This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics
Each week Panelteers Chris and Ali sit down and chat about the CW’s newest superhero series, The Flash! They won a $75-gift card at Jitters’ Trivia Night, so it’s cappuccinos for everyone!! Grab a cup and join the conversation. There will be spoilers, sweeties.
Ali: Brrrr. Chris, this week’s episode was a bit…. COLD. Hey-oh!
Chris: Everybody bundle up! It’s time for all of the ice puns.
Ali: There was a lot happening around Barry’s love life in this episode. So I think we can talk about someone we really haven’t delved into yet: Iris. We’re four episodes in to her completely ignorant of Barry’s romantic feelings for her thing and it’s getting old fast. I’ve got to believe this is a conscious thing. I think Iris does not reciprocate Barry’s feelings and she doesn’t want to make things awkward by preemptively telling him he has no chance with her.
Chris: There relationship is clearly a bit on the… cold… side right now. It’s tough to pin it down. Episode to episode has felt really uneven to me on just what angle we’re coming at this relationship. It almost feels like every time Barry and Iris have these discussions, they’re written by a different person with a different take on it. Am I off base here?
Ali: You’re not wrong. I think that maybe the writers don’t know the end goal with this relationship or how to get there. I mean, what they’re setting up is a lot like Ross and Rachel from Friends. Ross pines while Rachel is oblivious, when Ross moves on Rachel pines. And round and round we go for 9 seasons.
Chris: They’ve also gotta write themselves out of the frankly icky idea that these two are basically brother and sister.
Ali: Exactly! That’s probably why they’re not sure of the ultimate end game with these two. Either way, Barry really needs to move on before there’s any kind of progress in their relationship.
Chris: He mentioned Bartholomew being a silly name so now I’m convinced he secretly knows this will be his grandchild’s name for some reason. So they have to get together in some capacity. The Flash Family’s entire existence depends on it! Maybe instead of going back in time and undoing his mom’s murder, he’ll go back and make sure him and Iris’ relationship makes a little more sense.
Ali: Can we jump from the feelings part and talk about how Iris is being handled as a character in general? I understand them wanting to keep her as a journalist like in the comics. But this anonymously blogging about the Streak thing is a bit ridiculous. It feels really Smallville and plays on a trope that I absolutely abhor: the prize-winning journalist can’t see that someone she knows so well is the person she’s actively investigating. It’s lazy and old and just NO.
Chris: Yeah… we talked about how Iris seemed pretty dang sharp in the premier and ever since then I’ve been avoiding talking about how she’s been coming off a little less than sharp. Possibly even real, real dumb. It worries me. I’ve been trying to keep my mind on the show when we talk about it, and not on the comics, but it’s tough to look at this version of Iris and not be a little disappointed. Patton’s got some fire in her and fits in great with the cast. Just wish they’d give her a little something to do. Blogger who can’t put 2 and 2 together is a thing I’m dead tired of seeing. Maybe if she was a bit more Cassandra from The Wicked and The Divine I’d be on board. So what can they do to fix this?
Ali: I don’t think she’s coming off as dumb. I think she’s being kept in the dark about a lot of things that we as an audience know and take for granted. She also has a lot of her own stuff going on right now, she’s in school for journalism, which is stressful and everything is new to her. She’s dating her dad’s partner so she’s got family drama competing with the happiness of a new relationship. She deserves some slack. But you’re right, she seems less bright than she did in the pilot and I’m hoping she becomes a bit quicker on the up-take going forward. Just remember she’s a whole lot newer to journalism than Cassandra and she’s not nearly as jaded.
Chris: The cynical journalist inside of me forgets that not everyone starts out that way. MOVING ON to slightly chillier subjects. We’ve got Prison Break stepping in to bring one of our favorite Flash characters to life. Where to start? It’s definitely a much more serious, ice cold, version of the character. Normally in the comics, his bravado is very much shown as posturing and compensating. Here? Not so much. He’s the man with the plan and a Cold Gun. And eventually, his signature parka, which I cannot believe was just on my TV screen.
Ali: THE PARKAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Seeing it gave me… CHILLS. Pretty early on in Darwyn Cooke’s Justin League: The New Frontier there’s a scene were Captain Cold holds up a ritzy party in Vegas. He gets thwarted, but he has the cool, collected heist master air about him. And that exactly what we saw from Wentworth Miller. He’s just so damn cool.
Chris: I had completely forgot about that scene. Curious to see where they go with this take. They’ve definitely given him an axe to grind against the Flash. They mentioned the code! Except that he definitely killed an innocent bystander later in the episode.
Ali: Yeah, I’m not in love with them mentioning the code only to break it. But can we talk about Cisco calling him Captain Cold to his face?! Because Cisco, man. I love that guy so much.
Chris: Cisco got a backbone in this episode. I was pleased as ice cold punch with his plan to save the day. It felt very right for these characters. The Team Science is starting to feel more like Team Flash. I was going to say The Flash Team, but that… might not be the best name.
Ali: Team Flash. The “team” always goes first. That’s internet grammar. I will say one of my least favorite parts of the episode was when Wells turns on Cisco twice. Like, I know you need to make sure the Flash becomes the Flash and all, but Cisco would never willing harm Barry. He adores Barry (as we all do). Dude was just being cautious.
Chris: It is weird that Vibe has been positioned as the Batman of this show. That’s akin to keeping Kryptonite on you.
Ali: It is. But Cisco’s not a huge jerk.
Chris: Oh, definitely. This didn’t feel like it came from a place of paranoia. Not even a little.
Ali: Maybe Cisco was a Boy Scout so he’s always prepared for the worst. It’s like Caitlyn said the particle accelerator was something that was amazing and wonderful (like Barry is) that took a really dangerous turn.
Chris: Yo, let’s talk about Felicity being the best thing about both of these shows. I forgot how great she was. Not gonna lie: her being absolutely terrible at keeping Ollie’s identity a secret may have been one of my favorite things about the episode.
Ali: I think the “And I’m talking to air” line was probably my favorite. But yes! Felicity is the freaking best. I feel like she’s had a lot going on in Arrow-land, so seeing her in Central City meant we got to see a brighter, more fun side of my favorite hacker. It was also wonderful watching her get her flirt on with Barry. There’s a great chemistry between those two and I’m getting a bit tired of Felicity pining away over Oliver “I’m not Batman” Queen.
Chris: Real Talk Time. That was Barry’s first kiss, yeah?
Ali: Head canon: accepted. It’s so adorable.
Chris: And that’s kind of my problem with this episode. That was a really adorable final scene between two people who are presented as being perfect for each other and then they just decide… “Naw. We’re on different shows so this probably isn’t going to work out.” Did I miss something? I know they’re both still pining for their respective OTPs, but STILL.
Ali: Well, over on Arrow Ollie and Felicity went on a date in the first episode because he admitted to being in love with her. Bet then he went all Arrow and said “I can’t be the Arrow and have a girlfriend” because he likes to pretend he’s Batman. I thought Felicity coming to Central City was her way of moving on from Oliver. I don’t think she’s pining over Ollie as much as she recognizes that until Barry can move on from Iris, they wouldn’t have anything real.
Chris: So what you’re telling me is that Felicity remains the most level headed and mature person on the CW.
Ali: She’s at the very least the most emotionally mature. Brandon Routh is playing Ray Palmer on Arrow and it looks like he’s taken a shine to Felicity. I hope she makes out with his face because that girl can get it. Even if you’re not watching Arrow, Panelteer Brian’s recaps are pretty great.
Chris: Yeah. I mean, did you see that dress? And that was just for trivia night.
Ali: I have never seen a Trivia Night like that in my life. Clearly I need to do trivia at coffee shops and not dive bars.
Chris: I think that Trivia Night had a higher production budget than some of the other CW shows.
Ali: I think we should probably wrap this up, but before we do we’re gonna talk about that final scene, Chris!
Chris: WE’RE GETTING THE ROGUES!!!!!!
Chris: Also, I hope Heatwave constantly uses matches to get a better look at things. Hell, make it so that he can’t see unless he’s using a match. I died. But I mean, we are for real getting the Rogues. I knew we’d get them in some capacity, but this seems pretty on point. They’ve even already established a diner for them to hang out in thanks to Snart’s weird habit of hanging out and listening in on police radio.
Ali: An enthusiastic YES!!!! To everything you just said. Also it was really nice not to have a creepy Wells scene at the end. There’s only so much creepy I can take!
Chris: This show has been really good at changing the focus every episode. We’re never stuck with one thing for too long. Letting Wells rest in the wings and let speculation bubble up. (I’ve even got a new pet theory that he might be Rip Hunter. Like, I know he’ll probably turn out to be the Reverse Flash, but I like to keep this interesting.) This was a Barry-centric episode after a very Cisco and Caitlin focused one. Hoping that pattern keeps going as we move on. Makes this feel like a real cast instead of Barry and his Buddies.
Ali: We needed a Felicity episode. It’ll be back to Team Flash next week.
Chris: Lightning Round?
Ali: Lightning Round!! “This is actually the S.T.A.R. Labs vacuum cleaner. With a lot of LEDs.”
Chris: “Wanna see how fast I can run backwards?”
Ali: “That guy went through the tour twice. No one does that!” said Dexter Myles, curator of the Flash Museum.
Chris: I have not laughed at a joke that hard this entire season. On any show. It was just delivered so earnestly.
Ali: On that happy note, we’ll see all you Panelfolk in two weeks since The Flash is taking a break next week.