‘The Flash’ Season 3 Episode 8 Recap and Review: Epic Superhero Crossover

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The Flash season 3 episode 8 Grant Gustin and Stephen Amell

Grant Gustin as The Flash and Stephen Amell as Green Arrow in ‘The Flash’ (Photo: by Dean Buscher © 2016 The CW Network)

“What happened?” asks Kara (Melissa Benoist). “You didn’t kill me so my day is looking up,” answers The Flash (Grant Gustin) as he’s just managed to free Supergirl from being mind-controlled in episode eight of season three of The CW’s comic-book inspired fantasy action series, The Flash.

As part two of the four-part crossover special event begins, Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) is speeding around the training facility at S.T.A.R. Labs with Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) monitoring his vitals and checking his speed. Iris (Candice Patton) and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) are worried that Wally is going to jump into action fighting bad guys too fast and want him to train more. So Iris asks…no, actually orders…Caitlin to tell Wally she needs to run more tests on him and snaps at Cisco to keep his mouth shut about Wally’s speedster suit. (When did Iris suddenly become the boss of Team Flash?!) When Wally finally stops running, he asks how he’s doing and a reluctant Caitlin says they should do more testing tomorrow. Wally is disappointed but Joe offers to buy him dinner and praises his abilities. After Iris leaves, Caitlin asks Cisco if he wants to grab a drink with her and Barry. Cisco, still hurting and deeply angry at Barry for changing the timeline, tells Caitlin “nice try” and walks off. She looks sad as she watches him leave.

In the main core of S.T.A.R. Labs, H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) is pitching his idea about turning their base of operations into an attraction for Central City, an idea that’s not impressing Barry, Cisco, or Caitlin. Their discussion is broken up when a satellite goes off and Cisco sees a meteor is headed toward downtown. The Flash speeds off and finds a weird spacecraft where the meteor should have crashed. He touches it and gets blasted backwards as tall, skinny, and strange-looking aliens come running out and run off. The Flash gets up and yells into his com, “Aliens!”

The next day, Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson) meets The Flash where the spacecraft landed and tells him she’ll meet him at S.T.A.R. Labs to bring him up to speed on what she knows. Lyla tells Team Flash that the aliens are called Dominators and first visited the Earth back in the early 1950s. During their visit, they abducted some people and then left. She’s afraid it could be happening all over again after getting a message from the aliens saying they were going to visit the Earth again on a mission to study them and not to attack them. Lyla asks Team Flash to just stay out of it for now and to let her people handle it. After she leaves, Wally asks if they really are going to stand down and Barry says no. Iris says he can’t beat the aliens alone and he tells her he has no intention of fighting them alone.

Barry goes about organizing his small band of superheroes, gathering together Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), Diggle (David Ramsey), Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), and Thea Queen (Willa Holland) from Star City and asking Felicity to send a message to the Legends to meet them at the S.T.A.R. Labs hanger (soon to be the headquarters known as the Hall of Justice). Barry and Cisco open a breach and travel to Earth-38 to ask Supergirl to join the fight, which after a brief and happy reunion, she asks, “What are we up against?”

Barry and Cisco return to the hanger with Kara and she happily meets and quickly deduces who is who based on what Barry has told her. Green Arrow doesn’t seem to like Supergirl or trust her much, so he suggests they all train her to get ready to take on the Dominators. Dr. Stein (Victor Garber) and Jax (Franz Drameh) pull Barry aside and tell him they need him to hear something privately, but Oliver overhears and Barry insists that he join them. They play Barry a recording they found in the waverider he made 40 years in the future warning Rip Hunter not to trust the present Barry in the war they are about to face. Barry tells Dr. Stein, Jax, and Oliver about messing with the timeline and changing the lives of the people close to him. The four agree that for now it’s best they focus on the mission at hand and not tell the others until after dealing with the Dominators. As they head out to train, Dr. Stein has another headache/vision and Caitlin, who has just entered, asks is he is okay. He tells her he thinks so, but asks if she would mind going with him while he goes home for a few minutes. Caitlin is only too happy to accompany him.

The Flash season 3 Episode 8 Stephen Amell, Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen in ‘The Flash’ (Photo by Dean Buscher © 2016 The CW Network)

Everyone is training and basically losing to Supergirl when Barry and Iris see Wally outside the hanger about to enter. Iris walks up to him and tears into him, telling him he has no business being there and he’s not training with the others. Wally reveals H.R. says he’s ready but Iris is adamant telling him this is going to be very dangerous and he could get killed. Wally speeds off to pout.

Walking home, Martin thanks Caitlin for escorting him and she replies that she wasn’t really helping anyways. He can tell she’s still worried about her new powers and he provides some comfort and words of advice telling her she doesn’t have to end up like her doppelganger just because she has the same powers. Caitlin confesses she’s still healing from attacking her friends and her loved ones and that she’s afraid Frost might take control of her again. Professor Stein simply tells her that if it does happen, she won’t be dealing with it alone. They come to his door and he knocks expecting to see his wife, but instead he sees a younger woman…his daughter. Surprised, happy, and concerned, Stein hugs the woman and then quickly leaves with Caitlin.

Cisco is looking for some doodad to enhance the Atom’s suit when he finds the recording of future Barry. He confronts Barry and asks if he told everyone else and Barry says he will after they deal with the Dominators. Cisco has a fit and outs Barry, forcing him to tell them right there. Barry tells everyone about the message and about Flashpoint. Diggle learns he had a daughter before Barry changed things and the Legends are very upset with him because it’s that kind of messing with time they are in charge of stopping. This is when Felicity gets a message from Lyla that the President of the United States has been taken by the Dominators and she needs their help. Barry tells them to go ahead and he’ll sit this one out because they’re upset with him. Everyone starts to head out, but Oliver says no. “This is crazy, guys,” says Green Arrow. He refuses to go without Barry, so Supergirl tells him to stay with Barry and they’ll handle it.

The new Super Friends track the aliens to where they’re keeping POTUS but it turns out it’s a trap. They end up being mind-controlled by the aliens via a special device.

In Eobard’s chamber of secrets, Barry shows Oliver the newspaper article from the future saying how The Flash vanished during a battle. Barry tells Oliver the article was originally written by Iris West-Allen but now it’s written by some other journalist. Barry is getting more and more upset about changing the timeline when Oliver, who thinks the newspaper article is weird and creepy, tells him to stop beating himself up about what he did. “You made a mistake. It goes with the job,” says the green avenger. He also reveals to Barry that if he had the opportunity to go back in time and stop his father from killing himself or save his mother, that he would have done it too and so would anyone. Oliver goes on to say the world is different because of the choices people made, not because of him. “You are not a god, Barry,” says Green Arrow to his younger friend. This is when Cisco calls them on the intercom saying they need them ASAP! Barry changes the newspaper article to show what’s happening outside and sees Supergirl and the others attacking S.T.A.R. Labs.


The Flash and Arrow try to hold them off and it’s not long before Barry and Oliver are soon losing the fight, overpowered by the mind-controlled heroes. Wally sees what’s happening and decides to help even though Iris is still telling him he’s not ready. Wally speeds along and knocks down three of the Legends before Supergirl knocks him out. Barry tells Oliver to take Wally inside, find cover, and hold them off as long as he can while he leads Supergirl back to the warehouse to try to destroy the alien mind-controlling device. The Flash races off with Supergirl in pursuit and Arrow picks up Wally and runs for cover. He’s running so fast even Supergirl has trouble keeping up and he starts to gloat that she’s too slow, making her angry. The Flash positions himself in front of the device and just as Supergirl flies right at him he vibrates so she ends up flying right through him and crashing through the Dominators device, destroying it. She looks at Barry, puzzled, and not understanding what just happened.

Back at S.T.A.R Labs, Wally is lightly scolded once more about rushing into danger and realizes maybe he’s not yet ready to fight. H.R. tells him that Iris and Joe just don’t see his potential because they’re too worried about him. H.R. tells Wally he’ll train him.

Outside, Barry, Oliver, and the Legends are talking about their next step. They all agree to forget what future-Barry said and that they’ll trust their Barry. As they start to make plans, a yellow light comes down from the sky and one of the Legends is sucked up. Barry yells to get inside but a few more get pulled up before they can find cover. Barry sees Oliver get caught in the yellow light and speeds over to help him, but even The Flash is too late and Oliver is pulled up and disappears.

The Flash Season 3 Episode 8 Review:

The Flash‘s part of the epic four-part crossover basically amounts to being a set-up for the real action and fighting to take place on Arrow and The Legends of Tomorrow. Episode eight titled “Invasion” is bogged down with gathering all the superheroes and then spending most of the episode having them fight each other, first as training and then for real. This episode might as well have been titled “Flash: Civil War” because that’s what it was – and that’s not a compliment.

The standout was not in a performance this episode but in introducing to The Flash the origins of “The Hall of Justice,” the headquarters of the future Justice League. The look was exactly like the one in the Saturday morning Super Friends cartoon back in the early 1970s. Also impressive were the special effects and the looks and sounds of the Dominators. It’s truly remarkable what they’re able to bring to life and create on a small screen budget.

GRADE: B-

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Kevin Finnerty

Professional film critic since 2003 and a member of the San Diego Film Critics Society. Host of “The Movie Guys” radio film review show from 2007 through 2013. Film and television critic for Showbizjunkies.com and a movie buff since 1973.
Kevin Finnerty
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