Part rom-com part crime drama, this week’s episode of The Flash is a mixed bag of emotional beats and comic moments. Barry finds himself up against a girl who can teleport. Will he be quick enough to catch her?
This was an enjoyable episode. Out of Arrow, and The Flash, the former is my go-to superhero show. The Flash for all its strengths still feels a tad underwhelming in places. It might well be because of the villain-of-the-week story-lines as opposed to learning all about Reverse Flash. Hopefully season two will tighten things up a bit. With the right level of focused storytelling this show could easily rival Arrow.
It’s hard to pinpoint the main plot here. In one corner we have a teleporting meta-human called Shawna, who teleports her boyfriend out of prison. In another we have Cisco investigating what happened to Ronnie with help from Hartley (Pied Piper from last week’s outing). Finally we have Barry and Caitlin both trying to get back out in the romantic field with mixed results.
Surprisingly it’s Barry and Caitlin’s antics that were more fun to observe. Cisco’s plot gave an interesting revelation about Ronnie, but it feels like a lacklustre pay-off that even Caitlin seems to get over incredibly easily and the whole plot-line feels like a herring of the red variety. What capped this episode was Barry and drunk Caitlin singing karaoke. Of course Barry can sing, Grant Gustin was in Glee after all. Never liked Glee, but seeing Barry enjoying himself and Caitlin being more fun than her usual stoic self was quite a nice change of events even if the latter’s behaviour became increasingly slap-stick.
In a way it’s sad to see these two lonely people trying desperately to have fun for a change. Of course, Barry can’t get drunk, so he plays the sober friend. It’s an interesting sequence that has Barry using his speed to get Caitlin home with her hung-over reappearance in work the next day. Again, it’s fun, but it doesn’t help the inconsistent tone of the episode.
Shawna isn’t especially fleshed out. Her character arc begins with her boring convicted boyfriend and a (referenced in episode) Bonnie and Clyde style thing. I say it’s boring, but that’s harsh. Her fight scenes with Barry are some of the more interesting we’ve seen so far. With her being able to slip through his fingers, it’s an interesting way to see how Barry might fair against Reverse Flash next time the two meet.
Another thing worth mentioning is that Barry meets a girl. While it was pegged as a main point of the episode, it was really only a couple of scenes. It’s made all the more awkward by said girl (Linda) working in the same building as Iris. I’m not sure where they’re taking this one. All I can say is that Barry and Caitlin seem like a more legitimate couple at the moment, indeed in one of the final scenes it looked as though Caitlin might have realised that one herself.
The final scene teases Grodd again. I don’t know much about him from the comics, so I am wondering in what sense a gorilla will be a foe for Barry on par with what we’ve seen to date. I suppose it could be a welcome change from a seemingly endless slew of meta-humans who seem more than happy to commit crimes with their super powers.
It might be better if at some point the team encounters one who is actually trying to do good but can’t control their powers, or something to that effect. But we’ll have to wait and see.
Do you think Barry and Caitlin should be together? Is a gorilla an odd choice of villain when there are super-villains to be found? Let us know what you think in the comments below.