The Flash “Invasion!” Review (Season 3 Episode 8)

Well… where to even begin with this one.

Two years ago, I had the chance to write about the first half of the very first Arrowverse crossover, an episode of The Flash that saw a mind-controlled Barry take on Oliver in single combat. Now, after two years of growth, this year’s crossover truly begins with an even bigger conflict, as heroes from all four DC superhero shows come together to take on the alien threat of the Dominators. The “Invasion!” has begun.

And frankly, if the following two parts are as good as this first hour – last night’s Supergirl episode featured a brief prequel scene that is shown again here – then this whole event will be a smashing success. I’m already set to call this the best crossover the show’s done based on the strength of this one episode, and it’s manages to be a great episode of The Flash as well as a stellar intro to a big crossover.

Starting with the show we’re here to discuss specifically, I’m happy to see that the show was so easily able to weave its own ongoing narratives into the larger plotline. In particular, I’m glad that the writers are finally putting Barry’s feet to the fire for his Flashpoint screw-up. Not only is Cisco still pissed at him, but the message from the future Jax and Stein revealed has pretty much everyone calling Barry out in his crap. This leads to Barry receiving a much-needed pep talk from Oliver, the king of brooding, but it’s clear those wounds still need to be mended.

Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Barry and Cisco make up by the end of this crossover, as the creators are clearly working on the assumption that fans of all the Arrowverse shows are tuning in all week. Plot threads from Arrow and Legends both pop up here, including the aforementioned message and Stein’s vision of his daughter. As someone who watches all of the shows, it’s a fantastic acknowledgement that these shows don’t exist in their own little bubbles. Hopefully, for people that only watch one, it will serve as inspiration to check out the other programs.

And that inspiration should be pretty strong, given how downright delightful just about every character is tonight. From Sara’s flirtatious comments and quips, to Mick’s brusque nature, to Kara’s goofy, gleeful personality, the writing did a fantastic job of showcasing what makes the Arrowverse such a vibrant, diverse place.

On top of that, there’s the downright wonder of what amounts to Arrowverse: Civil War, with Green Arrow and the Flash having to face off against their mind-controlled friends. The special effects are pretty much the best they’ve ever been, with energy blasts, heat vision, and speedster streaks filling the screen. Throw in some solid fight choreography as the melee fighters go at it, and it’s one of the best fight scenes the Arrowverse has ever delivered. It’s a great piece of superhero spectacle, and a more-than-promising start to the Invasion epic.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!