The big CW-crossover concludes on Legends of Tomorrow, which also shares the “Invasion” title. Their “previously on” scenes seem to be focusing hard on Flash’s changing time before. That’s interesting considering the Legends have made several changes this season, some deliberate and some by accident. Not to mentions Sara’s repeated attempts to assassinate Damian Darhk.
The heroes are finally reunited after several of them being kept prisoner on the alien ship last time. Well, except for Thea, who apparently decided to go back into retirement. Cisco is intensely curious about the Dominators’ ship, which makes perfect sense for him. Nate Haywood plays history detective and figures out when they can grab a Dominator to interrogate: during the first contact back in 1951. Cisco and Felicity accompany the Waverider, because what self-respecting geek would pass up time travel? The President wants to meet with the other heroes, and then we get to another odd bit. Oliver pulls Supergirl aside and asks her to “minimize her involvement.” He has a weird, lame motivation for this, but it really felt more like, “We need Supergirl to not be in this one as much.” They do the cool logo line up again after this to start the show.
Nate walks Felicity and Cisco through the Waverider. The two tech-geeks have many, many questions for him, which all have the same answer: “I don’t know.” Nate is not a tech. Some of the more scientifically gifted, Martin Stein and Caitlin Snow, are brainstorming ways to attack the Dominators. Caitlin calls in Lily Stein for help, which leads to another awkward scene. Caitlin really should be catching on by now that Stein doesn’t know who this woman is. Caitlin is very smart and she’s had experience with time alteration.
The Waverider gets back to Redmond, Orgeon, in 1951, with Mick Rory piloting. I know he’s had extra training from when he was Chronos, but seeing him pilot always make me nervous. A disappointed Felicity and Cisco get told to stay behind as Heat Wave, Vixen, and Steel, in his new costume, go to capture an alien. The two techs talk more about Cisco’s issues with Barry, which is really getting a bit one note. The Legends manage to snag a Dominator, and then get captured by a group of Men In Black types.
At STAR Labs, the Caitlin/Martin/Lily braintrust work on their project. Lily gets frustrated and storms out, giving Caitlin and Martin a chance to talk. Martin finally tells her about Lily being new, and they talk about what that might mean. Caitlin urges him to get to know her and not treat her like a stranger.
The captured Legends use their time to get some information out of the Dominator they are locked up with. They can’t escape because the drugs that tranqed them are messing with Steel’s powers. Why Vixen can’t use hers, they don’t explain. The Dominators came to Earth because of the development of the “meta-gene,” that little something extra that lets some people gain powers. Apparently this has happened on other worlds, and the Dominators consider it a threat. So, the Dominators first noticing Earth isn’t Barry’s fault at all… it’s the JSA’s.
The ones in the past aren’t the only ones having problems with the government. In the present timeframe, the heroes find their meeting with the President is actually with the slimy Agent Smith again. Apparently, the government and the Dominators have had some kind of a truce since the encounter in the 50’s. Somehow, Barry’s trips through time break that treaty. Kinda hard to blame Barry, since he didn’t know. And oh, by the way, the government knows Barry’s real name. Well, considering anyone who wants to can wander into STAR, that’s not too shocking. Smith also brings word that the Dominators will withdraw… if Flash surrenders himself.
In the 50’s, the Legends escape with help from Cisco and Felicity, who burst in with guns and quip, “Someone call tech support?” Mick is less than thrilled, remarking, “Great, saved by geeks.” Again, why Cisco is using a gun instead of his Vibe energy powers I’m not sure. They hear the Dominator being tortured where he was taken away by Agent Smith (younger version) and Cisco and Nate decide to save him, and manage to do so.
Returning to the present, Cisco realizes that the Dominator they released is one of the ones leading the attack on Earth and demanding Flash’s surrender. In other words, by trying to make things better in the past, they changed time. Sound familiar, Cisco?
After Stein finally accepts Lily and they have a breakthrough on their project, the heroes unite again. Barry announces he’s going to turn himself in to save the world. Oliver won’t let him. When Barry asks what army Oliver is going to use to stop him, we get a group shot of everyone together, and Supergirl saying, “This one.” Even Mick speaks up for not letting Barry go, and then Cisco finally calls Barry his friend.
Unfortunately, this heart-warming moment is interrupted by the Dominators. The President’s abduction and the ships attacking have been a distraction. They have a meta-gene bomb, which will kill every single person with powers on the planet, and an estimated two million more. Time for a huge fight!
Sara and Cisco take the Waverider to try and intercept the gene-bomb. Everyone else attacks a huge ground force of Dominators. The Steins’ device can stop them with a major burst of agony, but they want it all to happen at once. So, they cleverly take Flash and Supergirl out of big parts of the battle, since they are speeding around putting a disc on every Dominator on Earth. Everyone else fights, and it’s pretty damn impressive. Except for Spartan, who gets his butt kicked. Poor guy can’t catch a break.
The Waverider can’t really stop the bomb, just slow it, and Supergirl’s busy playing Dominator freeze-tag. So Firestorm has to use his rarely seen transmutation power on something bigger than he’s ever tried before. Eventually, it works. The Dominators lose their bomb, the heroes win, and the aliens retreat. There is much rejoicing!
Reminiscent of the end of Star Wars, the collected heroes stand on a stage and get recognized by the new President. Heat Wave leans over to Sara, “Is it just me or is she really hot?” Sara takes a long look and agrees. Aw look, the pyro and the assassin are bonding over ogling the President. That made me smile. At the big party after, everyone’s in civilian clothes. Even Kara, who didn’t bring clothes or glasses with her. I guess the Waverider whipped up something for her.
Among the interesting parts of the ending are: Kara has told the Presdient about her world’s DEO and the President likes the idea, and Kara’s idea for reassigning Smith to Antarctica; Kara mentions on her Earth, it’s just her and her cousin (I’m sure the DEO, J’Onn, and the Guardian would be interested to hear that); Cisco gives Kara a toy that will let her both communicate with them and travel from her world; Oliver and Sara share a moment and memories of their past; Ray Palmer comments that Kara “looks like my cousin” (for those who missed that, Routh, who plays Palmer, also played Superman in Superman Returns). Everyone goes home, Barry and Oliver share a drink and talk about getting together more often. They also realized that “normal life” wouldn’t suit them. Stein is going to hide Lily being a time aberration from the team, because when has keeping secrets been bad on a hero show? And the big, never before done, four-show crossover ends.
So here’s a theory based on something I noticed. According to Obsidian, the JSA vanished in the 1950’s, going on a mission and never returning. The Dominators, concerned about metahumans, first came to Earth in the 1950’s. Putting aside the issue of why Obsidian never trained anyone else, isn’t that a really big coincidence? Makes me wonder. Could next year’s big crossover be a mission to save the JSA?
What I liked: Cisco finally realized Barry wasn’t trying to mess up his life. Firestorm used his transmutation power again. The huge fight at the end was like some of the end battles in the Avengers movies (not quite as good, but same spirit). Mick speaking up for Barry was surprising and amusing. Kara has a way to communicate and commute if she needs it. I liked Stein finally warming to his daughter and completely understand hiding her secret. But…
What I didn’t: Keeping secrets on these shows always goes horribly wrong. What happened to Cisco’s energy powers? Did the dream world experience throw Thea off so badly she went back into retirement? Did Kara forget about J’Onn and Guardian?
My didn’ts are being picky, and I admit it. Overall, I enjoyed this episode and the entire crossover a lot. I’ll give the finale, and the event itself, a 4 out of 5. Well done, folks.