After a couple of stumbles, Flash seems to be developing a trend of finishing strong. This week’s episode kept with that. Grant Gustin continues to deliver a particularly strong performance. It’d be easy for him to overplay the part of the conflicted hero, trying to work with and subvert Dr. Wells at the same time, but he’s done it well.
There was a lot more of the Iris romance angle this week, both with Eddie and Barry, and I continue to just not care. Iris simply isn’t being given anything to make her an interesting character. Her “great revelation” that the appearance of meta-humans in Central City may be linked to the STAR Labs explosion did nothing to give her credibility as an investigative journalist. Actually, I’m thinking her next big breakthrough will be to link low income to poverty.
The sequence with Cisco remembering the events of the alternate timeline felt poorly explained, and that, in conjunction with the uninteresting Iris segments made for a weak midway point to the episode. By far, Dr. Wells going outright evil made for the high point. His loathing/need for Barry makes for an interesting story, and I look forward to it. Of course, the preview for the upcoming episode look really interesting. Grodd, anyone?
This week’s Flash was fantastic if you turn off your brain and don’t ask too many questions. I’ll try something new this week and turn off my brain for the first portion of this review, and then turn it back on for some issues I found, but let’s start with the mind on shut down.
“The Trap” brought Flash back to the point it was at before Barry’s day trip, just after the tsunami. It tied many of the threads together: Wells gets outed, Eddie discovers his relationship to the Reverse-Flash, and Iris knows Barry’s secret. Fireworks popped all over the place, similar to the time warp/day trip episode, and we’re thrust toward Flash’s season finale with plenty of momentum. Throw in some great acting by Tom Cavanagh (Harrison Wells) and The Reverse-Flash’s loathing/need for Barry and a few gotcha scenes and this week’s episode proved to be a fun game of cat-and-mouse.
Yes, Iris discovering that meta-humans were created by the STAR Labs explosion was a duh moment, but Flash’s bigger issue is its inability to explain how alternate timelines work. They need to get out ahead of this and I’m disappointed that they didn’t put more thought into it before the series began. Cisco’s echoes of the alternate timeline where Wells kills him and Iris uncovering Barry’s secret that can be explained – most likely – by her experiencing an echo of the same timeline is inconsistent if no one has echoes of the timeline where the Reverse-Flash didn’t kill Wells. If you introduce another timeline (like the one without Wells’ untimely death), you can’t ignore it.
Then, the Reverse-Flash tells Eddie that he’s his great-great-great-grandfather (or something to that effect). That’s kind of like Hitler raising hell in the time of his predecessors and then telling one of his ancestors (that he’s making life difficult for) that they’re related. That ancestor would at least consider celibacy (or castration)—and good bye, Reverse-Flash.
Okay, there is a precedent for members of the Thawne family to become supervillains in the comics, but Eddie hasn’t shown a vicious bone in his body in the show so far and he’d be overreacting if he turns rogue after finding out Iris loves (and marries) Barry, not him.
Finally, we’re left with the gotcha moments. While they were fun, they weren’t earned. The Flash did little to explain how they could pull them off, since the biggest gotcha moment required The Everyman to possess knowledge that he couldn’t possibly have. There was no clue – besides a force field not working – that the man threatening Cisco wasn’t The Reverse-Flash. It was a bait and switch that manipulated the audience.
Despite these flaws, I choose to turn off my brain – for now – and enjoy this rollercoaster. Bring on Grodd.
A fun – if uneven – episode that gets fans excited for the season finale.
Did you want more Flash? Make a dash to our Flash secrets page here.