Jessie Roberston reviews episode 7 of The Flash…
This week’s episode I thought was a mix of good and bad, terse drama and weak foresight. Let’s get into it.
Power Outage refers to Faarooq Gibran, a man who was hanging out on top of a large transformer the day of the Star Labs explosion. The pulse ray knocked him off and gave him the power to absorb electrical energy and release it in destructive ways. Two friends with him tried to give him CPR to revive him and it killed them in the process. Michael Reventar (Blackout) doesn’t have much to do but walk around, scream and electrocute people to death. His, as much as any other victim of the power surge, is a sad story but it’s provided in such a quick manner, it’s hard to pull sympathy from it. When The Flash encounters Faarooq, he gets caught in a blast and his powers are sapped from him, making him regular old Barry Allen again, which I’ll get to a minute. I want to jump to the end, where Blackout literally causes a blackout in Central City and roams to Star Labs to exact revenge on the culprit, Dr. Wells. Things get wacky here. Let’s see if we can cover it all.
Barry decides to talk him down, as he saw the pain in his eyes. It doesn’t work. So Wells decides to break Girder (Barry’s childhood bully) out of their makeshift prison to kill this new threat. Not only does the bully agree, but confers with Barry as he lay dying that he should run away, completely dispelling their rivalry, considering the fact that Barry even teased him about getting the best of him when he locked him up! When Barry inquires about how Girder could have escaped (I thought this would be like the scene in Ghostbusters where they shut off the power and villains escape) Wells tells him outright I did it. Barry brings up the point that he basically sacrificed one man’s life for their own, as a distraction, and then later apologizes to him for chastising him! Again, Barry’s original thought was on the money, yet even with Tony’s metallic body laying cold and dead on Star Labs linoleum, he ends up giving Wells the benefit of the doubt. I can’t make senses of this.
We do get more of Dr. Wells this episode than ever before; we find out he gets his information from an AI entity named Gideon in his secret room. This is also the first time (maybe?) that Wells can’t see the future; when Barry gets his powers siphoned from him by Faarooq, Wells furiously demands to see the newspaper headline but it’s changed and the Flash isn’t mentioned at all, nor is Barry Allen. It was just as fun to see Wells a bit unhinged as it is when everything’s under control for him. He tells Cisco of all his creations, his inventions and theories, the Flash is his greatest work. That statement gives you even more scope into how Wells views Barry, not as a person, but the means to end of this being, who will obviously become more than just a man, just a hero, just a symbol. He will be Central City’s savior and maybe even more. The teaser at the end shows us that Wells also keeps contingency plans, which doesn’t surprise me.
The theme of the episode really focused on the dynamics that will emerge between Barry Allen and his nature, and the way the Flash interacts with the city. Barry tells Wells he can tell he doesn’t like people very much, if at all, but that’s just not him. Wells comes to realize this is the secret behind Barry’s motivation behind using these powers for good; hell, he even helps out the new latte guy at Jitters with his powers. Grant Gustin (Barry Allen) gets to explore a lot of territory in this episode, from laughing at a guy trying to rob him, to complete self-doubt to giving Caitlin back some hope in humanity. I thought his performance this episode was quite good.
The other storyline happening this week featured William Tockman (Clock King), a man obsessed with time. He takes over CCPD’s station with precise timing and calculation to barter himself a helicopter (and a vegetarian’s meal!) out of there so he won’t come up on charges. During the melee, Eddie gets shot, Joe makes believable dramatic facial gestures and Iris gets kidnapped for the second time this season. Wonder if she’ll beat Laurel’s record? Robert Knepper was a fun, subtle villain, and the first not to be killed or captured by Wells. I loved his character-driven glasses and his banter with Joe. I have a feeling he’ll pop up again, especially considering in the comics he’s a member (at one time) of the Suicide Squad.
So, a lot happened this week as we get ready for the big crossover between Flash and Arrow, some good, some hard to swallow.
– In a scene where Barry is telling Joe his powers have vanished, Iris comes in and mentions the Flash and immediately Barry asks “what if he’s gone, just left?” which has to be one of the most flat segways ever. Iris looks perplexed at the out of left field question, but not as much as most viewers at home.
– The special effects when Blackout is arching lightning bolts at Wells when Barry rushes into save him was nothing less than amazing!
– Wells recites the names of all the people who were killed in his experiment’s malfunction, one of which is Ralph Dibny, who is famous DC Comics detective Elongated Man, longtime friend and ally of Barry Allen.
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.