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 may not be sharing one body due to a strange particle accelerator accident, but they do share a mighty need to talk about The Flash. This week, we jump right in with the spoilers.
Ali: I know it’s bad form to talk about the ending first. But, Chris. GRODDDDD!!!!! AAAAAHHH!!!!!
Chris: He’s not just a big gorilla, either. HE’S A PSYCHIC GORILLA. They actually did it. Bless this stupid show.
Ali: *speaking from beyond the grave because she has died of teh awesome* I love, love, love that this show has embraced the silver age comic book fantasticalness of this show. They are not half-assing it or strapping it to the ground, they are running with all of the wonderful things that make The Flash The Flash. They are whole-assing The Flash. And it’s magical.
Chris: We even started the episode with a pretty silver-age-y thing. The enormous nuclear explosion we saw last episode has zero radiation and zero consequences. It’s okay, because we said it is.
Ali: They are literally splitting atoms. But it’s cool, yo. But I guess we probably should start “at the beginning”. We got a lot of FIRESTORM this episode. (And yes, I am still refusing to put the dots in an acronym that long).
Chris: Never will I ever. But hey, this show is accomplishing something the comics never did. I kind of care about FIRESTORM for the first time in… ever?
Ali: I don’t know if I’ve really read anything with FIRESTORM. Maybe something with him as a secondary character. But I agree, I really do love how they’re handling the character. I mean, it’s not like Victor Garber is gonna phone anything in, but I love how dedicated each of these actors are to their individual parts. It’s what really makes FIRESTORM work.
Chris: They both totally sell it. It’s fun to watch them play around with the mental link even if the rules of it are mega wonky.
Ali: Chris, they are two dudes who meld together and blast radiation-free nuclear energy. Of course the rules are mega wonky! That’s why it’s awesome! Related to more wonky rules, we have time travel speculation in this episode!! Wells does a Doc Brown impression!!
Chris: The only thing we know about Wells for sure is that he is WAY into 80s movies. Everything else is nebulous at best.
Ali: Maybe he majored in 1980s Pop Culture at Evil University. That’s what I’m going with. But I was hoping that maybe we’d get a “wibbly-wobbly, timey-whimey stuff” in there somewhere.
Chris: I was kinda waiting for him to straight up wink at the camera when he said “I just can’t do that…” or whatever he said about time travel.
Ali: Well is always good for some ham-handed foreshadowing. Seriously. Is he trying to get caught? Because Cisco is gonna figure it out real soon. He’ll put all the puns together and break Wells’ code.
Chris: Speaking of finding Wells out, am I misremembering or didn’t they find 2 separate blood samples at the crime scene last week? Why are they acting like just Barry’s is there now? I could be mixing it up with the idea that they found two speedsters.
Ali: They did find two samples and they know it’s two speedsters, but the second sample didn’t match anything. I’m thinking it’s because whatever blood work they have on record for Wells has probably been faked. It feels like something he’d do to cover his tracks. They didn’t mention the second sample this episode but I remember Cisco telling Joe that he only found a match for one sample. BUT the more interesting development is Barry now knows this. He knows that he will try to save his mother and fail. Which gives him something to do in a very FIRESTORM focused episode.
Chris: This is a big one that could go real bad if they decide to follow the comics. I think Grant Gustin played the moments he was dealt fairly well in this episode. There’s a weight to this. There’s a sense that this actually matters in the grand scheme of things instead of just being One More Plot.
Ali: You’re right, they definitely gave this some weight. But I think I’m less concerned about whether or not they follow the Flashpoint comics or not. A lot of Flashpoint was what happens to the whole DC Universe when the Flash finally does succeed in saving his mom. But with this show, they have to keep things pretty tight within the Flash-verse. I also really hope that Barry’s mom doesn’t HAVE to die to preserve the future/our present. Because dead mom’s for plot is a real pet peeve of mine.
Chris: That’s where I’m at with this. I’m fine with heroes failing. I don’t need infallible, perfect icons. I’m not fine with the grossness and frankly cliched thing with dead moms. Making it a 100 percent part of the fabric of the “best” version of this universe is just icky. What did you think of Barry’s renewed determination at the end of the episode?
Ali: I feel like the past few episodes Barry’s been just alright. He was just doing his Flash thing and didn’t really have anything pushing him. Which, you know, happens. So I’m kind of glad he has this new goal to work towards. I like Barry when he’s driven. I mean, he’s always charming and great, but he’s better with direction. So I’m glad he got some direction this episode.
Chris: It’s been kind of reassuring in a way that he’s been able to take a back seat for a couple of week’s. It’s certainly strengthened the supporting cast and made it feel like the world isn’t completely centered around Barry, even if he is our main protagonist.
Ali: That’s because Team Science is AWESOME!! I feel like, there was a lot that happened in this episode but since it was all FIRESTORM related and that kind of resolved itself for the time being, we weren’t left with much else this episode. But we did finally, FINALLY get the start of a plot for Iris that’s all her own and not about Barry or even Eddie. She’s starting to go full-on investigative reporter on STAR Labs and the Flash. I’m really hoping they let her dig up stuff and not keep playing the “can’t see what’s right in front of her card”. Because that has been old for a long while now. And I’m more interesting in an Iris who learns how to me really good at her job as an investigative reporter.Chris: I’m interested in an Iris with something to do. I’m glad she’s moved away from Plucky Blogger. I’m not sold on where we’re at with this story just yet, though. It’s pretty basic and straightforward. I mean… the Ronnie stuff is weird. Since a bunch of weird stuff happened around the time of the particle accelerator, isn’t it pretty believable to just say “We found Ronnie and he was a little off, but we fixed him up,” instead of making up a cousin?
Ali: Yeah, I just hate the keeping Iris on the dark whole thing. Because EVERYONE in the city knows there’s weird crap going on, and more and more people know about Barry being the Flash. She needs to know. Period. I hope she figures it out, but like seriously, Barry. It’s gonna be a whole lot better for everyone if she finds out from you instead of having to dig it up on her own.
Chris: It would be pretty great if once she cracks it all instead of a big confrontation and a fallout she’s just like, “You guys think I seriously wouldn’t have been all about this?” and then she’s just part of the gang from then on. Let’s talk about what might be the meatiest thing from this episode. “Are you ready for life to get back to normal?”
Ali: Oh, man. That was… I’m glad they resolved that at the lab because oof. That was a break up conversation. And neither of them wanted to have a break up conversation after just getting back together. But I love that Caitlin stood her ground. Because she had her own life and work for a whole year while Robbie was gone. And she had her own life and career when they were together. I get Ronnie’s instinct to GTFO. But phrasing it as “back to normal” made it sound like what Caitlin was doing was wrong. And that’s not cool.
Chris: I like that they keep emphasizing the weirdness of their relationship now. They still love each other and care about each other but that doesn’t mean this is any sort of normal. There’s a lot there and I hope they keep digging.
Ali: See, I think that’s what bothered me. That their relationship is called “not normal”. I mean, yes. The shared body makes things weird. But they are two people who love each other but can still do what they love, with or without each other. It means they’re both people.
Chris: I should have clarified, their relationship is fine, it’s the situations surrounding it that are weird. Watching them deal with that and hopefully overcome it is going to be super interesting.
Ali: Gotcha! I mean, if they can’t balance zany superheroics and their relationship, they can always go over to Arrow. Zing!
Chris: And on that note… Lightning Round.
Ali: GRODD AND ZOOM!!! GRODD AND ZOOM!!!
Chris: Wells showing his hand and then torturing a dude with a psychic gorilla is so much better than anything I thought we’d get out of this show. I figured it’d be fun, but I didn’t think we’d get… that. Ya know?
Ali: SO GREAT!! And I’m glad we got to see Wells in the suit. I mean, we’ve known for a while that’s where he was going. But it felt so good to see him pull off that hood. And GRODD. So perfect. Still shadowy, perfect voice, delightfully creepy. I loved it.
Chris: Wells also got a delightfully creepy moment in his delivery of “Like all matter, it yearns to be whole.” He’s this flip side of Cisco, where he’s super into all the super science stuff, but for not so great reasons.
Ali: You’re right! They are kind of foils for each other. Cisco is all hope and discovery, and Wells is about finding any means for an end.
Chris: I loved that the secret evil government facility straight up just had “AREA 27” plastered on the side of it. Nothing to see here, folks! Move along!
Ali: That seemed way too convenient. Also, how did Martin NOT tell everyone Wells was the one who handed him over to the government?! That is something you tell people!!!
Chris: I think that’s about it for this week, unless you’ve got something else.
Ali: Someone needs to start a tumblr of all Cisco t-shirts and what they mean. For SCIENCE. Colluccio OUT.