(Beware, spoilers below!)
Before we start, I’ve gotta say, I can’t be the only one who thinks Dr. Harrison Wells may be Professor Zoom. Ahem, I digress. This episode of The Flash is a great one, buoyed once more by Grant Gustin’s endearing portrayal of the Scarlet Speedster and propped up by some good character and plot development.
Via a series of flashbacks, we learn more about what happened that fateful night at S.T.A.R. Labs. This takes the main block of attention, as we learn more about the characters relationships with one another, as well as providing more insight to Ronnie. But we’ve gone back down below the lab for a reason: because the particle accelerator (or whatever remains of it) might be able to hold super villains.
We have a villain on the loose that can turn himself into poisonous gas to kill his victims. This week’s man is particularly creepy looking, and a more tricky foe for Barry to handle than multiple men, though of course the day is saved. The burgeoning friendship between Caitlin and Barry is a nice touch this episode. In the pilot Caitlin seemed to be a tightly wound character stereotype, even though this wasn’t without reason, but we see her open up and connect more with Barry instead of ordering him about. Talking character relationships, the balance between Joe and Barry is also coming along nicely, with the two collaborating over investigating Barry’s mum’s death. However, the scene where Barry tries to save Joe is great, namely because his dad is literally looking on. I got excited.
There’s a less interesting plotline in Iris and Eddie’s relationship, but there’s some humour made out of it in the end, and it’s not so overdone to be intrusive. The episode is a full of great teaser quotes which the more discerning Flash fan will enjoy. “We were like fire and ice” (a reference to Firestorm and Killer Ice), “I don’t want my own museum” (The Flash does one day get a museum). Cisco also nicely makes fun of the superhero premise by his excitement over the names for the supervillains (this week’s is ‘The Mist’), and this holds the show off from not taking itself too seriously.
The Flash is a great example of how the superhero show has moved on since the days of Smallville. The writers are able to sustain multiple plots, characters and arcs better than before, and I for one will keep watching to see what heights they reach next.