‘Arrow: S5E08 (100th episode) Invasion!’ Review
Review by Nathan Ryan (@Clown_Prince52)
This episode served as both the third part of the four show crossover event, and also the 100th episode of the show. This episode definitely skewed more towards embracing the fact that it was the shows 100th episode and less on the fact that it was a crossover. The crossover event really just provided the show with a plot device for giving Arrow its own version of a Flashpoint episode that The Flash was able to have. Those that were very excited about the crossover and aren’t typical Arrow fans might have been disappointed. Those that are big fans of the show got mostly everything they could have hoped for.
This was truly a love letter to the show and the fans. After being abducted by the Dominators in the previous episode of The Flash, we see Oliver, Diggle, Sara, Ray, and Thea in a stasis in the spaceship. Their minds were basically hijacked to be living in an alternate universe. A universe that had them living lives as if Oliver had never been stranded on Lian Yu. Oliver is not a spoiled kid but rather someone that his very alive parents are proud of, as he is on the verge of marrying Laurel.
However, as events unfold, memories of Oliver’s real life start flashing through. We see Oliver find Diggle, who is The Hood, and they start putting the pieces together of what is happening. Eventually we see the group all figure it out and work together to get back to their lives. As they go throughout this process, the alternate reality throws up numerous roadblocks, such as fights with the likes of Deathstroke, Damien Dahrk, and Malcolm Merlyn.
We also get to see Flash and Supergirl working with Felicity and the recruits to locate and help rescue Oliver and company. This was certainly fun, but the heart of the episode came with the conversations and moments that we had in the alternate reality with all of the ghosts from Arrow past. Eventually, the team escapes, gets back to reality, steal an alien ship and were about to be destroyed before the Waverider arrives and saves them.
Arrow gets a bad rap from a lot of people. A lot of that is earned, particularly over the last two seasons. However, it’s important to note how important getting to 100 episodes is. Not many shows are able to do that, and it gets the show to syndication. Beyond that, all of these other shows that people tend to love more, owe a tremendous amount to this show. Without the success of Arrow, there is no Flash, Supergirl, or Legends of Tomorrow. The tone of the show also got largely sacrificed in order to help launch other shows. Of course, that’s not to take away the valid criticism of the last two seasons, but Season 5 has done a lot to restore the show to what it once was and will hopefully continue to be.
According to TVSeriesFinale.com, it was a HUGE week in the ratings for Arrow. It scored a 1.30 in the 18-49 demo and 3.548 for total viewers. These are increases of roughly 97% and 91% from the previous episode. It goes without saying that the crossover had a major effect. Thanks to the stellar week, it has increased its lead as the CW’s third highest rated show below The Flash and Supergirl.
- That this was Arrow’s version of a Flashpoint episode. It was entertaining to see what Oliver’s life could have been like if he had never been stranded.
- The slew of cameos, starting Laurel obviously. But also Moira and Robert Queen, Deathstroke, Malcolm Merlyn, Damien Dahrk, and others.
- The Easter Eggs, like seeing the Merlyn Global Group building.
- Diggle as The Hood is always fun.
- The scenes with Flash and Supergirl winning over Rene’.
- The Supergirl superhero landing with the over accentuated hair flip.
- The very Meta conversation with Malcolm and Thea talking about Tommy, referring to the fact that he is now a very busy doctor in Chicago. Of course, Collin Donnel is an actor on Chicago Med.
- The Goodbyes. When Oliver has his final conversations with his parents and then again with Laurel, they served as well-earned emotional moments.
- That Thea didn’t want to leave this alternate reality. It was a very real response, and the ensuing moments with Oliver and Thea were also very emotional. Her eventual decision to join Oliver was also emotional in its own right.
- The Super Bad Guy team-up and the battle that ensued. It was fun.
- The final moments before Oliver left the alternate reality where he saw projections of his parents, Laurel, Tommy, and Roy and they relayed some of the most heart-warming quotes that have been delivered to Oliver throughout the course of the show.
- That we didn’t actually get a real appearance of Tommy. That would have been great. Same with Roy and even Shado.
Quote of the Week
“Dinah. Laurel. Lance.”