This article contains spoilers for the Arrow episode – Invasion
You hear a bunch of stuff going into a big episode like this. 100th of the series. Not many make it that far anymore. It's a big deal, espcially for a show that has started what could basically be called a network take over. So a big anniversary episode was expected, but in the middle of the Invasion crossover meant it had to be limited… right?
The writer's of the show did a good job of balancing the two events and still giving this episode a lot of heart. A reminder of what these five characters have lost: Oliver Queen, Thea Queen, Sara Lance, John Diggle and Ray Palmer. They were captured by aliens and put into a Matrix-like group dream where they are given the lives they could only dream of. Oliver is about to marry Laurel Lance and take over Queen Consolidated. Thea and Oliver have their parents back and a normal life. Sara has her sister back and not past to try to live down… and maybe her parents are still together, that wasn't addressed. Ray Palmer is engaged to Felicity Smoak and looks happy. And Diggle is protecting the streets of Starling City as The Hood.
Okay, got to question that last one. Why is it in Diggle's perfect world he's taking over for Oliver as a vigilante and not living a happy life with Lila and his kids? Why is his fantasy becoming Green Arrow? Not Spartan, Green Arrow. Likely the writers did it because it makes for a better story and look back at the character… but it could mean a whole lot of psycological stuff going on with Digg.
Meanwhile Team Arrow and Cisco Ramon are trying to find where Ollie and the others have gone. They want to hack into the alien tech and need to go after a thief named Laura Washington who can throw electricity. Felicity calls in back up in the form of the Flash and Supergirl. Wild Dog isn't happy about that, he doesn't like Metahumans much.
Meanwhile, almost being mugged and then saved by the Hood, Oliver starts having flashes of reality and starts to search it out. He makes his way to the Arrowcave and finds Diggle and Felicity, and knows them by name. This triggers Diggle into having memory flashes. Sara and Ray meeting at the reception dinner does the same thing. Thea's are triggered when hugging her mom and then flashing onto the night she died.
Oliver goes to Laurel and tells her he wants to get married that moment, not later in the day. That he's afraid of losing everything… that he will have to chose to give it all up. Digg arrives and pulls him outside where they compare notes. Digg has drawn a Dominator. They both know for sure that all of this isn't real. And then Deathstroke shows up to stop them. They do okay figthing against him, but Sara appears and finishes him. She remembers them being abducted and who all was with them. They know they have to go and believe the Smoak Industry buliding that has nothing to do with Felicity is the key.
Each member of the team here has to decide to leave on their own. And Stephen Amell, Willa Holland, Caity Lotz and Katie Cassidy all give great performances as they choose to do what is right and accept giving up again all they had lost. But before they can go, they must take on Deathstroke, Malcolm Merlyn, Damian Darhk and some of the Ghosts. Sadlly, Manu Bennett did not reprise his role as Slade Wilson. But they win, say their goodbyes to Laurel and head off to the exit. Before Oliver steps through, he sees his parents, laurel, Roy Harper and Tommy Merlyn, encouraging him to keep going on. Again, this is easily Stephen Amell's best episode of the series.
Back in the Arrowcave, Wild Dog confronts Washington only to be helped by Flash and Supergirl. His attitude about Metas improves. They use the tech and hack into the alien tech and discover that they are using a Gematria based on the Hebrew language thanks to Rory Regan recognizing it. They discover where Oliver and crew are… and it's not on Earth.
** Side note – the knickname Washington, Cyberwoman. There is no Cyberwoman in the DC Universe that I can find, but there is a Wonder Woman villain named Doctor Cyber who is female, but no real name has been given for her.
At the same time Ray discovers that they are on a spaceship. Fight their way to a smaller ship and take off, with a fleet of fighters coming after them. But they are rescued by Nate Heywood and the Waverider. Once on board, they realize that they were taken because they weren't metas. That while they were in stasis, the aliens had been looking for something in their minds. And the episode ends with the mothership heading towards Earth.
The 4-series crossover wraps up tomorrow night on DC's Legends of Tomorrow. There is a trailer for it below with one REALLY interesting thing in it. Someone is telling the heroes that the aliens will go away if Barry Allen turns himself over to them. Why do the Dominators want the Flash specifically? Is this because he's a meta and they want to examine him or does this have to do with Flashpoint?