The television crossover event of the season, Heroes v Aliens, concludes here in this week’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. To catch up on the Dominion’s attack on the Earth, you can click here for the first night with Supergirl, here for the second night with The Flash, and here for the offbeat third part coinciding with the 100th episode of Arrow. After probing the minds of five of our heroes, the Dominators have constructed a weapon to use on us. As their mothership approaches the Earth for their final assault, can the united heroes of our world save us? Find out after the jump in my review of the concluding chapter of “Invasion!”
The episode begins with questions. Not good questions like why didn’t bring Superman, J’onn J’onzz, and Mon-El with as well as Supergirl, I mean, if one uber-powered alien hero is good, wouldn’t four be better, especially against an alien invasion? Not like why is the rest of Team Arrow sidelined when they even brought in the rest of the Legends, I mean, it would seem to me that someone as powerful as Ragman might be useful, right? And why has no one before tonight made any mention about how awkward it is to have the Flash and Heat Wave, a known super-villain and Rogue, side-by-side on the same team? And not the big daddy of all questions – why can’t the Legends repair the damage the Flash made with the Flashpoint timeline??
The questions are more in line with why did the Dominators capture only heroes who were not metahuman, and what is their weapon, and how can they find out what the aliens are up to. Yes, all valid questions, but not really the ones that are on the minds of the viewers. I’m still working on why this four-night crossover is more of a two-part story, when it all comes down to it. One minute of Supergirl and a framing sequence for a what-if? story on Arrow do not a four-part mega-event make.
Green Arrow vs. Supergirl
We, or regular DC’s Legends of Tomorrow viewers at least, knew since 1951 was mentioned as the first Dominators visit that we’d be going there when we got to the Legends episode, because time travel is what that show is all about. The idea is to go back in time and kidnap a Dominator for interrogation. It’s only fair, eye for an eye, kidnap for a kidnap, right? As with any time the Legends go into the past, things will get complicated.
When Supergirl volunteers to go, Green Arrow objects and asks to speak to her alone. After that last episode of Arrow, Oliver is a bit overwhelmed to say the least, and maybe more than a little freaked out. Aliens did this to him, and Kara is an alien. Wow. He doesn’t just not trust her, Oliver’s got alienitis. It might seem silly at first, but this is actually dead-on characterization for Oliver, he’s stubborn, holds grudges, and hates what he can’t understand. It’s a shame that after five years of watching Arrow, I know that Oliver can not learn or change, and if he does, it’s short term. Ask any member of the show’s cast.
The Man in Black
After witnessing the uneven battle in 1951 between the army and the Dominators, Steel and Vixen and Heat Wave spot a Dominator straggler and snag it. Once they have him, they themselves are captured by the army, or more accurately some folks who look suspiciously like men in black, the real thing, not Tommy Lee and Will. Once they’re captured and placed in captivity with the Dominator, changes begin immediately to affect the present of 2016.
The head man in black, Agent Smith, is there in both instances, young in 1951 and old in 2016. He coordinated both traps, and if you were looking close, he was also lurking about in the Flash segment of this crossover. Not only does Smith to know everyone’s names, both super and secret, but he knows that the Dominators hate metahumans, and feel they are a threat. He himself negotiated a peace with the Dominion, a truce that was broken when the Flash changed time. That brought them here. Geez, is the Flash responsible for everything? Not quite.
Odds and Ends
Back in 1951, Cisco is still whining, but at least he and Felicity make a good team, and make for a darn good rescue too. They even rescue the captured Dominator. In making that save however, Cisco and Felicity exposed the Dominators to bad humans and metahumans alike. Cisco, who has been all whiny about Barry killing his brother with Flashpoint, is now the one who screwed up the timeline. I wonder if this will mend the fence between him and the Flash? And again, I have to wonder why the Legends can’t just repair the Flashpoint timeline.
And then there’s Professor Stein’s daughter Lily, created by his time meddling and interaction with his own younger self. And as it turns out, she is exactly what they need to defeat the Dominators, an expert in nanotechnology, holy plot contrivance, Batman! After much wishy-washy-ness and floundering about, the father and daughter bond and help save the day, but in the end it just seems like a typical time-filling subplot out of Arrow, more than anything else, and believe me, Arrow does a lot of this kind of crap.
Agent Smith has, behind the scenes of course, brokered a deal with the Dominators. If the Flash surrenders, the Dominion will leave the Earth, and will not detonate the meta-bomb (called the gene bomb in the comics), which will exterminate all metahumans on the planet. Old guilty Barry, battered by what he did with Flashpoint throughout this crossover agrees almost immediately to turn himself over to the Dominators. I’m actually curious as to what Dominion justice might be, dissection? Prison? Enslavement? Would they now have their own speedster/time meddler in their control. This can’t be a good deal really.
None of that matters however, because his teammates will not allow him to surrender. We knew that, right. And the Dominators drop the meta-bomb. There’s a final battle with the heroes on a rooftop, which is a bit puzzling, once the bomb is detonated, why would the aliens have to worry about the heroes any longer, right? Just drop the bomb and go. Still, all week we’ve wanted a fight, so they gave a fight. It has all the potential of a Captain America: Civil War airport but doesn’t measure up, the showrunners try, and there are moments, but it’s not quite there. An admirable effort for a television budget, but the coordination and execution don’t do it. Firestorm turns the bomb to water and the nerds bring the pain, so the Dominators finally, without a word, turn tail and run.
When it’s all over, there’s a Star Wars-like awards ceremony and a party at the end. It seems that all the heroes involved have their identities now known by the government, and the shadow government are now not only aware of aliens, but extra-dimensional beings as well. The heroes do arrange to have Smith stationed in Antarctica, so no, he won’t want revenge. We have a new President in the Arrowverse, an African-American woman, although honestly I was hoping to see this dimension’s version of Lynda Carter, President in Supergirl’s world.
Many loose ends are tied up. Oliver and Sara realize that the shared illusion of the matrix was a gift as well as a prison. Cisco gives Supergirl her own portal maker and trans-dimensional communicator, so we can have more crossovers. And the Atom gets the best line of the whole event when he sees Supergirl dressed as Kara, when he says she looks like his cousin. It ends later with Barry and Oliver sharing a drink in a bar, why don’t they do that more? Hell, I’d love to see those two with Captain Cold at Saints and Sinners, now that would be a fun night.
We really only got about two hours and ten minutes of crossover out of four possible hours, but in hindsight, this was a hell of a feat to pull off, and it was done well. Building blocks are in place for a Justice League perhaps in the future, Barry and S.T.A.R. Labs owns the actual Hall of Justice after all. Next time I wish there were more character moments, and more interaction with characters not usually together – Flash, Supergirl, and Wild Dog is a prime example, and a great scene.
I liked it, and can’t wait for the next one. What did you folks think? Now tell me again why the Legends can’t just fix Flashpoint? I mean, that’s their job, right?