“The Flash” isn’t a perfect show, but it is easily the one that doesn’t make being a superhero seem like a complete drag and tonight’s episode, where The Streak finally gets his permanent name, reinforces that the show has the fun superhero show crown locked down.
Last week, Barry and Iris decided to take a break from their friendship. Barry’s logic didn’t make a whole lot of sense there since that strategy clearly wasn’t gonna get Iris to stop writing about The Streak. On the bright side, that led to Barry spending a lot of time this week hanging with Eddie. Rick Cosnett has done a tremendous job in making Eddie the kind of character you really want to dislike as he should be the annoying romantic rival preventing Barry and Iris from being together, but each week he’s giving us more reasons to like him. Eddie shares that he was intimidated by Barry as he was so close with Iris and while he didn’t know why they were acting funny with each other, he encouraged him to straighten things up as good friends are hard to come by.
On the Iris front, Barry again tries in costume (and funky voice modulation) to get her to quit her Streak sightings blog or at the very least to come up with a better name than The Streak. No go as Iris is more determined to spread the word of The Streak’s heroics. You may understand Barry’s perspective, but it’s refreshing that Iris has her own interest that doesn’t involve Barry, Eddie or her dad. Does this make Iris the best developed supporting female of the comic book based shows?
This week, Barry gets to tangle with Tony Woodward a.k.a. Girder (Greg Finley), who received the ability to cover himself in a super dense shell giving him immense strength.
Girder was probably a poor choice of villain for the show since making him look more comic accurate probably was too cost-prohibitive, but he ends up looking like a poor man’s Colossus from the X-Men movies. A better option for an alloy coated villain would have been Goldface, an old Green Lantern foe who becomes a supporting cast member in the Flash comic.
Their first encounter doesn’t go well for Flash — a broken hand and a concussion — and it doesn’t take long for him to remember that Tony was his old high school tormentor. Probably an unneeded connection, but the show hasn’t gone down the former classmate turned villain angle yet so they get a pass here. Tony goes to the coffee shop to try and impress Iris since she’s so busy writing about The Streak (a quick make-good on the very thing Barry was worried about), but leaves once his arrest warning is shown on TV.
Cisco has a training dummy of Girder that looks more like the comic version. He suggests Barry can beat Girder if he hits him with a sonic boom. Early on it seemed like the writers were trying to cram in as many superhero references as they could work in name dropping Man of Steel and Iron Fist, but they got tired of what was shaping up to be a fun insider joke for comic fans.
Flash finds Girder’s hideout, but once again gets beaten and left for dead under a wall section. It was a bit frustrating and puzzling as to why Girder didn’t finish the job or at least unmask Flash. After Girder kidnaps Iris and demands she starts blogging about him, Barry finally has the motivation to take down his bully. Girder’s added to the villain prison underneath STAR Labs. So for those keeping count, STAR now has The Mist and Girder in the prison. And remember, absolutely nothing bad can come from that at all. Barry can’t help but reveal his identity to Girder and talk a little trash after imprisoning his bully. This would be the dumbest move of the series so far, but Barry’s happy victory dance almost make up for that soon to be terribly tactical decision.
Another new pairing that hopefully we’ll see more of in future episodes was Joe and Wells. Joe is continuing his investigation in Nora Allen’s death and questions if a meta-human was the man in the lighting Barry saw and if Wells might have been responsible for that earlier incident. The mystery with Wells is so fascinating and Tom Cavanagh has successfully made Wells such a wild card he could kill Joe, reveal some new secret to him or just simply tell him to screw off, which he does after telling Joe to look up Tess Morgan.
Barry and Iris make up and she can’t wait to tell him about the other meta-humans she’s read about like the guy on fire. Heat Wave or Firestorm? As Iris is fumbling for a name, Barry subtly suggests The Flash and Iris likes it. Gotta hand it to the showrunners. Clark was The Blur on “Smallville,” Oliver had a season and a half as The Hood before becoming The Arrow, but Barry already has his enduring moniker
In one of the best epilogue scenes so far, Joe is going over the Nora Allen files when a blur or red and yellow lightning tears through his living room and when it departs, Joe finds the files are gone. In their place is an ominous message carved in the wall saying “Stop or else” with a knife sticking to a photo of Iris. Somebody doesn’t want to be found Joe, but this subplot is really getting interesting. Somewhat lacking villain aside, this was another solid episode thanks to the Barry/Eddie and Wells/Joe segments.