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Arrow – S5E8 – Invasion!

Previously on Arrow, “Vigilante”

This episode was a good example of a) how to do a good 100th episode, and b) how not to do a good crossover. For fans of Arrow it was a decent episode, with callbacks to some of the series’ strongest moments, and the return of some fan-favourite characters (well, favourite may be stretching it a little). For fans of Supergirl, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, on the other hand, it was a bit of a mess. Each episode of the crossover has had trouble finding the right balance between telling their individual stories and telling an overarching story. Arrow focused far too heavily on their own backstory and in-jokes, The Flash was too concentrated on the ramifications of Flashpoint, and to call Supergirl a crossover episode would be laughable. Next time, DC needs to make more of an effort to tell one story across all four shows, rather than four distinct episodes with cameos.

Images: The CW

Images: The CW

The Good

The alternate universe where Diggle is the Green Arrow and Oliver is just an irrelevant rich boy is one I would watch every week.

Oliver, Sara, and Thea reuniting with their deceased family members was the high point of the episode. In particular, Thea struggling to leave behind her parents proved once again that Willa Holland is the best actor on the show. (Full disclosure: I’ve had a massive crush on Willa Holland since she was Caitlin Cooper on The OC, so I may be biased).

Images: The CW

Even though it wasn’t real, it was cathartic to watch Sara kill Damian Darhk given that he murdered her sister. Also enjoyable: watching Thea kill Malcolm Merlyn.

The Bad

Laurel is dead and yet the writers are still finding ways to misuse her character. As much as it was great to see her, and give Sara a chance to hug her sister again, the writers really have no idea what to do with her. Is she Oliver’s great love, or is that Felicity? Is she the badass Black Canary, or is she the woman you leave crying in a wedding dress as you run off to save the day?

Invasion!

The plot line back on Earth was forgettable and unnecessary. If you can remove Supergirl and The Flash from the storyline without really changing anything then you are wasting your crossover potential. Also, was Rene’s meta-human xenophobia even worth putting in there given how quickly he changed his mind?

Who the hell decided that those weird, unexplained holograms of Oliver’s loved ones were a good idea? I get that Colin Donnell is busy on Chicago Med, but surely there was a better way to see Tommy again.

Did any one else find it a strange creative choice to have the aliens write in Hebrew?

Quote of the Week

“I respect your religion and all, I just find it a little hard to believe that there’s some divine plan to the universe that also includes space monsters.” – Curtis

Arrow S5E8
  • 7/10
    Plot - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Dialogue - 7/10
  • 9/10
    Performances - 9/10
7.7/10

Summary

It wasn’t perfect (it is Arrow after all), but there was a lot to like about this episode. The action sequences were great, particularly with the return of Deathstroke, Merlyn, and Darkh, and their subsequent defeat. Having Sara back on the team really emphasized how Team Arrow has gone downhill since she was poached by Legends of Tomorrow. With the exception of Sara, however, the characters from the rest of the DCverse had very little to do, and the episode would have been better if it wasn’t shoved in the middle of a crossover.

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About Alison Millward (103 Articles)
Alison is a big nerd living in Melbourne, Australia. She is a lover of all things television, particularly anything in the "hot young people in depressing sci-fi situations" genre. When not watching tv, Alison enjoys long walks on the beach, corrupting young minds, and actively avoiding thinking about her future.
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