Allies and Aliens on THE FLASH

The Flash’s eighth episode (“Invasion”) was just this side shy of Mars Attacks! Aliens descend like a pack of velociraptors (“Enough to give Ridley Scott nightmares.”), and Barry recruits a gaggle of (super)friends: Supergirl, the Arrow crew, and the Legends. And we learn a few things: 1) Cisco (Carlos Valdes) can’t stop behaving like a child, 2) Mick (Dominic Purcell is a gift) makes me laugh even when he’s been overtly sexist, and 3) Oliver (Stephen Amell) gives pretty awesome motivational speeches.

No, really. He does. And I found it hilarious that, even though Barry ends up with the team captain role, Oliver basically Cyranos him, since has no idea how to lead. (Given Barry’s decision-making track record, that is probably wise.) Amell’s performance was a bright spot, and I enjoy the friendship between Barry and Oliver. Oliver is Barry’s Get-a-Grip Friend, and he helps him (hopefully) put aside that big old chunk of guilt he’s carrying on his back.

Which brings me to Cisco. I love Cisco. But hot smokin’ hell-kittens, I am frustrated with his attitude this season. Yes, I get that losing his brother sucks more than a warehouse full of Hoovers. But I hate what it’s done to his character. You can make the argument that it is true to the experience of grief, but it is really throwing everything off. The whole dynamic just keeps making me sad, especially when Cisco refuses to even get a drink with Barry and Caitlin. In short, I want more puns and less infantile sulk-tantrums.

I want more of the wit and verve between him and Felicity (the ever-so-delightful Emily Bett Rickards ). I mean, “Bingo!” and “Yahtzee!” respectively cracked me up. I want less of Iris (an always earnest Candice Patton) trying to shield Wally from life—and more encouraging him to learn how to be strong and fight. Coddling him clearly isn’t working, and with HR stepping up to train him (dear god, this is going to be interesting. I mean, what’s he going to do? Train him to be sarcastic?)—well, Kid Flash isn’t going anywhere.

Now, let’s talk about Mick for a second, who I consistently enjoy. The fact that he immediately focused on Kara’s x-ray vision letting her see people naked? Classic. But I did not necessarily care for his sexist attitude toward Kara, refusing to call her by her name, saying it’s dumb, then swearing he was only going to call her Skirt. It raised my hackles, but it also felt true to Mick. I did laugh when he called her Supergirl, when he was desperate and needed help. I want him to be just slightly more evolved—and if not, let Sara punch him in the face. Just once. That’s not too much to ask.


The truth about Flashpoint came out, even though Barry tried to hide it from the majority of his friends. You know, the people risking their lives to have his back. (Say it with me: Barry, no.) Wally got to strut his stuff and be useful for half a second, before getting tossed around like a hackeysack. (Wally, no.) Oliver made a pretty funny quip (“One sci-fi problem at a time.”), and Kara spent most of the episode kicking total ass. I found it fascinating that Oliver was so gruff with her, insisting she not hold back. I don’t know that Kara’s ever had someone approach her like that, having been trained by her sister. Their dynamic was intense, but amusing.

In the end, aliens teleported almost the entire gang up to their spaceships—and that is truly a sentence I never thought I’d write. Even Barry’s super speed wasn’t fast enough for him to rescue Oliver from their clutches. What’s their endgame? Who knows. We’re a little thin on plot, but not on action—so, there’s something of a balance.

One minor complaint: Cisco didn’t meet Winn. I am waiting for that like Inigo waiting for Vezzini. I need that to happen. Y’all hear me? Because that would be awesome nerd fun, and we need more awesome nerd fun—and less moping.

Regardless, the adventure continues next on Arrow, but I’ll catch y’all next week.

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Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.