It’s time for another mysterious baddie in The Flash as Barry Allen faces a new villain who can take on the form of a poisonous mist.
The Flash series finally hits its stride in this week’s episode. While the main focus is on this new villain, it also handles everyone else dealing with the aftermath of traumatic events in their past. Barry has to try and figure out how to catch a man made of mist before he can kill again.
The episode begins with Barry and Iris talking, only for Barry to have to run off and stop a crime and return before Iris finishes a phone call. It’s quite a funny moment, especially coupled with Barry declaring he’s famished despite having eaten earlier. “I’ve been jogging,” he says with complete earnestness.
Barry and Joe now see eye to eye on the former’s father being innocent of a murder, but that doesn’t mean they’re on the same page about how to handle it. Barry has to except that while he is now faster at pretty much everything, there’s no guarantee that it will speed up getting his father out of prison.
Caitlin meanwhile is dealing with a wave of flashbacks to the night the particle accelerator was turned on and her fiancé Ronnie died. Normally dramatic flashbacks like that could be overwrought but here it’s downplayed to a quietly sad moment. Cisco too, is having similar experiences and his involvement was considerably more direct, as he was the one who had to seal Ronnie in the accelerator to contain the problems that could have killed a lot of people.
What makes this episode work is the prevailing feeling of bad memories and guilt. Joe, now realising that Barry was right all along about his father’s innocence is struggling with the guilt of all those years spent believing that Barry was just protecting his father.
The conflict comes in the form of Kyle Nimbus (a.k.a The Mist). Straight off the special effects on his misty powers are superbly done, and while his character is lacking, his ability to take people’s breath away (somewhat literally) is a legitimately terrifying power. Having said that, as with previous villains, his character development boils down to revenge. In what can only be described as a contrived coincidence, the final person on his list is Joe West.
It’s also refreshing to see a show about the fastest man alive finally slowing down for some quiet moments. It’s strange to think that Barry and Caitlin have considerably better chemistry than he does with Iris, as he is able to get her to open up about her feelings on the night where everything went wrong. Dr Wells is also stepping up to support, offering Cisco the chance to talk about it when he can see the young man is troubled.
Perhaps the biggest change of things this week is the utilising of the particle accelerator to use as a prison for meta-humans until they can reverse their powers. So finally a villain of the week is not killed outright. The only awkward thing about it is that this one is a hit-man and a creepy one at that. Still, this does present the opportunity to keep the villains alive for a possible breakout episode later on in the series’ run. The prospect of that alone is exciting stuff.
Dr Wells has, up to this point, ended each episode by doing something sneaky. This week we learn that he was no doubt the one who caused the particle accelerator to malfunction. Whereas before this wasn’t clear cut, we now know he orchestrated the event. The fact that he continues to work with Caitlin and Cisco suggests he views their pain and loss as collateral damage. We’re still not sure how his future knowledge is present, but hopefully this will come to light soon.
Do you think a villain team-up episode is on the cards? Will it form the focus of the season finale? Let us know in the comments below…