Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of The Flash. To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
Despite the winter finale having left me feeling cold it certainly feels like the show has been gone for far too long even if in reality it has only been a little over a month. Season two thus far has hit some amazing highs (“Enter Zoom”) but has faltered in their need to set up the spin off series Legends of Tomorrow. With “Legends” on it’s way it’s safe to hope that this means that Barry and co. will have room to breathe now in their own storylines.
It seems like this is the case in a strong, self-assured episode back where the Wests and Barry get their own storylines about their personal drama while also giving us a fun new villain in The Turtle who more than anything helps further develop the Zoom storyline.
I love that Iris and Joe are getting their own storyline with Wally. While I don’t doubt the kid for not wanting to jump head first into family gatherings with people he didn’t even know weeks ago, I also think Joe’s pain is justified when Wally doesn’t show for that first dinner. Iris is too often used as a prop for other character’s storylines but Candice Patton does a marvelous job with the moments she get’s this week, further proving that the show would do well to expand her character’s storylines that don’t revolve around being the mentor and listening ear to Joe and Barry’s relationship woes. Wally’s inclusion will hopefully help this. Wally is also already showing himself to be an interesting character, and I loved the idea of him racing cars on the side (get it, he drives fast). It being illegal adds a layer of drama to his and Joe’s tension with the two being on opposite sides of the law but I’m glad the episode ended on a more positive note for the two as Joe agrees to ease up and not allow his guilt to dictate their relationship as long as Wally gives him a shot. I’m very excited to see more of Wally on the show.
If there’s a relationship that needed to falter this week, and did, it was Patty and Barry’s, a relationship I’ve never bought since the beginning with Patty seeming too much like a mash up of Barry and Felicity’s personalities. At the very least the episode does more to make Patty interesting with her standing up to Barry’s flightiness but I’m not bothered by the idea of their relationship being over. The Flash is a show that by and large could work better with less romance overall for a while with more than enough villains and high stakes to keep the shows pace going. On top of that, I don’t know how much more I would have been able to take of Barry grappling about whether or not he should tell Patty the truth for a number of reasons.
I am glad that Patty being saved doesn’t result in her and Barry’s relationship being resolved with a bow, neat and tidy. Her leaving Central City to become a CSI is great both for the character getting an ending that is her own but also because it takes away some of narrative weight the show has been dragging around. The entire Turtle villain plot revolves around him capturing her in the end (with some nice CGI showing off his slowing capabilities) but by the end I was pretty happy at the idea of the show bringing even more inner focus to it’s main characters.
The episode does this well by interjecting it with scenes of much needed humor. Cisco and Harry continue to be a highlight of the show with their banter both comedic and poignant. While their tantrum throwing hatred of each other is entertaining, the scene in the van where Harry tells Cisco about the police officers Zoom killed is especially significant as is Cisco’s offer to vibe in order to check on on Harry’s daughter. They maybe can’t stand one another but they respect each other and that’s enough for now. The running gag over everyone by Barry knowing about Cisco’s obsession with the Turtle gets some laughs but it’s the entire sequence where Barry asks Patty to go to the art exhibit that displays the show at it’s wittiest with some great staging and writing with Grant Gustin getting to pull faces as the rest of the team treats him not like a hero but like a young man who has no idea whatever how to ask a girl on a date.
Ending the episode with Harry seemingly killing the Turtle in order to gain more information on ways to save his daughter nicely reintroduces the idea that Wells will always be a morally gray character and then the tag with the Reverse Flash further throws things out of balance setting up for a nice shake up in next weeks episode.
The Flash is back and our characters are rallying and I can’t wait to see what the back half brings us.