Season Two, Episode Seven — “Invasion!”
By Jarrod Jones. The most squee-inducing moment from The CW’s ambitious four-part DC superhero crossover came from Legends of Tomorrow. Who’d a-thunk it? It didn’t come from the installment from Supergirl, which was mostly just a regular episode of Supergirl with a #HeroesvsAliens prologue thrown in at the end; it didn’t come from The Flash, though it was really cool to see Barry and Kara finally settle the “who’s fastest’ argument (albeit inadvertently); and it didn’t come from Arrow (though it came pretty close, with the best non-Superman version of “For The Man Who Has Everything…” ever put to screen). Legends took this crossover and rocked it. I… did not see that coming.
Of course, this is still Legends of Tomorrow, where the production design is almost laughably underwhelming, the characters interact almost exclusively with insults and pop culture references, and a sentient haircut named Nick Zano was allowed to replace our beloved Arthur Darvill as the defacto leader of this unruly mob. But you can’t say that the show isn’t fun on a base level, and after three misfires during this crossover, it was certainly refreshing to see someone, anyone, get down to brass tacks and knock out a superhero teamup worthy of the DCAU.
Anyway. What was the moment that had all of us squealing in delight? It was when Ray Palmer (played by former Superman Brandon Routh) turned to Felicity Smoak, pointed to Supergirl, and said, you know? She kinda looks like my cousin.
You forgive little fan service moments like this, mostly because it’s a sign of strength for a show to articulate what everyone is thinking without being too cheeky about it. And that’s especially novel, because Legends of Tomorrow is not a show known for its strengths.
That latter sentiment was most apparent on Thursday night when Legends‘ writing team attempted to juggle nearly twenty players to make sure everyone got their due: Cisco Ramon had a reckoning with Barry Allen, Martin Stein had some downtime with his all-new, really quite cool daughter (Christina Brucato), and the dude I’m supposed to call Steel exercised his leadership chops. (He’s a far cry from this season’s premiere, but there’s still plenty of work that needs doing.) Most of these events occurred as a result of the Dominator’s Invasion, but none of them served to make this Avengers-level event feel any more epic.
Speaking of people just getting in the way of things, what’s up, Oliver? Could you spare us your “I’m a real hero and you’re a n00b” speech? Because you’re speechifying to Supergirl, who just so happens to be the best shot you have of wrapping this little kerfuffle up in a timely fasion. Ugh, I’ll be happy when everyone goes back to their little corners of the CW DCU.
Felicity: “This ship is...” Cisco: “Automatic… “Felicity: “Super-sonic…” Cisco: “Hypnotic…” Together: “Funky-fresh!”
“Actually… she kinda looks like my cousin.” Ray, to Felicity, concerning Kara.
BEST MOMENT: Just Us Justice Ducks. We’ve seen Green Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and the Legends hang out in a hangar at least twice before during this fracas, but when everyone united in one last stand against the Dominators, I felt 13 year-old me do a backflip in my heart. With the Hall of Justice just a name-change away, could the Justice League of America be far behind? They already got endorsed by the President. Just sayin’.
EPISODE’S MVP: Guys, it was a team effort. Even when certain heroes were shuffled into the periphery, everyone eventually got their moment to shine. (Special shout to Maisie Richardson-Sellers’ Vixen for her elephant stomp later on.)
BE BRAVE AND BEHOLD:
– Guess Speedy’s self-imposed retirement continues — Thea Queen sat out on the finale of “Invasion!”
– Cisco and Felicity’s reaction to the Waverider was priceless. Somebody greenlight a Felicity/Cisco teamup series, please.
– This is how rapidly the snake eats its tail these days: Cisco’s name-dropping Stranger Things.
– Barry’s display of power looks pretty damn impressive on Legends, a show known for its more high-octane shenanigans.
– Professor Stein’s daughter comes as a result of Stein hanging out with his younger counterpart last season, when a perfectly good explanation could have been used for Flashpoint. (Or, y’know, plain ol’ havin’ thangs.)
– However, it was Flashpoint that screwed up Earth’s tenuous peace with the Dominators. How Flashpoint upset that truce, and how Barry giving himself up to the aliens fixes things never never gets addressed.
– Why does Kara look like your cousin, Ray Palmer, as played by Brandon Routh? Is it because… you will always be Superman?!
7.5 out of 10
Next: “The Chicago Way,” soon.
Before: “Out of Time,” here.