ARROW Season 5×08, “Invasion!” recap

1 Dec

Welcome back, Arrowheads!  So let’s just put away all the drama of Prometheus and Vigilante and all that for this week, and let’s talk about what happened to most of Team Arrow in The Flash literally yesterday.  First off, Earth is being invaded by not so pleasant aliens known as the Dominators, and just about every hero related to The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow.  Heck, we get a legitimate Supergirl to join the festivities!  As our team was just getting to the assembling part, Ollie, Thea, Diggle, Sara, and Ray are beamed away by the aliens to…well, where did they go?

The World That Never Was.  We start as Oliver is running through…the back of Queen Manor?  And he’s getting a shower (with no tattoos or scars?) with…Laurel?  His fiancé?  Yeah, something’s off as even Ollie and Thea’s parents are alive too!  It seems it’s a few days before Ollie and Laurel get married (!), and there’s a lot to prepare for.  But Ollie and the arriving Sara start getting flashes of something else they’ve experienced, like a past life.  Ollie is talking to his father after they leave a tailor’s shop about Ollie feeling the need to make a name for himself, when they get approached by a mugger.  Ollie wants to confront the mugger, but the mugger is captured and taken away by…the Green Arrow?  What’s happening?

We cut back to the Arrow HQ, as Curtis, Tory, and Rene just hang out (except Evelyn, who is probably doing scumbag traitor things with Prometheus or something), hearing about the rest of the Team’s alien abduction, as Felicity shows up with Team Flash’s own Cisco!  He uses his Vibe powers on one of Ollie’s old bows and finds our team trapped in alien pods!  So our missing members seem to be trapped in some kind of virtual reality, but where?  Well, that’s not clear, but maybe the Dominator tech they found might point them in the right direction.  At least, it could if some technology was strong enough to handle the alien power core inside, but there’s something that can that is out there…that has been recently stolen.  Apparently some doctor has turned criminal and augmented herself with technology, and taking her down and retrieving what Team Arrow needs may be a problem, unless they get some help.

“Hey Oliver, I’m alive and we’re getting married!” “Are we just gonna say the last couple of seasons were a dream now?”

  

Flashes of Another Life.  Back in that dreamscape, Ollie is still having some flashes of his real life, and its bothering him enough that he visits Quentin at the police station and starts asking about that vigilante, some guy being called The Hood.  Quentin reminds him, as does everyone else that he should be getting for his wedding rehearsal dinner, and Ollie says he will in a bit. At the dinner, Sara is being introduced to Mr. Ray Palmer, and both start having flashes of their real lives.  So, every one of our heroes are stuck in the same virtual reality.

But he has a weird flash of where the Arrow Cave is and decides to check it out.  When he gets there, it’s actually there, along with Felicity and…the Green Arrow?  Well, it is, but the man under the hood is John Diggle!  Just surprises all around here!

A Different Hood.  Ollie comes to after a failed fight with Green Arrow John, and its clear they both know each other, but can’t figure out how they do.  Diggle kicks him out of the Cave, blaming this on Ollie going nuts.  Well, he does miss the big dinner, so he arrives back home in the morning, trying to smooth things over with his parents and Laurel.  But Diggle, minus the hood, shows up needing to talk to Ollie alone.  They talk outside the courtyard, and find some odd things going on, like Diggle remembering a building with Felicity’s name that she doesn’t, and some odd monsters.  Ollie puts together that they must be under some alien control, and that if they are figuring it out, there might be safeguards to keep them in check.  Like what?  Oh, say Deathstroke showing up to fight them!

Back in our reality, the rest of Team Arrow arrives with help from the Flash…and Supergirl?  This all throws Wild Dog off because he’s not a fan of metahumans, let alone flying aliens.  That turns out to be a moot point when the cybernetic augmented doctor starts throwing Wild Dog around, leading to Flash and Supergirl saving him and knocking out the evil doc.  So they have the tech they need, and that should be problem solved, right?

The catering party of Merlyn, Darhk, and Wilson have arrived.

  

The Dream Pushes Back.  In the virtual reality, Ollie and Dig fight Deathstroke and he gets killed…by Sara?  She’s even surprised by this, but they all realize their memories in this place don’t go back that far, but they do remember the five of them who were being abducted.  Dig thinks they can escape by going to the strangely existent Smoak Industries building.  While Ollie finds it hard to say goodbye to his parents here, Thea is actually remembering her past, and doesn’t want to go.  She asks why they even should, leave such a place where they didn’t lose all of this, and why shouldn’t they take this as a reward for all that sacrifice?  Ollie wisely says:

“I didn’t make those sacrifices for a reward, Thea.  I did it because it was the right thing to do.”

Ollie doesn’t want to go without Thea, but she doesn’t want to.  He relents and is about to leave with the rest, when a lot of recognizable enemies show up, like Malcolm Merlyn, Damien Darhk, Deathstroke, and various goons.  Thea joins them, saying she doesn’t want to lose “her family”.  Awwww.  Our heroes fight these bad guys, and in a pretty intense action sequence, just slaughter them, leaving Diggle seriously injured.  They are about to leave the Manor, when Laurel shows up, and Ollie and Sara are forced to say goodbye to her.  Stop getting me choked up, show!

Escape From Slumberland.  The group arrives at Smoak Industries and find a bizarre energy field there.  They realize they have to risk it and go through thanks to Dig’s injury.  As they enter, Ollie starts seeing images of the people he lost, like his parents, Laurel, Tommy Merlyn,  and his friends like Felicity and Roy.  He goes through and they all awaken from their alien pods.  Dig’s injury is still pretty painful, but he’ll live.  So now, all they have to do is escape, right?

Back at the Arrow Cave, they finally hacked the Dominator code, and its unrecognizable.  Except, Rory does see its based on Hebrew, and that makes it easier to translate.  So they find where Ollie and company are, and like them, are pretty shocked to find out where they are: INNNNN SPAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCEEEEEEEE!

Oh, sorry, everyone. I think I got a screencap from Legends of Tomorrow in here by mistake. Don’t know how that happened–what? This is from the same Arrow episode? Huh.

  

How Far We’ve Come.  Ollie and the gang are sneaking around the Dominator ship, and are trying to find their way off.  They run into some Dominators, learn their weapons can be used like human guns, and find an alien drop ship to escape in.  After a quick trial and error, they use the ship to escape, but have a fleet of alien fighters hot on their trail.  It looks like they’re toast, until the Waverider flies in and scoops them up to safety.

While Sara gets Diggle to the infirmary, Nate Heywood is there to let them know “their nerd army” led him to them.  Of course the question is why they specifically were taken, and its probably because their interrogation technology is ineffective on metahumans.  Also, there’s the odd things the Dominators on the ship said, which translated, suggest “the weapon is almost ready”.  And of course, the Dominator vessel Team Arrow just escaped from is heading towards Earth!

So here we are, 100 episodes of the gritty vigilante drama Arrow. In a bridge of a timeship as they travel through space. Less weirder than most CW shows’ trajectories.

And, whew!  That’s the 100th episode of Arrow!  What started out as a lone guy seeking brutal vengeance to save his city has ended up here, with same lone guy and other heroes escaping an alien ship in space by hitching a ride on a ship that goes through time!  Quite a trip!  Here’s to 100 more!

–Comic book connections: Let’s talk the callbacks to the show instead, like the scene where Thea gives Ollie that arrowhead, which is the opposite way that played in the very first episode.  Tommy is busy being a doctor in Chicago, a sly reference to that actor’s current gig on another TV show.

–Thea just shoots an arrow that Sara catches in mid-air and kills faux Darhk with!  Wouldn’t it have been easier to have thrown it?

–Is there really an alternate universe where Quentin’s okay with Ollie marrying one of his daughters?

–What happened to random Cyberwoman after that superhuman beatdown?

–That conversation with Cisco and Felicity about Curtis being the new pop culture quoting tech guy.  Its okay, you guys can allow more people into your nerd cabal!

–Ollie just picks up an alien gun, and within a few seconds, puts together how to use it.  He’s just THAT good.

–Thea just wandering around the Waverider, amazed beyond belief.

–“I get to hack alien tech.  This is the greatest day of my life!”

–“And this is twice as many spaceships as I ever thought I’d be on.”

–“Uh, John, stranger danger!”

–“And Mom told me I wouldn’t amount to anything if I didn’t go to college.”

–“Did you ever think our lives would get this weird?”

That’s it for this special episode of Arrow, but comment below and cone back next week for the recap of the last episode of 2016, “What We Leave Behind”…

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