Previously on The Flash, “Killer Frost”
When this episode finally got around to superheroes doing superhero things, it was great. Unfortunately, it took us about 40 minutes to get there, and those were filled with lies, drama, shade, and “training.”
A spaceship crash lands in Central City and the aliens take off for parts unknown. Luckily, Lila from A.R.G.U.S. gives less than zero about national security so she fills in Team Flash: They’re called The Dominators and they’ve been here before. Even though she tells them not to get involved, Barry races to get assistance from Team Arrow: Oliver (Stephen Amell), Diggle (David Ramsey), Thea (Willa Holland), and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards).
It sinks in that they’re facing aliens and they’re a speedster, two people good with a bow and arrow, and a brother with a pistol. So, Oliver sends for even more reinforcements: The Legends. This is slightly better, right? We got an assassin (Caity Lotz), Firestorm (Victor Garber and Franz Drameh), Ray (Brandon Routh) in his new Atom suit, and a bro (Dominic Purcell) with a flamethrower.
They’re gonna need a bigger crew.
Barry and Cisco take a jaunt to Earth-38 to scoop up Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), who clearly didn’t plan on staying long cause she didn’t even bring a change of clothes.
Before they head through the breach, Cisco warns Barry that he’s only doing this because aliens. He’s still mad, but he won’t let it get in the way of the mission. And then he does exactly that every chance he got.
Gathered in the plane hangar Barry apparently owns, introductions are made and then it’s time to pick a leader. Cisco votes for Oliver because petty. Oliver thinks it should be Barry, but ends up calling all the plays anyway. The first order of business is to “train.” Kara has at least heard of the Dominators, but they don’t really have much to go on: They invading Krypton before Kara was born and performed experiments. They kidnapped humans on Earth to study them in the ’50s, and their recent visit was preceded by a message saying they mean no harm, but don’t get their way, either. Still, they decide to “train” by having everyone attack Supergirl, who’s been instructed by Oliver not to go easy on them – especially him. Yes, girl. Don’t go easy on the guy with the bow and arrow and zero superpowers.
Jax and Stein decide to fill Barry in on the message they received from his future self. Future Barry tells them a war is coming, but not to trust him because he went back in time and screwed everything up. Oliver isn’t happy about the news, but says they shouldn’t tell the others until after the aliens are dealt with. However, Cisco finds the recording and puts Barry on Front Street because petty. Diggle takes the news that he had a daughter as well as you might expect (not well at all) and Sara gets all high and mighty about playing with time as if she hasn’t been trying to kill Damien Darhk in about three different decades. Since Barry’s on almost everyone’s shit list, when the call comes in that The Dominators have taken the president, Barry and Oliver stay behind while Kara leads the others in doing superhero things.
While they’re gone, Barry gets one of Oliver’s tough-love pep talks and tells him he shouldn’t beat himself up over what he did. I mean, he should a little bit, but okay.
The Dominators set a trap and the heroes fell for it. The heroes are hit with some kind of mind-control whammy and head back to S.T.A.R. Labs to fuck shit up. And in case you forgot: They have Supergirl on their side. They’ve got Barry and Oliver pretty much dead to rights, but Wally speeds in and saves the day, temporarily.
Oh, remember Wally? Yeah, he’s super fast now. Faster than Barry was at this stage in his powers, but no one wants to let this guy be great. Iris has the bright idea to ask everyone to lie to Wally and tell him he still needs more tests (just how many damn tests could they possibly be running?) and to also not encourage him so he’ll not want to rush out and help people. You know, because she loved it so much when everyone in the city knew Barry was The Flash and kept it from her. HR didn’t get the memo (he was off prepping for the S.T.A.R. Labs Museum “soft launch” because that’s apparently still going to be a thing), and told Wally all his tests were fine. He is free to be great.
So, that’s what he does, despite everyone in his family being hating haters who hate. He is knocked the hell out after saving everyone, but, to be fair, you can’t really train him not to pause for a moment and be proud of his accomplishment. Hell, they ALL do it. Barry leads Supergirl on a chase and purposely makes her crash into the device boosting The Dominator’s mind control signal and everyone returns to normal.
This is a crossover, though, so no happy ending yet. Before they can make their way inside S.T.A.R. Labs, most of our heroes are beamed up by The Dominators.
Wally suggests that HR secretly help him train. Knowing he’s already on probation with Team Flash he responds, “I’d be outta here quicker than humor in a Liam Neeson movie.”
- The multi-cast chemistry cannot be denied. Though it felt like a major portion of the episode was filled with soap opera drama, the actors have a great rapport and it shows. Honestly, Supergirl was way more likable than she is on her own show. Maybe because she was Supergirl with very little Kara, who can be a bit… much.
- Remember how Stein was having memories of loving some young woman? Well, everyone breathe a sigh of relief. He hasn’t been out there cat-daddying it up in another time period. He has a daughter. Guess he changed something big time the last time he encountered his younger self.
- HR eventually agrees to train Wally, and it’s sure to end badly. However, maybe Iris, Joe, and Barry should have considered this. They tried to stop him from getting the powers, but he has them. Help him make the best of it. Actually train him instead of watching him run in circles in the Speed Lab. Maybe if they allowed him to gain some experience (perhaps with Vibe as backup for both him and Barry – if Cisco isn’t up in his damn feelings), they wouldn’t worry so much when he does what we all know he’s going to do anyway. Still, I’m so here for scenes with HR and Wally.
- Look. I get it. Cisco is mourning. And grief is fucking terrible. But you know what? Cisco has been FINE since the end of episode 3. Yes, he didn’t know that Dante was alive prior to Flashpoint – though I’m still not clear on why these really smart folks couldn’t figure out that anything Barry wasn’t aware of (like Dante’s death and his fight with Cisco over it) had to be different in Flashpoint. But if Cisco is going to continue to be a part of the team, then he needs to lay off the nasty remarks while they’re working. Also, how about you don’t call into question Barry’s leadership and character moments before they have to fight aliens and save the fucking world? Just a thought. To be clear: Cisco can be mad. And Cisco can be mad while working with the team. But Cisco can’t be mad, work with the team, and be an asshole who causes unnecessary problems when people are trying to not die and save humanity. Choose one, Cisco.
- After the mind control is broken, and while Kara flies around the city looking to take out more of the alien devices, Oliver says they should call Lila to tell her the aliens didn’t come in peace. Um, I think she got that memo when they gripped up the president.
- Soooo, Iris West-Allen doesn’t write the future newspaper article thanks to Flashpoint? That sucks. They better not be gearing up for some Iris death or disappearing bullshit.
The Flash S3E8 =8.5/10