Waverider, the timeship of the Legends of Tomorrow. As the mothership heads toward Earth, Dominion communiqués indicate that a weapon has been readied from the intel taken from the heroes’ minds. To be continued/concluded in this week’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Hopefully it will be more like the Flash segment, and less like the Supergirl and Arrow parts, because really what we all to see is the title heroes go mano a mano with these aliens, bring it on!
Next: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: Invasion!