That’s a wrap! With Legends of Tomorrow‘s “Invasion!” episode, we’ve reached the end of a pretty successful DCW crossover. There are certainly some weird quirks in tonight’s ultimate episode, such as Supergirl getting benched and some pacing issues, but overall the creative team over at the CW delivered an epic finale for the Invasion storyline.
If you felt that Legends of Tomorrow covered a lot of ground in the finale, you’re not alone. The Flash certainly handled a good portion of the crossover but Arrow was more focused on celebrating 100 episodes via a dream world rather than do some heavy lifting. This left Legends scrambling to explain the vast majority of the plot points. Fortunately the creative team was able to pull off a massive alien invasion story and deliver a satisfying conclusion.
One of the big question marks lingering throughout the week was why the Dominators wanted to invade Earth. With a creative use of time travel and exposition, we find out that Dominators fear the emergence of metahumans. They’ve encountered other worlds with meta beings and apparently things go badly. The metas get out of control and become a cosmic threat before too long, so the Dominators were merely trying to shut Earth down before it could harm the larger universe. Interesting.
Even so, it turned out that the Invasion was just another side effect from Flashpoint, one again proving that Barry screwed things up royal. To be fair though, Barry didn’t hesitate when the Dominators offered to spare the world if he would turn himself over. As far as acts of contrition go, this is pretty much the gold standard, so it felt pretty satisfying when the entire Justice League (please, it’s the Justice League) refuses to abandon him. In a month that’s been pretty lousy to the Fastest Man Alive, it was incredibly satisfying to see some light at the end of this tunnel thanks to friends new and old.
Ironically, Barry wasn’t the only one dealing with the perils of time travel as Professor Stein came to terms with creating a time aberration of his own. Victor Garber delivered a fantastic performance as he wrestled with the morality of erasing his Daughter. Intellectually he knew she shouldn’t exist but in the end he couldn’t destroy someone who had done nothing wrong. Does this mean that Stein is going to get kicked off the ship? I’m not sure, but the implications are pretty interesting and open up some new stories for the remainder of the season.
Even Cisco had a nice time paradox pop up as he went on a jaunt back to 1951 with the Legends. After facing off with the Dominators, Cisco realized the 2016 invasion was because of their meddling, creating a nice dovetail into his struggle with the death of Dante and Flashpoint. On one hand, I enjoyed the fact that Cisco was so angry at Barry for his timeline shenanigans, but on the other I felt that his reaction was too extreme considering everything they’ve seen together. Regardless it’s made a difference in how Cisco sees Barry and how dangerous time travel can be.
Of course this all culminated in a gigantic fight between the Heroes and Aliens. Seeing an entire roster of heroes stand side by side against a mutual threat is the stuff every fan dreams of. With an impressive set of special effects the crossover definitely delivered on the action in the final act. In fact my only real complaint seems to be the benching of Supergirl. While I realize that she represents a substantial power jump and can rob a scene of danger, I feel that there were some missed opportunities here. Just like with the Arrow and Supergirl episodes, I feel that with a little bit more planning, we could have created a deeper crossover with more effective storytelling that could avoid these issues.
That said, for an event of this magnitude, they did a pretty amazing job. They even gave us an entire segment to wrap up all the tiny plot elements that included a pretty awesome victory celebration that was crammed with in jokes (such as Brandon Routh alluding to his time as Superman). Best of all, Supergirl finally has a piece of McGuffin technology thanks to Cisco that allows her to jump between universes when necessary. Now, all we need to do is resolve some of these weird time anomolies and fuse Earth 1 and Earth 38 together so we can really put that Hall of Justice to use!