History Notes: Legends of Tomorrow, Episode 207, "Invasion!"

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Legends of Tomorrow Ep 207, Invasion!

Picking up where ARROW left off, "Invasion!" comes to its conclusion -- and it ties together a lot of threads showing that this was more than just a crossover stunt. There was a build-up we didn't see, there are lessons learned, and there's a new depth to the DC-CW universe that didn't exist before.

When we left off, Green Arrow (STEPHEN AMELL) and his non-metahuman allies had just been rescued from alien pursuit by Nate Heywood (NICK ZANO) piloting the Waverider timeship, as the Dominator mothership was on a course for Earth with a nearly completed weapon.

At the S.T.A.R. warehouse (again, shaped perfectly like the Hall of Justice), Oliver and the others debate as to why they were kidnapped and interrogated in the first place. Oliver would like to return the favor -- kidnapping and interrogating one of the aliens, and Nate knows where they can find one: Redmond, Oregon in 1951. Cisco Ramon (CARLOS VALDES) and Felicity Smoak (EMILY BETT RICKARDS) are both eager to take this trip with Nick, Amaya (MAISIE RICHARDSON-SELLERS) and Mick (DOMINIC HEYWOOD), while the rest intend to meet with the new President. Oliver takes Supergirl (MELISSA BENOIST) aside and asks her to minimize her involvement. He wants to claw back some normalcy in his life, and she's too much for him to wrap his head around so he wants her to stay behind. She doesn't take it well.

Martin Stein (VICTOR GARBER) is working on a weapon against the Dominators, when Caitlin (DANIELLE PANABAKER) brings his timestream-aberration daughter, Lily (CHRISTINA BRUCATO) into the lab. Stein says he's working on something small to defeat them, referencing the story of Androcles and the lion, but he's having difficulty. Lily quips that if only Stein knew someone with a PhD in nanotechnology, and he says that Raymond (BRANDON ROUTH) is busy elsewhere. "Did the six years I spent at MIT magically slip your mind?" she asks him. Apparently Lily is something of a genius, and she joins him in the work.

In 1951, the Legends and the Tech Crew watch the Dominators attack the Army (Cisco and Felicity from the confines of the Waverider). Steel is in his new costume which Mick says makes him look like a "Star-Spangled Idiot." Aboard the ship, Felicity thinks Cisco came along just to get away from Barry, reinforcing that Barry is his best friend, something Cisco solidly rejects. "He's not my friend." (Plot hint: That's what this whole thing is about!)

As the aliens drag off soldiers, Mick spots a straggler. Together, they take him down and they have themselves a Dominator.

While Lily is working with Stein, she shares memories that Stein doesn't have. He steps away and Caitlin follows, cautioning him that he's being overly cold to his daughter. Stein informs her that she didn't exist, and Caitlin thinks that Lily must be another Flashpoint change from Barry messing with the timeline. But Stein claims this one is all his fault, for interacting with his younger self, and calls Lily a "time aberration." "She is not a real person," he insists. Caitlin realizes that Stein intends to erase her after dealing with the Dominators, and he coldly states, "No, I'm goinog to fix the timeline. Unlike your friend Barry, I have the luxury of fixing my mistakes."

In 1951, the Legends are approached by a team of MIB agents who want the Dominator, and they tranq-gun the Legends and capture them all. Seeing this, Felicity and Cisco search the ship to find some weapons so they can mount a rescue operation, with Cisco citing STRANGER THINGS as life imitating art.

When the Legends awake in their cell, with the bound-up Dominator, they find the tranquilizer has screwed up their powers. But they can at least try to talk to the Dominator that is in the cell with them.

In 2016, Green Arrow, The Atom, Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) and Sara (CAITY LOTZ) are awaiting the arrival of the President. What they get is a caravan of black SUVs, led by the same old guy we saw chastise Lyla back in THE FLASH. We quickly shift back to 1951 where Nate is learning that the Dominators are there because of the emergence of metahumans on Earth -- the JSA -- and their reconnaisance to see if this poses a threat to them. The MIB agents enter the cell again, and we get a really nice fade back to 2016 in a way that clearly demonstrates that the head MIB guy in 1951 is the old guy in 2016 (later referred to as Agent Smith).

In 2016, the heroes are surrounded by weapons, so Barry goes on a disarmament run while the others fight hand-to-hand. Once all the weapons are dismantled, Flash confronts Agent Smith, who tells them why the "Xenomorphs" have a beef with Earth's metahumans -- he and they both see metahumans as a future threat.

In 1951, Felicity and Cisco break out the Legends, but before they escape they hear the Dominator screaming in pain. They choose to show the Dominators that they are better than that by rescuing him and taking him to his ship. And in so doing, Cisco manages to five-finger-discount an alien communication device.

Back to 2016, Smith refers to The Flash as "Mr. Allen," indicating he knows Flash's secret identity. What's more, he also knows about Flashpoint, as do the Dominators. It's because Barry went back and changed the timeline that the Dominators see him as a threat -- that Flash broke some truce that had been negotiated in the 50s. But Agent Smith has negotiated a deal with the Dominators. They will leave Earth in peace -- if Barry Allen surrenders himself to them.

When the Waverider returns to 2016, Cisco's communicator comes alive, and the alien they rescued 65 years ago appears in holographic form. He tells them that out of gratitude for their rescuing him, he will spare their lives, but he cannot do the same for Barry Allen. If Barry doesn't surrender himself, they will activate a weapon that will extermate all metahumans on Earth.

But, as our heroes astutely discern...

Ray doesn't believe the aliens would stop with Barry, and they calculate that there would be roughly two million non-metahumans who would be collateral damage. With ships surrounding Earth, Cisco tries to reach out to the Dominator again, using the communicator as a focal point to vibe himself and Steel aboard their mothership. They try to tell the alien that there are good people with metahuman abilities, but the alien counters that someone like the man who tortured him might also inherit abilities, and that the Dominators have seen this happen on countless other worlds. What the Dominators are enacting is a pre-emptive strike. Returning to the warehouse, Cisco is visibly shaken and realizes that maybe metahumans really will make the world a worse place. And then it hits him: the whole reason for the Dominator invasion of Earth is because he changed the timeline when he talked the others into freeing that Dominator! He thought he was trying to do the right thing and just made things worse. It's a revelation that puts his grudge against Barry in a new light.

Working on the defense weapon against the Dominators, Lily gets frustrated, largely because of Stein's attitude. Caitlin forces him to go talk to her, and without telling her about the timeline changes, he starts to see her finally as his daughter. And then he gets a text. "My friend Barry is about to do something terrible," he says.

In the "Hall of Justice" Barry faces the crew and tells them he's turning himself over to the Dominators, asking them to keep home safe. As he turns away, Oliver tells him that they won't let him leave. "No offense, Oliver, but you and what army?" He turns and sees that the entire alliance of teams stands with Oliver. Even Mick drops some wisdom, but it culminates with Cisco stepping forward and reuniting emotionally with Barry.

And with that decision, the ship over Central City opens up and drops the bomb.

What follows are some really intense fight scenes, as the Waverider -- carrying Sara and Cisco -- try to intercept the metabomb. Cisco gets the idea to tractor-beam it, but it's not enough so Sara calls in Firestorm for an assist. Meanwhile, Flash has Stein's new nano-weapon, and is rushing around planting one on each Dominator on the ground. But they can't just be the ones in Central City, because the Dominators are on the ground all over the world. "This looks like a job for Supergirl," exclaims Felicity. "Totally not insulted," Flash responds. Together they use superspeed to tag each Dominator (we won't count how many, because then we'd have to wonder how Stein created so many in such a short time; we'll just assume the Waverider replicated them en masse once he built the original).

Firestorm transmutes the bomb into liquid, Felicity activates the devices, and Dominators the world over experience extreme pain, forcing them to retreat. The fight is over.

Later, back at the Hall of Justice (and I hope you're reading that with Ted Knight's voice in your head), the new President (LUCIA WALTERS) delivers a speech with all the heroes standing behind her. This leads into an after-Invasion party, where Supergirl (for whatever reason) returns into her Kara Danvers civilian attire (which she totally must have packed in the secret pocket of her cape from her Earth). Honestly, the only reason she resumed the Kara Danvers look was so that she could talk with Felicity and Ray, giving them both opportunities for jokes: Felicity thinks that Kara looks familiar (because, of course, she looks very much like Felicity), while Ray comments, "Actually, she kind of reminds me of my cousin." (Routh, of course, had a turn at playing the Man of Steel in SUPERMAN RETURNS.)

Kara tells Oliver and Barry that there are only two metas on her Earth -- her and her cousin -- and that Barry and Oliver are this Earth's "mightiest heroes." Ollie apologizes to Kara for trying to keep her out of things earlier (especially since Kara arrived to save Oliver from being thrown off a building during the fight with the Dominators!) and Barry brings it all into a Trinity Group Hug. Then Cisco gives Kara a device he whipped up in his spare time -- an interdimensional extrapolator. It's a plot device so that Kara can return to this Earth any time she wants. It also has a communication device so that she can call the team. "Hey, skirt! Call me," says Mick, casually passing by.

Finding a corner of their own, the two halves of Firestorm, Martin Stein and Jefferson Jackson (FRANZ DRAMEH), discuss Lily, with Stein explaining how she was brought into this timeline. He tells Jax that nobody can know about the time aberration -- he does not want to lose his daughter.

Agent Smith arrives on the scene and Nate confronts him. Before the tension can escalate, however, Kara interrupts to say she's told the new President about the DEO on her Earth, and how it deals with aliens, and that the new President thought it was a great idea. She also suggested that Agent Smith be transferred to Antarctica.

Kara then uses Cisco's device, opens a wormhole, and returns to her Earth.

Sara and Oliver reflect on what would have happened if they'd never become what they are, starting all this -- what if Oliver had never got on that boat. Oliver says he doesn't have to imagine it -- she and he both already saw that in the Dominator's dreamworld.

The teams all go their separate ways, leaving Oliver and Barry alone. What would they do if they got together and the world wasn't in crisis? Go to a bar, of course, and trash talk about who would win between them in a superspeed / arrow duel. Barry says it's no contest that he'd beat Oliver again, and Oliver says their first contest was a tie, and when pressed about the second one that there were "no witnesses" (because the last crossover cut out as we watched them face each other). They toast their lives, and the credits roll.

It's a quiet ending to a momentous television event. Yes, the Invasion and its circumvention required quite a few leaps of faith and suspensions of disbelief, but all in all it was everything I could have hoped for in a television crossover. I would have loved to have seen more interaction with Supergirl, and I still hold out hope that some future CRISIS (are you reading this, Mr. Johns and Mr. Berlanti?) might merge the worlds, but that can wait. For a while. At any rate, thanks for delivering an amazing thrill-ride for DC superhero fans everywhere!

4.5 / 5.0