DC Event: Damn it, Barry!

Supergirl 2×08 – ‘Medusa’
Directed by: Stefan Pleszczynski
Story by: Jessica Queller & Derek Simon
Starring: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh, Jeremy Jordan, David Harewood

The Flash 3×08 – ‘Invasion!’

Directed by: Dermott Downs
Story by: Greg Berlanti
Starring: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Tom Cavanaugh

“You can’t do this alone.” “I don’t plan to.”

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DC’s four-part event has begun! (Well, three and a bit-part event.)

If you were watching Supergirl waiting for the trigger for this event, you know the feeling of being let down, aside from the brief appearance of Barry and Cisco in their distraction portals – so, suffice to say, this was not a good start for this week’s event. A two-minute introduction to the events of the next three days at the end of an episode doesn’t count as a part, no matter how they try to defend it.

Hopes for the quality of this crossover event were severely lowered going into this week’s episode of The Flash.

Boy, did they come back fighting though!

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‘Invasion’ drops us in the centre of the action – as The Flash and Green Arrow exchanges grievances whilst under attack from a seemingly unknown assailant – ‘How did they get here?’ you wonder, with this startling opening. Fear not, as The Flash takes you back to the beginning of the action, when S.T.A.R. Labs is alerted to the sight of a meteor heading directly for the city. Barry, of course, speeds off to see the damage, however he finds on his arrival that this “meteor” is actually a spaceship (which is slightly worrying for S.T.A.R. Labs’ technology that it couldn’t tell the difference) and out come the antagonists for this week’s DC shows – ‘The Dominators’ – nerd-named alien race if ever I heard one.

Naturally, the US government arrive the next day to assure everyone that it definitely isn’t aliens, and here Barry bumps into Lyla Michaels, who offers to tell him all she knows about these ‘Dominators’. They’re more than Barry can take on alone, and so he must assemble a team as DC’s version of a less charismatic Nick Fury stand-in. He drops in on Spartan and Green Arrow as the fight Vigilante, whisking them off back to Felicity, and it is clear that Oliver is in no mood for the speedster’s shenanigans. However, when aliens are mentioned, he manages not just to get the original Arrow team onside, but also Speedy, out of retirement because who wouldn’t be for aliens.

From here, Felicity is able to contact the Legends team, sending them a message to meet, while Barry and Cisco go through a portal (see where it’s going) to get Supergirl!

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Then the gang’s all there – and it’s awesome! We see each of the DC shows personified by their teams – the quietly intense Arrow gang, the slightly campy science team of The Flash, the downright odd collection of the Legends of Tomorrow guys and the always charismatic, bright and friendly Supergirl. Once they’re all together, they make their first collective mistake: putting Barry in charge. Loveable as he is, Barry has proven time and time again that he should not be left to his own devices – hell, the entire crossover is about that fact.

Nevertheless, the team trains by fighting against Supergirl, the closest thing they have to the force of the ‘Dominators’ – which basically leads to a bunch of superheroes on the ground, however when the president is taken, training is over and the gang jump into action. All except Oliver and Barry, who stay behind for plot reasons which have absolutely nothing to do with the upcoming action. I’m kidding, of course they do – as the ‘Dominators’ force them into a fight that they have no chance of winning.

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It would have been easy for the fight choreography that has been so good in Arrow of late, to be lost in something this big, but it’s still there, going strong as we see not just great spectacles of special effect superpower fighting, but also the impressively skilled hand to hand combat of the ground team. And it’s not just this that’s taking this crossover to new heights – the writers have also foregone the large percent of soap opera drama, in favour of more action, and better rapport between team members. If only they could bring this attitude to the individual shows…

However, with the twist ending of ‘Invasion’, I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for Arrow.

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