Saturday, March 28, 2015

Latest 'Flash' episode review

First of all, here's your only spoiler warning for the DVR and I-don't-watch-"The Flash"-each-week crowd. This review is full of spoilers of events from Tuesday's and last week's episodes. Read the rest at your discretion.

Secondly, as my readers know, I don't normally review mid-season episodes — the exceptions most recently have been the geektastically awesome "The Flash" and "Arrow" team-up episodes and Wednesday's doozie of an "Arrow" episode. So given all that, you gotta know the last two weeks of "The Flash" have inspired me enough to write a review!

Last week's episode really upped the long-term ramifications of Barry Allen accidentally breaking the space-time continuum. (Absolute last chance to avoid a spoiler here!) After all, the Flash ran so fast he broke the time barrier in order to save Central City from a tsunami and found himself one day earlier in the past.

But there were serious lapses in judgement and logic by multiple characters in that same episode -- not to mention lapses in the writing I've come to expect from this series.

Wentworth  Miller plays Captain Cold on "The Flash."
As my ex-girlfriend pointed out, why have Cisco create a wand that hampers Captain Cold's powers if Team Flash doesn't have it with them, much less use it, when the situation calls for it the most? And when Cold was without his powers at the police station, why didn't any officers chase him down? (Keep in mind The Flash was there and he's the Fastest Man Alive!) Or better yet, why didn't The Flash or a quick-thinking officer issue that order?

So I assumed Tuesday's episode was going to correct such stupidity. In other words, since The Flash went back in time, Barry Allen would know what happened when the previous decisions had been made so he'd have a chance to make different ones.

But that wasn't the case. We had a few parts from the previous episode we re-experienced, but I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy a new episode with fresh scenes.

Indeed, Dr. Harrison Wells tells Allen to act, say and do exactly as he would have done before. Of course Allen deviates from that and while the new circumstances means Cisco is saved from possibly fatal injuries and Central City avoids the tsunami, Cisco's life was still in danger and Allen's relationship with Iris West is as complicated as ever.

Yup, Allen buggers it up.

Dr. Harrison Wells is the Reverse-Flash, but what's his endgame?
Wells does a convincing job of trying to talk Allen out of giving him any information about the day he already experienced. (Does this make it an alernate reality? As a matter of fact, what's the long term affect of that?) This is a credit to actor Tom Cavanagh, who does a magnificent job of making us believe his heartfelt affection for Cisco and the rest of Team Flash — and then can be as creepy as hell, especially when he's in his creepy "Braille Room" (a phrase I coined back in mid-December in this ope-ed about the episode "The Man in the Yellow Suit.").

Allen gets so overwhelmed with what has happened, he needs to tell someone. And that someone is Wells, who legitimately has warned him it's important for others not share such information. Or is this actually what Wells wants all along? Has Allen unknowingly given Wells the information he wants?

Because the director of S.T.A.R. Labs sure has been pushing Allen to run faster. And why would he do that, if not for Allen to find out he can move into the past and change history? All this is unclear; we can only hope Wells' motive and endgame become a bit more clear as, um, time passes. As said I in sharing my thoughts once Wells was revealed to be the Reverse-Flash, Cavangah "deftly plays Wells as a sleazeball whom we just can't trust."

"Just about the time I'm halfway considering he might not be might up to something, Wells does something sleazy or threatens someone," I wrote in my review posted Dec. 14.

Keep in mind Wells is obsessed with how the future unfolds. How we knows what he does — specifically how The Flash goes M.I.A. during a crisis in the future — is unclear. We can only speculate.

In Tuesday's episode, Wells again checks to see if newspaper reporting The Flash's disappearance has changed.

Danielle Panabaker plays Caitlin Snow in "The Flash," where she's
proven an invaluable asset to Team Flash.
"If anything changes, alert me immediately," Wells tells his female-voiced computer.

Does that mean he wants the future to stay the same? Or is Wells hoping the future will change?

The newest episode gives us some insight into Cisco's family life (brother jealousy issues anyone?), the acting of actor Carlos Valdes and how much a great friend his co-worker Caitlin Snow is. She volunteers to attend Cisco's brother's birthday party. Cailtin is the one who comes up the brilliant "lightning psychosis" — the reason she gives for Allen's "ESP" and being overly affectionate. Grade: A-

Having seen the previews of Mark Hamill (returning) as The Trickster, I can't wait for Tuesday night!

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