Jessie Robertson reviews the sixth episode of The Flash…
It seemed like after last week’s dramatic impasse between Barry and Iris , the show was giving those two some breathing room between each other to fill in with “The Streak’s” new infatuation with his favorite blogger. But only one week later, their now seemingly impertinent squabble is over, and as frivolous as it seemed after it happened. The way Barry looked at her as he broke in mid-sentence as Iris was enraptured speaking about her hero with his proper name “Flash” felt like the whole payoff for that sequence, like that was the reason they mended their barely wrecked fence. It was a quick stunt that had no traction and I’m perplexed as to what the purpose was; just to show that Iris’ stubbornness will win out against Barry’s better judgment? It did bring Eddie and Barry closer together, now sparring partners; heck, even unnamed Jitters employee wanted to know why Barry wasn’t hanging around! Another interesting caveat of this relationship is Eddie, who hardly gets any characterization and more and more it feels like he was matched with Iris simply to keep her and Barry apart. Any screen time he does get paints him as nothing but a nice dude, caring to Iris, respectful of Joe and treating Barry like his own friend. I guess it’s that Arrow syndrome where since his character is someone we know is a villain in the Flash lore, we’re waiting for him to be exactly that (eg. see Laurel Lance) but so far, he’s just nice guy Eddie.
It took six weeks but the Flash loads up another staple in the bad guy category, the strong villain. Every superhero has them, the Bizarro to your Superman, the Bane to your Batman, and Flash gets…..Girder? He does get the better of Barry in a fight…twice actually, which the second time was baffling. He smashes Barry under a metal shelving unit and…leaves his own hideout and just presumes he killed the hero? I know he’s new to the game but it should seem fairly obvious to check on your enemy. This is the worst kind of Bond villain; his motivations don’t play, his actions don’t ring true. He beats up the Flash, in the middle of stealing a bunch of ATM machines, then gets hammered with a few kegs; the next morning he’s briskly walking in Iris’ coffee shop and has caught up on her blog? No. Just no. The point of having the strong villain is to give Barry another obstacle to get around where he has to use his powers in a new, unique way. Everything he does is trial and error, this particular obstacle meaning Barry’s going to have to pull off a super sonic punch, gaining speed from 5.3 miles away and hitting Mach 1.1 speed to put the guy down. How to get ready for this task fighting Cisco’s clunky Tin-Man wannabe with cuffed hands prepared him for that , I have no idea. That thing was a joke; I don’t think it could take out a Battle robot with a sawblade through it’s center. It looked damn stupid, and Barry looked worse getting knocked down by it.
Also, Girder was a bully who beat Barry up in school and made his life hell; it got so bad, Joe had to try to train Barry how to box (watching young Iris gut punch young Barry was pretty entertaining). It didn’t go well; so Joe’s Nostradamic advice: sometimes you have to run. Anyways, it’s a neat idea for it to be the dorky, smart kid and get to use your powers (and smarts) to go back and beat up the bully who tortured you, but it’s so on the nose, just to tie in closely, I just shook my head derisively. They even had their big showdown in the halls of their elementary school, for Pete’s sake! I mean, this guy apparently didn’t even peak in high school. But, what they say becomes true: the nerds (or über nerds as Barry calls them) will rule the world, or at least in this case, Central City.
The only real interesting thing to digest this week is Joe Martin and Harrison Wells’ ongoing relationship; we don’t know it as viewers but Joe’s investigated Wells background and sort of befriended him to see if he’s a potential lead in Nora Allen’s unsolved death. It’s a nice bit of theater on Joe’s part and even though Wells has been to the future, he doesn’t see it coming. This leads to a chilling tag scene at the end where the yellow and red man in the lighting may be seen sooner rather than later.
– When Barry reveals what kind of meta-human he broke his hand on, Wells really savours the moment to proclaim him a “Man of Steel”
– Eddie and Barry make a trip to Keystone City, sister city to Central and home of the original Flash, Jay Garrick. Wonder if we’ll see him make a cameo?
– “Which childhood bully are taking down next?” Cisco had the line of the night!
– Right before Barry initiates his super sonic run, there’s a quick bit of lightning effect swirling in his pupils; very cool and subtle effect
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.