Jessie Robertson reviews the fifth episode of The Flash…
If you take away anything from tonight’s episode, it was all about character growth. Sure there were some funny moments (Cisco badly trying to hit on Beth and Barry’s reaction), some serious moments (the one note delivery of Beth’s back story, her murder and it’s effect on the crew) but most importantly than the new character feature, three different characters were given subtle room to grow into traits that are going to help define who they are and what they can do.
I think Iris was the most in your face, as she began receiving her Lois Lane moments, first seeing “The Streak” at a crime scene and then getting a one on one with him. Barry and Joe are conspiring to stop her from writing her anonymous blog posts about the Streak’s heroic efforts, but they never stopped to think that telling a strong, independent, intelligent woman to stop doing something she believes in just because they asked her to, would drive her to recommit herself. Their motives are pure; they don’t want to put her in harm’s way, but as Barry says, there’s only one way to make her stop; tell her who the Streak is. But, she does get a nice emotional moment to herself at the end during a voiceover to show that Barry is a focal point in her life and it’s damaging not to have him in it. Now, a few things to bring up here: Just like in Arrow, we get the public dubbing our hero with a rookie identity, and besides her blog (which I guess she just started herself, ran by herself and is the only author of, which has gotten popular out of nowhere) no one’s talking about the Streak, where as in Arrow, it was known quickly that someone was roaming the streets at night, killing bad guys.
Also, the topic of Barry’s unrequited love rears its head again, as even Joe points out he’s known for years (he is a cop after all; Barry seemed awfully surprised, even though the three of them lived under the same roof for years.) Iris is seen shedding copious tears at the end of the episode when Barry sort of ends their friendship for now; could Iris really not know, or even have an inkling about Barry’s feelings? It seemed she was pushing him to give her something, but he wouldn’t budge. She’s at least had to entertain the thought at some point during her life, she obviously adores him. It’s a puzzling thing the writers have put on this character and it just doesn’t play anymore.
Then we have the further growth of Barry’s powers, which are developing quicker than he is on a coffee run for CCPD in the morning. He not only has learned to run up walls but also water , and as Caitlin tells him “That puts you in good company.” After that shot of Barry “disposing of” (is there a better way to describe him dumping Beth’s body into the river to explode?) we see Wells sitting in his chair, and you get a hint of a smile. He’s testing Barry, constantly, pushing the limits of his ability, giving him scenarios and challenges to further his powers. You could say that “Tragedy will make him a better hero.” Where have we heard that before? (sorry, non-comic book fans, theory crafting at the end of the article) We also discover Wells has developed mind control powers – WHA? Yep, that’s a thing. I think Harrison is the most fun character to watch on this show because he already knows everything that’s going to happen.
Clancy Brown debuts as General Eiling, an amoral, brutal army general hellbent on doing what he wants and doesn’t care who or what tries to stop him (is there any other kind? When’s the last time we met a nice, stand up Army General on TV?). He’s a subtle bad guy, with a commanding voice and presence and I think will be a good addition , if not overplayed. I just didn’t get into “Plastique” as a character; felt like she was just given too little time to make you care one way or the other, but it’s a bit disheartening to have a bomb disposal officer used in a such a throwaway manner, a soldier who had her specific skills to offer the world and then tossed away.
– This show is going to succeed more on scenes like the opening one at the bar; silly fun, where we can see more development from Cisco, Caitlin and Eddie.
– If STAR Labs isn’t a brisk jog or drive down the block, Det. West is killing the mileage in his car as much as he visits there.
– Was it okay for Plastique to be touching her own jacket when talking to Barry?
– Flock of Seagulls ” I Ran (So Far Away)” playing in the bar, haha
– Grodd! This is very thin, icy territory- in case you don’t know, Gorilla Grodd is one of the Flash’s greatest and most dangerous villains, a criminal genius who can control people to do what he wants with the power of his mind. Easy to do in comics, not so easy to do on TV and not have people laughing at the TV and turning it off.
Barry will end up with Iris by season’s end, even if it doesn’t last- sending nice guy Eddie on a path to villainy AND I’m more convinced Wells is the yellow blur we see in the show’s open and the man who murdered Barry’s mother.
Jessie Robertson is a contributing writer who loves all things comic books. He currently has one novel on Amazon.com, exploring people able to consciously do what they want in dreams. Yeah, sounds good right? Feel free to email him anything, questions, comments, critiques or Lost trivia at email@example.com.