‘Arrow’verse Executive Producers on the Fallout from the Dominators Crossover
Spoiler alert! This post contains plot details about the December 1 episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the final chapter in The CW’s “Invasion” crossover.
Flash‘s Flashpoint arc reached farther than even Barry (Grant Gustin) anticipated: The speedster learned in the final part of the “Invasion!” arc that the Dominators returned—after decades of peace—due to his messing with time.
The aliens gave him a chance to save Earth…if he turned himself in to them. Barry was willing to make that sacrifice, but his friends weren’t game to let him go. Instead, they were able to fight back and drive the aliens away.
But in the aftermath of the heroes successfully saving the day from the aliens, there’s still plenty of drama to come. Executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim spoke with reporters about what’s ahead.
The Dominators aren’t quite gone…yet.
With the alien foes merely retreating versus being extinguished there is still room for them to pop up again at a future point. But in the more immediate future, they’ll be terrorizing another earth: “The Dominators will return on Supergirl later this season,” Kreisberg teased.
But despite the sizable alien attack on Earth-1, the citizens won’t become aware of their existence. “We had a line that we cut for time…where Glasses basically says, ‘Cover up what? A dozen, you know, weather satellites falling out of orbit?'” Guggenheim shared. “Because people see the ships, but no one ever really saw the Dominators. The way we’re sort of playing it going forward is that Glasses is good at his job, and when he says he’s going to cover it up, he’s going to cover it up.”
The crossover brought Team Flash closure, gave Oliver (Stephen Amell) clarity, but added a another secret to the Legends team.
Cisco (Carlos Valdes) spent much of the crossover angry at Barry for altering the timeline—since Cisco’s brother was alive in the previous reality—but after he accidentally changed the course of history himself, he had a change of heart. “Their friendship has been renewed through the course of these episodes,” Kreisberg said. “So when we come back in Episode 9 [airing December 6], Team Flash is in a really good place and strong again, which they need to be, because they’re going to confront Savitar.”
Oliver is also going into his next Arrow mission with “a new sense of purpose,” Guggenheim previewed. “The events of 508 [the 100th episode], basically, forced him to emotionally double down on his mission, so he goes into 509 [airing December 7] with a new sense of purpose, and a reaffirmation of his bond with Thea, because they basically chose each other in 508. That carries through the midseason finale and, obviously, sets up things beyond it.”
However, things are hit-miss for Team Legends, as Stein (Victor Garber) bonded with his “new” daughter (whose existence is owed to his own accidental meddling with the past) and opted to not erase her from existence. “The two big takeaways are obviously Stein’s daughter [and that secret]—we haven’t seen the last of her,” Guggenheim said. “[And] Ray’s got his suit back. I think, very, very happy to be a superhero again.”
Are the Flashpoint changes done?
Though Barry only spent one episode in Flashpoint, the impact has been widespread. And though the Dominators’ attack was the most dangerous consequence so far, there are still little reminders ahead. “There’s a villain coming up who’s another one of the husk villains that was created by Alchemy, so there’s that to deal with,” Kreisberg said. “But the midseason finale, Episode 9, kind of creates a new problem for our heroes that they weren’t anticipating, something that they’ve never faced before. It’s so big, we’re actually considering changing the saga sell from talking about Flashpoint to talking about that, because that’s really what’s driving the episodes for the rest of the season, actually. Flashpoint won’t loom as large as the challenge that presents itself in [the midseason finale].”
The changes will also be more thoroughly discussed in the next episode of Arrow. “[In] the midseason finale there’s a fair amount of discussion about Flashpoint, given the fact that essentially the crossover outed Flashpoint to the Arrow characters,” Guggenheim said. “And they deal with—I think in some humorous ways, actually—some of the ramifications. For example, I think Curtis [Echo Kellum] is concerned that maybe he was straight originally, as one example.”
There’s also the lingering question of Barry’s cryptic warning found on the Waverider. “The message from the future relates to Flashpoint, but it also may relate to something else coming up,” Kreisberg teased.
The superheroes nearly had a Wonderful new president on Earth-1.
In the aftermath of the president’s assassination by the Dominators, the writers initially intended on having Wonder Woman‘s Lynda Carter (who is the president on Supergirl‘s Earth) be the leader here, as well. “In the original draft of the Legends episode, she was the vice president who became the president,” Guggenheim said. “And the studio had what we all considered to be a very fair note, which is it was a bit too confusing. You’ve get into the parallel earths of it all, but she’s not the president on our Earth, she’s the vice president and you know, in the midst of you know, time travel and aliens it just was—as Oliver would put it—one sci-fi problem too much. And we thought, OK, if the studio is getting thrown by it, and confused, the audience might be too, so we took her out. Believe me, it was not for lack of wanting to.”
Kara looks like Ray’s cousin?!
With Supergirl now a part of the team, Kara/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) finally got to share screen time with Ray/Atom [Brandon Routh]. And since Routh once played the Man of Steel (who is Kara’s cousin) in the 2006 film Superman Returns, the writers couldn’t resist winking to the audience. “It’s sort of like…last year on Legends we did the Prison Break [joke],” Guggenheim explained. “I said to the writers, ‘If we don’t make a Prison Break joke here with Wentworth, we’re not doing our jobs.’ I was like, “If we have Brandon and Melissa share the screen and we don’t make some sort of joke like that, we’re not doing our job. The truth is, that joke existed on Arrow originally and then a certain scene got cut so then I moved it over to Legends; I just kept moving it back and forth. I’m like, ‘I’m getting it in one of these episodes.’”
But not all fun moments made it on-screen. “There was a little exchange between Sara and Kara that I really liked—I don’t think we even filmed it—where Sara says, ‘Hey do you want to get a drink when this is all over,’ and Kara says, ‘I think you wanna meet my sister,'” Kreisberg recalled. “Just the idea of starting the Sara/Alex shippers going…It’s those little moments that wound up on the cutting room floor.”
“There was a funny scene between Speedy and HR where she says, ‘So what are you doing here? What value do you bring?'” Kreisberg continued. “He’s like, ‘Well I’m writing a book,’ and she’s like, “Oh that’ll be a big help” and walks away. It was all of those little tiny moments. It’s amazing how many of them we actually got to keep.”
Guggenheim was particularly disappointed to lose a moment they had envisioned of Supergirl on the Waverider. “I’m not going to tell you what it is, because we may do it next year,” he teased.
Supergirl can now travel to Earth-1 whenever she wants.
Before Kara went back to her Earth, Cisco gifted her with a valuable tool: a device which will allow her to travel between worlds without needing to wait for them to retrieve her. That storytelling device opens doors for future crossovers…and perhaps a trip to National City next time. “They’ve gotten to the point where we wanted to make that a little bit easier,” Kreisberg said. “The next time we do it, it means it doesn’t necessarily have to be because Oliver and Barry need Kara; it could be because Kara needs them. Again, we don’t have anything planned. We just barely survived this one, so we’re not too concerned with what we’re going to try to do next year.”
Sometimes the best moments are the ones grounded in reality.
Though the scope of the crossover was extraordinarily large, a more grounded scene stuck out to Kreisberg. “These people all do know each other and they’re all friends, especially Barry and Oliver—it’s probably my favorite part of all three hours, them having a beer together,” in the final scene, he said. “Because it’s part of the story that they always come together because of crises, but those little moments…like in last year’s crossover before Vandal Savage attacked and they were all just having a drink together. They do care about each other and they are brothers, and they are brothers in arms, and it’s those little quiet moments between the fights that are the most interesting to me as a writer and as a viewer.”
The shows have also been good about having the characters mention each other outside of the crossovers. “Hearing those little shoutouts along the way I think does a service to the relationships that they’ve all formed—that it isn’t like the crossovers of the ’80s where they’d see each other for that one episode and then it was like it never happened,” Kreisberg said. “These things do happen and they do have ramifications and not all of the ramifications are always bad; some of ’em are good because now these people have these amazing relationships that can continue on.”