Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Flash Season 1, Episode 3: Things You Can't Outrun

This week the Flash takes a bit of a backseat in his own series as we focus on the supporting cast, namely Cisco, Caitlin and her previously mentioned but never seen until now dead fiancé, Ronnie Raymond. Iris, Eddie, Joe and Henry (Barry's dad) all have their moments as well.

This episode does a great job of fleshing out Cisco and Caitlin, who so far have done little more than stare at various monitors and look worried. As I've said before, Cisco could easily have been the world's most annoying character, what with his overenthusiastic manner and X-treme attitude. Kudos to actor Carlos Valdes for toning him down and actually making Cisco likable.

Jesse L. Martin is also very good once again as Detective Joe West. He brings an air of vulnerability to a role that could have degenerated into the typical "You're A Loose Cannon, McCloud!" police chief cliche.

Rick Cosnett was also great as Eddie Thawne, Joe's partner and Iris' secret boyfriend. He's making Eddie extra likable here so it'll be all the more shocking when he inevitably transforms into the Reverse Flash (if that's indeed where they're heading).

SPOILERS!


The Plot:
Barry investigates a mysterious mob hit, and deduces the killer was a metahuman called The Mist who can turn his entire body into poison gas. Because this is a comic book world, his boss Detective West says, "Why that sounds perfectly reasonable." Meanwhile, Dr. Wells and the STAR Labs gang decide to turn their basement into the world's first super villain prison.

The basement is of course where Dr. Wells' particle accelerator was housed before it went kablooey. We also find out that Caitlin's fiancé Ronnie Raymond was killed there when the accelerator overloaded and he pulled a Spock by entering the chamber and diverting the explosion for the needs of the many. Ronnie died in a literal firestorm, which absolutely isn't a setup for an appearance by a certain flame-headed superhero.

Barry figures out that The Mist is targeting the people who sent him to prison, one of which just happens to be Detective West, his boss and Iris' father. Ruh-roh! The Mist attacks Joe, but Barry saves him in the knick of time. He then plays tag with The Mist until he's too tired to get gassy and punches him out.

The Mist gets to be the first resident of the new prison, Iris and Eddie tell Joe they're dating, which of course he already knew, and Joe tells Barry's father that he's sorry about that whole "wrongly sending you to prison for fourteen years for killing your wife thing." Oh, and Dr. Wells gets up out of his wheelchair again for some reason.

Thoughts:
• At the beginning of the episode, Barry and Iris exit a movie theater. The marquee reads Blue Devil II: Hell To Pay and The Rita Farr Story.


Blue Devil was a DC comics superhero who premiered in the 1980s. Not surprisingly, he looked like... a blue devil. There was a Blue Devil movie being advertised in Season 2 of Arrow, so apparently the film was successful enough to warrant a sequel. I wonder if Blue Devil is the DC TV Universe's answer to Hellboy?

This also means we probably won't be seeing Blue Devil pop up on the show if he's a fictional character in the Flash universe. Unless the movie is based on a real superhero?

By the way, look at the cover price of that comic. 75¢! Jesus, they're pushing the $4 mark these days. I have a full time job and I can't afford to buy comics. How do they expect a kid to buy them?

Rita Farr was an actress and stunt woman who was also known as Elasti-Girl of the Doom Patrol. I wonder if she'll try and sue Elastigirl of The Incredibles?

• We've heard Caitlin talk about her dead fiancé Ronnie before, but I think this is the first time we've heard his last name onscreen. Ronnie Raymond is of course better known in the comics as Firestorm The Nuclear Man.

In the comics, an accident fused high school student Ronnie Raymond and Professor Martin Stein into the being known as Firestorm. Ronnie controlled Firestorm, while Stein manifested himself as a voice inside his head.

Here though Ronnie's older and apparently much smarter, as he's some kind of high tech engineer. Interesting.

So is Professor Stein not going to be part of this version of Firestorm? If not, that's too bad, as the whole dual identity thing made him unique among superheroes. If they are going to use Stein, it would have been nice if he'd popped up somewhere in this episode, at least in the background.


By the way, Ronnie's played by Robbie Amell, who just happens to be the cousin of Stephen Amell, TV's Arrow. They look quite a bit alike too. Much handsome, very teeth!

• Ronnie tells Caitlin the two of them are like "fire and ice." Wakka wakka!

See, in the comics, Caitlin Snow becomes the super villain Killer Frost, one of Firestorm's arch enemies. I have no idea if that's where they're going here though.


• This weeks villain is The Mist, a metahuman with the power to keep your ferns moist. No, strike that, he can transform his body into poison gas. We're told that his real name is Kyle Nimbus. Nimbus is another word for "cloud." That's a little too cute.

The Mist was an enemy of Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash– the one who wore a winged Mercury helmet and punched Hitler in WWII. In recent years he became the arch enemy of Starman.

• When The Mist attacks Judge Howard in the mall, the Flash arrives on the scene shortly after. He checks the Judge's vital signs at super speed, as everyone around him appears frozen in place. 

Once again this means the Flash is standing still so fast that no one can see him. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around that.

Last week Barry mentioned in his voiceover that he was running 352 miles an hour. He's got to be going a LOT faster than that if he's still invisible even at rest.


Additionally, just how is he supposed to be checking the Judge's pulse when he's using his super speed? He's literally (!) moving so fast that everyone else appears to be motionless. That means from his point of view, the Judge's heart is probably beating once every five minutes or so. How could he possibly tell if she was still alive or not?

• Iris is gonna be really pissed when she inevitably finds out Barry's the Flash. So far she's pretty much the only person on the show who doesn't know. Even her dad's in on the secret.

• Intrepid amateur reporter Iris is following the Flash's exploits, and nicknames him "The Streak."

Hmm. Didn't Smallville already do that schtick, when they called Clark "The Blur?"

• Barry confronts The Mist, who jumps into his lungs and tries to poison him. Barry holds his breath and runs back to STAR Labs so Caitlin will have a sample of the gas to analyze. He ran at super speed while holding his breath? With a lung full of poison gas? He DOES have a super metabolism!

• Later on The Mist attacks Barry again. Barry keeps zipping away from him at super speed, but The Mist's gaseous form somehow keeps surrounding him. So... that must mean The Mist has super speed as well, right?

In the first episode Barry defeated the Weather Wizard, who'd surrounded himself with a tornado, by running around at super speed and canceling out his vortex. I wonder if he could have done something similar here? Like running around him so fast it would create a column of air to contain him.

• Barry ends up defeating The Mist by tiring him out until he can no longer transform into a gas.

Doesn't that seem backwards? It seems to me like it would be fairly easy to transform into gas; you'd just "let go" and let your body's molecules would disperse into a cloud. I would think keeping yourself together in solid form would be more of a strain. I guess I'm wrong.

• Detective Joe West is attacked by The Mist, but Barry saves him just in time. Later on in the hospital, Barry dozes as he keeps watch over the recovering Joe. 

When Joe comes to, he sees Barry asleep in a chair. Joe says, "It's been a long time since I've watched you sleep."

Yikes! OK, I get that Joe was Barry's surrogate father and raised him as a child, and from time to time probably looked in on him as he slept before turning in. But it's a bit creepy to say it to an adult Barry though.

• Barry's dad has awfully white teeth for a guy who's been in prison for fourteen years. Do they pass out whitening strips in the slammer?

• OK, this is the third week in a row that Dr. Wells has risen from his wheelchair and leered ominously at something. It was a great WTF moment the first time he did it, but after three weeks it's in danger of becoming repetitive. 

We get it, Dr. Wells is secretly evil and has some kind of agenda, manipulating events in order to create the Flash.

• Lastly, are there any products for sale in America that AREN'T some kind of phone or tablet? Jesus, I bet 80% of the commercials I saw tonight were for some kind of goddamned smart phone or other such wifi device.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 
Site Meter