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“Skirt!” Best. Line. Ever. This week’s episode of The Flash continued the “Invasion” crossover happening on all of the DC Universe/CW television shows. Even though the event began with Supergirl, the core of the story is in this episode. There were aliens, team-ups, superhero poses, conflict, BIG conflict, and an ending that is satisfactory, but will leave you tense enough that you have to watch the rest of the shows to see what happens next. But this review is all about The Flash. That being said, it will be a long time before this writer calls any other episode of The Flash “the best.”

After a space ship lands in Central City and a horde of aliens come rushing out, Barry gathers team Arrow, the Legends, and Supergirl to fight off their greatest challenge to date. For Supergirl, this isn’t the first time she’s heard of the Dominators. Growing up, she heard stories about their invasion of Krypton and their violent nature. Oliver then elects Barry as team leader and, with some help, sends everyone off to spar against Kara. Meanwhile, Stein and Jax pull Barry aside to go over the message they discovered on the Waverider. Having nothing to hide from Oliver, Barry invites him to listen in on the conversation. After learning about what Barry did and Flashpoint, Oliver suggests that they keep the audio clip away from the others until after dealing with the Dominators. However, Cisco discovers the clip and everything that could go wrong, does go wrong. Flashpoint and everything related to it are revealed to the rest of the party and everyone, except Oliver and Kara, lose faith in Barry. Olly, being the good friend he is, pledges to stay by his side, but is left alone when everyone else races off to save the President who had just been kidnapped by the Dominators.

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Kara and the rest of the heroes locate the President inside an abandoned warehouse. Once inside, the Dominators vaporize the President and activate a beacon which begins controlling the minds of Supergirl, the Legends, Speedy, and Diggle.  An epic battle ensues. Thanks to the efforts of Barry and Oliver, the other members are saved. Their faith in Barry, as a leader, is also restored (at least Ray says so) and it looks like they can finally get back to the task at hand. But their plans are quickly interrupted when members of the team are beamed up to the Dominators’ ship one by one. Thus leaving things to be continued on Arrow.

Where do you even begin to break down this week’s episode? There’s no better spot than the beginning. Cisco has been relentless ever since Caitlin spilled the beans on what Barry did. Did you catch what he said to Kara when they first met? “‘Friends’ is a loose term. We just work together.” Ouch, and it didn’t stop there. The onslaught continued when Felicity asked Cisco about it. He asked if it was “illegal” to dislike Barry. but brought up the point that even he (Barry) makes mistakes. Then, later on, Cisco found the audio clip and confronted Barry loud enough so that he had to explain to everyone what happened. Which leads to one of the most dramatic moments of the night. For the most part, John Diggle is one of the most relatable characters on the show. He doesn’t have powers or is a tech wizard. He’s a family man who has more than advanced survival skills. So when he hears that his daughter was erased from existence, it’s heart breaking. Almost as heart breaking as hearing Barry having to explain himself.

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Afterwards, the team of time travelers reiterates to him what Cisco has been expressing for days. Poor guy can’t catch a break. Even though he does deserve it, you can’t help but feel bad for him. When does the guilt trip become enough? Hopefully the redemption of Barry Allen comes soon. As a viewer, its becoming difficult to watch. There comes a point when it’s just sad, and that point may be coming soon. Whenever it happens (his redemption), the strength of Barry’s character is going to be astronomical. And, hopefully, that will be the last time his trust or friendship is ever questioned in the series.

In the past, The Flash has featured a lot of “hands-on” type of villains – villains that blow things up to get attention, villains that steal things, villains that kill, but there hasn’t really been a villain that’s tried to purely outsmart the heroes. An argument could be made for Zoom, but he killed plenty of people to be considered off that list. The Dominators, though, mind controlled most of the team. Genius! Sure, the show hasn’t featured a villain with the ability to do so, but in comes the Dominators and they did it. Therefore, they win the award for “Best Villain… So Far.”

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It’s almost unfair to compare this episode to the others, but the action in this episode was incredible. The sparring session was a lot of fun to watch, especially watching them get thrown around like rag dolls, and then hearing Sarah call Supergirl “hot.” The highlight of the battle has to be Barry versus Firestorm, The Atom, and Supergirl on top of STAR Labs. As he launched three bolts of lightning, one at each hero, fans threw their arms up and yelled at their television sets. Then, of course, you had Oliver versus White Canary, Speedy, and Spartan. Which culminated into a fantastic fight scene between the Green Arrow and White Canary.

If there was anything that had to be “off” with the episode, it would have to be the ending. It seems that all Barry had to do to regain the faith of the team as a leader was to break them free from the Dominators’ mind control device. It didn’t feel like it was enough. But it was the end of the episode and something needed to be done. Hopefully Barry will accomplish something that will put him more in favor with everyone. At least they were willing to take direction from him by the end of the episode.

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Honorable mentions go out to Diggle, Heatwave, and Iris. They delivered some of the best one-liners in the episode. Starting with John, his reactions to the “weird” are always the best. For example, when the Waverider appeared and landed in front of him. Or the time when Supergirl demonstrated why she was so “super.” Heatwave has always come off as the big, tough guy of the team. But when he and Supergirl interact, it’s magic because they are complete opposites. Also, don’t forget about Iris’ reaction when she finds out that Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow.

For now, this is the best episode of The Flash. And it will be until, probably, the final episode of the series. It’s funny; the meat of Flashpoint only lasted a couple of episodes. When it was over, some thought that was the end of it. But here is episode eight, and the repercussions of Flashpoint are still ringing loud and clear. At this rate, it’ll continue to resonate until the mid-season finale, and quite possibly until the end.

Lastly, poor Wally (he hasn’t been forgotten) and Stein has a daughter?! Also, did you catch those Easter Eggs? Supergirl comes from Earth-38, and of course this:

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It’s the Hall Of Justice! (Okay, it’s really just the hanger that’s part of STAR Labs, but was purposely made to look like the Halls Of Justice as an homage).

The Flash airs Tuesdays on The CW at 8 PM EST. Check out a preview from the mid-season finale of The Flash titled, “Present.”

Category: reviews, TV

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