ROGUES GALLERY #42: Visiting GOTHAM Before the Invasion!
It’s time for the massive DC week! All of the CW shows are now on their eighth episodes, Arrow celebrates episode number 100, and Gotham goes full-on soap opera crazy.
The Rogues discuss the “Heroes vs. Aliens” crossover event between Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow — complete with all the excitement one can get after years of watching superhero cartoons on Saturday morning and weekdays after school… so much so that we break out the marching band and the special theme song.
The panel: Ann Laabs, Kathryn Sanders, Jennifer Wise, Dave Margosian, Jeff Hackworth, James Hunt, Kendal Sinn, Timothy Harvey, Dustin Adair, Jason Hunt
Episode 311 “Mad City: Beware the Green-Eyed Monster”
Written by John Stephens
Directed by Danny Cannon
It’s Soap Opera Central on this week’s Gotham, as James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) figures out Mario (James Carpinello) has the Tetch virus. Of course, everyone else — including Harvey (Donal Logue) — thinks he’s gone off the rails with jealousy because Le (Morena Baccarin) is marrying the wrong guy, but Gordon knows what he knows. And he can’t prove it because Mario figured out how to beat the test for the virus, something Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) figures out pretty much too late to do any good.
So when Gordon confronts Mario, and Mario pretty much confirms it, all we need is for Mario to twist a moustache — something neither one of them has, by the way — as he brings in Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) to hold Gordon hostage until it’s too late for him to keep Le from marrying Mario. He comes off as a jealous ex-boyfriend, and the writers take Le to the “Mario said you’d try this” trope before she completely rejects anything he says as the ravings of a lunatic.
When Gordon confronts Don Falcone (John Doman) with the information that Mario is infected, he gets to the lake house just in time to stop Mario from killing Le, only shooting Mario causes the thug to drop the knife into the water. So it’s going to look like Gordon, in a jealous rage, kills Mario in cold blood. Except anyone with two working brain cells will be able to figure things out once the dust settles… which means it’s all a bunch of stuff and nonsense, typical of Gotham.
Meanwhile, the best part of the episode is the Court of Owls caper — Bruce (David Mazouz) and Selina (Carmen Bicondova) training with Alfred (Sean Pertwee) to break in and steal the whatever-it-is from the Court’s safe. Selina does the tightrope walk over the room with lasers on the floor. And it’s an impressive physical display on Bruce’s part, being able to securely hold the rope so she doesn’t fall… more pieces in the Batman pie. The prize: a crystal owl. How is this a weapon?
Oh, and Selina’s mother Maria (Ivana Milicevic) shows up to help Team Brulina escape from the Court house…
Episode 207 “Medusa”
Written by Jessica Queller & Derek Simon
Directed by Stefan Pleszczynski
Project Medusa: a Charles Barkley TUURRRibull bioweapon developed by Zor-El (Robert Gant) to protect Krypton from alien invasion. It doesn’t work on Kryptonians, but it will wipe out any non-Kryptonian life form — except for humans, because Hand of the Writer… More on that in a moment.
Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong) is using Hank Henshaw (David Harewood) to break into L Corp and steal an isotope from daughter Lena (Katie McGrath), who learns of Mommie Dearest’s connection to Cadmus from Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) after the Girl of Steel thwarts the attack, with the help of Alex (Chyler Leigh) and the NCPD led by Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima), who gets an eye laser through her shoulder for her trouble.
[but what about the crossover?]
Mon-El (Chris Wood) falls prey to the virus, but his Daxamite DNA is close enough to Kryptonian that he doesn’t succumb right away, giving Eliza (Helen Slater) time to work up a treatment after Kara goes to the Fortress of Solitude to figure out what’s what, having to destroy her faithful companion Kelex in the process. In his fugue state (sure), he admits to thinking Kara is “beautiful” and kisses her, but after all is said and done, he pretends to not remember and Kara pretends all he did was drool. So that’s safely tucked away for later.
See, Mama Danvers has both her girls figured out — Alex and Kara. She knows Alex has the hots for Maggie, and she’s OK with that. Thus giving her blessing in between chasing down toxins and viruses and whatnot…
[but what about the crossover?]
Mama Luthor, meantime, gets contacted by Lena, who offers up the isotope in a readily-obvious-to-anyone-paying-attention move to set Mama up and double-cross her. See, Lena only pretends to be an Evil Luthor so Lillian can launch her death missile that sprays Rainbow Brite Sparkle Fog instead of Death Mist into the city.
Could Lena actually be … dare we say it? … one of the good guys? Perish the thought…
[BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CROSSOVER?]
Yes, yes. Throughout the episode, we get bursts of multidimensional energy indicating that someone (we know who) is trying to breach the barrier between Earth-1 and Earth-38. And at the end of the episode, once all the Medusa stuff set up last week is wrapped up this week — with Cyborg Hank getting away — we finally get a solid breach through which Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdez) jump to meet Kara and collect on that favor she owes the Flash…
So… not much of a “crossover” in this episode, but the promotional material did say it only starts on Supergirl.
Oh, and Maggie is totes into Alex and almost dying — from a laser through the shoulder, nowhere near any vital organs, mind you — made her suddenly decide to throw caution to the wind and let her #Sanvers flag fly.
Oh, and Mama Danvers also reverse engineered the Medusa virus to cure Mon-El and also take care of that nasty cold J’onn (also David Harewood) got from the White Martian transfusion…
Now… on to the main event!
The big alien invasion kicks into high gear with The Flash. And despite the complaints that Supergirl wasn’t part of the cross-over, the promos all said it starts with her show, and it did. Remember, Supergirl also had to deliver the mid-season finale…
Meanwhile… at the Hall of Justice…
Episode 308 “Invasion”
Teleplay by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing
Story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg
Directed by Dermott Downs
Life in Central City is going just hunky-dunky. Wally (Keiynan Londsdale) is a speedster now, Iris (Candice Patton) and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) don’t want him to be a speedster, and H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) is making his pitch to turn S.T.A.R. Labs into a tourist attraction, complete with “Particle Vision” (see the explosion from the particle’s point of view, y’see) when all of a sudden…
the Trouble Alert!
Well, OK. Not the Trouble Alert, but the satellite warning system showing a meteor rocketing to Earth. Only it’s not a meteor. It’s a spaceship, one of four that land on the planet and expel aliens. Aliens! And they don’t look happy.
Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) briefs Team Flash on the Dominators — what they’ve been called since their first visit to Redmond, Oregon in 1951. Countries worldwide are forming a response to the four ships that have landed around the globe, and for the most part it’s “we’ll leave you alone if you leave us alone” type of mentality.
Except the Dominators aren’t having any. So Barry assembles the
Avengers Justice League Super Friends at the Hall of Justice S.T.A.R. Labs aerospace hangar. Once they’ve arrived, Barry and Cisco head over to Earth-38 to retrieve an alien of their own, and we get a repeat of the scene from Supergirl where the two land in the apartment and let Kara Danvers in on the plan to fight aliens with an alien.
So now the team is together: The Flash, Supergirl, Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), Spartan (David Ramsey), White Canary (Caity Lotz), Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), Firestorm (Franz Drameh & Victor Garber), The Atom (Brandon Routh), Speedy (Willa Holland), and Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) in what is perhaps one of the most anticipated All Star Team-Ups since fans first saw superheroes on any size screen ever.
And what about Steel and Vixen? Easily lampshaded by Sara: “Nate and Amaya are back watching the Waverider. The newbies.”
This hour is spent establishing the threat of the Dominators, with their ability for mind control using tech they keep in an abandoned warehouse (always with the abandoned warehouses…). They put the whammy on all of our heroes except for Barry and Oliver, who stay behind because 2056 Barry’s message to the time travelers was all about how 2016 Barry can’t be trusted because of Flashpoint (everyone assumes). Only it’s kind of a weak-sauce plot point that had way too much build-up for the ultimate payoff.
Flash figures out that Supergirl might be strong enough and fast enough to beat the tech detected by the Geek Squad of Felicity and Cisco, so he gets her to chase him to the abandoned warehouse where the Dominators killed the President because “It’s a trap!”
Now Flash gets Supergirl hopping mad, so much so that she attacks him while he’s standing in front of the mind-whammy thing, and he vibrates so that she passes through him to smash Mr. Whammy Machine. Boom. No more mind control, just before Sara is ready to put the beat-down on Oliver.
So that threat dealt with, the Super Friends get caught unawares as the Dominators beam out the supers without metahuman powers.
- Satellite Project WT-052 on the banners – another instance of 52
- Earth-38 – so named because Superman debuted in 1938
- “Barry says you’re more powerful than a locomotive?”
- The Hall of Justice!
The fact that they created more than one establishing shot of this building means it’s not the last we’ve seen of this building.
Cisco and Ray talking about the A.T.O.M. suit – due for an upgrade – leading into a suit that actually looks like the Atom’s suit, maybe?
Episode 508 “Invasion”
Teleplay by Marc Guggenheim & Wendy Mericle
Story by Greg Berlanti
Directed by James Bamford
Besides being part of the four-part crossover event, this is also Arrow‘s 100th episode, so it’s an opportunity to side-step into the It’s a Wonderful Life episode where the Dominators have Oliver, John, Sara, Thea, and Ray in a simulation where Ollie never became the Green Arrow. He never got on the Queen’s Gambit, and is set to marry Laurel (Katie Cassidy) while Dig is the current “Hood” in Starling City.
Cisco vibes off of one of Oliver’s bows to see that they’re in a Dominator stasis chamber. Felicity figures they can hack some Dominator tech to figure out their location. That doesn’t go completely well, but they finally figure out that the Dominator systems use numerology similar to the Hebrew Gematria. Which tells them that the captives are straight up on a spaceship that’s headed for Earth orbit.
In the Matrix, Oliver and Diggle are the first to figure out that they’re caught up in a weird non-reality. Which means Oliver isn’t actually about to marry Laurel, and Moira (Susanna Thompson) and Robert (Jamey Sheridan) aren’t actually still alive. And when they finally all figure it out, there’s a knock-down-drag-out in the courtyard against Deathstroke (not Manu Bennett, sadly), Damien Dahrk (Neal McDonough), Malcolm (John Barrowman) and some thugs. Thea doesn’t want to leave, but she ultimately realizes she can’t stay because none of it is real.
They really pulled out the stops on the budget this week, gang.
Meanwhile, Team Arrow + Cisco enlist the Flash and Supergirl to help Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez), Mr. Terrific (Echo Kellum), and Ragman (Joe Dinicol) recover a power regulator from Laura Washington (Erica Luttrell), who’s stealing tech to augment herself into an enhanced human our heroes dub “Cyber Woman” — a nod to the Cybergirl character, a member of the Cyborg Revenge Squad.
Flash and Supergirl stop Cyber Woman, earn the respect of Wild Dog, and Team Captive Non-Meta escape from the Dominator ship with a little help from a last-minute Waverider tractor beam.
- Thea gives Oliver the hosen, the rock he originally gave her.
- Laurel wears a pendant with the Black Canary logo on it.
- Oliver suggesting Walter Steele as the new CEO of Queen Consolidated
- “We have to find Oliver and company, and I’m not talking cherished Disney animated film starring Billy Joel.”
- Police sketch of the Hood from season one
- Tommy a doctor in Chicago — and wink to Colin Donnel’s current gig on Chicago Med
Episodes 208 “Invasion”
Teleplay by Phil Klemmer & Marc Guggenheim
Story by Greg Berlanti
Directed by Gregory Smith
The fight continues into the past, as Mick (Dominic Purcell), Amaya (Maisie ), Nate (Nick Zano), Felicity, and Cisco travel to Redmond, Oregon in 1951 to capture a Dominator for interrogation. Leaving the geek squad on the Waverider, the rest of the team waits for the battle to be over and they manage to capture the alien before being captured themselves by men in black suits — led by a younger version of Lyla’s boss in the horn-rimmed glasses.
Meanwhile, Stein (Victor Garber) is working with Catilin and his daughter Lily (Christina Brucato) to develop nanotechnology that will work against the Dominators — think remote controlled little agonizers from Star Trek — and all the while Stein is agonizing over the fact that he created an aberration in 1987 when he confronted his younger self and encouraged him to spend more time with Clarissa.
HRG has negotiated with the Dominators to turn over Barry in exchange for ending the alien invasion. The Dominators apparently have been able to detect Flashpoint, and that has them seeing metahumans as a future threat to the galaxy.
Cisco gets his come-uppance by realizing that he’s done the same thing Barry did, tampering with time. The rescue of the Dominator has set up an aberration, caused by metahumans. How’s that shoe feel on that foot, Cisco?
Barry, of course, chooses to be the sacrificial lamb, only the Super Friends aren’t having any. They choose to stand and fight, even Cisco with his reversion to being Barry’s best friend instead of Cisco the Grump like he’s been this whole week. Just in time for the Dominators to drop the “meta bomb” into the atmosphere.
In the end, we get a huge super team-up battle royale on the rooftops of Central City, with the Flash and Supergirl distributing the agonizers, Sara grabbing the meta-bomb with the ship’s tractor beam, and Firestorm transmuting the bomb into a harmless glob of water.
Why don’t we see this power more? This is Firestorm’s main power, for pity’s sake.
- “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra” – Star Trek: The Next Generation
- “Have fun storming the castle.” – The Princess Bride
- Xenomorphs – Alien
- Best gag that we waited a whole week to get: Ray saying Kara looks just like his cousin
Missed opportunity: the new President should have been played by Lynda Carter.