The Flash: Fast Lane

 

The flash episode review

Barry running away from yucky girls like Patty.

Wally World

& Harrison Wells Learns Non Binary Thought

The Flash came in with a solid episode on Tuesday night. There was a bit of  filler, but for the most part it was good.  Let’s get into it. Tuesday’s episode (Fast Lane) had a lot of moving parts, but easily the most interesting was the internal struggle of Harrison Wells. Even more interesting was having Tom Cavanaugh convey that struggle using the Kristen Stewart method.

tom cavanugh terrible actor the flash

Tom Cavanugh’s acting coach.

Harrison Wells from Earth 2 has proven to be one of the more complex characters on this show. He continually shows himself to be slightly different than the Wells/Thawne from season 1. That’s not to say this Wells isn’t capable of treachery and villainy, but you can really see how it eats him up inside. [Mark says that Tom Cavanaugh’s wooden acting does nothing to convey this conflict. It’s done all with lighting, music, and the words that TomBot flatly intones]  Using Wells’ daughter as the motivator humanizes Wells greatly. Who wouldn’t do anything to save their kid?   Such is the case with Wells trying to steal Barry’s speed for Zoom, to get his daughter back.

I had a feeling that Wells would have a change of heart about stealing Barry’s speed, but I had no idea it would be so immediate. Seeing Wells come clean so quickly was an excellent way to highlight the differences between Earth 2 Wells and season 1 Wells. This Wells immediately knew he had made a bad decision and was remorseful, and after stealing only 2% of Barry’s speed. I imagine Zoom’s demand for all of Barry’s speed led him to think that he may not get his daughter back, no matter how much he helps Zoom.

Westworld

The West family drama continued in this episode with Iris getting all gussied up to go to the street races, and see Wally do what he does, which is street racing. This resulted in a weird story where she goes after the man who’s been organizing the races, in order to bring an end to this dangerous sport. This seemed like a PSA to me, like when shows do an episode about recycling for Earth Day.

the flash iris west fast lane

There’s a car hurtling toward you, ma’am. You look lovely but you should move.

Heart Of Glass

This wasn’t my favorite story line  but it is always nice to see Iris be a main part of the story. She is one of the characters that always seems to be on the sidelines, so it’s nice to see her front and center. They’re focusing on her reporter gig again. This is where she is comfortable, going after the bad guys in the paper.

One weak point this week was the villain. Tar Pit was overall just weak.  Plus, who the fuck gestates for two years in molten asphalt, then emerges with powers? That’s just dumb. Really dumb. Even for the Flash, and this is counting the super gorilla and the bidpedal shark.

We’ve seen these kind of motivations from super villains before. He was wronged on the night of the particle accelerator explosion, and after gaining powers (in the most implausible way yet), set out for revenge against those who wronged him. Pretty simple. Sadly, I don’t dig any villain that is stopped by a gadget and a punch to the face from Joe. These types of villains are becoming commonplace.

Zoom?

The biggest problem with these 20 something episode seasons is that there is not enough story to fill the whole thing up, so a lot of filler is needed. Unfortunately it’s become too much in the second half of this season. We’ve had so few arc episodes that it’s becoming frustrating. We need WAY more forward momentum on the Zoom front. We got a glimpse of Zoom but not enough.

zoom harrison wells flash

“Had enough?”
“Not even close”

Papa Joe

One thing that did work was Joe busting Wally for pretending to be some street racing badass, when deep down he is actually a good kid. After Iris is injured, in a really good scene highlighting how that 2% that Flash is missing matters, Wally opens up and lets his new family in.  There was no ay they were going to kill off Iris. No way in hell, but injuring her in order to bring the West family together, and tighten the familial bond? Hell yes.

Overall this was a decent episode, but it’s next weeks episode that looks great. The gang take a trip to Earth 2 where we’re going to see some interesting versions of our favorite characters, including Caitlyn Snow’s alter ego Killer Frost, and the return of Robbie Amell as the evil version of Firestorm, Deathstorm. Next week looks wonderful, especially the scene of Cisco and Barry taking an Earth 2 selfie. Not even interdimensional travel can stop guys from acting like idiots around their buddies.

See you next week when we have more Flash to flesh out.

The Flash: The Reverse Flash Returns

flash barry allen reverse eobard cw superhero review

“This is his origin story”

The Flash Review

Dale’s Take On This Week’s Episode

That’s right folks, Tuesday’s episode of The Flash brought the return of the dreaded Reverse Flash, Barry’s mortal enemy.  Was it a resounding success? Not necessarily, but it did strike some excellent notes, so lets talk about it.

Barry’s A Dick

Ok, so when we get into this episode we’re still in the midst of the devastating breakup between Barry, and Patty (who is perfect and pure). That further proves that Barry is so bad at lying that it often makes him look like kind of an asshole. Patty has basically told him to stop her from leaving Central City to attend CSI school. She spilled her heart about how much she wants to be with him, but he coldly rebuked her, in favor of the same tired lie.

Barry, I get it. You must protect the ones you love, don’t let the bad guys use them against you, blah blah blah blah. Watching him tell Patty that he isn’t the Flash in the face of her completely breaking down emotionally, and even after she’s figured it out on her own, was idiotic and frankly, cruel. For the first time since this show began I texted my friend, and co author Mark, with the simple phrase “Barry’s a dick.”

Barry has been one of the more charming characters in the CW’s DCU, it’s also a miracle that Barry has had relationships at all, considering he is comically bad at talking to women. Watching Patty break down in Barry’s lab was heart breaking, and that’s a testament to Shantel VanSanten’s talent as an actress and much much more than a pretty face (and everything else). She really sold that scene for me, so good job Shantel. You nailed it.

Which brings me to my next point. The end of this episode brought us to Patty leaving Central City. Shantel VanSanten has been a shining star in season 2 and it’s really a shame to see her go and hopefully she won’t be gone for too long. Patty Spivot/Shantel VanSanten, you will be missed. I suspect this is just a move to prolong the Ross/Rachel will they/won’t they tension. It’s cheap. Hackneyed, even.

patty-spivot-flash

I’ll date you Patty, I’ll wear ugly sweaters with you and tell you all my secrets, they aren’t very interesting but i’ll tell them to you

The Actual Plot

Moving on, the Reverse Flash’s return was bound to make some waves in Barry’s world. When it comes down to it, his return wasn’t a fast paced action thriller. It packed more of an emotional punch. 

Origin of the Reverse Flash

We got a good origin story for Reverse Flash, having now seen the moment when he discovers Barry’s identity, and how to hurt him.

Eobard Thawne was portrayed as being a childish person, who only dislikes Flash because he was obsessed with the Flash as a child and could not be him. So he instead decided to become the reverse of everything Flash stands for. Dumb, even for a comic book show.

Barry’s fight with Reverse Flash was truly badass. Barry beat the shit out of Eobard, and decisively defeated him, before bringing him back to Star Labs.

It really hit Barry in the gut when Flash had to let Reverse Flash go, in order to save Cisco. Barry finally capturing him and locking him up only to have to let him go back to his own time in order to fix the time line and save Cisco’s life… that’s going to eat at him. 

In releasing Reverse Flash, the man who killed Barry’s mother, we get a huge blow for Barry. It calks back to what Harrison Wells says in the video message to Barry. He will never be truly happy, which brings us back to the Patty situation. 

Barry loved and was loved. He was happy with Patty,and he let her go to continue to be Flash and protect her life.  

If it was Reverse Flash’s goal to ruin Barry and keep him from ever being happy, he’s won. Without using any powers he’s won.

matt-letscher-reverse-flash-cw-eobard

Eobard + Barry sittin’ in a tree R-U-N-N-I-N-G


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…and Meg

We had a few subplots in this episode. One involved Cisco, as he, and Harrison Wells, worked together to get Cisco’s vibes under control. That resulted in Cisco getting the Vibe goggles, controlling a vibe, and looking into the future.

Cisco haa taken a big step toward becoming Vibe. It was actually pretty damn cool, and will definitely help team Flash in the future.

 The other subplot was much less interesting. It was Caitlyn’s attempt to find Jay Garrick’s Earth 1 doppleganger, in order to use his cells to replace Jay’s dying cells. This resulted in a big bomb being dropped.  Jay’s Earth 1 doppleganger is not named Jay Garrick at all, but Hunter Zolomon, which in the comics is the true identity of Zoom.

Since this show has strayed significantly from the comics, which in my opinion is a good thing, I can’t see Hunter Zolomon being related in any way to Zoom. If he does it will simply be bad story telling. 

Zoom has been such a frightening and intimidating villain this season, that to introduce his true identity as somebody we’ve never met before, this late in the game would be story suicide. 

Zoom’s identity needs to have a huge impact on the Flash universe. It has to be somebody with gravitas.

I’m predicting Earth 2 Barry, Joe or Henry Allen. Maybe  even Earth 2 Eddie.

the-flash-season-2-zoom-eobard

So, overall this episode was pretty good, albeit way too light on arc advancement. It was definitely a worthy episode, however, it is time to bring Zoom back into the forefront. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more appearances by some of the other Rogues, Grodd, Weather Wizard, and obviously King Shark, considering we only got a glimpse of him in his first appearance. 

See you next week!

The Flash: Potential Energy

the flash tv show review

The Flash returned to us tonight with “Potential Energy”, and overall it was a great episode, though it did involve a few infuriating components. Let’s get into it.

The… Turtle?

The Turtle was an intriguing villain with a power that’s the complete opposite of Barry’s. The Turtle has the power to slow down time to the point that it seems like he’s  going fast,when in fact everybody around him is just going slow. Cool concept, but when it really comes into play is how they can use Turtle’s power to stop Zoom.

It didn’t hurt that he was portrayed by Aaron Douglas of Battlestar Galactica fame. This villain was much more intimidating than I imagined. He was portrayed as more of a serial killer; a man who keeps his victims in cases as trophies.

I liked this because with a villain like this it could be easy to  drift into camp territory, especially when he makes the comment “killing is to quick and messy, I like to do things nice and………..slow.” It would have been easy to laugh if he wasn’t surrounded by the preserved corpse of his wife.

However

One area in which the show made me actively groan in frustration was in Barry’s inability to tell his awesome and gorgeous girlfriend that he is The Flash………….again. Patty needs, and deserves, to know. Watching Barry constantly ditch her to go do Flash stuff is kind of heartbreaking, due to Patty being so sweet.

What truly infuriates me about Barry not telling Patty is the superhero bullshit about how their loved ones will be targeted  and killed to get to the hero. This is a reasonable concern, but I’d like to point out that NOT ONE of the people who know Barry’s identity have been killed. Maybe with the exception of Eddie Thawn, but I’d argue he killed himself to defeat the Reverse Flash. Iris, Joe, Cisco, Caitlin and a few others are all still alive and for the most part doing fine. Barry knows he is capable of protecting the ones he cares about, so stop being a knucklehead and do it. It’s a stupid plot device to simply build friction.

What About Wally?

For me, the Wally West stuff hasn’t quite clicked yet. He was just introduced so soon that I felt we didn’t get enough time with him.

You have a hit show guys, don’t introduce everybody all at once. The scene of Wally drag racing was entirely unnecessary in my opinion. that was all time that could have been spent with Barry and Patty, I understand that it was used to give Jesse L Martin a little meat to sink his teeth into and don’t get me wrong watching him do it is always a pleasure, he is hands down the best actor on the show but I feel the drag racing scene was typical “I hate my dad” teenage angst bullshit, Jesse L Martin needs more to work with.

No Zoom

Unfortunately we didn’t get much development on the Zoom front. He didn’t even make an appearance, but we did see the ramifications of his last little visit.

Harrison Wells has been thrown into desperation mode to get his daughter back from Zoom, and has put his own end game into motion. That resulted in the return of Eobard Thawn, the Reverse Flash. He arrived in the current timeline while Harrison experimented on The Turtle. Arewe gearing up for a return of Harrison Wells as Reverse Flash? Is he gearing up to steal Zoom’s speed and Eobard’s body again, or does he simply plan to steal Eobard’s speed and suit and use it against Zoom and Barry?

Maybe  Flash, Reverse Flash and Zoom are all on a collision course, a super powered Mexican standoff to decide the victor of season 2, and the world we’ll be entering in season 3.

In Conclusion

“Potential Energy” was a great episode of The Flash and more than a worthy opener to bring us into the second half of Season 2. It was shaky in some parts as I discussed above, but that by no means makes the episode a bad one. In the end The Flash is almost always a joy to watch, and one of the television highlights of my week.