Legends of Tomorrow, Season 2, Episode 7, “Invasion!”
Remember a couple of months back when we here at Oohlo Labs™ cooked a theory that thanks to all of his baby gender switching, brother killing, freeze powers granting time travel antics, Barry Allen had actually become a villain?
Once again we here at the Labs are ahead of our time because we aren’t the only ones on that train of thought, as it was revealed the notion of evil Barry was been the cornerstone of the Dominator invasion storyline that wrapped up on Legends of Tomorrow.
“Evil” may be stretching it a little. “Irresponsible” Barry and Flashpoint have disrupted the timeline in unimaginable ways. The Dominators, despite being giant-sized, super strong and telepathic, are not big fans of beings with super abilities and in a preemptive effort to protect themselves, they scout inhabited planets looking to seek and snuff out life forms like metahumans.
Barry’s botching of time drew the attention of the Dominators and they decided that the Flash and other metahumans like him should be put down with a metahuman killing bomb, that would also knock out tens of millions of regular folks in the process.
So among the group, Barry became a scapegoat for everything bad that’s happened to everybody ever, with the effort led by Cisco, who has been a pouty toddler about the random death of his brother throughout the crossover.
In an effort to better understand the Dominators, Steel, Vixen and Heatwave grudgingly take hyperactive science nerds Cisco and Felicity back to 1951 with the plan to kidnap and interrogate a Dominator. The mission goes smooth until some agent types with black suits and shady government credentials double crosses the heroes, knocks them out, and for good measure, take the alien.
Of course, all this alters the timeline. It’s made worse when Felicity and Cisco launch an adorable rescue mission that saves the humans and the Dominator, that latter detail that further screws up time.
In the midst of all this, Prof. Stein is dealing with a time aberration of his own creation. A few episodes back he inspired his younger self to have a child with his wife. Those headaches Stein has been having are fragments of memories about his daughter manifesting into being. At first Stein sees this brilliant, vibrant young woman as an error in need of correction, but the more he worked with her, the more fond of her he became.
It all comes home to roost when the Dominators demand Barry in exchange for peace. If humanity refuses, they drop their bomb. Of course Barry is ready to sacrifice himself for the greater good, but the assembled team, including Cisco who was buried by a truckload of irony when his well-intentioned change in the time stream has unforeseen and drastic consequences, comes together to fight off the Dominators.
Where has Kara been in all this you ask? Well, early on Oliver decided he’d rather be comfortable in his own trust issues than have their most powerful teammate with the most expensive special effects out there too much.
Of course Supergirl is out there for the climatic battle, and rescues Ollie when he’s chucked off the top of a building during the fight – earning Kara the coveted Steely Nod of Thanks from Green Arrow.
The day is ultimately saved when the team stops the bomb, Firestorm turns it into water (long story) and Flash and Supergirl plant Stein’s daddy-daughter science project devices on the Dominators; that puts them in terrible pain and sends them scurrying.
This leads to the inevitable salute and afterparty back at the Abandoned Warehouse of Justice, where Kara gets her own portable portal to Earth Prime. Stein decides to let his newly discovered daughter exist, and we get cute comedy bits and meta nods like Ray (in a nod to Brandon Routh’s own time with the big S on this chest) says Kara looks like his cousin.
The crossover episodes have been a hotly anticipated part of The CW superhero universe since it was announced that The Flash was going to be a series. This crossover, despite some inward looking detours along the way, paid off in ways that previous incarnations of the crossover couldn’t have dreamed of. Most of the credit goes to the injecting of Supergirl into the mix. Along with the cape and heat vision, Kara (and to a larger extent Melissa Benoist) also brings an infectious enthusiasm that brightens up any situation. A Steely Nod should also go out the four series themselves, which have undergone a shift away from the moody and broody tone of recent seasons and embraced anywhere from a balanced way of storytelling (Arrow) to outright becoming a cheesy good time every week (Legends of Tomorrow). The lighter tone made so much of the fun this week brought possible.
The next crossover won’t be as big, but it will be musical. After the fun and success of this Crossover Week, fans of televised superhero action and adventure will be eagerly counting down the days until it airs.