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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My Review of Arrow 5.08 (Episode 100) - Invasion!

In the third episode of the 4-episode crossover, Oliver and the other taken deal with an alternate reality while those left behind search for them desperately....

This particular episode had a lot of stuff to carry.  Not only was it the penultimate episode of the crossover, but it was the 100th episode of Arrow, which is always a milestone.  I think that the writers did a good job balancing those two responsibilities.  I loved that there was the line about Tommy being a doctor in Chicago, a totally meta line since Colin is a doctor on Chicago Med.  I do wish they could have gotten him and Colton to be in the episode, but they couldn't.

It was an interesting choice to reveal immediately that the episode was in the collective heads of Oliver, Sara, Thea, Ray, and Diggle.  Most shows tease you about that sort of thing for most of the episode, so the almost immediate reveal was a bit surprising.  I found it interesting that there was still a Hood, even though Oliver was no longer in that role.  I was just surprised that they had Diggle using a bow and arrow.  It really didn't make much sense.  If he were to go the vigilante route, I would expect him to have done more what he is doing now, using guns.  I also found it interesting that he was still working with Felicity and in the same place where Oliver's lair is currently.  I know it wasn't real at all, but that did seem a bit odd to me for some reason.

All that being said, I did enjoy seeing Oliver being happy.  My question is what exactly the Dominators go t out of this experience.  We know they can use mind control (see The Flash), but how can exploring people's subconscious help them out?  It wasn't like they were exploring fear or anything, so it can't be using fear as a weapon.  I can only assume that they want to see if they can use some form of mental control to make people happy and compliant (think the Matrix).

I can't say that I was surprised that Thea wanted to stay behind.  She has had a really rough go of everything, so to have the opportunity to leave all that behind has got to be tempting.  And the fact is that she doesn't have Oliver's overwhelming sense of obligation to other people.  At most, she fells obligated to him since he is her brother.  Oliver, on the other hand, feels the need to protect as many people as possible as much as possible.  I knew she was going to go along with him, so her showing up wasn't a surprise.

I loved Curtis' reaction to Supergirl and the alien tech.  Watching him, Cisco, and Felicity all geek out together was one of the greatest moments.  And his reaction when he realized he would be hacking the alien tech?  Priceless!

Wild Dog is definitely turning out to be one of the worst characters on any of these shows.  He keeps needing to be rescued from his own idiocy and then there was his totally lacking logic reason for dislike the Flash and Supergirl.  So because the two of them appeared when metas and aliens (respectively) appeared, they were responsible for the bad things.  And then there was his all too sudden turn around.  Please just do us a favor and get rid of him or something.  Right now he just annoys the $hit out of me every time he is on screen.

Other than Wild Dog, I really loved everything about this episode.  I loved all of the callouts to the previous 99 episodes and the history of the flagship show of the Berlantiverse.  Watching each of the 5 taken "kill" their nemesis in that final fight scene was very cathartic as was Oliver's opportunity to say goodbye to his parents and to Laurel.  I also loved the Supergirl-Flash team up on the villain of the week.  He speed punches her, then she tosses the doctor towards the Flash, who speeds toward them and clotheslines the villain.  Totally cool and not something someone gets up from easily.

Tomorrow we have the finale of the crossover.  I may do a reaction piece to that, I'm not sure yet.  Come back tomorrow night and check it to see!