Welcome back to my weekly recaps of The Flash. To read previous coverage, go here.
Despite the fact that quite a bit happened in terms of character development in this weeks episode, more than anything it felt as if The Flash was dragging it’s feet a touch, knowing that the next, Gorilla Grodd themed episodes were going to be action packed and yet they couldn’t go too far in overall season arc concerning what might be Iris’s impending death without spreading the storyline too thin. The result is something that’s a tad slight and redundant, despite the fact that many of the characters seemed to have ended the episode in a better, more productive spot than where they started.
Here are my thoughts.
How many speedsters is too many ?
I’ve voiced my concerns with the Kid Flash character before and my problems don’t lie with the character himself. Wally is oftentimes a breath of fresh air, lighting up the more often than not dour moments the team endures and if the show is committed to demonstrate the full extent of his powers, he could become a formidable hero across the DC television landscape. My problem instead lays with the fact that I’m not sure if the show and its writers have yet learned how to write for more than one speedster and allow both of them to shine at once. This isn’t, for instance, Kid Flash’s show, so he understandably shouldn’t be taking the spotlight from our lead. However, it also won’t work to continue to sideline Wally as if he’s Barry’s sidekick, a move that might have worked if the age difference between the two characters was more apparent but doesn’t with the casting choices they went with. While Speedy or Arsenal made a reasonable sidekick on Arrow , it’s hard to believe Barry as world weary enough to lead Wally as his official leader, and the two do better as competitive teammates than what the show is obviously trying to set up as a mentor and student relationship.
I also can’t shake the feeling that they’re trying to prime Wally for his own spin off series which I won’t dwell on for too long now, but if it ends up being true I’m going to gloat.
Julian is the source of humor we’ve needed this year
With our version(s) of Harrison Wells gone and H.R. taking his place as a less sardonic and more obliviously optimistic version of the character, the show has lost it’s sense of gravitas it often needed to help pull the rest of team Flash back down to earth when they’re plans or emotions got too far ahead of them. While Julian is still desperately trying to fit in with the rest of the team, Tom Felton has already effortlessly eased into that role that we’ve barely realized how much of a positive influence he’s had on the series this year. While I’m not sure yet if I’m 100% on board with what seems to be a looming Caitlin and Julian romance (and fair warning Julian since Caitlin’s love interests always die) I am looking forward to seeing Julian continue to interact with all of the characters in Star Labs as he brings a rightful human point of view to the proceedings.
Oh my god HONESTY is a thing
No shit guys. Characters lying to their loved ones, their teammates, family and friends has been a long running tradition in the superhero lore and it’s one that’s just about exhausted itself in the television canon as audiences grow increasingly annoyed with the hackneyed ways characters are kept of the loop. Joe being told about Iris’s suspected fate and his reaction about them all needing one another and their trust to help not just save his daughter but anyone whose life is on the line rings poignant, even if it’s hard not to think about how he should have thought of this himself in season one when he failed to tell Iris about Barry being the Flash…
Regardless, it’s a truth that’s worth learning not just on this show but in every superhero property to come out after this. Character drama is necessary and conflict can be derived from secrets but the secrets “for their own good” narrative has run it’s course, and it will only better the audiences enjoyment and the characters growth by remembering this.
It was a good, if not great, episode of The Flash that was just about overshadowed immediately by the end tag of Gorilla Grodd.