Spoilers ahead for “Invasion!,” the latest episode of The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow!
The short version: The gang finally gets the epic faceoff with the Dominators. It’s silly, but pretty great. They beat back the alien invaders (shocking, right?), and everyone holds hands and hugs (literally) in the end.
The good: Pure insanity, alien battles, the character team-ups
They apparently saved the best for last when it comes to the “Invasion!” crossover, and the Legends of Tomorrow piece of the puzzle certainly delivered on the promise of something billed as “Heroes v Aliens.” It was huge (at least for CW scale), and paid off with all the Avengers-esque team shots and camera-spinning group fights you could want. Was it big and silly? Sure. They beat the aliens thank to some wacky McGuffins, and you have to dispel disbelief enough to just accept Cisco and Felicity repaired an alien ship in about five minutes flat, but whatever. It was still a romp. Seeing Supergirl catch the Green Arrow after getting tossed off a building; seeing the Flash zip around tagging aliens with bombs; seeing Firestorm fly around blasting Dominators. It was a comic book brought to life, with all the goofiness that might entail. Hey, Legends has always been a little dumb, so what better place to go crazy?
But, most of all, this episode really gave us some great character moments. Cisco and Felicity geeking the eft-out on the Waverider? Check. Rory hitting on Supergirl (eww)? Check. Supergirl, Flash and Green arrow literally sharing a group hug? Check. The episode was loaded with one-liners, fan nods, winks and everything that makes these shows fun. A bit cheesy, sure. But fun. Again, warts and all, Warner Bros. could learn a lot from this crossover event when putting together Justice League. Somebody send Zack Snyder a DVD of this thing.
The bad: It was just too dumb, big questions few answers, Firestorm ex machina
For all the joy this episode certainly brought to fans hankering for crossover insanity, it was also pretty dumb. Okay, really dumb. We have super-powered characters captured by Men in Black back in the 1950s, and somehow the tranquilizer neutralizes their (completely different) power sets. What? There’s also the fact the grand plan to literally tag all the aliens with these crazy pain-making devices, which will make them all hurt really bad and want to fly away. Does flying away make it stop hurting? Did this affect the Dominators still on the ships? Why did they give up at all? The aliens still had a massive technological advantage and literal army of space ships parked over major cities. Wouldn’t they just start blasting out of spite, at that point?
After establishing the Dominators as, essentially, faceless villains for the first few hours, we learn their true motivations in Legends: They see metahumans as a threat, so they’re out to wipe them all out before humans get too strong and start screwing up the galaxy. Not the worst of intentions, really, and it’s a story we’ve seen told everywhere from Marvel Comics to Stargate SG-1 over the years. Humans are reckless, and sometimes aliens think it a safer bet to just snuff us all out. Of course, the small-screen Justice League can’t let that happen, so they fight back and win. But, it’s the middle part that really muddles this story. The Dominators claim they’ll leave if Barry turns himself over (since Flashpoint attracted the aliens to Earth, apparently), but then attack, anyway. The episode tried to introduce the theme of asking a really relevant question: Are superpowers really worth it? Do they make the world a better place, or cause more harm than good? Then, instead of answering it, we get an awesome fight scene against aliens. Which is fine. But, don’t ask the question if you’re not really looking to answer it in a meaningful way.
Also, did anyone else totally forget Firestorm can transmute matter? Boy, that’s a useful skill. You’d think they pull that one out a bit more often, right?
Unlike the Arrow episode before it, this one truly felt like a legit crossover episode representing all the shows involved. We get resolution to Cisco’s grudge against Barry, after Cisco screws with the timeline and realizes it’s a lot easier than he thinks to make things worse (even with the best of intent). We also get the full introduction of Steel’s new suit, which is hideous (as Mick rightly calls out). Kill it. Kill it with fire. Stein is still struggling with the creation of his adult daughter due to timeline manipulation, but wasn’t he already getting memory flashes of her? Wouldn’t those get stronger and start filling in gaps?
Even Supergirl gets a nod, as she informs the president about how her planet has a DEO to handle alien affairs. Could that be coming to the Arrow-verse soon? Oh, and now Flash, Green Arrow and the Legends are literally global heroes, with the commendation of the president? They’ll be fallout from that, right? That’s huge. Last, but not least, Cisco gives Kara a crossover machine that will let her communicate and visit the Arrow-verse whenever she wants. See you next alien invasion, Supes. Oh, and Brandon Routh got the camera wink of the night with his “cousin” line. Well played.
Lines of the night:
“You're gonna use Princess Bride against me?” -Cisco
“You look like a star spangled idiot.” -Rory
“Great. Saved by geeks.” -Rory
“See you later, Dominator.” -Ray
“You are ‘Earth's mightiest heroes.’” -Supergirl
Next week: Wait, what? Snart is back!?