With that said, let's talk about Legends and how it ended the Invasion storyline.
(spoilers beyond the fold)
Once again, the strongest part of this episode were the tiny bits of dialogue here and there between characters of all the shows interacting with characters they don't normally get to deal with on a daily basis. As with The Flash's Invasion episode, these were the moments that truly made this crossover work.
So anyway, we learned in last night's Arrow that the aliens have a weapon they are getting ready to deploy.
But who cares, because the CW and the Berlantiverse are freaking trolling us with this, right???
|You better not be playing with our hearts, Berlanti.|
Also, I'd like to know why the hell STAR Labs even has a building like this. Like for what purpose???
Anyway, our time traveling heroes come up with a plan that involves interrogating an alien to find out what their beef is with the Earth, so Nate, Rory and Amaya take the Waverider back to the 1950s to the original Dominator attack on Redmond, OR. Cisco and Felicity tag along and proceed to be the cutest geeks ever because time travel! In the 50s, the Legends tell the inexperienced tech nerds to stay behind (much to their disappointment), and Nate inexplicably decides to put on the fancy new costume that Ray made for him.
Rory is not impressed.
|"Star-spangled idiot" ... I'm not sure how it happened, but Heatwave has become my favorite Legend.|
While they were gone, Oliver was being a dick. Or you know, just Oliver.
|This is Kara's WTF face.|
So The Flash, Oliver, Sara, and The Atom go to schmooze with the Pres, and instead suits with badges show up yet again. Honestly this scene is only notable because of the blatant Quicksilvering moment of awesome:
|"I saw this in a movie once! Actually, three movies!" -Barry, probably|
Turns out that the Dominators formed a peace treaty with Earth to keep their metas under control back in the 50s to prove Earth wasn't a threat, but Barry's Flashpoint shenanigans "broke the peace treaty" and the Dominators are demanding that Earth hand over The Flash or everyone will die.
There's no hesitation, because Barry does have the heart of a true hero, regardless of his mistakes. He is ready to die to save Earth. But his friends wont' let him.
|The Justice League be all like: "Nope!"|
Meanwhile, a vibing trip between Cisco and Nate reveals that the alien they saved back in 1950s Oregon is at the head of the invasion force, and he knows how dangerous metas beyond just Barry are, because he saw these guys in action. The aliens have no intention of letting Earth survive. Humans are far too dangerous now. So the trip back to the 50s? It actually changed the timeline.
|That moment when you realize you just did the thing that you hated your bro for all this time...|
Contrived alien drama notwithstanding, this kind of plot was clearly needed for Cisco to come to the realization just how easy it is for meta humans to screw up with their powers, and that Barry's Flashpoint mistake isn't some anomaly born of asshattery. It was so easy for Cisco and the Legends to screw up time in a completely innocent and seemingly benign act, that Cisco suddenly forgives Barry for the death of his brother.
Too bad Martin Stein hasn't learned the same lesson. He and Caitlin are back at STAR Labs working on an anti-alien solution, and end up getting the help of his super genius daughter. You know, the one he himself created when he told his younger self to romance Clarissa. Stein keeps his daughter at arm's length, and in a moment that spawned very loud jeering and hissing in my household, he arrogantly tells Caitlin that unlike Barry, he would perfectly repair the timeline and undo the anomaly that is his daughter.
OMG, the stones on these Legends! I mean, Martin Stein has always been an arrogant and selfish ass of a character, who has to keep relearning humility every so often, but geez. And yeah, he learns it yet again, when he finally lets his brilliant daughter into his life, and realizes he can't just erase her (even if he could, which, as Jay Garrick would tell him, is not going to happen).
|Not gonna lie, this is an awesome shot|
So, Supergirl, who has inexplicably superfluous in like every episode of this crossover to the point that her presence was almost pointless, finally gets to kick some alien ass. Stein's anti-alien weapon is ready, and Flash and Supergirl have to race across the planet to plant the thingies, while the rest of the heroes keep the aliens busy in a fight. Meanwhile, Cisco and Sara use the Waverider's tractor beam to keep the alien superbomb from dropping and destroying everything, until Firestorm does a thing and destroys the bomb.
The fight scenes were cool, and it was nice that Supergirl finally got some kind of action. But the real strength of both this episode and The Flash, were all the tiny moments, quick snaps, and quips that passed between the characters at various times. Truly, it was the chemistry between all these actors, and their fun interactions, that made this crossover successful.
The fun continues right up to the end, with Rory asking Sara if he's right in thinking the new black female president is hot.
|Sara drinks and she knows things.|
A second wave of loud jeering was heard from my living room, however, when the President is honoring the heroes for saving the planet, as the Berlantiverse thumbs its nose rather blatantly at Marvel.
|Earth's Mightiest WHO now??? Alert, alert! Shots fired!|
That's right, they actually used the term "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" in describing this team.
Not gonna lie, as a Marvel fangurl, I not only jeered, but I laughed my ass off. Well played, DC. Well played.
Also of final note: Cisco gives Kara a thing that lets her cross into or call into Earth-1 anytime she wants to. Badass! Musical episode of Supergirl and The Flash, incoming!
|Oliver somehow manages to be the most awkward part of this three-way hug...|
No foolin', this crossover event was flawed. It wasn't perfect, the story felt super rushed and very simplistic, and Arrow's episode in particular almost didn't feel like it was even a part of it (despite the fact that it was a very wonderful episode of Arrow all on its own). Supergirl was badly under-utilized. The episodes usually sacrifice female characters to useless roles (like Iris West, but that appears to be her meta power anyway) or disappearing them entirely (like Artemis). Had the network spread the crossover over all four shows, or possibly into two weeks, there would have been more breathing room for everyone.
But as a fan of these shows, as a fan of these characters, and especially as a fan of pretty much all of these actors... it was awesome. I felt good. I laughed, I cried, I shouted at the tv.
In a word, I was entertained. And ultimately, isn't that what these shows are about?
All of them can stand to do better, especially for their female characters (looking at you, The Flash!). But then the Berlantiverse goes and does a thing like make a black woman President of the US in Earth-1, and I remember why I'm still into these shows:
They have heart.