The Flash 3×08 Review: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Aliens? ALIENS?

You’d think that the premise that a species of aliens known as The Dominators coming to take over Earth would make this latest Arrowverse crossover ludicrous. But surprisingly ludicrous works especially when you have a group of heroes that are a mix of super skilled and super powered.

Superpowers? I’m good with. Aliens? Well, I’m dealing.

While The Flash might not exactly be on my Christmas list this season, this official kickoff to the 4-night crossover event, which brought together the heroes of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, was a ton of fun. While it wasn’t exactly the most exciting hour of television (all the action came at the end), it was the character interactions that made it such an entertaining ride.

There are so many characters with unique personalities that when they collide it’s magic incarnate. Getting to see favorites from all of my shows interact with people they might not normally interact with was the stuff of beauty. Felicity and Kara? YES. Sara crushing on Kara? YESS. Kara getting a taste of brooding Oliver Queen? YESSS. Kara being reunited with fellow puppy Barry? YESSSS.

The Flash’s “Invasion” episode centers around the arrival of The Dominators, which is a group of aliens that aren’t exactly strangers to Earth. There’s a lot of deep-seeded history that was woven in this episode, which is making their attempted takeover of Earth all the more intriguing. Clearly these aliens do not come in peace.

But in the midst of this Dominators invasion, it was this super team-up that stole the show. Bringing this much superpower epicness together in one room was the biggest crossover to date. In the immortal words of Felicity Smoak:

BEST. TEAM-UP. EVER.

ALIENS!

So, aliens. Aliens have come to Earth to wipe out our race. Or something like that. So who does Barry call first? The guy with a bow and arrow, of course. While I’m glad it was Barry’s first instinct to turn to Oliver in times of need, it’s laughable that he went to an archer before an alien. Just saying.

So these Dominators, they don’t come in peace. They collectively kidnapped and then murdered the president, brainwashed most of our superpowered heroes, and have now abducted mostly Arrow characters to put them in some false reality that will bring us to tears tomorrow. These Dominators sure know how to party.

SUPER FRIENDS!

No doubt the best part of this entire crossover (next to everyone laying into Barry, although this can be included in that category) was watching all of these characters collectively unite as one to fend off a common enemy. In the now three years that these crossovers have been happening, they’ve gotten bigger in terms of scope as new heroes and new shows are brought to the forefront.

As I mentioned earlier, there are so many different personalities throughout this Arrowverse that when you throw them all together it’s fireworks. Even just casual conversations turn into entertaining moments of WOW.

Team Arrow. Team Flash. Team Legends of Tomorrow. And Team Supergirl, sorta. How epic was this!

FLASHPOINT FALLOUT!

Honestly there was nothing more gratifying about this episode than when everyone laid into Barry for his Flashpoint mess. There was finally significant fallout from Barry’s Flashpoint mistake, which consisted of all of those and not that he affected really laying into him for being so selfish and reckless.

All season long there have been people excusing Barry’s selfish decision. While I’m okay with the forgive and move forward, there needs to be an admittance and acceptance of wrongdoing. There needs to be a clear understanding that this is something that should never ever come close to happening again. You’re not afforded redos, even as a superhero.

While Oliver tried to make excuses for Barry’s actions (Oliver can’t help his innate need to protect Barry), it was people like Sara, who have the motive and have had the opportunity to change the past and resisted, that are reminders of how this whole notion of being sad is no excuse for this. Sara and the other Legends have had the opportunity to change the past and bring back lost loved ones or to even change the slightest thing in their lives. But they’ve never actually gone forward with it. Even though they’ve been pushed to the brink they’ve never stepped over the ledge. Even Sara, a former assassin who’s not known for her cool, calm demeanor when those she loves have been harmed, was able to resist. So why does Barry get a pass after making a selfish decision?

There was a significant focus on Barry’s Flashpoint mistake, which included a deeper divide between Barry and Cisco, as well as a potential revelation that things between Barry and Iris don’t work out. While I’m an avid WestAllen shipper (and know they’ll end up together), this was definitely something that Barry needed to experience in order to really gauge just ho damaging Flashpoint was. It’s not just others that he’s affected and potentially affected. It’s him, as well.

I’ve been angry at Barry Allen since the season two finale, and I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon. But I still give a damn – a big damn – about Barry Allen. You can love someone and be angry at them. That’s our current predicament. But like when the Legends of Super FlArrow team came around, I’ll admit that Barry is still someone that I’d want by my side and would trust to lead me. Here’s hoping he can gain my respect back this season.

KID FLASH RISES!

While this episode was part of the crossover event, this was still The Flash, which made it the focus of the episode. Part of the focus rested with Wally West and his newfound speed. It’s no secret that people in Wally’s life aren’t exactly gung-ho about him having super speed. It’s not because they don’t believe in him. They just have some experience in this superhero world and are worried that he’s not exactly ready. They’re treating him with kid gloves (how appropriate). Is it right? Not necessarily. But their intentions are well founded.

Once Wally finds out that those he loves haven’t exactly been forthcoming about his new abilities or eager to help him get out there in the world, obviously he’s hurt. These people mean the world to him; they’re his family; they’re supposed to believe in him when no one else will. But it’s also the fact that Wally is so passionate about wanting to have a purpose and protect the people of this city.

Wally, feeling rejected by everyone he cares about, reaches out to fellow outcast H.R. with the offer to help train him. While H.R. initially rejected Wally’s offer, once he got a good look at Wally’s potential, he agreed to help train him. How is he going to train him? I haven’t the faintest clue. He’s an author, not a scientist. I’m so very confused. But this is The Flash after all.

THE NEXT CHAPTER!

Given the crossover nature of this four-part event, each subsequent installment leads to the next. Following an hour of The Flash that set up The Dominators as foes and tested the relationships of our heroes, the focus now shifts to Arrow, where several of our favorites, including Oliver, have been abducted by these Dominators.

Arrow’s installment of the crossover looks to be one of the more intriguing and painful hours that we’ll see in the crossover. Not only will it be a stark contrast to what we’re used to, but there’s going to be nostalgia out the yin yang that’s going to make us cry in a heaping ball on the floor.

While there are certain aspects that I’m most definitely not looking forward to *cough* the toxic relationship that is Oliver/Laurel *cough*, I’m trying to have hope that Arrow’s 100th episode will manage to pay tribute to the fans that have stuck it out for the past four now five seasons. Arrow is so many amazing things, and since this is being touted as a “love letter to the fans” here’s hoping that it’s not intended for strictly comic book fans but fans of Arrow. We deserve that much.

The 4-night crossover event continues Wednesday with Arrow at 8/7c on The CW.

Teacher by day, writer by every other free moment | Obsessed with sports, TV, books, movies, and superheroes | Proud shipper and supporter of strong female characters | Co-executive Editor for Fangirlish | Contributor for Bears Wire at USA Today SMG | Producer/Co-Host of Buffone 55 for Bears Barroom Radio Network | Contact: alyssa@fangirlish.com.