Geekly TV: February 13, 2015

TheFlash
The Flash

Jim’s Review
This week’s Flash was another solid entry in what has been a surprisingly strong debut season. I think letting Barry build a romantic relationship lets us see something a little different from what he’s shown, much the way his night out with Caitlin did last week. The stuff with Joe and Cisco was also intriguing, as it continued the slow boil they’ve had between Joe and Harrison. FIRESTORM’s story took a step forward, too, and that was important for continuing the momentum of the show.

I can’t say I cared much for Iris’ part in this episode. They acknowledged the problem with her not wanting to be with Barry, while not wanting Barry to be with someone else. Barry actually confronted her about it, but I have to say that it still runs the risk of making Iris unlikeable.

I think the biggest highlight of the episode was Joe’s investigation into Barry’s mom’s murder. As I said before, it does raise the stakes between him and Wells, but the revelation about whose blood was at the scene of the crime feels like an exciting plot point.

Kyle’s Take
This episode of The Flash may be called “The Nuclear Man,” but it shined brightest with the continued Wells/West saga.

I’m still not sure if Wells and West—or Harrison and Joe, if you’re on a first name basis—need to showdown at high noon, but it’s nice to see how they play off other characters. In this episode West challenges Cisco’s loyalty to Wells and this should introduce some more internal struggle for Cisco. I also enjoyed the titular story that acted more like a side story.

The FIRESTORM arc took a few steps forward. Caitlin Snow will have to work a lot harder to reconnect with Ronnie, but Ronnie’s still in there somewhere. Firestorm is more Dr. Stein now. Hopefully he stabilizes.

And speaking of stabilizing, Barry stabilized his love life by declaring his deep like for Linda Park, but how Iris reacted to this news pulled her likeability into question. It could be that Iris just discovered latent feelings for Barry that only sprung to the surface when she saw him with another woman. This tracks for me as I think the crime scene investigation will reveal that there’s a second Reverse-Flash.

I mentioned another character could be Reverse-Flash/Professor Zoom months ago, but this episode choreographed that Wells is a reformed Reverse-Flash and that Eddie Thane could be Professor Zoom, who killed Barry’s mom. Wells unlocked the secret to his Reverse-Flash suit (in order to help Firestorm), and Iris expressed feelings for Barry that could take a bite out of Thane’s heart. Could Dr. Wells’s actions and Iris’s feelings lead to Thane becoming Professor Zoom?

We’ll have to see.

Verdict:
Another great episode in a dynamite first season.

Check out our Flash secrets page.

Arrow
Arrow

Jim’s Review
This episode is titled “Canaries.” Laurel is now Black Canary. Let’s test how well you’ve been paying attention, kids. What’s my problem with this episode? That’s right. It’s a Laurel-heavy episode, and that makes for a great big minus right off the bat. That’s the bad news. The good news is the episode’s secondary stories actually salvaged quite a bit.

Without getting too deep into spoiler territory, I feel like this week’s episode lead to some plot developments that were well overdue, and I think those could serve to streamline some story-telling in the future, and given how convoluted much of this season has felt, that’s something to look forward to.

Aside from moving Starling City and the Queen family’s present-day stories ahead, I actually think the flashback sequences were better executed than they have been lately. It didn’t feel like quite as much of a reach tying that into the central plot.

With the previews for next week’s episode showing Ollie and Thea returning to the island, I’m really hoping that they’re going to end up revisiting some of the things that worked well in season 2, most specifically, a more focused conflict.

Kyle’s Take
I want to take a contrary viewpoint to Jim’s argument, but I can’t—much. I didn’t mind Laurel as much as Jim in this episode. That could be because she goes toe to toe with Sara or that she confronts the fact that she isn’t her sister or that I wanted to see her bleed and she did.

Sadistic glee aside—tee hee—Laurel took a step toward being a likeable human, or just being a human. She told her father about her sister’s death. But on the heels of my half-hearted Laurel fancy, Arrow has to retire the man, the one-trick pony Dr. Vertigo, who got Laurel to that point with her father. Dr. Vertigo only shows up when someone has issues and injects them with vertigo so they don’t have to go to a therapist. Arrow did prescribe some much needed medication with “Canaries’” other side stories.

Smoke on the Waller. Could ARGUS be in play?
Should I sing that?
Smoooooke on the Waaaaaller—could ARGUS be in a play-ee?
The fact that Arrow could reintroduce ARGUS (or a host of others) as an antagonist, both with this episode’s flashbacks and with Ollie and Thea returning to the island, means that this episode’s flashbacks did more than any others in recent history. To say that Arrow crowbarred flashbacks into the central plots of this season’s episodes sullies the good name of crowbars.

But can Arrow maintain this momentum—if you could call it momentum—to the season finale?

Verdict:
The bar was low, but this episode was well above average for this season of Arrow.

Make a beeline for our Arrow secrets page.

MarvelAgentCarter
Marvel’s Agent Carter

Kyle’s Review
Last week’s episode of Agent Carter was pretty good, but that’s because of the guest stars and the creepy Black Widow references. This week featured Peggy’s inevitable capture by the SSR.

But before the SSR’s Carter hunt, Peggy—and I’m on a first name basis with Peggy Carter, Jim—got to strut her stuff as an analyst. The SSR got out of her way, which was a shock, but that didn’t last as Sousa announced what he had discovered last week: Peggy was the mysterious blonde.

While I like how the ladies of Agent Carter work behind the scenes and how that’s accurate for the show’s time period, Peggy was one of the founding members of SHIELD, according to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The way Peggy’s world’s portrayed will make the big reveal a punchline with little to no hope for a longer series to follow. I’ve made my peace with that

Agent Carter functions like a Star Wars prequel. Nothing gets ventured, the conclusion’s already set, and we’re subjected to wealth of stereotypes.

Verdict:
A lukewarm episode, coming off the heels of last week’s fantastic guest stars.

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