As far as must-see episodes go this season, Untouchable wasn’t particularly memorable. It followed the standard Flash episode formula of a meta interrupting speedster training in preparation for the season’s big bad. For a lot of shows, that formula would start to become tired.
But honestly the Villain of the Week format has never been the series’ strong suit. It’s always been about the Team Flash dynamic and once again, it delivered in Untouchable.
Barry is now convinced his plan to train Wally in the ways of the Speed Force is the key to defeating Savitar. I like how the show is incorporating the cocky, reckless attitude of a teen sidekick despite Barry and Wally being so close in age. I’m worried the writers are overdoing it to foreshadow Wally’s impulsiveness getting someone killed.
For now, it’s all about getting in tune with phasing — the one technique Wally has yet to master. Wally has been a quick study (pardon the pun) so it’s good to see him struggle in some aspects. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense for Wally to catch Barry’s skill level in less than half the time.
Fortunately, Wally gets some power practice with the Meta of the Week. This time with Clive Yorkin, whose touch breaks down anything it comes in contact with. Occasionally, The Flash wastes potentially interesting villains on a one-off appearance to reinforce the skill lesson. Yorkin definitely had potential and his backstory of targeting cops who busted his Flashpoint version was promising. And his powers were formidable enough to warrant more than the typical meta nuisance treatment.
Yorkin wasn’t here to be a compelling villain, but help facilitate some much needed conversations. Like Iris and the rest of Team Flash fessing up to Joe about Iris’ potential future death. That was a smart move as keeping Joe out of the loop was becoming silly. The guy can juggle a new relationship, being a cop and Team Flash motivational speaker just fine thank you.
Wally is jumping at every hint at a friendly Kid Flash/Flash rivalry. That plays into his character of being the long lost son trying to find his place in the family. I really hope the writers don’t go the obvious route and come up with some way to make Wally the team betrayer who becomes Savitar. The sibling rivalry dynamic is much more interesting than a third season of a fellow speedster betrayal.
Yorkin also helpfully gave Caitlin a chance to refine her Killer Frost powers. And help her realize that Julian can occasionally not be a maxi-jerk. Can we trust the writers to just have Julian be a platonic friend for Caitlin without trying to force him as a love interest? Probably not, but I can be optimistic.
The tease with Iris getting hit with Yorkin’s decay made for a nice moment with Iris recognizing how cool it is to have a super protective boyfriend who actually happens to be a superhero.
Untouchable might not have been the season’s best episode, but it reinforced what’s best about The Flash: family. Whether a blood bond like the Wests or the familial bond of Team Flash, they’re a tight-knight group. It’s the regular episodes like this that help reinforce that’s the core of this show. And no superhero show can touch that.
That’s even before Jesse Quick returns seeking help as her father is now captive in Gorilla City. Gorilla City on The Flash? Yes please.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: Robert Falconer/The CW