This week, the Arrowverse gets invaded by aliens, and for the first time, four shows collide. The crossover event on Supergirl was small and also shown on The Flash, so this review covers the other three shows. The Flash, Arrow, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow all link together so seamlessly, this enormous crossover seems more like a full-length movie when watched back to back. (And if you can avoid spoilers, probably by staying off the internet entirely until Thursday, it might be a fun option.) In fact, they all share the same name: "Invasion!"
On The Flash, Barry is suddenly confronted with an entirely new enemy, from out of this world. Aliens known as The Dominators have come to earth, and do not seem to be friendly. Knowing how in over his head he is, Barry gathers the Legends, his friends from Star City, and the only alien he knows, Supergirl. The ability of this hodgepodge of heroes to work together hits a snag due to fallout from Flashpoint, endangering them all. Meanwhile, Wally and Iris disagree on how fast he should be moving forward when it comes to his new speed.
Following up is the 100th episode of Arrow, where Ollie has an experience similar to Barry's in Flashpoint and Kara's with The Black Mercy, he wakes up to a world where he and Sara never got on The Queen's Gambit and were therefore never shipwrecked. Everything seems perfect, with Ollie and Thea's parents alive and well, as is Ollie's fiancée Laurel. But Ollie's happy fantasy means the team is short-handed, with the threat of the Dominators close at hand. Cisco, The Flash, and Supergirl offer their help to The Green Arrow's new recruits, with a very mixed reception.
Closing the story is Legends of Tomorrow. The good guys learn about The Dominator's plan, these aliens are after metahumans, including the ones who are a part of their team-up. The Legends, The Green Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and their friends have to work together in order to save the world and protect their own. But with Martin Stein distracted by the results of a choice he made on a recent mission, and personalities clashing, will they be able to stop The Dominators from, well, dominating?
With this many actors appearing in as many as three episodes, there was ample opportunity for them each to shine. Starting with Carlos Valdes. Cisco appears in every single episode of the crossover, an accomplishment he only shares with Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist (if we count the two men's cameo on Supergirl as well). Still reeling from Killer Frost's revelation that Dante's death only happened because of Flashpoint, Cisco struggles to keep his anger at Barry under control enough to help stop the Dominators. Valdes plays the balance beautifully, his hurt and feelings of betrayal shining through every moment, even the ones where, in typical Cisco style, he brings a little levity to the day.
Gustin also shows his strength as an actor. Barry's guilt over Flashpoint is still a heavy burden for him, affecting his ability to participate in the fight as well as how some of his friends think of him. Meanwhile, he acts as the buffer between all the other groups, being the only one who knows Supergirl as well as his close friendships with Ollie, Felicity, and some of the Legends. Gustin weaves through Barry's many moments of leadership, friendship, guilt, and pain deftly, almost like he's dancing with the character and story.
Arrow has a separate article celebrating the 100th episode, which very much celebrates the show as well as moving the crossover forward, so the actors will be discussed in detail there. However, a quick shout-out to Willa Holland, Katie Cassidy, Susanna Thompson, and giving his best performance to date, Stephen Amell.
Among the Legends, Dominic Purcell is, as usual, responsible for several of the funniest moments in the story. As usual, he is phased by nothing and changing for no one. There's one scene between him and Supergirl that is particularly funny, with her learning exactly why the Legends, especially Mick Rory, don't use the term "heroes" to describe themselves.
And Victor Garber give the sort of beautiful performance we should all just be completely used to and expecting by now. Stein has a lot hanging over his head in this episode, and struggles with what the right thing to do is. It would take a lot for a character as heroic as Stein to be distracted from saving the world, but Garber's performance leaves not a single doubt as to why he's not really giving his A-game at all moments. And of course, what would Legends of Tomorrow be if not for at least one wonderful scene between Martin and Jax?
All three parts of "Invasion!" are exciting, fun, and heartfelt. Each year the Arrowverse crossovers raise the bar, and this year, they did so again, working an interesting and exciting storyline deftly between the shows. It's enough to make one excited wondering how they'll top it next year.
NEXT: The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow Crossover Trailer / First Look At The Dominators / Invasion! Crossover Promo Photos / Potential The Flash Spoiler Spotted On Set / Will Joe West Die During The Invasion! Crossover? / Enter To Win An Ultra-Rare Invasion! Crossover T-Shirt
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT; The Flash on Tuesdays at the same time; Arrow on Wednesdays and DC's Legends of Tomorrow on Thursdays. All four series air on The CW. The "Invasion!" crossover will air beginning November 28.