So…I’m angry. Like a lot.
I’m giving “Invincible” a 3.5/5, call that a spoiler. Why that score? Because despite some real good fun, and good mysteries, and some meta (as in fourth wall breaking) moments, this episode once again tripped itself up with bad character beats and a death that was oh so obvious.
Henry Allen is dead. Yes, he is. They even showed a funeral (seems to be a theme in the Arrowverse this season, Laurel, Snart, Henry) to say he is dead. And I’m not happy. They have him freed at the beginning of the season. Which was great! Then they sent him away five seconds later, which made no sense! Then they brought him back and started talking about him and Barry being a family again…which was a death sentence pure and simple. And lo and behold. Death.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. “Invincible” did have some good stuff. But again, it tripped over itself at times. For example, after showing off Zoom’s Earth-2 army, they showed them presumably a few hours (or more) later, and half of the city had been destroyed, or torched, whichever comes first. This was fine in theory, but then Barry came in, swept them up, and it was over. Or mostly over. So how does “Metapocalypse” happen if Barry keeps rounding them up in the blink of an eye?
Then there’s Wally, who took the Roy Harper route and decided to be a hero in order to repay Flash. But like Roy, got in over his head, but is too stubborn to stop. I know it’s impossible for Flash and Arrow to not have similar beats (see: death of parents in front of their eyes), but to play it basically the exact same? That’s just sad.
What wasn’t sad, was the “return” of Laurel Lance via her E2 doppelganger, the Black Siren. Who in many ways was a more “pure” Black Canary” that Arrow’s Laurel ever was. That’s not an insult for the record, as what they did made sense in the context of the show. But for comic fans of Dinah Laurel Lance, this was a treat for them. Especially since she was evil and wasn’t sad about showing it. And her timing was perfect as it added a heartbreaking note as we’re still dealing with the death of our Laurel and now seeing her doppleganger was just messed up. Caitlin’s line of “we didn’t just know her, we loved her” was truly spot on.
And, this allowed for a fun bit of role-reversal, as Caitlin and Cisco got to play dressup as Reverb and Killer Frost to try and stop her momentarily. It was fun, and they did it well. But I was glad Siren didn’t get fooled fully. Yes, her takedown was kind of cheesy, and nonchalant. But hey, it worked in context.
Barry on the other hand didn’t. His “the universe is with us” stance was honestly very nuts. As the Speed Force said nothing to Barry of the sort last episode. If anything, they just wanted to him to accept who he was, and the life he had. Never once did they say, “The Speed Force is with you” or something of the like. So while I appreciate the optimism, and renewed hope for the future from Barry (which is true to character), to be basically a preacher for most of the episode was very cheesy. And odd.
Caitlin was one of the big stars here. As she did indeed leave Jay/Zoom to return to the others, and her captivity had clear PTSD effects on her. At one point, I honestly wondered if Zoom was actually there, but in fact it was just her fear getting to her. I was glad she did bounce back a bit by the end, but is still haunted by Jay/Zoom. For her to recover too quickly would be false to the events that happened to her.
Then there’s Zoom, who continues to shine since his identity was revealed. His taunting of Barry was epic. As he noted how similar they were, and yet how different they were. Hearing him talk about how “exhausting” it was to be a hero was a very fun take on the hero/villain dynamic. And yes, though telegraphed, that kill was very personal and evil. Zoom has dealt another critical blow to Barry.
Look, “Invincible” was very from perfect. But it did have good moments. It’s just that the inconsistency of it all really weighed it down. And we now we have the “World’s End” of Earth-2 to worry about, and Zoom, and I’m not sure how this will all tie into the man in the iron mask or other loose threads. I’m really hoping for an epic turnaround in the season finale, cause it’s the only thing that’ll save my view of this season.