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Superheroes unite to battle the Dominators

Did I even just watch an episode of The Flash?!?!? Wow. If last night’s episode of Supergirl made you scared that you’d be deprived of epic crossover goodness, your worries were most definitely for naught. Tonight, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) brought together Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), Team Arrow, and the Legends of Tomorrow to fight the biggest threat Earth has ever faced. Let’s just say a lot went down.

Forget the opening monologue or a “Previously on The Flash…” segment. The episode immediately began with Barry and Oliver (Stephen Amell) hiding from Firestorm (Franz Drameh), White Canary (Caity Lotz), Spartan (David Ramsey), Speedy (Willa Holland), Supergirl, The Atom (Brandon Routh), and Heatwave (Dominic Purcell)…all of whom are trying to kill them. Oliver yells at Barry for bringing madness into his life every time he asks for his help. Cut to the most epic logo mash-up I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

The episode then flashes back to ten hours earlier with Iris (Candice Patton), Joe (Jesse L. Martin), Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) testing Wally’s (Keiynan Lonsdale) speed in the speed lab. Caitlin and Cisco notice that his results look fantastic (he’s already going Mach 2) and Iris tells everyone that they need to convince Wally not to use his powers as she doesn’t want him running into danger. (Girl was definitely channeling Harry this episode!) She also specifically tells Cisco not to discuss a speedster suit with Wally. His response: “Why the hell not? It’s just another lie between friends, right?” (Cisco is hurting so badly this episode and, honestly, it just goes downhill from here.) Wally comes out of the track and Caitlin tells him that she wants to run more tests on him. Joe takes his kids out to dinner. H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) then calls Cisco and Caitlin up to the cortex over the comms. Apparently he has some presentation planned. Caitlin suggests her and Cisco get drinks with Barry afterward. Buddying it up with Barry is the last thing he wants to do.

Remember the STAR Labs Museum idea H.R. suggested two weeks ago? Yeah, he’s still on that kick. He wants to open STAR Labs: The Explosive Tour with segway and virtual reality options and something called “Particle Vision”–basically experiencing the accelerator explosion from the POV of the particle. (Does he realize that the explosion killed several people and that it’s not something the company should capitalize on? I guess not.) H.R. calls Barry “B.A.”. Cisco starts banging his head against the table. It’s a fun little scene…which is interrupted by the satellite alarm going off. Cisco sees that a meteor is heading toward downtown. Barry runs toward it. When he gets to the crash site, his comms short out. He sees that it’s not a meteor…but a spaceship. A hoard of terrifying aliens run out of it and into the city.

The next morning, the media reports that the spaceship was simply a Department of Defense aircraft. We then see Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) talking to one of the President’s advisors. Apparently ARGUS knows about what’s going on. The advisor tells her to let the government handle it. Barry then meets up with her and tells her that he saw the aliens. She tells him she’ll explain everything at STAR Labs.

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With everyone gathered in the cortex, Lyla begins to tell them about The Dominators. Apparently, they arrived in Oregon in 1951. Surprise, surprise…the government covered it up. They were abducting humans to learn about our species…then they left. Three months ago, however, the DOD received a transmission from the aliens telling the people of Earth that they pose no threat and that if we attack, they’ll retaliate. Four reconnaissance ships have been sent to Earth and the government still doesn’t know what exactly they want. Lyla informs everyone that the UN is trying to coordinate a response. Barry tells her that the military can’t fight them and Lyla says that he can’t either. When she leaves, Barry tells everyone that he’s not going to fight them alone.

In Star City, Green Arrow and Spartan are going after Vigilante (Josh Segarra). When Chase starts shooting, Barry speeds Oliver and Dig back to the loft where Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) was guiding them. Still not used to Barry’s speed, Dig goes to the balcony and throws up. Oliver yells at him for getting in the way of their mission. He tells him and Felicity that he needs their help to fight the Dominators. Hearing the word “aliens”, Thea immediately comes out of retirement and is ready to put the hood back on. Felicity yells at everyone for wanting to do something so stupid. Barry says he also wants to recruit the Legends.

The very next thing we’re shown is a STAR Labs facility designed to look exactly like DC’s famous Hall of Justice and, holy cow, does it look incredible. What is the building in terms of the show, though? “An old hall…hangar thing that STAR Labs owns” Barry tells Thea. (She suggests that he should do something with it. Good advice!) Apparently Felicity was able to send a message to the Waverider. (A message we know Sara received last week!) John has a hilarious response to the flying time ship (even better than his response to Supergirl). Speaking of Supergirl, Barry and Cisco leave to get the Girl of Steel herself. Cisco tracked her to Earth-38 (a beautiful nod to the year in which Superman made his first appearance in Detective Comics–1938) and he reminds Barry that he’s only helping him because they’re trying to save the world. He also informs Barry that finding her will take a couple of tries (hence the multiple breaches that appeared last night).

We then see the ending scene from last night’s episode of Supergirl again and while I don’t feel a need to recap that, I will pose a question: Why air that scene on Supergirl if it was just going to reappear on The Flash?!?!? However, having this scene on tonight’s episode lead to the most beautiful musical score I have ever heard: we hear the SupergirlFlashArrow, and Legends themes all in under a minute. Blake Neely is a gift we don’t deserve.

Back at the hangar, Team Flash, Team Arrow, and Team Legends (minus Nate and Amaya who are watching the Waverider) are assembled. Barry and Cisco come through a breach with Supergirl in tow. When Jax asks what makes her so super, she flies and burns the House of El symbol onto the floor with her heat vision. Felicity says the words we’ve been hearing in promos for the past month: “Best. Team up. Ever.” In some abandoned warehouse, the Dominators install a big, red, glowing device. One of them communicates with another one on the ship. He tells them to bring him “the human leader”.

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At the hangar, Kara is familiarizing herself with everyone on the team. In the process, Felicity learns that Caitlin has powers and Iris learns that Oliver is the Green Arrow. (Apparently, her crush on him from the first crossover has not gone away.) When Barry begins telling everyone about the Dominators, Kara informs them all that they attacked Krypton before she was born and killed a lot of people. Oliver suggests using Kara as a stand-in for training. Mick questions his authority. Ray says they should take a vote and Cisco immediately votes for Oliver. Ollie says that, as Barry assembled then, he should be the leader–a job he’s clearly incapable of doing. Barry (literally) echoes Oliver and tells everyone they’re going to fight Kara as practice. While everyone else suits up, Barry talks to Kara and Oliver and tells her that she was excited for the two of them to meet as Oliver was the person who trained him. Oliver reveals that he shot Barry and tells Kara that she can’t hold back either. She reluctantly agrees and asks Barry if Oliver doesn’t like her. He says he’ll warm up to her.

Ray shows Cisco his new suit and Cisco suggests that they update it. He would love to…after they “dominate the Dominators”. Barry interrupts and Cisco tells Ray they’ll talk later. He asks Ray where Snart (Wentworth Miller) is and Ray has to break the news to him that he sacrificed himself to save the team. Barry says he died a legend. (Reminder that Lenny joins the Legion of Doom next week!!!)

Wally shows up at the hangar and Iris immediately reprimands him. Apparently, H.R. told him that his test results were fine but Iris doesn’t care. She tells Wally that he could die if he goes up against something he’s not ready for and he most certainly isn’t ready for aliens. Annoyed with his sister, he speeds off.

Cisco and Felicity can’t seem to locate any Dominators via satellite and so she brings up the obvious tension between him and Barry. He tells her that even Barry “Pudding” Allen screws up–that because he changed the timeline, his brother died…and that no amount of “feeling bad” can make up for it.

Jax and Stein (Victor Garber) talk to Barry and tell him that there’s something he needs to hear. Oliver overheard but Barry allows him to listen in. After a month of waiting, we finally hear the full message from Future Barry. He says that at some point in the future, the Legends are going to be called back to Central City to fight a war…and when they do, they’ll be in a new timeline he created. Everyone has been affected by the changes to the timeline, including Rip (Arthur Darvill). He warns the captain not to trust anyone, including himself. Oliver asks Barry what the message means and he explains Flashpoint and how he attempted to fix it. He also reveals all the changes he knows of so far–including baby John. Jax suggests they tell everyone but Oliver tells him that it’s best to wait until after they defeat the Dominators. He also reassures Barry that making mistakes is part of the job. When the three of them leave, Stein continues to have visions of the mysterious girl from two weeks ago. Caitlin comes in the van to check on him and he asks her if she could bring him home. Outside, Kara is crushing Ray, Sara, Thea, Mick, and Dig. Sara finds it attractive. Oliver tells them to go again.

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At another airport hangar, the President (who sadly isn’t Lynda Carter on this Earth) is watching the footage of the Dominators from the 50s. His advisor suggests they don’t attack as the aliens have yet to. He then asks Lyla what ARGUS thinks and she tells him that they want them to be passive. The President informs them that Eisenhower waited until it was too late and that he wasn’t going to make the same mistake. Lyla’s superior reminds the President of how many casualties they ended up with the last time we attacked. The President doesn’t want to know how many more we’ll end up with if the Dominators attack and we don’t. When the President gets in his limo, the superior informs Lyla that Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) lasted as long as she did because she listened to him. He suggests that she do the same. Suddenly, a Dominators ship attacks the hangar and Lyla runs out to find that the President has been taken.

In the speed lab, Wally’s looking at his test results. Iris and Joe find him. He realizes that no one wants him to have powers and wonders why Iris doesn’t have the same faith in him in this timeline that she did in Flashpoint. As he’s leaving, he finds H.R. in the hallway. Seeing as they’re both trying to earn everyone’s respect, Wally attempts to manipulate H.R. into training him. Surprisingly, he declines.

As Caitlin and Stein are walking to his house, he tells her that having powers isn’t a death sentence. She tells him what she did as Killer Frost and he tells her that it wasn’t her–and that her friends know the difference. Caitlin says she’s scared about her coming back and Stein assures her that “[they’ll] all be there for [her]” if that happens. They get to his front door and he has more visions of the girl. The door opens and that girl is standing right in front of him–hugging him. He tells her that he’s looking for his wife and she tells him he isn’t here. She says that she missed him and that she loves him…and reveals that he’s her dad. He says he loves her, as well, and then tells Caitlin that they have to leave.

At the STAR Labs hangar, Cisco is looking for something in the van when he finds the iPod with Barry’s message on it. Seeing as everyone is in pain, Kara asks Oliver if he wants to continue training but he insists. Cisco confronts Barry about the message and asks him if he told everyone. He says he’ll tell them when they win but Cisco doesn’t see how that can happen if they have a leader who’s lying to them. Sara overhears and Barry is forced to spill the beans. He tells everyone how his future self says he can’t be trusted because he changed the timeline and when Barry tells Dig that his life was changed, too, Oliver informs him that he used to have a daughter. Sara reprimands Barry for changing the timeline without thinking about the consequences and tells him how she’s had to fight her urge to kill Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) and save Laurel (Katie Cassidy). Ray can’t believe Barry’s been creating aberrations by himself. Suddenly, Felicity gets a text from Lyla saying the President’s been abducted. Barry tells everyone to go without him. He asks Kara if she still trusts him and she says that while she does, it’s going to be hard to convince everyone else to. Oliver then stops everyone and tells them that either Barry goes or he stays behind, too. John tells him that they’re not going anywhere with Barry. Kara takes ahold of the situation and tells Oliver that she’ll lead everyone while the two of them stay behind.

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The team arrives at a warehouse which was the last place the President’s tracer gave a signal. Kara x-rays the building and sees that he’s inside. Mick’s crudely impressed. She asks him how he got the name Heatwave and he answers by saying that he burned his family alive and likes to light things on fire. (A shorter and less vulgar answer would’ve been “Cisco Ramon”.) He also says that he’s not going to call Kara “Supergirl” or “Kara”…but “Skirt”.

When they get inside, they see the President bound and gagged. They all quickly realize it’s a trap when a Dominator shows up. He communicates telepathically (Grodd-style) and tells the team that the President isn’t who they want…so he disintegrates him. He then activates the device and places the team under mind control.

We then return to a location we haven’t been in in a while: the time vault. Barry’s looking at the article from 2024. He tells Oliver that he was so focused on the past that he hadn’t even thought about what had changed in the future. The article used to be written by Iris West-Allen. Now, it’s written by Julie Greer (a reporter for KN News that scored the very first interview with Wally and Linda’s son in the comics). Oliver tells Barry that he needs to stop blaming himself–that he, like any normal human being, would do anything to see his parents alive again. He recounts the stories of how his father sacrificed himself and how his mother was murdered in front of him. He repeats what Iris and Jay (John Wesley Shipp) told him: he’s not a god and that when people make choices, it effects other people and there’s nothing you can do about it. They’re interrupted by a boom and Barry pulls up security footage to see that everyone else is attacking STAR Labs.

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Barry and Oliver go outside. They all begin attacking them and we’re back to the very beginning of the episode. Barry takes out Mick and runs up to the roof where Firestorm, The Atom, and Supergirl meet up for a three-against-one battle. Barry throws lightning at them but Kara uses her heat vision and knocks him off the roof. Oliver is fighting Diggle, Sara, and Thea on the ground.

Joe, Wally, and H.R. enter the cortex and Cisco and Caitlin tell them that everyone but Barry and Oliver are under mind control. Wally says that he has to go and help, especially with Supergirl against them. Despite Iris’ wishes, Wally speeds away. He takes out Sara, Thea, and Diggle and tells Barry that he’s Kid Flash. All of a sudden, Kara swoops down and knocks him unconscious. Cisco and Felicity track a signal coming from the salt mine but they tell Barry that they can’t disrupt it. Barry tells Oliver to take Wally inside and hold everyone off while he attempts to get Kara over to the salt mine to disrupt the signal herself. Oliver picks up Wally and Barry challenges Kara to a race.

Diggle, Thea, and Sara find Oliver in the bunker under STAR Labs. He sets Wally down and fires exploding arrows at them. Despite her shooting heat vision at him, Barry gets Kara to the salt mine. He has her chase him around the building. Cisco notes that he’s trying to make her angry. Back in the bunker, the trio catches up with Ollie and he realizes that he’s run out of arrows. (The day has finally arrived, ladies and gentlemen!) He goes hand-to-hand (or rather fist-to-fist) with Sara. Back in the mine, Barry creates a speed mirage in front of the mind control orb. Kara charges at it, destroying it…and returning her and everyone else back to normal.

Awake, Wally meets his dad and sister in the hallway. They’re glad he’s okay but are angry with him for running into that kind of danger. When Iris and Joe leave, H.R. tells Wally that they don’t see his potential…but he does. He takes him up on his offer to train him.

Outside STAR Labs, Ray speaks on behalf of everyone when he says that they’re behind Barry. He tells the team that Kara’s making sure that there are no more orbs left in the city. Oliver says the next step is to inform Lyla that the Dominators aren’t here peacefully. As they all start to walk inside…Sara gets abducted…then John and Thea…then Ray…and finally Oliver. Barry tries to save him but he’s too late.

On tomorrow’s episode of Arrow, the five abducted team members will wake up in a reality where Oliver and Sara never got on The Queen’s Gambit. Meanwhile Barry, Cisco, and Kara will work with Felicity and the recruits to save them. Things are just getting started and if tonight’s episode was any indication, it’s sure to be a mind-blowing final two parts to this long-awaited crossover event. In any case, I will see you guys next week for the midseason finale, ‘The Present’…an hour of television that will see Barry Allen and Jay Garrick teaming up to defeat Savitar.