The Flash Review – “Fallout” S1E14

Pros:

Cisco’s Hilarious Lines: And did he have some doozys this week. “It’s like this time I stepped on a sea urchin—only much worse” and referring to Mist being trapped in the basement of Star Labs and Ronnie not knowing, he says, “Dude, that was like week three!” (And it was episode three! Yay for being consistent!)

Gorilla Grodd: Harrison did some pretty nasty things this episode. I am not sure if want to hate him or like him, but he gets a tick in the good column for unleashing Grodd on General Eiling as payback. In addition, when General Eiling pleads to God and the ape says “No, Grodd!” I felt like that was coolest way to execute a cheesy line.

Professor Stein and Ronnie Raymond’s relationship: I couldn’t think of The Odd Couple when these two were arguing. The jabs were cute, and while it is comical the way they don’t get along, these two have the same values and a lot of brains when combined. Together as Firestorm, they are pretty freakin’ awesome.

The Flash - "Fallout"

Professor Stein and Ronnie Raymond need each other: They can’t live without each other now that they are both Firestorm. The way this was presented was really well done, with Professor Stein living in Ronnie’s head, and the moments they choose to fuse together and separate again. I was pretty impressed with how science-y and smart the whole thing was.

Graphics: The slow-motion effects of Barry taking down people, taking on a rocket filled with chemicals, and the scene of The Flash and Firestorm leaving the Army base were really striking. Good job effects team!

The Flash - "Fallout"

Time-Travel: There was a lot of talk about time-travel, especially concerning Barry as The Flash being at his mother’s murder. It was a good way to begin to explain why Barry was there while including the characters we currently have, like Professor Stein.

Cons:

Lying to Iris: While lying to Iris about who Ronnie is will drive a major plot point for Iris for a bit, it was all executed poorly. The music that played as Caitlin and Barry claimed Ronnie was Caitlin’s cousin was silly and the whole thing was treated like a joke. If they had told something resembling the truth, Iris may not have decided to snoop around more.

Pizza, Pizza!: It’s very millennial and cutesy, but the tip off that Ronnie and Professor Stein are still linked is because the prof is crazing pizza? It’s kind of silly.

Harrison’s motives: So Harrison poisoned Professor Stein, let General Eiling kidnap Professor Stein, lied to the group that Eiling barged in and took Professor Stein, put Professor Stein in mortal danger, and put Ronnie in mortal danger ALL so he could find the location of General Eiling and release Grodd on him? Seems a little over-the-top.

Easter Eggs:

Ronnie is from Coast City: As the group was trying to convince Iris that Ronnie was Caitlin’s cousin, they mentioned he was from Coast City. This is yet another reference to Hal Jordan’s hometown.

Ronnie is from Midway City: The second time that Caitlin talks about her cousin to Iris, she mistakenly says he is from Midway City. This is home to Hawkman.

Destiny to fail: Barry admits that his destiny in the future is to fail at saving his mom. If you are familiar with Flashpoint, you know this is true.

Predictions:

Harrison isn’t all bad: You know how they were talking about going back in time, and that if you change something in the past, you cause the event a la Back to the Future? Harrison goes back with Barry when he learns that he will try to save his mother because Harrison knows that if Nora Allen lives, Barry never becomes The Flash. Or something. I dunno.

Hush Comics gives “Fallout” a A- for propelling the “Flashpoint” story forward, delving more into Firestorm, and using Gorilla Grodd for the good kind of evil.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment. They are credited to Cate Cameron.

The Flash Review – “The Nuclear Man” S1E13

This week’s Flash was clearly a Valentine’s Day episode. I’m glad the show has dodged the mistake of having main characters get together too soon. Unfortunately, we have to sit through Barry’s dating life – probably only this one, though – before he starts to date Iris. That day, I dread.

Pros:

the flash - %22the nuclear man%22 1

 

Super Science Cisco: I love super-technology and all of the sci-fi nerd in me really enjoyed it when Cisco reconstructed the crime scene at the time of the crime using freaking holograms. Someone has to be as smart as Dr. Wells when everything goes down.

Fireman Ronnie Raymond: I really like what they did with Firestorm, especially graphically. His firey goodness was excited and visually stimulating, which is nice after the last two episodes. Also the Nuclear Man actually shows us why this episode was titled thusly.

Joe Knows: Joes has already shown that he knows how to read people better than anyone else in the show. He knows something is up with Dr. Wells and not everything is as straight forward as it seems. He’s the only one that questions his motivations.

Purposely accentuated man boobs: I guessed being ripped runs in the family.

Barry Blood: Barry’s adult blood was found at the crime scene of his mother’s murder. Ok I didn’t see that coming, I’ll keep this going.

That last scene: DID YOU SEE IT!?

Cons:

Flash in the pan: Barry Allen dates Wally West’s future wife. Unless they plan on killing Barry and bringing in Wally, then I don’t really care and neither should you.

Firestorm’s split personality: So in the comics Firestorm is a combination of Martin Stein and Ronnie Raymond, cool whatever I still think that’s dumb. But why have Stein be the mind behind the body? If they make Ronnie in control like in the books they could drag Robbie Amell’s bad acting out for longer.

Iris & Linda: Iris likes Barry but won’t pull the trigger. Linda goes one two dates with Barry. Poorly written conflict happens.

Barry & Iris: The “will they, won’t they” trope has really taken full grasp on this relationship. I can hope it will just get nipped in the bud, but I don’t think we’ll be that lucky.

the flash - %22the nuclear man%22 4

Purposely accentuated man boobs: We get it. It runs in the family.

Dr. Wells Super Engineerman: Why doesn’t anyone question how Wells designed or had the time to create a quantum whatever. That would seem dubious to me.

Easter Eggs:

Time travel confirmed: It’s been skated around all season long, but with the confirmation that an adult Barry at the crime scene, it opens up a whole bunch of doors from Flashpoint.

Mal Duncan: When Barry geeks out to Linda about their planned date, he tells her last that he wants to go see Mal Duncan perform after they play mini-golf. Mal Duncan is Vox in the Teen Titans comic books, but has also gone by Guardian in Young Justice. He is an accomplished jazz musician, as well – referenced in Tale of the Teen Titans #50 (1985).

52nd & Waid: The DC-CW shows loves using their street names for Easter Eggs. This week, they go with the lucky number 52 (New52, 52 event, etc) and Waid, a call-back to long-time The Flash writer, Mark Waid.

the flash - %22the nuclear man%22 2

Predictions:

Barry Blood 2: Electric Boogaloo: So we found Barry’s blood at the scene of his mother’s death. Once Wells gets his time travel paradox on Barry is going to travel with him and during the melee inadvertently cause his mother’s death. Then….sadness.

Impending Litigation: Someone is getting sued for that “flame on” remark.

Killer, maaaan: They’ve been teasing it all season; we know who Caitlin Snow becomes in the comic books, right? Killer Frost may be closer than we think. Barry may be able to outrun or metabolize the effects of a nuclear explosion, but Caitlin is going to be pretty screwed. Throw in the way people’s powers in this show are blended from the environment around them, and we may have a much colder version of Caitlin Snow – very soon. Quantum Splicer, my ass, Wells!

 

Hush Comics gives “The Nuclear Man” a C for pointless love story taking away from a much more important storyline happening all around it. Also for Robbie Amell, meh.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment. They are credited to Cate Cameron.

The Flash Review – “Crazy for You” S1E12

Every show is bound to have an episode with filler, but the great thing about The Flash is, even with this episode being filler, we still get some great reveals about the future along with some of the best Easter Eggs in the genre. This week’s villain was a bit of a letdown, but was used as the backdrop for some of the most important details this show will use to progress forward.

Pros:

The Firestorm Matrix is here: Firestorm is more than just a man with powers; Firestorm is actually a fusion of 2 beings, 1 dominant host and 1 corporeal entity. In the comics, Martin Stein and Ronnie Raymond are fused together when caught in a mixture of TNT and a nuclear explosion. Many people have become part of the Firestorm matrix, including the introduction of Jason Rush from two episodes ago. This is straight from the comics and it is nice that they were able to work straight from the source instead of having to adapt it for the show.

Barry Allen is moving on: While we all know that he is destined to be with Iris in the end, it is nice to see him play the field a bit until that time. This opens the door for all sorts of interesting characters that could last longer than an episode. Already we have a spark between Barry and Caitlin and we were just introduced to Linda Park(which should lead to the inclusion of another very important character).

The Flash - Crazy for You
I love you Iris, but I love me more. Especially in my cool suit.

 

Gorilla Freaking Grodd: I made the prediction a few episodes that he was in the pipeline and I am so happy that the creators didn’t make us wait that long. The way they chose to include him is interesting though; I can’t tell if they are setting him up to be a major recurring villain or if it is such a masterpiece of CGI that they want to do the slow burn similar to Godzilla movies. The little bit that we already got to see is promising though. This show has already done great things with CGI and this appears to be taking that to the next level.

Barry is continuing to get faster: Just as Clark Kent developed powers throughout Smallville, Barry Allen is developing powers very quickly. He is using his powers in new ways and it is just a matter of time before we get some time travel or vibrating through walls/bullets. They have already alluded to it in this episode by having Barry be just fast enough to catch a bullet, I can’t wait until he realizes he has nothing to fear from guns.

Cons:

There wasn’t enough Caitlin Snow: She was a powerhouse in this episode, which is something that has been building up all season, and it still feels like we didn’t get enough. This is more of a minor gripe than a hit against the show. The creators finally seem to be revealing their plan for this character.

This week’s villain is a little bland: Peak-a-boo is an interesting enough character in terms of powers, but it felt like she was a sort of weekly throwaway with the treatment she got. Being a newer character with less of a backstory, it is not surprising that she didn’t get a quality backstory or even too many decent scenes. She was more of background filler because they had to have a villain for the episode.

The Flash - Crazy for You
Intense glares are scarier than we are.

 

Easter Eggs:

Linda Park: Her inclusion is very important because she is the future wife of future speedster Wally West. While the inclusion of Wally West should mean the death of Barry Allen, It would be interesting to see how they try to make this work, or for how long they might keep Barry Allen dead.

Let me make you jelly, Iris.
Let me make you jelly, Iris.

You’re not the only one who understands vibrations: Cisco Ramon is destined to become Vibe, arguably one of the worst superheroes ever created. In the comics, he is able to create sonic waves of considerable force. It is unclear if/when he will become this character and how the transition will happen, but this was an interesting nod to that future.

I guess I am faster than a speeding bullet: Just a fun jab at the friendly rivalry The Flash has with Superman over being the fastest man alive.

Cisco is wearing a Big Bang Theory t-shirt: It is funny because The Flash is the group’s favorite superhero on Big Bang, and they always try to dress up as him when there is a costume party.

Hush Comics gives ” Crazy for You” a B+ for more references to the future of Cisco, amping up screen time for Caitlin, and teasing more of Gorilla Grodd.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment. They are credited to Katie Yu.

The Flash Review – “The Sound and the Fury” S1E11

Pros:

The Anti-Wells: I like the addition of the Pied Piper as a counterpart to Harrison Wells. He’s the only one as smart as Wells and the only one that understands the full consequences of the particle accelerator. And he knows all the secrets. Also Andy Mientus portrays the character very well.

The Flash - The Sound and the Fury

Joe looks deeper: It’s good to see that one of the characters doesn’t trust Harrison with unlimited power. After everything that has happened surrounding Wells, it’s hard to understand why they aren’t more suspicious of him. It seems Barry always just brushes off the circumstances every time something new comes up.

Cisco learns not to trust everyone: For the majority of the show Cisco has come off as a cheerleader for Wells. He always seems to blindly follow him and see things with rose tinted glasses. It’s about time that we see a little growth in Cisco with a better understanding of who Wells is.

Cons:

Really anticlimactic fights: I enjoyed the addition of the Pied Piper as a whole character but having someone who can run faster than the speed of sound fight someone whose weapon is sound leads to really boring encounters. Removing one of the fight scenes and a little more creative writing would have served better to the story than what was essentially the same exact fight twice in one episode.

Dr. Wells shows no evidence of super speed: Other than the actual bursts of speed we see, there are no other signs of his ability. Unlike Barry, Dr. Wells doesn’t seem to need to take in the calories that Barry does to keep himself going. You would think for someone who is just learning how to handle this ability, he’d have to have a supply of snacks at all times. His team would obviously notice all the junk food wrappers hanging around. It’s just an inconsistency that bothers me.

The Flash - The Sound and the Fury

The big reveal didn’t matter: Harrison comes clean and admits to the entirety of Central City that he knew the particle accelerator could be dangerous to actually run. But for the viewers, this comes as no surprise. Presumably, Wells has had his digital crystal ball for some time, so we know that he knew what would happen when he started his meta-human making machine.

Why would you do that?!: This isn’t so much a con as it is a slight gripe. Why on Earth would you ever go out of your way to fix the bad guy’s weapon? It could literally shake you to pieces but yeah let’s go ahead make sure it’s in tip top condition. facepalm

Easter Eggs:

Iris gets a real job: It’s nice to see that Iris is now employed by the Central City Picture News. She’s the little reporter who… I don’t care. Sorry Iris, it’s true.

Harrison Wells must have received a message from Oliver Queen: In what I’m sure was a nod to Arrow, Harrison publicly admits that he “failed this city”.

The Royal Flush Gang: So the gang spans more than just Starling City. You might best know them as the guys Max Lord (Booster Gold) paid off to take a fall so he’d get noticed by the Justice League International.

Cisco’s T-Shirt: Cisco feels like a character there to make nerds feel good. His shirt in the flashbacks “Stay Calm and Han Shot First” is another friendly reminder of that.

Predictions:

Wells’ reveal: He’s now being investigated by Joe and using short bursts of super speed at his leisure. It’s just a matter of time before everyone knows what’s going on. With his fancy chest claw slowly absorbing the power that Barry puts out, he’s working his way to probably be Professor Zoom. Hell, he’s already a doctor. With the ability to see through time with his handy computer lady, it’s not too much of a jump to think Wells will soon have the speed he’s looking for and be able to travel back in time to set in motion Barry becoming The Flash by murdering his mother. The other option would be that he empowers the suit and gives it to Eddie to have him do it, which would be a little more closely tied to the comics.

Hush Comics gives “The Sound and the Fury” a C+. It was one of the weaker episodes so far in the series, but it did open up some more doors for thought.

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All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Diyah Pera and Katie Yu.

The Flash Review – “Revenge of the Rogues” S1E10

We are back in full swing from the holiday break and ready to start the midseason premieres of many of our favorite shows. The Flash is kind enough to give us not one, but two villains from his rouges list, not really answer any of the cliffhangers from the mid-season finale, and deliver multiple high and low points.

Pros:

Barry Allen is actively training to become faster: With the events of the Flashpoint Paradox ever looming on the horizon, the Barry we know today is a far cry from the fastest man alive who is able to outrun time itself. What makes this training so awesome is that unlike Smallville, where the manifestation of new powers was often due to puberty or some random stimuli, we see Barry actively and welcomingly trying to push the boundaries of what he is capable of. I can’t wait to see him vibrate through a wall or realize that he is impervious to bullets using the same technique.

The Flash - Revenge of the Rogues

We might finally see a real purpose for Caitlin Snow: Caitlin has largely been a useless character for the first half of the season, she isn’t as cool as Cisco nor is she as smart as Dr. Wells, so we are left with a character with a no real purpose. She isn’t even a potential love interest at this point. It was a nice change of pace to see her character get a larger part in a side story that can showcase a little more of her skills.

The Flash is revealed: The Red blur is a thing of the past and now the entire world will know about The Flash and what he is capable of. As with any superhero story, this is very important as it will undoubtedly bring more villains to the city, which is always a good thing because he has so many interesting villains to choose from.

The special effects remain as awesome as ever: As things progress there will always be the possibility that something will be poorly CGI’d or there will be something that won’t translate well from the comics. This has not been the case so far and based on how things have progressed, it won’t be a problem in the near future. I couldn’t ask for more with the way they’ve handled The Flash’s movement and powers overall.

Cons:

Captain Cold and Heat Wave perform some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen: I may be alone in this, but the performances of both Captain Cold and Heat Wave were cringe worthy at best. It is harder to say which was worse, the exceptionally terrible lack of personality from the wannabe Terminator…. I mean Captain Cold or the over-acted craziness of Heat Wave. It gave me genuine discomfort watching acting that was so terrible and forced. It is a real shame because the acting is usually top notch all around.

The Flash - Revenge of the Rogues

The situation between Iris and Barry was resolved terribly: I wasn’t expecting Iris to leave Eddie and be with Barry right away, but they made such a big deal about it last episode that sweeping it under the rug feels like a genuine disservice to the situation at hand. You can see the future Barry…….really? At least Barry’s relationship with Joe West is stronger than ever……they are now roomies.

Still no further clarification about Dr. Wells’ alternate agenda: It is obvious that he is trying to help Barry fulfill his destiny, but continuing to raise more questions with almost zero answers can be a little irritating. I know all will be answered in time but they made it such focal point of the mid-season finale and just like the Iris situation, left it poorly addressed.

Easter Eggs:

The Rathaways: We have no son … that statement will come back to bite them in the asses as soon as the next episode. These two were the people who purchased the painting for 25 million and their son will be the villain in next week’s episode. The Pied Piper will show up and while it’s unclear if the parents will be involved in the episode, but it’s an interesting way of foreshadowing the next episode as it could have easily been any pair of millionaires.

The Golden Glider: This episode ends with no introduction, but just a taste of yet another future member of the rouges gallery. Lisa Snart, also known as The Golden Glider, has a few different variations on her character so it will be interesting to see what they do with her as a villain. One of her variations is an astral form, but since Captain Cold is using a gun instead of supernatural powers, it’s safe to say that probably isn’t going to be how she is introduced.

Jason Rush and Mercury Labs: Jason Rush is actually the other half of Firestorm in the comics, so it will be interesting to see how his character develops. It is possible with the way they are manipulating things that he could be an unfortunate victim of that, but who knows. For now it seems he isn’t a part of the Firestorm matrix.

Space Ghost: In Barry Allen’s lost nerd survival kit, there are issues of “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” comics.

Predictions:

The true identity of Dr. Wells: At the mid-season finale, I was convinced that he could actually be Mirror Master, which would explain why he was in two places at once, but after looking at the suit in the very last scene, saw that it looked mechanical in nature. This would point to him actually being Professor Zoom, who got his powers from the suit itself. After this episode, I am pretty convinced that he is the actual Reverse-Flash as he was about to stand up and save Barry with super speed that he wouldn’t have had time to get from the suit. Both Zoom and Reverse-Flash wanted to make Barry a better Flash, so it will be interesting to see how they go forward with this character. Maybe they will blend the two villains into one.

Gorilla Grodd!!: He was briefly mentioned and actually shown last episode, but we have no mention of him this episode. I think we will definitely see him this season, though.

Hush Comics gives “Revenge of the Rogues” a B for a great return, but the acting held back the episode from its full potential.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Dean Buscher and Cate Cameron.

The Flash Review – “Power Outage” S1E7

This week Barry Allen got a case of the yips. After an unfortunate run in with Blackout, he finds himself severely drained, both with his power and his psyche. Apparently even super powers rely on mind over matter.

Grant Gustin keeps up the good job; he’s always likeable, even if he’s a bit whiny sometimes. Though for the most part he’s great. This week he has to be strong without being The Flash, which he does successfully. He shows that he’s going to the moral fulcrum for the show. He’s definitely a paragon of goodness, for now. Keep it up Gustin!

I'm Barry Allen, bad ass in the best lighting.
I’m Barry Allen, bad ass in the best lighting.

The secondary characters are pretty solid this week, more so than in past weeks. Tom Cavanaugh really stepped it up. Dr. Wells showed his true colors, even if they are a little on the dark side. His willingness to sacrifice others to protect Barry is not so nice but sacrificing himself is kind of noble. Don’t worry; he’s not dead. As we see he’s actually very desperate to keep Barry alive and keep him speedy. This is one of the few episodes I really felt how Dr. Wells feels, and it’s a good thing. I don’t like how cozy Cisco is to him; I still don’t trust that Cisco. Caitlin, Joe, Iris, and Tony don’t have a lot going on this episode, even if most of them were involved in a hostage situation and Tony has been shot. That’s about all that happens. Oh, but we do get to see that Iris can handle herself.

You know, that I'm no good.
You know, that I’m no good.

Now for the bad guys, that’s right … two! First we have Blackout, who did not live long enough to get his moniker. He’s a very tragic bad guy. Changed during the particle accelerator incident, he knows his friends died trying to save him, electrocuted trying to perform CPR. Now he hungers for energy constantly and wants revenge of Harrison for the death of his friends. He isn’t completely heartless; Barry has a modicum of success just trying to reason with him. He’s angry, and he’s essentially always constantly dying.

The tragic Blackout.  But how cool do his eyes look?!
The tragic Blackout. But how cool do his eyes look?!

The other villain is a returning one from Arrow, so that’s neat. We get to see The Clock King again. This time he does his best to escape his police bondage, and he does. He takes a handful of people hostage at the police station in an attempt to escape, including Joe, Iris, and Eddie. He shoots Eddie, by the way. The Clock King is just a fun character; he’s crazy he’s eccentric and is completely out for himself. He might be evil, but he’s just too much fun not to like. And he shoots Eddie Thawne!

Don't they look like they are in time out right now?
Don’t they look like they are in time out right now?

And this:

  • How does Barry speed up how fast a coffee pot brews?
  • We hear Dr. Wells acknowledge that Barry reaches his potential when people he cares about are in danger. This isn’t good for someone.
  • Iris steps up and saves herself; maybe we’ll see her take on a stronger role, which would be good for her character.
  • Again I am given the feeling that Cisco is a little too close to Dr. Wells, he can’t seem to let Wells go.
  • We’re reminded that someone is out for Joe, he’s clearly shaken by these threats.
  • Blackout seems to need energy almost 24/7 it’s been almost a year since the disaster, why hasn’t this come up before?
  • We lost one of the two meta human bad guys captured alive, I think someone doesn’t want them around.

Hush Comics gives “Power Outage” an A-. I really like where The Flash is headed with character development. Barry is coming out as a true hero, truly looking out for everyone, even old foes. Dr. Wells is becoming a little deeper of a character. I’m dying to see what his ultimate plans are. He sees into the future, he’ll sacrifice anyone to save Barry, and he’s clearly up to something really dastardly.

All pictures belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Diyah Pera.

The Flash Review – “The Flash is Born” S1E6

This week’s The Flash definitely opened up A LOT of doors for the wide range of possibilities going on.  While many of the characters remain stagnant in development, the cliffhanger at the end was a shocker.  The dialogue is getting better, and overall it looks like they really could squeeze more than a season out of this show.  So here are my pros and cons of “The Flash is Born.”

The Flash - The Flash is Born
This is a totally meme worthy photo. 

Pros:

Cisco Ramon: Dear Cisco Ramon,  I love you.  You are the quintessential adorkable character.  You are better than Sheldon Cooper could ever hope to be. When you geeked out about Barry hitting Mach 1, I geeked out, too.  When you were serious about going after your childhood bully, I hoped that it would happen.  You are the sole reason I keep coming back every week. Also, your t-shirts rock.  Love, Adrian at Hush Comics.

Girder sticks around: Wow!  They didn’t kill a character this week.  Maybe because they can’t figure out how to kill him, but still.  It’s a step.

Iris West when she was little: Is anyone else wishing that Iris West now would have the gall she did as a little girl?  She sure wasn’t a damsel in distress when she punched Barry when they were kids.  Let’s hope this part of her nature shows up again soon.

Detective Joe West: Ok Joe, I really like you too.  Not only are you played by an amazing actor, Jesse L. Martin, but you are the perfect blend of caring father and tough cop.  I particularly liked the line, “This particle accelerator is the gift that keeps on giving.”  But mostly I enjoyed that you actually did your detective work on Harrison Wells because that guy just ain’t right.

The dark twist: It sounds strange, but I loved that twist at the end.  All of Joe West’s work on Nora Allen’s death is stolen by the same meta-human who killed her, and then they left a picture of Iris with a knife sticking through it, in her chest, hanging on the wall.  Creepy? Very.  But going to a dark place will be good for this show.

Cons:

Barry isn’t the best at this yet: Barry Allen needs a Yoda.  Basically, he kind of sucks at this whole superhero thing as of right now.  He has killed his fair share of foes, yet feels no remorse, which seems out of character for a man who cares so much about everyone else on the show.  And this episode, he risked a lot by running in front of Eddie Thawne and their perp.  It is only a matter of time before Eddie figures out that Barry and The Streak/ The Flash are the same guy.  Not to mention, that in the fight scene with Tony Woodward/Girder, Barry didn’t tell Iris to run from the scene, and when Barry and Tony were fighting each other with a flag pole, Barry didn’t let go, which would have saved him some damage.  The force is weak with this one.

Those special effects: The beginning of the series had some pretty cool special effects.  I know that this show is on a network that has a small budget, but with all the talk about the Mach-1 stuff, I was pretty excited for the special effects, but instead felt like I was watching The Flash from the 90’s.  Step it up, C-Dub!

Not only is Girder made of steel, he can do bad ass things like flip semi-light shelving units!
Not only is Girder made of steel, he can do bad ass things like flip semi-light shelving units!

Easter Egg Hunt:

Girder, Man of Steel: The baddie of the week was Tony Woodward, aka Girder.  He was created by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver.  As in the show, he was in an accident where he fell into molten steel, and then be literally becomes steel.  The show added the twist of him being Barry’s grade-school bully. Harrison Wells referred to Girder as “Man of Steel,” a smile-worthy nod to Superman.

Nice of you to show up, Barry: Barry shows up late to work, a habit Barry Allen is known for.  Funny considering he is the fastest man alive.

Garrick’s Wharf: Barry and Eddie are led to a microbrewery to look for Girder’s whereabouts.  The microbrewery is on Garrick’s Wharf, a reference to the first Flash, Jay Garrick.

Heat Wave is coming: With excitement in her voice, Iris tells Barry not only about The Streak, but about a man who is one fire but doesn’t burn.  This is our second reference to Mick Rory aka Heat Wave.  We know he is played by Dominic Purcell, but when is he coming is the question?

Predictions:

This episode opened up many different cans of worms.  Who is Harrison Wells?  What is his past? And does he know about who killed Nora Allen?

Bustle released an article this week with their prediction, which is pretty good.  To sum it up, they say that Harrison’s mysterious wife, Tess Morgan, is a meta-human, was the first meta-human, and is a suspect in the murder of Nora.  While this would explain a lot of things, it does not explain that the killer is in a yellow suit and has the same power as The Flash.  It also does not explain Eddie Thawne’s role in all this.  It also doesn’t explain how Harrison has a newspaper from the future.

Tess Morgan maybe presumed dead, but I think she is the time traveler.  It has been theorized by many fans that Harrison Wells is traveling time, but we have no evidence of this.  In addition, Eddie Thawne seems too nice to be Reverse Flash… yet.  It feels like the writers are trying to develop him in the same manner as Lex Luthor in Smallville was developed.  So what if Nora’s killer is Reverse Flash aka Eddie Thawne, but current Eddie Thawne doesn’t know who he is in the future?  And what if Nora is in the future already and sending information to Wells to orchestrate whatever their master plan is?  Cue evil laugh here!

Hush Comics gives “The Flash is Born” an A- for good use of the “side” characters, revealing more about its enigmatic characters, and appealing to the nerds.

All pictures belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Cate Cameron.

The Flash Review – “Plastique” S1S5

I hate to say it, but this week’s episode of The Flash, “Plastique”, did not impress me.  Between the reckless amount of murder and attempted murder, the weak writing of the relationship between Iris West and Barry Allen, and Harrison Wells being so obviously immoral, it felt like more of a set back than going forward with the story-telling (other than the revelation about a very famous Flash enemy shown in the last scene).

Every episode of The Flash begins and ends with a voice over monologue by Barry Allen, telling us things he has learned, which is usually charming, but this week, I felt it didn’t really fit in with what the episode was about, albeit, I’m not sure I, or the writers, know what the point of this episode was.  Barry talks about his friends, how he met them, and how sometimes friends come and go.  He met a potential new friend in Bette Sans Souci, fellow meta-human, his friendship with Caitlin and Cisco remained the same, and he lost a friend in Iris West.  However, it wasn’t Barry’s friendships that defined the episode, but I’ll get to that later.

Iris "cheers"ing, but I'm not falling for this girl just yet.
Iris “cheers”ing, but I’m not falling for this girl just yet.

The plot line that was supposed to garner the most emotion was the “break-up” of Barry and Iris.  Joe West was very concerned with his daughter’s obsession with the so-called “Streak” and her blog dedicated to him.  Because Joe thought it was Barry’s fault that Iris was writing the blog (which it sounds like nobody reads), he makes Barry go talk to Iris at an inopportune time, which only forces her into a further obsession.  It seems ridiculous that Joe would be so upset about her hobby, considering that at the beginning of the episode, her name was not attached to it.  Barry’s conversation with her made things worse, and she decided to put her name on it.  How idiotic!  Barry shows up to her work as The Flash, and talks to her, but when she doesn’t relent, Barry goes to talk to her and tells her they can’t hang out anymore.  The writing for this episode alone was bad, but it brought up a plot point that is inherently problematic.

Comic fans know Iris West as Barry’s future wife. It still seems as though the show is trying to head in that direction, but in a really roundabout way.  In addition, it feels icky that Barry and Iris were raised together like brother and sister.  It is understandable that Barry would love her, but their relationship seems too familial.  Because of that, it didn’t feel like their “break-up” is going to last long, is heart wrenching, or is worthy of time in the show.

Bette Sans Souci as Plastique.  Meta human, therefore, worthless in the eyes of the writers.
Bette Sans Souci as Plastique. Meta human, therefore, worthless in the eyes of the writers.

The rest of the episode spent time (slightly) focused on its namesake, Plastique herself.  Bette Sans Souci, an Iraqi vet who was involved in a car bomb accident in the war, starts making a name for herself by sending explosives at the people who experimented on her, including General Eiling.  Bette, aka Plastique, can detonate literally anything with the touch of her hand.  She is trying to get information on how she got her powers. When she is found by The Flash and his team, she tells them she thought General Eiling was the one to make her this way.  This was another thing about the episode that didn’t make too much sense: if Eiling was experimenting on her before she had her meta human powers, why was she an asset to him?  If I’m missing something, let me know.

The most disturbing thing about Plastique’s appearance, other than her bad acting, was the fact that Wells, Cisco and Caitlin were so cavalier about not caring about Plastique’s well-being, despite Barry’s reasoning that she isn’t purposefully hurting anyone.  While Cisco has a crush on the pretty meta human, all three S.T.A.R. Labs employees make it crystal clear that she is dangerous and must be stopped.  When Wells convinced Plastique to go on a suicide mission of killing General Eiling (again, such a casual attitude towards murder) it became even clearer to the audience that unlike its parent show, Arrow, no one in Central City gives a single *bleep* about people’s lives.  The reckless abandon given specifically to meta humans is appalling.  It is hard to believe that this would go unnoticed, and that a man like Barry, who is so driven to do good doesn’t see the flaw in killing.  Guess he still has yet to meet Batman, so his sense of justice is a little skewed.

Eiling is bad, but is Wells worse?
Eiling is bad, but is Wells worse?

Speaking of skewed, I am about sick of Harrison Wells.  Every episode has given a little teaser into his lies.  The pilot episode gave the best tease, but there has been nothing of consequence since.  This episode alludes to Wells being bad, something we already knew, but forced the issue with long stares into the camera and ominous music as the camera pans up to his face.  While Wells seems to take the high road by breaking ties with Eiling in the flashbacks, Wells reveals he has other plans with SPOILER: Gorilla Grodd.  While this is the most progressive moment this week, it still revealed nothing about Wells.  It’s time to stop with the small reveals and get to the point.

But perhaps my biggest beef with this episode, and quite possibly the show as a whole, is lack of character development, particularly with the women.  Yes, every week I roll my eyes when watching Laurel in Arrow.  I don’t really care for Thea.  I also think that the writers rely too much on Felicity to be the female voice.  However, ALL these women are carefully crafted.  None of them are the same woman they were when they entered the show.  Currently, only Iris and Caitlin are the female voice in The Flash.  While Caitlin is a scientist, she has little to no personality.  Iris makes up for the personality, and other than her mission to help Barry solve his mother’s death, she seems incredibly shallow.  This week, there was the potential for a really cool female character in Plastique, only for her to be senselessly killed off.  Ugh.

And this:

  • Cisco Ramon saved the episode from being a total wash by appealing to every collector by saying “I have two but I loved that one”  when referring to Barry getting his suit blown up.
  • In an attempt to save a window washer, Barry thinks that stacking up a bunch of mattresses will save him.  Part of me wishes he would have tried that instead of running up the building.
  • How is it that regular humans can handle the high velocity The Flash maintains when he saves them?  Wouldn’t they at the least vomit?
  • Joe West comments that trouble must mean it’s a Tuesday in Central City.  Buffy fans rejoiced on the use of that line.
  • Cisco wanted to test Plastique’s powers with the use of a boomarang. LOL.
  • Where does Barry live?  In his lab thing?  That needs to be clarified.

Hush Comics gives “Plastique” a for its lack of character development, willingness to kill off so many meta humans, and its needless attention to Barry and Iris, who seem to be going nowhere.

Easter Egg Hunt:

Captain Atom: General Eiling is clearly a baddie, but he is also known as The General.  He blackmails Nathaniel Adam, aka Captain Atom, into joining an atomic experiment.  While Nathaniel is gone, The General Single White Female‘s Nathaniel, stealing his away his wife and kids.

Captain Atom, again: The doctor that Plastique goes to visit is named Dr. Harold Hadley.  He was one of the doctors who was part of the Captain Atom experiment team.

Captain Atom, one more time: When the team is looking into Bette Sans Souci, her emergency contact is named Cameron Scott. Cameron Scott is the real name of Nathaniel Adam.

Captain Atom… just kidding! Gorilla Grodd: The episode ends with Wells telling the ape that Wells has plans for him.  Gorilla Grodd is one of the more famous Flash villains, only proving further that Wells isn’t the good guy.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Cate Cameron and Jack Rowland.

The Flash Review – “Going Rogue” S1E4

When I saw that not only was Captain Cold going to make his first appearance in this week’s episode of The Flash, but that Felicity Smoak was going to be in Central City, I was really excited for “Going Rogue.”  But I walked away feeling like this was a mediocre episode. Captain Cold was an awesome villain, and surely will continue to be, but the rest of the story line fell a little flat.

There could be a number of reasons about why this episode felt like it didn’t have enough umph, but Felicity actually summed it up quite well.  She told Barry that her group in Starling City didn’t come together overnight and that it took awhile for the trust to be built among the heroes there. It suddenly dawned on me that Barry’s group at S.T.A.R. Labs don’t have a lot of depth.  Harrison is mysterious, but unbeknownst to Barry, Caitlin has a bit of a cold heart, and Cisco is the lovable goof.  We had a glimpse into Caitlin and Cisco last week, but I still feel like we could get more. It also does seem a little strange that for someone who works for the police department, Barry is so trusting of all three of them.  This week they seemed to be filler, and for the group that is supposed to help Barry be the best he can be, they should not be treated as filler.

I may be in the background, but I'll suck you up!
I may be in the background, but I’ll suck you up!

And is it just me or is there too much emphasis on Iris and Eddie when it seems to be going nowhere.  The beginning of the series made it seem like Eddie was about to Single White Female Barry.  That story line seems to have dropped and now its all about how often we can see Iris and Eddie kiss, or how their relationship upsets Joe West.  I am hopeful that little hint about Eddie not knowing what the freaking Millennium Falcon (who doesn’t know that?!) was during the trivia night scene will bloom into a deeper story for Eddie Thawne.  Especially if he really is supposed to be Reverse Flash.

It was hard to tell who was supposed to be taking center stage in this episode, Felicity Smoak or Leonard Snart.  As much as I love Felicity, her appearance was a distraction.  The Flash has a large cast, many of them we don’t know very well yet, and this week, only four episodes in, Felicity swoops in and takes all the attention away from characters I am interested in getting to know.  Felicity comes in to check on her “friend” Barry after he wakes from his coma, but otherwise there wasn’t a lot of story going on.  Barry showed off for her, a lot.  She wore an array of hot dresses, a lot.  And the whole build up was for a kiss at the end, which if you are keeping up with Arrow, was a bit confusing.  It felt like the writers were trying to say “Hey Felicity and Barry belong together, but that will never happen. They will kiss to appease fans, but nothing will come of this other than a few crossovers with some quirky lines of dialogue.”  I guess I felt gypped because Felicity is an amazing character, and she had some really cute lines in this episode, but she cannot carry both shows.  It became even more obvious to me that The Flash needs a strong female to be the “Felicity” and Iris nor Caitlin are able to do that.

Would it be too much to ask that Felicity were on both shows?!
Would it be too much to ask that Felicity were on both shows?!

Despite my disappointment with the rest of the episode, I was extremely impressed with Captain Cold.  Wentworth Miller is no stranger to the small screen and pulled off the character with ease. Captain Cold is smart, calculating, and ruthless.  What’s not to love?  He is the first baddie we have met that doesn’t have meta human abilities, which makes him just a little bit scarier.  I particularly loved his scene when he talks about how far away police are from each bank and how no one could have gotten to the crime scene so quickly.  He clearly is better than the Central City Police Department (minus Joe West) at thinking about who could be saving so many people.  And realizing that Barry can’t not saving people and then derailing the train was brilliant.  The end was exciting because Captain Cold is starting to assemble The Rogues, what the episode was named after.  It looks like Heat Wave will be just the beginning for the group that Barry Allen will have to battle.  I love a good bad guy, and I have a feeling Miller’s Captain Cold will be one for the books.

Cool guys always stand in front of fire.
Cool guys always stand in front of fire.

And this:

  • Barry tests his abilities on his day off by playing ping-pong, timed chess and Operation.  Best. Day. Ever.
  • Harrison Wells is a dick for no reason. (ok, maybe there is a reason)
  • Cisco made the cold gun (its a freeze ray, people).  Maybe we should be focusing more on his capabilities because that is pretty badass.
  • Barry finally thought that calling himself The Flash was a good idea.
  • The show still doesn’t take itself too seriously *cough Gotham cough*.  The exchange between Barry and Iris about telling her about police work was fas and fun, and  what other shows need to do.
  • Barry’s shoes finally caught on fire.
  • Felicity referenced Arrow on his salmon ladder, because, yes please.
  • Cisco really won the day by using a vacuum.  I only hope my Dyson can win my day.

Hush Comics gives “Going Rogue” a B-, for relying on the cuteness of Felicity to pull the story, lack of depth in any of the main characters, but for Wentworth Miller making a freeze ray look so deliciously evil.

Easter Egg Hunt:

Things will be warming up in Central City: As mentioned before, the end scene shows Captain Cold recruiting a man named Mick to join his cause.  Mick can be assumed to be Mick Rory, aka Heat Wave, one of the main Rogues and nemesis of The Flash.  In addition, he is played by Dominic Purcell, who was Wentworth Miller’s co-star on Prison Break.

Ooooo, Shiny!: The diamond that Captain Cold was trying to steal was the Kahndaq Dynasty Diamond.  Kahndaq happens to be where Black Adam is from.

Diggle:  Ok, Diggle wasn’t in this episode, but his old security firm was.  The armored vehicle holding the Kahndaq Dynasty Diamond was a Blackhawk Squad Security car.

Street names always matter!: Crime always happens at a cross street.  This week was 4th and Kolins, a nod to The Flash artist Scott Kolins.

Night at the Museum: The curator who calls the police about Leonard Snart being at the museum was wearing a name tag that read “Dexter Myles.”  Mr. Myles happens to be the man who opens the Flash Museum.

All pictures belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  The are credited to Cate Cameron.

 

The Flash Review – “Things You Can’t Outrun” S1E3

So episode three of The Flash, “Things You Can’t Outrun” aired last night. First off let me preface this by saying I’m legitimately enjoying this show. Barry is a delightful character and there is a decent supporting cast. The setting is a little shallow though. We’re never really given a feel for Central City. Unlike comparable shows like Gotham and Arrow where we know a lot about their respectable locations, Central City feels sterile and boring. Obviously this is only the third episode so there is plenty of time for that to change.

Don't worry these other characters are just a bad dream.
Don’t worry. These other characters are just a bad dream.

Grant Gustin, or as I like to call him, American Andrew Garfield, is delightful. He’s quirky and fun and plays the role well. In this episode, we see Barry, like most superheroes eventually, question themselves and how much they can do. The old adage of “You can’t save everyone” comes up as a big focal point this week, and not just for Barry. I’m hoping this trope won’t stick around too long. Sometimes the world’s fastest man just isn’t fast enough. When Gustin says “I should have been faster” you do feel for him. He really is a very strong part of the series. This episode made me root for him a little harder.

The big bad this week is The Mist, whom as far as I can tell has never fought The Flash before, and is kind of obscure. If you know Starman, you might have heard of The Mist, but if you’re like me this is your first encounter with him. I like him, he’s kind of a tragic character, too. So Kyle Nimbus was a prisoner being executed the night of the particle accelerator mishap. He is put to death via the gas chamber and his meta human ability is to transform into poisonous gas. So he has to spend his life being forever connected to the very thing that killed him. He uses this ability to take out people responsible for him winding up in jail.

FLA103c_0201b
Detective Joe West hurts on the outside and the inside.

My favorite part of this episode, and probably the best character who’s not Barry, Is Jessie L. Martin as Detective Joe Martin. He finally comes to terms about wrongfully imprisoning Barry’s father. He relives the police interrogation where Henry Allen is calling out to Joe for help. Later on, he visits Henry in prison in an effort to reach out to him. His portrayal is heartfelt and real. Martin brings some very much appreciated real emotion to the show.

FLA103a_0190b
No one cares about your story.

For me, the weak point of the show is the STAR Labs employees, which sadly includes Tom Cavanagh. They are droll and not very compelling. We get a little background on Caitlins’ fiance, which fails to add any real depth to her character or make me care about her. Cisco is still basically comic relief, but they tried to open him up a little bit this episode. He was there when Caitlins’ fiancé died; he’s actually the one who closed the door behind him. The ever evil Harrison Wells, played by the usually good Cavanagh is really bringing up the rear. They showed that he has been on the up and up since the end of the first episode and that trend continues here with us finding out that he knew about Barry Allen even before Barry was The Flash. As they say, the plot thickens, but still not really.

  • Where does Barry shop? Personally, I wouldn’t wear The Flash costume if my clothes stayed together at supersonic speeds.
  • Caitlin’s fiancé is not going to be so dead, and will be a meta human, calling it now.
  • Harrison Wells may be centuries old if the little hint they give in the flashback mean anything. Maybe he knew exactly what he was doing and is trying to create more meta humans.
  • And for that matter I don’t completely trust Cisco.
  • 50/50 chance of either Iris dying or her boyfriend. One is a little more compelling than the other.
  • If The Mist can transform faster than Barry can punch him, does that me he’s super fast too?
  • Finally, one meta human they haven’t killed!

Hush Comics gives The Flash “Things You Can’t Outrun” a B. Lead by a few strong characters The Flash is quickly becoming one of my favorite shows. Grant Gustin is very likable and relatable. There were a few snags with poorly written side characters. The bad guys are interesting but still fairly shallow, and so far they’ve been one hit wonders. I’m waiting for a little more intriguing plot, but it’s still early and there is lots of time.

 

Easter Egg Hunt (spoilers ahead)

The Flash Museum: It’s not like Barry Allen would ever be so braggadocios as to need a museum as a tribute to himself. Oh wait, yes he does. As a tribute to the Fastest Man Alive, Central City has built a museum in his honor. The museum, which has been destroyed multiple times in its nearly fifty year history, is full of memorabilia from encounters with Flash’s rogues gallery and a working Cosmic Treadmill – it’s basically a big “F U” to his enemies.

Metahuman prison: The idea of building special facilities to house metahumans is not a new one. Since we know that gathering them in the bottom of the abandoned particle accelerator can only spell certain doom for our team, there’s a good chance that these metahumans will be relocated sooner or later. Our guess is that this will most likely be to Belle Reve, which despite its country club-sounding name, is the prison that holds The Suicide Squad, whose members (Deadshot, Harley Quinn, etc) have made appearances in the CW-verse. There’s a good chance that the bad guys that don’t manage to end up splattered on the ground or shot at will end up coming back in one facet or another.

Speaking of DOOM…: When Barry is busy friend-zoning it up with Iris at the movie theater, the marquee has a distinct message for viewers. One of the movies reads The Rita Farr Story, named appropriately after the DOOM Patrol’s Elasti-Girl, the mentally-fragile former stunt-woman. Another stuntman in his days is the Blue Devil, referenced here by the film Blue Devil II: Hell to Pay.

Fire & Ice: While this reference was just sly enough not to be cheesy, I couldn’t help giggle at Caitlin’s mention of her and Ronnie Raymond (played by RoBBie Amell, the Arrow’s cousin) reacting like “fire and ice.” Each episode gets us closer and closer to the emergence of FireStorm, and perhaps the downfall of Killer Frost. Only time will tell.

Cisco, the resident DC Historian: By now, Cisco Ramon not only makes all the toys, but he seems to name all the bad guys, too. The guy has a knack for naming these totally crazy bad guys after comic book characters all over the DCU. Call it a gift, but Cisco seems to find the perfect name for all the metahumans that Barry runs across. It not only adds to his charm, but makes it cool to know just a little too much about comic books. First appearing in the 1940’s (Adventure Comics #67), Kyle Nimbus (ha… Nimbus) has the power to turn into any gaseous form, reminding us of a very important lesson – never trust Canadians.