The Flash, Season 1 Episode 5 Review: “Plastique”

(Beware, spoilers below!)

This week’s episode of The Flash features famous supervillain Plastique. It also focuses on Iris’ continued attempts to write about The Flash in her blog. There’s a potential longer term villain in General Wade Elling, the man who goes after Plastique and is at odds with Dr Wells.

Bette Sans Souci is endowed with the ability to touch things after which they’ll combust in in this incarnation she’s less of a villain than an afraid metahuman. As a former soldier Elling is after her due to her past life as an army solider and his own involvement with unethical practices. After the S.T.A.R. Labs team find her with the help of Barry they run tests on her which show that it’s impossible to take her powers away. When Barry asks if she can join the team, all of them (including Cisco) acknowledge that it would be far too dangerous a venture and Barry’s understandably unhappy about this conclusion.

However, Wells manages to convince Bette to kill General Elling and she subsequently goes after the Army man. However, Barry intervenes in time and it’s Bette that becomes the fatality.

Meanwhile, as the bond between Barry and Joe get stronger, the bond between him and Iris weakens. Unable to tell her that he’s The Flash, he struggles several times with convincing her to stop writing her blog. After visiting her both as The Flash and himself, the two part ways on tense terms, Barry saying he thinks they need a break from each other for a while.

The introduction (and sad departure) of Plastique from The Flash world was a nice change from the villainous metahumans that have appeared so far. Bette is merely running because she doesn’t know what to do and her conversations with Barry show how lonely a life it is. In the episode Joe also reveals he’s known about Barry’s love for Iris and we’re amusingly treated to how given his fast metabolism, Barry can no longer get drunk. It’s in Dr Wells things really get interesting, however, as we’re treated to a snapshot in the past of him going to odds with Elling over Grodd. Yes, the Grodd.

The Flash has continued to be a charming flash of enjoyment since it’s begun. Whilst I’m sad Plastique didn’t have a longer tenure the direction and themes of this episode kept it both interesting but also deeper than just surface level antics. Since the next episode is titled “The Flash is Born”, I can’t wait to see what’s coming next week.


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