Previously on The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow...
So here it is! The big finale!
I feel I need to touch, just quickly, on the previous episodes in this four episode crossover; the Supergirl ep was, in all honesty, part of this crossover event in name only, with little more than a 30 second stinger scene at the end of the episode given over to the Invasion! storyline. The Flash is where the story started properly and that show did a great job of kicking things off, with Barry proving to be the only person capable of bringing this epic team up together. The Arrow chapter was a little disappointing (I fess up to not being a fan of Arrow anyway) as it felt far too Oliver centric and really felt like simply an episode of its own show with a bit of a filler story that felt as though it brought the main story to a standstill, the whole trapped in a simulation thing is so over done and it literally took us out of the story. In order to work fully, each show had to sacrifice it's self for the greater good and it can't just be about the usual characters and star and I think Arrow let the side down the most here. But now we come to, Legends of Tomorrow…
After being stuck in a VR world created by the Dominators, Oliver and team Legs have escaped and re-grouped with Barry and Kara with a bit more intel to formulate their plan of action. These shows have a tendency to create a base of operations (The DEO, Star Labs etc) for their characters, a nice big set where they can plan their adventures. Sometimes this can make things feel like you’re watching a TV show and all the team hanging out in an empty hanger sort of compounds that.
So the team is working on a plan to stop the aliens, which involves going back in time to a point they knew the Dominators, had previously visited and kidnapping one of them to find out what they want. You can tell we’re in the Legends episode.
Oliver gives Kara a random speech about how he wants her to fall back when they initially go up against The Dominators because he’s trying to normalize his life…? What? I’m sure this is a just a narrative trick to keep Supergirl away from the earlier, smaller fights and maybe it feeds into some stuff in Arrow but it’s a real dick move to turn her away because he finds her powers weird. Not to mention, super powered woman v aliens stands a greater chance than, say, a well shot arrow, Ollie! I’m reminded throughout this episode that I really don’t enjoy Arrow or its cast. Especially Felicity. I really hate Felicity. Chill the heck down, we get it, you’re adorkable.
The Stein and his insta-daughter is a great storyline and I really enjoy exploring it with Caitlin. Everything to do with this side story is enjoyable, if not a little predictable and its clear it will have repercussions on the future of the show/characters – especially since its happened thanks to Steins meddling in the past and now Barry’s Flashpoint fiasco. Stein talking in such cold terms about his daughter, about fixing the mistake of her existing is a wonderful counterpoint to all the people dying/not dying that usually goes with time travel in these shows. The idea of an entire person existing by mistake and fixing the mistake meaning to un-exist her is an interesting angle on the same idea.
So Cisco and a few Legs go back in time to kidnap a Dominator. The show really intertwines the characters from each show well this week and all the Cisco stuff is good fun, especially since watching him being a dick to Barry is really horrible and genuinely uncomfortable to watch. Of course by the end of the story, Cisco has made his own time travel faux pas, which allows him to understand and forgive Barry. Yay! Best buds again!
This is a wonderfully involved episode and Legends of Tomorrow sacrifices its own show identity for the good of the wider story better than any of the other shows involved in this crossover. Some parts of the story don’t quite make sense but it relentless fun. The Dominators look great. I'm always aware of this having a TV budget and making allowances for any shaggy edges to the VFX but this legitimately looks great throughout. The finale is fun and engaging and, Kara decides turns up and help out, despite Moany Oliver and the scene looks really good. Sure, its not exactly the Airport scene in Captain America: Civil War but this is an awesome on screen superhero team up. Just a shame Rip wasn’t about to shoot his little blue gun.
This episode balances all the characters very well, far better than the other two parts. Though Kara being out of the picture is a bit of a fudge at times. There is some usual Barry angst stuff going on where he blames himself for what’s happening and the team have a few trust issues based on the mysterious message future Barry sent the Legends but this all just leads to a tingle inducing moment where Barry is ready to sacrifice himself for the good of the earth but the team want to stand and fight together, all done with multiple American Flags hanging behind everyone (serious, I think this old Star Labs warehouse is juts a flag hanging space, there are giant flags hung everywhere). Everyone is involved with the finale and they actually manage to utilise everyone’s abilities and super powers effectively to save the day.
There is a lot to like in this episode, not just a satisfying finale to the week’s big story but some great character interplay. I actually welled up when Kara said you are earths mightiest heroes and Ray’s casual line about “She kind of looks like my cousin” gave me a goofy grin. It also seems that Kara can now just pop back and fourth between universes as needed. That's cool but I think we'd all rather see the worlds merge in some way.
I still can’t stand Oliver – he literally looks like a 70's UK action man toy, with that sprayed on mossy hair and beard. He's such a non-entity in a room full of charismatic performers, I found him entirely lacking throughout the story (even in his own who part) and Felicity talking like a Gilmore Girl quoting Buffy on crack is just annoying. In fact, I actually found thee way she speaks almost spoiled things at times. The ending of this episode and this story, with Barry and Oliver – regardless of how dull I find Olver – just hanging out is lovely, with the two friends in a bar having a beer a relaxing, one of the few times the universe doesn’t need saving.
The cross over event was fantastic, a bit of a cheat in some places and slightly disappointing in others but if this is a taste of things to come I’m all for it and lets be honest, with the DC cinematic universe looking how it does at the moment, we need these shows, these characters and these people to bring us a little fun, a little joy and a little hope.
Previously on The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow...