Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find all of my Legends of Tomorrow reviews here.
Whew! The DC TV mega-crossover ended on Legends of Tomorrow, and what an achievement it was. Part 3 of “Invasion!” finally delivered on the heroes vs aliens action for a dazzling and hugely entertaining hour of television.
Much of the praise I had for the first part of “Invasion!” also applies here. The same excellent character dynamics were present, with even more interactions than before. Like Cisco and Felicity traveling back in time with Nate and Mick and even rescuing them. Prompting another one of Mick’s excellent one-liners: “Great. Saved by geeks.”
Speaking of funny lines and character interactions: Ray Palmer (played by Brandon Routh, who also played Superman in 2006’s Superman Returns) saying Supergirl “kinda looks like my cousin”? Perfection.
Much like “Invasion!” part 1, the action this week was a lot of fun to watch. It wasn’t as good as on Tuesday, since superheroes fighting each other is always more fun than them fighting generic CGI creatures. But it was still an entertaining and thrilling climax that handled its many moving parts very well.
One of the criticisms I had when the crossover started was rectified in “Invasion!” part 3, as the aliens’ motivation was finally fleshed out. And wouldn’t you know it, they hate Barry Allen because of “Flashpoint” too! More specifically, they targeted Earth because of the unpredictable and threatening nature of metahumans. Barry resetting the timeline was the danger sign that prompted the attack.
Although “Flashpoint” may have been less significant than I had hoped when it came to the consequences of time travel, since then the effects of Barry’s decision have continued to have major ramifications. So in that sense, I’m glad. And Barry offering to turn himself over to the Dominators to save his friends and planet was a good, tangible way for him to atone for his errors. It also led to the powerful moment of the heroes standing by his side and refusing to give him up.
Even Cisco, whose time travel adventure this week caused him to realize how fickle the timeline can be, finally forgave Barry. It was a bit of an easy out, but it prevented “grumpy Cisco” from getting stale.
“Invasion!” wasn’t perfect when it came to balancing the needs of the individual shows and the crossover. But such a balance is near-impossibly difficult, and I’m glad this crossover managed to work in storylines from each of its member series.
For example, the Legends episode not only featured time travel, but also continued the intriguing subplot of Martin’s new daughter. A time travel aberration he couldn’t bring himself to erase, even though he initially wanted to. It was a good arc for him, and I look forward to seeing where it leads.
The only weird thing that stood out to me was Oliver keeping Kara at arm’s length all of a sudden. It was a little out of character and definitely a strange turn of events that kept Kara away for many scenes. Was there a behind-the-scenes reason for it, or did the writers simply not want Kara to overshadow everyone with her powers?
Overall, I would call “Invasion!” an ambitious and rousing success. Managing a 4-show crossover is difficult enough, but to have it be so consistently good throughout, and so wonderfully entertaining and satisfying by the end, is a fantastic achievement. And ending it with Oliver and Barry, the initiators of this yearly crossover tradition, sitting alone together and sharing drinks was a perfect touch. Well done!