Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 8 - Invasion!

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


When a group of aliens called The Dominators attack Central City, Barry speeds over to Star City to ask Team Arrow for help in fighting the invaders. When it becomes apparent that the battle is bigger than they thought, Ollie summons The Legends as Barry and Cisco recruit Supergirl as a secret weapon. Once the team is assembled, however, a secret regarding The Flashpoint Reality leaves the assembled team wondering who they can truly trust. At the same time, Wally West is itching to join the battle despite the reservations of everyone else on Team Flash.


The 1988 DC Comics crossover event Invasion!, various Gardner Fox Crisis comics, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (The opening with Green Arrow and The Flash pinned down resembles the final stand-off in this movie), EPCOT Center (HR's ideas for opening STAR Labs to the public sound like some of the scientific attractions),the film Alien (Barry and Cisco both refer to the movie in describing the appearance of The Dominators), the film World War Z (Barry refers to the zombies from this movie in describing how The Dominators move), the Superfriends cartoon series (the hangar/hall where the teams meet resembles the Hall of Justice) and the film Independence Day (general alien invasion plot, direct involvement of the American President).


The whole ensemble is giving it their all. It's hard to single out any one particular performance as exceptional in the face of that and the way all the characters are played off of one another. Among the best moments are...

* Team Flash's responses to HR's presentation on turning STAR Labs into an EPCOT style attraction.
* Cisco and Ray bonding over the rebuilt ATOM suit.
* Ray telling Barry about how Captain Cold died a Legend.
* Wally and HR with the former trying to convince the later to train him.
* Martin Stein and Caitlin Snow discussing how power can change you but it doesn't have to control you.
* Sara reading Barry the riot act over his altering the past to benefit himself.
* Every bit of Mick interacting with Supergirl and Sara's face-palming listening to it.
* Ollie's speech to Barry about how everyone would do what he did if they thought it would save their parents.


The script does a fantastic job of giving all the assembled cast something to do, however briefly, and delivers the pay-off to a lot of on-going subplots from The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.

The choreography for all the fight scens are fantastic, but the stand out is Oliver Queen vs. Sara Lance - the closest thing we're likely to see to a Green Arrow vs. Black Canary fight in live-action anytime soon.

The best special effects sequence? Barry's high-speed fight against Supergirl.

Flash Facts

This episode was the second part of a four-part crossover between all of The CW Network's DC Comics superhero shows.

As the title suggests, the main inspiration for this four-part crossover event between all of the DCTVU shows was the 1988 crossover event Invasion!

was based around the idea that an alliance of alien worlds - led by The Dominators - attacked Earth due to their concerns that Earth's growing metahuman population would become a threat to their planets.

The general structure of the episode also mirrors the many Crisis comics by Justice League of America writer Gardner Fox, who routinely teamed the heroes of multiple parallel worlds against threats they could not face alone.

When Lyla says that the US Government has known about The Dominators since the 1950s, Joe mentions an incident in Redmond, Oregon that the government tried to cover up. This is a reference to a famous real-world UFO report that was debunked by the United States Air Force.

The Dominators in the original comics had yellow skin, a red circle in the middle of their foreheads, claw-like fingernails and sharp fang-like teeth.

The Dominators in the DCTVU look very much like their comic book counteparts, except for the fact that the comic book Dominators wore clothing and the DCTVU Dominators appear more grey-skinned than yellow-skinned.

The "hall hangar thing" where Barry has Team Arrow, Team Flash and The Legends meet resembles The Hall of Justice from the classic Superfriends cartoon.

Cisco reveals that Supergirl's Earth is Earth 38 under his cataloging system.

In the DC Universe, Earth 38 is the setting of the Elseworlds series Superman/Batman: Generations, which is set on a world where Superman first appeared in 1938, Batman first appeared in 1939 and both heroes established a legacy passed from parent to child that lasted for over 1000 years.

Thea says that Barry described Kara as "more powerful than a locomotive". This is a direct quote from the introduction to the 1940s Superman radio show and the 1950s Adventures of Superman TV show - "Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!"


Wally West's current maximum speed is Mach 2  (1,552.4 MPH)

Wally's running economy and lactate threshold are all way above expected levels.

The Dominator ship that lands in Central City has some form of force-field that forces Barry back from their ship when he touches it.

The taychon device Barry wore to boost his speed when he accidentally traveled to Supergirl's Earth tracked him to Earth 38.

The Dominators have some form of mind-control technology. It is dependent on broadcast signals but is too strong for even STAR Labs technology to jam. The targets also have to be brought within a line-of-sight range of the broadcast equipment in order to be dominated.

Dialogue Triumphs

(The Flash and Green Arrow take cover behind an stone wall)
Green Arrow: You really did it this time, Barry!
The Flash: Seriously?!
Green Arrow: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah, seriously! You come to Star City! You ask for my help! And then inevitably, immediately, we end up the creek!
The Flash: ... Okay. That's fair.
(There is an explosion, close by.)
The Flash: 
There're moving in.
Green Arrow: (sarcastically) On three, Team Leader.
(A blue blast of light suddenly rips through the wall between them.)
Green Arrow: What's that?
The Flash: (flatly) That would be heat vision.
Green Arrow: Three!
The Flash: Okay.
(The two run around the corner to find themselves starring down Speedy, Spartan, The Canary, Heatwave, The Atom, Firestorm and Supergirl.)

(Team Flash is discussing how to keep Wally from trying to play hero with his powers.)
Caitlin: We're going to have a hard time convincing him not to use them.
Iris: Yeah, well we have to. Until he is ready.
Joe: (laughing as he gestures to Wally running around the speed lab track) How?
Iris: By convicing him that he isn't. That means no encouraging him, no training him and you - (looking at Cisco) no talking to him about a suit. Please. It's for his own good.
Cisco: (scoffs) Why the hell not? It's just abother lie between friends, right?

(Thea just learned about why Barry came to Star City for help.)
Thea: Count me in!
Ollie: For what? I thought you retired?
Thea; Yeah, but... it's aliens!

(Team Arrow and Team Flash meet at a familiar looking facility)
Thea: What is this place?
Barry: It's this old hall... hanger... thing that STAR Labs owns. Or, I guess, I own it.
Thea: Well, you should do something with it.

(Team Arrow and Team Flash watching the Waverider shuttle land.)
Diggle: (deadpan) You know why I've never done drugs? It's because I was always afraid I'd see weird stuff.

(Barry, Cisco and Kara emerge from the breach before the rest of The Legends, Team Arrow and Team Flash.)
Barry: Guys! Thanks for coming!
Ollie: Barry, I thought you were bringing an alien?
Barry: And - yeah - we did. Everybody, this is my friend Kara Danvers. Or as she's known on her Earth, Supergirl.
Jax: What makes her so super?
Barry: Well...?
(Barry turns to Kara, dumfounded. Kara flies up over the crowd and her eyes flash blue, burning a S-shield into the concrete between everyone. She smiles modestly.)
Diggle: I'm convinced.

Ollie: We should use Kara as a stand-in for training.
Mick: Since when is Robin Hood calling the shots?
(Ollie shoots Mick a glare.)
Jax: What I think Mick is trying to say is it would be nice if we knew who was in charge around here.
Ray: Maybe we should take a vote? Choose a leader. Someone we can all trust.
Cisco: Well, I trust Oliver. He's got my vote.
(Iris throws a glare at Cisco.)
Ollie: Appreciate that, Cisco, but Barry put us all together. It should be him.
(Barry looks at Ollie stunned. Ollie just nods at him.)
Cisco: (cooly) Fair enough.
Barry: Okay - um... (stammering a bit) I guess as Team Leader,  First thing to do is.. uh.. is start out by... ummm... ahhhh.
Ollie: (quietly) Doing a test run.
Barry: Let's do a test run! Yeah! Let's do a test run. Uhhhhh...
Ollie: (quietly) Against Supergirl.
Barry: Against Supergirl! All right! Test run against Supergirl!
Sara: (pointing to Ollie) Are we just supposed to play like we don't hear him?
(Thea and Diggle both smirk.)

(Barry has just confessed to changing the past to try and bring his parents back to life.)
Sara: You can't go back and just change things like that, Barry!
Barry: I know.
Sara: You know how hard it is for me not to alter events? To bring my sister back?  But I don't! Because I know the implications!
Ray: And all those abberations we spent the last eight months traveling through time, trying to correct - you just decided it was okay to create your own.
Jax: We should have told them before...
Felicity: Guys? Guys, it's Lyla! The President has been abducted by The Dominators! She needs us now!
Barry: (sighs) Okay. You guys go. Allright? I'm gonna sit this one out. Obviously. You have Supergirl. She's just as fast as I am. Get The President. We can talk about this later.
(Everyone gets up and starts moving to get ready.)
Barry: (walking up to Kara) You still trust me, right?
Supergirl: I'll always trust you, but... it might take more to convince them.
Barry: If you need me, I'll be there.
Ollie: Guys! This is ca- hey!
(Everyone else stops.)
Ollie: This is crazy! Everyone is going, including Barry! I'm not going without him.
Diggle: Then you'll be here, Oliver.

Kara: Yep. He's in there.
Mick: How do you know that?
Kara: I can see him. (realizing she didn't explain all of her powers) Oh! I have X-Ray vision.
Mick: Oh! (grinning wickedly) You can see everyone's bits with those little peepers, huh?
Kara: (embarassed) No, I...
Sara: Ignore him.
Kara: How did you get the name Heatwave?
Mick: I burned my family alive and I like to light things on fire.
Kara: (stunned) Ah. Well, that's a... colorful backstory.
Mick: Well, my shrink thinks so. By the way, I'm not going to call you Supergirl. It's stupid.
Kara: You could call me Kara.
Mick: That won't work either.
Kara: Well, what are you going to shout if you need my help?
Mick: Skirt.
Thea; (snorting) Seriously?
Mick: Seriously. But I'm not gonna need your help.

(Later, as the Dominators activate their mind-control technology.)

Mick: Supergirl! Do something!

Ollie: Barry, you made a choice. You wanted to see your parents alive again. Do you honestly know anyone that, if they were in your shoes, wouldn't do the exact same thing? I would do the exact same thing! Barry, after The Gambit went down, it was me, my father and a crew member on a life raft. Lost at sea. Enough food and water for one person. Maybe. My father took a gun, shot the crew member, told me to survive and then turned the gun on himself. He shot himself in the head. He sacrificed himself so that I could live! Nothing I could do. No choice. Slade Wilson drove a sword right through my mothers' heart, in front of my sister and I. I was there. I was helpless on the ground. I was powerless to stop it. No choice. Do you not think that I wouldn't give anything to go back and to make things different?!
Barry: You never told me that...
Ollie: Barry, the world isn't different because you changed the timeline. Change happens. Tragedy happens. People make choices and those choices affect everyone else. You're not a god, Barry.

(Supergirl recovers from the mind-control.)
Kara: What happened?
Barry: (laughing) You didn't kill me, so my day's looking up.
Kara: I'm so sorry.
Barry: Hey. You're not the first superhero to be mind-controlled.


The opening scene takes place 10 hours after the next scene in the STAR Labs Speed Lab.

HR plans to open STAR Labs up to the public. This will include a personal transportation tour of the facility and a a virtual-reality alternative for the faint-of-heart. Both will include something he calls "particle vision" - a moment-to-moment reinactment of the particle accelerator explosion from the perspective of the particle.

A Channel 52 reporter is seen on the site of the Dominator ship landing.

According to Lyla, the US Government has known about The Dominators since 1951. They landed on Earth, abducted some humans to gather intel, ignored all attempts at communication and killed hundreds of soldiers before inexplicably leaving.

The Dominators sent a message to the Department of Defense three months earlier saying they were only coming to Earth to seek understanding of something and warning against attacking them.

Barry saves Green Arrow and Spartan from being shot by Vigilante. Vigilante is an enemy of Team Arrow, who the team was seen fighitng in A507
As in previous encounters, Spartan throws up after being forcibly moved at super speed.

Thea Queen dons her Speedy costume for the first time since A501.

Cisco reveals that Supergirl's Earth is Earth 38 under his cataloging system.

Before leaving, Cisco says it may take him a few tries to open a breech to Earth 38. Breeches briefly appeared in two different scenes during S208 - once at the Danvers' family Thanksgiving dinner and once as Supergirl was fighting Cyborg Superman.

The scene where Barry and Cisco teleport to Supergirl's apartment is precisely the same as the final scene of S208.

Barry refers to the events of S118 and how Supergirl promised to help him if he ever needed it.

Nate and Amaya - Steel and Vixen - do not appear in this episode. Sara Lance says they were left behind to watch The Waverider. This leaves only Canary, Heatwave, Firestorm and The Atom of The Legends joining this adventure.

Iris did not know Oliver Queen was Green Arrow until this episode. She thinks Ollie is hot, much to Barry's annoyance.

There are Dominators in Supergirl's universe as well. She knows from stories that Dominators are increidbly strong, that they came to Krypton once before she was born, did experiments on a lot of people and killed a lot more.

In the wake of losing his ATOM suit in L203, Ray Palmer has rebuilt it using a new supply of dwarf star alloy he accquired in The Wild West in L206 and using the clothing replicator on The Waverider to rebuild most of the clothing parts of the suit. Cisco suggests revising the suit again together - an idea that Ray agrees to once the current crisis is over.

Ray Palmer tells Barry about Len Snart's heroic death in L115.

Professor Stein and Jax reveal the message to Rip Hunter from the Barry Allen of 2056 that they discovered in L203 to Barry and Oliver.

The message warns that a war is coming and that the Barry Allen of 2016 willl summon The Legends to fight it. The message continues to describe how while The Legends were in The Temporal Zone, The Barry Allen of 2016 made a choice that altered the time line and changed the lives of all The Legends. He advises them that when they return to 2016 it will be to the newly created timeline rather than the 2016 they left and that they should not trust anyone or anything - not even the 2016 Barry Allen. Barry believes this to be a reference to Flashpoint.

The only changes Barry is aware of thus far are Cisco's brother is dead, Caitlin has ice powers, Wally has super-speed and John Diggle's baby daughter Sara is now a baby son named John.

Ollie advises Barry not to tell the rest of the team about the changes caused by Flashpoint yet.

Supergirl is able to hold her own against Canary, Speedy, Spartan, Heatwave and The Atom at the same time.

Wally is smart enough to interpet the various STAR Labs computers used to chart his speed and physical condition and figure out that everyone is lying to him.

Wally refers to the events in The Flashpoint reality in 301 and how he and Iris were a crime-fighitng team in that world.

Wally asks HR to train him in developing his powers. At the episode's end, HR agrees.

It is revealed that the woman Professor Stein has been having visions of since L206 is his daughter. In the original timeline, he and his wife never had any children.

Cisco discovers the recording from Future Barry and demands Barry tell the rest of the team about it.

Ray says The Legends have spent eight months repairing time abberations.

The Dominators abduct the US President. He is later killed as he was only bait to lure as many superheroes as possible into a trap so they could be mind controlled.

The future newspaper from April 25, 2024 - first seen in 101 - still shows The Flash disappearing during some kind of Crisis. The article has been changed, however, to be written by Julie Greer rather than Iris West-Allen.

Ollie tells Barry about how his father killed himself to give Ollie a chance at survival (as seen in the flashbacks in A101) and how Slade Wilson killed his mother in front of him (as seen in A220).

At the end of the episode, Sara Lance, Thea Queen, Ray Palmer, John Diggle and Oliver Queen are abducted by The Dominators.


Supergirl's apartment in National City on Earth 38.

The Bottom Line

Perfect. A true comic-book story line expertly adapted for the small-screen. The gold standard by which all future superhero shows will be judges.

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