Smoothly incorporating the CW-wide crossover and the show’s 100th episode, Arrow’s chapter of Invasion! was one of the best of the series.
One of the big issues stemming from Flashpoint was the lack of impact across the Arrow-verse. John swapped a son for a daughter and Stein gained a daughter, but the wider reality largely went unaffected.
Thanks to the Dominators’ dream machine, we got a taste of what a drastically shaken up Arrow reality would look like in a pseudo-Flashpoint prism.
In this world, Oliver was utterly and truly happy. He was the best version of himself. This Oliver never ran off with Sara, remained faithful to Laurel, whom he was set to marry, and whose absence didn’t send Thea spiraling into a drug habit. And both his parents (Jamie Sheridan and Susanna Thompson) were alive.
It was nice to see Katie Cassidy back. Watching Oliver and Laurel together again seemed much more natural and it was very interesting that Laurel was the one Oliver envisioned as his wife.
A common ‘what if?’ Batman scenario has Bruce imagining his father (or some other force) preventing the infamous alley robbery. Given how heavily influenced Arrow is by Batman, it was a nice touch to have Oliver ‘save’ his father from a similar alley fate.
Even in Oliver’s absence, The Hood was operational — this time with Diggle under the mask. I’m hoping the writers explore this best life for the characters following Invasion! Does Diggle have vigilante envy and why would Ray prefer Felicity as his fiancé over Kendra? There’s some future subplot potential here.
Sadly, Oliver knew things were too good to be true as visions of his real life kept crashing through the daydream haze.
It was hard not to sympathize with Thea and her reluctance to leave. This Matrix spin on their world was a vast improvement over the constant cycle of tragedies in the real world. I really liked that Oliver didn’t pressure Thea into coming. This made for a heartbreaking scene with Stephen Amell and Willa Holland.
With the fog finally breaking, Director James Bamford delivered one of his best action sequences with the woke Team Arrow vol. 3 squad facing off against some of Arrow’s top rivals. While it was a treat seeing Deathstroke back again, Manu Bennett’s charismatic spin on the character was missed. Good thing Malcolm Merlyn and Damien Darhk were on hand. I would have gone geek out crazy if Ra’s al Ghul, Andy, Brother Blood and Church were in the brawl as well.
The Dominators’ sneaky last resort of using simulation Laurel to get Sara and Oliver to stay was heart-wrenching. In a nice touch to commemorate the anniversary, Oliver sees images of current and former cast members. Tommy wasn’t as essential, but it really was unfortunate Roy only got the quickie cameo.
On the actual Invasion! front, the episode didn’t have or really need a lot to occur. Cisco helped Team Arrow track down a device that could find their missing friends. But to secure it from Cyberwoman, they needed Flash and Supergirl’s help. Curtis was channeling his super power of being over the top obnoxious. It says something when even Cisco wasn’t amused by his antics.
Mad Dog definitely didn’t endear himself to fans of Flash or Supergirl from his wary perspective on meta-humans. That kind of came from nowhere, but Mad Dog doesn’t have to be the clearest thinker of the bunch.
I loved that away from the Legends team Ray is immediately more competent with 50 percent less goofy humor. This is the version of Atom that could easily lead the team. The escape from the Dominators lair really had a fun sci-fi feel and the last second save by Nate and the Waverider was well-timed.
Arrow’s Invasion! chapter had a nice balance of celebrating the past and embracing all of the crazy DC fun it’s kicked off. I’m ready for the Invasion! finale tomorrow on Legends.
Rating: 9.7 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW