TV Review: The Flash 3×08 “Invasion”

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Welcome back to my weekly recaps of The Flash. To read previous coverage, go here. 

Now that is what I would call a good crossover event episode.

Firstly, to get the me of the matter over with, I apologize for being absent these last weeks. Life is busy, tough and so on so apologies but lets chat about how tremendously fun this weeks episode was. Despite some dour notes I’d say it was even the pick me up we all needed it to be as it shamelessly tout all of it’s heavy hitters, making sure we all knew just how special it was to have all of these heroes in the same frame.

But first, let’s talk about some not so great aspects regarding the episode.

It’s time to admit that the show, like its hero, made a major-crucial even-mistake by introducing the Flashpoint storyline. It was both idiotic and selfish and it made Barry less heroic and more impulsive, allowing him to make too great an error to easily bounce back from. Cisco’s anger along with ultimately Diggle’s and Sara’s is completely warranted as Barry massively screwed up by acting on his own grief instead of following logic and how by traveling back in time and changing the past might negatively alter the lives of those around him. I gave the character the benefit of the doubt because, in a place of grief as hollow and bottomless as Barry’s seemed, the mistake he made also made sense in terms of what we knew about the character. However, he has plenty of apologies to make before he’s purely heroic in our eyes as viewers again and in those of the characters around him. They had the right to worry about him leading the team, even when Oliver had faith in him.

But we’ll get to the Oliver and Barry dynamic in a moment when I start talking positively.

 Season two of the flash brought two drastically different crossover events. The first was too focused on setting up Legends of Tomorrow and hinted at what would become a muddled and often times drab season for a series that started off so vibrantly. The second wasn’t even an episode of The Flash but of Supergirl that saw the two heroes team up and brought out some of the down right cutest moments of either season and helped highlight just why we adore both Kara and Barry-because of their and warm spirits. “Invasion” manages to outdo the former by the virtue of not having to set up any particular series and gives the hour just enough sweet moments between characters and interesting dynamics to match the latter in terms of charm. It has great, cohesive action, emotional character beats and White Canary calling Supergirl hot, meaning that I got just about everything that I could personally hope for from a given episode.

There’s also the fact that if, like myself, you’re a fan of superheros in any capacity, seeing them all come together to face a common foe is exciting fare. When it’s done well it possesses the ability to transport you from your every day stresses and struggles and that’s exactly what “Invasion” does. We all are reacting like Thea does and she decides out to come out of retirement to fight aliens. We’re giddy, this is exciting stuff! If it weren’t bogged down by the Flashpoint drama it would be one of the best episodes The Flash has done yet because it absolutely understands how to cross action with emotion.

Oliver and Barry continue to be one of the better pairings in the extended universe due to how polar opposite they are but also for the mutual respect they share. Even when Oliver disagrees with him and his choices he understands the why’s in the matter and also will stand up with Barry no matter the cost. Oliver has come to the point in his career as a vigilante to know that sometimes personal grievances need to be put aside in order to save the day. Kara and Barry are also delightful together as we’re given playful moments between the two along with the pairing forced to demonstrate their powers against one another as Kara and the rest of the heroes aside from Oliver and Barry are mind controlled until the ending moments. The CW has come a long way in their CGI capacities and their talents are on full display this week as the Flash and Supergirl race around a single complex trying to out do one another.

The episode ends on a cliff hanger as Oliver and other members of the respective teams are beamed up by the aliens at large which will transfer well into tomorrows Arrow addition of the cross over event. It might not have been a perfect episode of The Flash what with the Flashpoint nonsense, the sad Cisco and boring Kid Flash plot (for now at least) but ultimately, due to the crossover sequences themselves, it was a thrilling one.

Rating: 8/10

She is a 23 year old in Boston MA. She is hugely passionate about film, television and writing. Along with theyoungfolks, she also is a contributor over at TheMarySue.com . You can contact her on Twitter (@AllysonAJ) or via email: allyson@theyoungfolks.com.