Invasion - Arrow Music Notes 5x08 (Crossover, 100th episode)
100 episodes of Arrow. A giant crossover between 4 shows. Both of these would be celebration enough by itself and yet the combination made it even better. The show-runners called this episode a love letter to the fans. In keeping with that idea, Blake Neely also gave a love letter of themes to the show and characters of Arrow and the Arrowverse. The amount of music that returned for the different characters in the dreamworld was fantastic…on top of a crossover. While it was part of an amazing crossover event, I will primarily focus on the Arrow episode since it was the 100th episode (and I only have so much time!) Buckle up, this is going to be a long one!
I grew up on Star Trek TNG and Voyager and I love “What if” or AU episodes so this episode was the best of all my geek worlds. This episode also reminded me why I got hooked on Arrow in Season 1. When I started watching the pilot, Smallville had just finished airing after 10 seasons. It included a funny, self-deprecating Oliver Queen who formed the Justice League in that universe. I was quite intrigued to watch a new version - and I almost stopped after the first few episodes. This Oliver was a cold, dark, violent man who lied and killed. Yet, I was drawn in by his relationships with his family. His broken relationships with his mother, his sister, his best friend, and the woman he loved. How he ached for reconnecting and yet still lied and pushed them away. How he let John Diggle and Felicity Smoak slowly enter his life and begin to trust again. How he became a hero slowly over time and through multiple tragedies. This Oliver Queen grew into a hero I could root for and invest in. A man who loves deeply and will do anything for the people he loves. To see many of these relationships restored in this episode was deeply beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time.