Lot to like in this week’s episode after a skipped week thanks to Election Day. Fortunately, none of the show’s momentum was slowed as we get another enjoyable adventure with the fastest hero on network TV.
Here’s a neat trick, Barry’s hyper-metabolism means he can’t get drunk anymore. He’s hanging at a bar with Cisco, Caitlin, Iris and Eddie (whose wearing a leather jacket with a yellow tinge). I’m enjoying these very subtle teases that this Eddie Thawne could in fact eventually becoming Flash’s arch-nemesis The Reverse Flash yet in absolutely no way have the writers done anything to suggest Eddie has an evil bone in his body.
A bomb breaks up the hangout as Team Flash speeds into action advising Flash on how to save a window washer left dangling from the building. Cisco and Caitlin make great assistants/sidekicks and all, but having them advise Barry on how fast he needs to run is a bit forced as if to give them a reason to be around. Iris gets to the bomb site fast enough to see Flash rescue the guy and land right in front of her and Barry pulls the vibrating face trick so she can’t recognize him. That was something in the comics that was always hard to imagine, but watching it live, it’s a very effective secret identity backup.
Thankfully, the Barry/Iris subplot this week revolves around more than just him pining for her while she acts completely oblivious. Iris is determined to spread the news of The Streak via her blog. Barry tries to get her to stop, but Iris is determined to use these Streak sightings to inspire others. That’s the one aspect of the show I’m not quite getting. Barry wears a mask and has actual powers so what is the harm in letting people know Central City has its own superhero protector? While this undercover hero theme makes sense for “Arrow,” it’s a bit silly here just like it was in “Smallville.”
Failing at one identity, Barry tries to talk sense into Iris as The Flash and he learns she’s trying to prove he exists to inspire her friend, Barry, who stopped believing in the impossible. Barry decides to protect Iris, he needs to friend-break up with her for whatever that’s worth. Seems like more unnecessary drama and wasn’t quite as impactful since there wasn’t this thought of them being together at this moment and The Streak is getting in the way of them getting together.
On the other hand, there’s not a better hero/ally on TV right now better than Joe and Barry. The dynamic is so refreshing. Joe is genuinely psyched that Barry was able to throw his voice by altering his vocal chords. It’s so fun watching the mentor figure appreciate the hero’s ability instead of making him constantly feeling guilty for wanting to help others. Joe also tips Barry off that he knows he loves Iris. For an aspiring reporter, Iris is clearly not that observant.
While we were teased with the formation of Flash’s Rogues last week, it’s back to borrowing villains from Firestorm. Bette Sans Souci (Kelly Frye),a solider who was changed in the particle accelerator accident, has the power to turn anything into an explosive with just a touch. Fortunately for The Flash, she’s not a true villain. She’s just trying to figure out what happened to her and get cured. Basically, she’s the DCTV version of Rogue.
Relieved to meet a meta-human not trying to kill him, Barry brings her to STAR Labs. While Cisco gets a crush and names her Plastique, the team has little else to offer her — save Wells, who encourages her to take her frustration out on her commanding officer, Gen. Eiling (Clancy freaking Brown in a brilliant bit of DC fanboy service stunt casting.) Brown voiced Lex Luthor in the beloved “Superman” and “Justice League” cartoons.
Plastique confronts Eiling and nearly kills him, but Flash races off to convince her not to become a villain. Good talk, Barry, but it was all the distraction Eiling needed to shoot her. The pattern of the gunshot wound to her chest almost seems intentionally arranged to resemble her comic costume. But now Flash has a problem of the exploding ally and he has to race to the ocean to deposit her before Plastique’s explosion destroys the city. Cool special effect of the week: Flash outracing the tidal wave.
Making good on their promise from earlier, Cisco and Caitlin whip up a super shot for Barry, that gives him a quick buzz. Better than nothing, I suppose.
Eiling comes to STAR Labs and proposes he and Wells team up again. Wells isn’t having it and threatens to take more than Eiling’s rank. If anyone on this show has credibility to take out a problem, it’s Wells so Eiling should back on up with this one. Eiling promises that more people are going to learn Wells’ secret. Which one? That he’s a murderer? That he can walk? Or he has some tech on Flash’s future? The writers have really created a fun mystery with Wells.
One small flashback this week. Wells and Eiling are arguing over the treatment of “him” and Eiling storms out. Wells walks over to a cage (and all Flash fans were probably salivating at this point knowing what was coming next) and tells the large gorilla named Grodd that he’s got something special planned for him. Hopefully not becoming an intelligent psychotic mind-controlling super villain, but it’s Wells so who the heck knows. Another solid outing and with the tease of less Barry/Iris drama, next week could be even more entertaining.