Flash: “Attack on Central City”

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Jim’s Thoughts

I acknowledge that swiftly-cobbled-together relationships are part of The CW. I don’t like them, and they’ve been a constant negative for me ever since I started watching these shows, but I don’t really want to harp on it every single week. “Attack on Central City” offered a heavy helping of that, but the problem is it didn’t offer much of anything else.

Last week’s setup did a good job of building toward a satisfying finish, but the momentum here was squandered. Seeing Jessie and Wally put together their relationship, which will apparently start off with them living together, didn’t do much but take screen time. The same can (and should) be said for Cisco chasing down Gypsy.

The only action in early acts was based on Grodd using an Air Force general to try to launch nukes. In the interest of fairness, I may still be rinsing the taste of last season’s Arrow nonsense out of my mouth, but I feel like threats of nuclear missiles should be nixed in movies and TV shows in general. There’s no way to do it that isn’t a cliché at this point. It feels lazy. All of that without taking into consideration that no one military officer has the power/ability to launch a nuke. That’s reality, but even in the shared universe of the show, you’d think they’d be careful after Felicity’s nuke incident on Arrow last year, so I’m calling double shenanigans on that.

The big confrontation in the end was a letdown. Barry’s “other way” was pretty straightforward and disappointingly anticlimactic. I guess I remember hearing Solovar wasn’t killed before, so maybe it isn’t a cheat, but I feel it’s safe to say we were expecting a big Gorilla battle and we got a shoving match on the playground.

If nothing else, it looks like we may be getting back to the main story next week. I’m ready for that to happen, but I can’t say I’m feeling confident in how the show will execute things.

Kyle’s Take

Execution is key. Sure, diarrhea romance isn’t new to CW shows, but Grodd’s story, like the episode of Supergirl earlier this week, was rushed. Flash didn’t have any time to do more than have a shoving match on the silverback playground. If “Attack on Central City” omitted a large helping of romance, there might’ve been time for some tuft pulling or yo momma’s so wide jokes.

Last week’s setup was rushed. These two episodes were used to silence fans like me who wanted to see more Grodd. It was eye-candy. This entire season of Flash has been equal parts pandering and insulting. During the summer, Flash creators/show-runners told fans Dr. Alchemy would be one of two main villains in the upcoming season. Fans were excited. Alchemy would be the first non-speedster main villain. Well, he was gutted at mid-season for another speedster villain. That was the first of several Comic-Con sweet nothings.

Flash had also announced Mirror Master would be another villain and they winked at fans when asked if he’d be the other main antagonist. He was nothing but a villain-of-the-week. Then, Flash said Grodd would play a major role. I guess a two-episode arc is a major role, but when you consider Grodd was teased as another potential big-bad during the off-season, a two-episode arc is enough to make a true, Flash fan go ape-Grodd crazy.

Flash fans deserve more than another speedster villain as the show’s main antagonist, but I’ll try to focus on this week’s episode. “Attack on Central City” as a single episode worked okay—convenient with its necessary-to-conserve-time Solovar cheat, but okay.

Romance didn’t dominate airtime so much as take up prime real estate. In fact, the diarrhea romances in question only graced the screen 7-9 minutes. But romance bookended the episode. It’s the same problem Supergirl had with backloading romance every episode for three weeks. Don’t do that, CW. Vary your episodes’ openings and conclusions.

The CW should probably keep military issues off-limits for a while, too. Arrow, Supergirl, and Flash have had too many laughable discrepancies this season. Either avoid the topic or hire a military consultant.

Okay. “Attack on Central City” wasn’t all bad. I liked how the two Wells played off each other. There were some moments involving Harry (Earth-2 Wells) and how he reacted to Jessie staying on Earth-Prime that could have repercussions and/or reminded us of his brand of manipulative bastard. And this was the second time in three or four episodes where Joe West (Jessie Martin) rescued a scene with great comedic timing. Martin may not be in too many scenes but the ones he’s in, he steals.

It looks like Flash will get back to its main story next week, but I can’t get too excited for Savitar. Flash’s rogues’ gallery isn’t a collection of speedsters, just like Batman’s isn’t a parade of killer clowns in various shades of makeup. If I were to rattle off the top 10 Flash comic book villains of all time, there would most likely be two villains who share Barry’s power: Reverse-Flash and Zoom. They’ve been done. Flash deserves more variety.

I guess I can mark time until next year. Hopefully, the show vibes in a different direction.

Thanks for reading.

Oh. It looks like I may have to buy Jim an Earth-19 Friends Day Card. In case I forget, happy Friends Day, Jim.

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