TV SHOW: The Flash
SEASON/EPISODE: 1.05 ‘Plastique’
WRITERS: Aaron Helbing, Todd Helbing & Brooke Eikmeier
DIRECTOR: Dermott Downs
Barry has to deal with a Woman whose touch can turn anything or anyone into an explosive, while also trying to dissuade Iris from continuing her blogs about his heroic alter-ego.
Okay so it was bound to happen sooner or later, but we finally have an average episode of The Flash (but that doesn’t mean that it is bad). This show has had a very strong start to it’s maiden-run (more than most shows do), which has made me wonder if a mediocre episode was even possible (and the closest I have seen before now was ’things you can’t outrun’ and that was still good). But this episode had a lot of potential and some really cool moments but ultimately it was a let-down, feeling flat and dull overall when it shouldn’t have been either of those.
First I will write about the good stuff (which there is a lot), firstly I loved watching Barry discover just what he could do if he pushed his abilities to the limit (though the bar will continually grow higher and higher as the show goes on) with him running up walls or across water. Again even the small moments too were interesting like being unable to get drunk due to his increased metabolism, or how fast he was when searching through all those files.
Kudos also to the show for having Clancy Brown as General Eiling (he is another actor that is excellent whatever he is in) though for his first appearance, the General came across as a bit generic but Mr Brown’s performance ensured that you were never bored with his scenes. Also Kelly Frye was also good as Bette Sans (or Plastique as she is called in the Comics), giving us another interesting Meta-human who had some really good moments with Barry and his friends (l loved the moment she made his costume explode).
Joe once again was great this week with his interactions with Barry, with their talk in young Man’s lab being the stand-out moment. Here we find out that he has known all along about Barry’s feelings for his daughter which was a touching moment, as well as getting to see his reaction to the Flash’s disguised voice which was very humorous.
And as I mentioned above, the FX were once again top-notch. For a show so early in it’s first season, it has already created a lot of really stand-out moments (which at this point has the explosion Barry outruns being the best so far) so congrats to the FX team, because they are outdoing themselves at the moment.
Also I loved the ending scene where we got a flashback showing Dr Wells and Eiling’s previous partnership and how it is tied to the test-gorilla called Grodd (who in the comics becomes a super-intelligent villain of Flash’s), it was a great little scene that would have any comics fan eagerly awaiting it’s continuation.
Now onto the not so good stuff (which doesn’t out outnumber the good) and as interesting as Bette was as a sympathetic Meta-human, I felt that her story was a little too under-cooked which would have been fine if we were going to see her again, but then the show just had to go and kill her off (which I guess was to create that great FX sequence). I really hope the series doesn’t make this a trend when it comes to interesting meta-humans, because I was hoping to see her crossover into Arrow’s Suicide Squad.
And I already mentioned about the how generic the General’s story was this week, but I was slightly annoyed by how open Dr Wells was with his intentions to Bette (which was still a well acted out scene and Tom Cavanagh plays dark and evil really well) since he has done a really good job of hiding that side of himself over the past four episodes, but it was nearly all brought into the open when she tried to tell Barry right before she died (which was extremely convenient). I just felt that it was rather rushed, and not needed this early into the show’s storyline.
Now the last thing I was not a fan of either was how the show handled Iris’s first encounter with the Flash (I am not calling him the Streak, that is worse than the ‘Blur’ from Smallville, of course only if you don’t add red-blue before it) which to me felt way to clichéd and similar to scenes we have seen and read multiple times before with superheroes (in fact some of them done it better too, my favourite example being Man of Steel where Lois found out straight away about Clark and his abilities. It may not have been perfect, but it was definitely different and felt more refreshing than what we were used too). Also I don’t really get a feeling of there being any real chemistry between Grant Gustin and Candice Patton (which is crucial when you have two characters who are meant to be a romantic pairing).
Overall what could have been a really good episode (like what we have generally been getting from The Flash week in and week out so far) ended up being rather mediocre, due to the main plot not amounting to much despite such good potential for characters and some great moments littered throughout it’s run time.