‘The Flash’ Recap and Reaction: “Invasion!”

Graham Host
Arrowverse TV
Arrowverse TV

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you can’t have missed the news of CW’s four-part four-way Arrowverse Invasion! crossover. Based on the DC Comics arc of the same name, the alien Dominators are hitting the heroes in a big way. With Supergirl’s “Medusa” ending with Barry and Cisco recruiting the Last Daughter of Krypton, The Flash is about to step things up a notch.

It Begins!

The Flash wastes no time in throwing the Flash and Green Arrow in the deep end. Between a heat vision blast inches from both of them and an assembly of heroes seemingly against them, things look bad.

flash-invasion-brainwashed-heroes

Let’s rewind back to the beginning of the day. Wally is undergoing tests and growing much faster than Barry did, already passing Mach 2. This is worrying news to his sister who forces the rest not to mention anything. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, HR calls them for a presentation he’s been putting together: re-opening STAR Labs. But Hipster Wells fails to sell the idea before an incoming meteor calls Barry away.

Close Encounters

That’s no meteor. It’s a space station ship. And out pop dozens of angry aliens. ARGUS is called in for cleanup but is quickly overruled and sidelined by other forces. When talking with Barry, Lyla is seemingly unaware of the ship. Well, this ship. Another appeared in the ’50s under aggressive circumstances. These ‘Dominators’ claim to be seeking understanding only. Like that has ever happened.

The Dominator ship

Team Flash is sidelined as Barry is unable to take on the threat. So we take a stroll over to Star City. With aliens on the board, Thea suits back up and Oliver calls the Legends, presumably with the old ‘letter with a lawyer’ trick. Just because things couldn’t stay even relatively normal, we flash back to the Supergirl recruitment. Go team!

All Team Team-Up

So much for peaceful intentions from the Dominators because it appears they are planning a first strike. Not that Team Team-Up isn’t holding back either. Helpfully, Supergirl’s Earth-38 also had Dominators — so we completely gloss over that before continuing. Under heavy prompting from Oliver, Barry organises training against Kara. At long last, Ray Palmer is back in action with a new ATOM Suit.

The assembled Arrowverse heroes
The assembled heroes

When checking in with Ray, Barry is upset to find that Snart has died. Almost as sad as Wally is when he arrives and Iris sends him away. Just when things look like they’re at their darkest, both parts of Firestorm decide to share the message that Future Barry sent them. With Oliver in tow, the Flash reveals how he rewrote time and ruined everybody’s lives. But the effects appear to spiral even further in the future. Stein is furious and suffers another attack of new memories after the others leave. Concerned, he asks Caitlin to take him home as the others continue to fail against Supergirl.

POTUS

With the President now on the scene, Lyla recommends some assertive action against the wishes of an elderly gentleman who claims to work with Waller. As the President leaves, his convoy is ambushed and he is kidnapped by the Dominators. Back in STAR Labs, Wally confronts his family after uncovering the results of his test. With no other road to take, Wally goes to the untrustworthy HR Wells to find training. But HR turns him down.

The newest Stein

Martin and Caitlin have gone to his house to see his wife but Martin suffers another attack of memory and comes home to find his wife. But there is a problem — only his daughter is home. “Flashpoint” rewrote his own history and Martin flees from this stranger.

Discord

While looking for his music player, Cisco stumbles across the message Future-Barry sent. With the truth coming out either way, Barry reveals Flashpoint to the rest of the heroes. Hearing that Baby John was Baby Sara infuriates the team. Just because things couldn’t get any worse, the Presidential kidnapping alleviates the tension as Barry and Oliver bench themselves.

What happened to Iris West-Allen?

X-Ray vision reveals a single figure inside the building they track the President to. But they are far from alone. A Dominator appears and kills the President. It was all a trap to capture the assembled heroes. For the first time in a long time, Barry visits the Time Vault to examine the 2024 newspaper. Where it had once been written by Iris West-Allen, Julie Greer has now taken the byline. Time has literally be rewritten.

Civil War

Events return to the beginning of the show. Whatever the Dominators did turned everyone against the Flash and Arrow. It’s an unfair fight. First to go is Heatwave as Barry sprints past. Then it’s a combo-takedown by Barry when he uses lightning against Supergirl, Atom, and Firestorm. By sheer numbers, Oliver is starting to lose his edge as Wally runs out to help. Unfortunately, Kid Flash fails to make a good first impression as Supergirl quickly takes him out of the running.

The debut appearance of Kid Flash

Challenging Supergirl to a race, the Flash sprints away to the old salt mine where he is able to trick Kara to break the device controlling her actions. Back in STAR Labs, the others stop short of killing Oliver. Even with all his training, I doubt he could avoid an arrow, assassin, and bullet at the same time.

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Impressed by Wally’s bravery, HR agrees to train Wally in his powers. Outside, the various heroes try to plan their next move when Scotty intervenes and beams them up. Even though Barry tries to snatch Oliver from a beam, it appears that everybody from Star City has been taken. On the bright side, we still have Flash, Firestorm, Supergirl, and Heatwave. But where are the other heroes?

Observations

  • Considering how awesome this first episode has been, there is little reason to continue the Arrowverse crossovers after “Invasion!” The bar has been set too high.
  • Supergirl has now been established on Earth-38. With so many universes out there, CW has created plenty of room to create or reuse characters. Thirty-Eight is also a reference to the year Superman debuted — 1938.
  • Is it not strange that the Dominators only took the heroes from Star City? Not the alien, speedster or whatever Firestorm is. Just the normal people sans Mick?
  • Fan Contributor Joseph Wilbur pointed out that the abandoned factory the heroes use for training is a fantastic Easter Egg reference to the Hall of Justice. Read his article on what that could mean here.
Graham Host
Graham Host is a member of the Fan Contributor program. In his spare time, he enjoys the works of Terry Pratchett, DC Comics and a wide assortment of video games. Under no circumstances should he be fed after midnight. Contactable only via Twitter or trained carrier pigeon.
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