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! This week was the mid-season finale/holiday special. So grab a cup of Grandma Ester’s Egg Nog and join us for a fire-side chat. There will be spoilers, sweeties.
Ali: Chris, you’ve seen Love, Actually, right? That scene where Andrew Lincoln rings Keira Knightley’s door bell to tell her that he loves her with a series of hand-made signs? Now imagine if Chiwetel Ejiofor opened the door instead. And was like “hey best friend! what brings you to my door? oh, you’re professing your undying and kind of creepy love for my wife. that’s…. not ok”. I feel like that’s basically what this week’s episode was.
Chris: I have never been okay with that storyline. It’s immensely upsetting and creepy.
Ali: Right?! And that’s basically how I feel about Barry whenever he gets romantical with Iris. This is NOT OK.
Chris: Ali, you saw my notes. Dear Readers, I cannot publish even a slightly cleaned up version on this website. So. Many. F-words. Barry just does not know when to stop. And using Joe’s exact words? Boy needs help.
Ali: I mean, I was happy he finally told her something. But like. If you have loved someone who has not in any way shown interest YOUR WHOLE LIFE, that’s obsessive and creepy. How is Iris even supposed to respond to that?! “I’ve loved you since before I knew what love was” but have kept it creepily suppressed for 15 years.
Chris: I just keep worrying that Barry is going to go from loveable and adorable to MRA Fedorable real quick.
Ali: Barry Allen: Nice Guy. I mean, I love Barry. He just needs to take a page out of Elsa’s book and LET IT GO. Anyways. Aside from the titular Man in the Yellow Suit, who I’m sure we’ll get to in a bit, I think the character of the episode this week was Joe West. I think sometimes he doesn’t get as much credit as he should. He’s a great cop and a great dad. He sees himself as a protector and now his world has changed and it’s full of things that make it harder and harder to protect his loved ones and his city. He can’t protect Iris from the Reverse Flash; he can’t protect Barry because now Barry is the one protecting him. His scene with Barry this week was just… “The world may need the Flash, but I need my Barry Allen.” FEELS!!
Chris: Look. I could lie and try and act all cool, but I won’t. I started tearing up. I’m a big ol’ softie when it comes to stuff like this. My fiance gives me so much crap when we’re watching Masterchef Junior. This was exactly the scene we needed from Joe. Barry’s dedication is admirable, but he’s losing himself and it could be an easy out for him when it comes to… running away from his problems. (I’m so sorry. I couldn’t help it.)
Ali: There were tissues needed at points in this episode. My cat was probably judging me for crying. But she judges me for most things. Anyway, I do love the father-son chats Barry and Joe have. I mean, I love the father-son chats Barry has with his actual dad too. Speaking of which, did that scene not break your heart. While I don’t really think Barry’s dad meant “go make a move on Iris,” I did like the message of not letting the Reverse Flash take away anything else.
Ali: Speaking of the Man in the Yellow Suit, I was a little bit surprised the show played this card so early. But then again, I think the Particle Accelerator Freak of the Week was starting to wear a bit thin and it was nice to finally see some movement with what’s been a background/tacked-on plot thread. So what do we think about our Reverse Flash?
Chris: I’m really glad they pulled the trigger. They were sitting on an obvious reveal and a lot of genre shows would have stretched this out for the entire season. This is The Flash, though. It’s quick and whatnot. I’ve been sorta slipping as far as how much I’ve been enjoying the show, but I’m really down with this take on the Reverse Flash. I like how he’s portrayed as something erratic and wrong. The effects go a long way into showing “This is not a person who belongs here.” He’s otherworldly in a weird way, and gets close to being genuinely creepy. Are you disappointed at all that we got what we expected? Like, we kinda knew Wells was gonna be Reverse Flash even if I’ve been pitching ridiculous alternatives for him.
Ali: It wasn’t the most shocking reveal but I was not at all disappointed in the Reverse Flash. He is very much the opposite of Barry and you are spot on about his wrong-ness. I have to say, the execution on this was perfect, right down to the opposite colored lightning.
Chris: Really interested in what they did with the reveal. Now that we know WHO the Man in Yellow is, we get to get down to the WHY. Not to mention the reveal of the red lightning being at Mama Allen’s murder. Curious to see what they’re going to do with that going forward. Hoping it’s not the Flashpoint resolution of “I tried to save her but that screwed up everything so hey, I guess she HAS to die.”
Ali: Because we need more dead moms in comics. *sigh* Anyway, I am fascinated to see how they handle the why of the Reverse Flash and the how of the time travel that we know has to be happening. I also think it’s going to be very interesting to watch Cisco put the pieces of these mysteries together with Wells looking over his shoulder all the time. What happens if/when Cisco learns Wells is the Reverse Flash?
Chris: I think we might be getting into a situation where Cisco is going to be too smart for his own good and it’s going to get him in trouble. I mean, if he’s gonna be Vibe at some point, maybe Wells will stick him somewhere in time or in the Speedforce and that’ll give him his powers. Speaking of which, any theories on what was going on with the clamp-y thing on the Reverse Flash costume at the end?
Ali: I was actually super confused by that. I wasn’t really sure what was going on in that last scene. But if I had to venture a guess, I’d say it’s something that stabilizes the vibrational frequency of the suit so that it (and maybe Wells) can stay in the current timeline.
Chris: My guess is that he’s somehow siphoning speed from Barry. In the comics, there’s that idea that the Speedforce exists because of Barry. Like, if there’s not a Flash and he’s not running, then there’s no Speedforce. It’s a weird kinda circular logic, but that’s where I’m coming from. Wells doesn’t have his own speed, which is why he’s so intent on Barry getting faster and better with his powers. Wells needs Barry in more ways than one.
Ali: That’s a really brilliant idea. It also explains why Well is constantly pushing Barry to go faster and learn more. In a way, the Reverse Flash showing up now is the perfect way to get Barry to focus on honing his speed. Barry needs to be better than the Reverse Flash to beat him, but in doing so he’s playing right into the Reverse Flash’s plans. Diabolical!!
Chris: We might even be headed for a big twist where Wells, knowing that Barry would be missing during the upcoming Crisis, has put together his Plan B to save everyone. If he can siphon off enough speed, he can be the hero while Barry is out of the picture. The guy is super sinister, but for all we know, he’s just an Ends Justify the Means kinda person. Hmmm. At least it would be a slightly new take on the character.
Ali: I like that this show gives you a lot to think about. Even if the reveals aren’t always shocking or unexpected, it’s a show I enjoy trying to figure out. On that note, shall we Lightning Round?
Chris: FLASH RING!!!
Ali: I KNOWWWW!!!!!! But it’s being used for evil *cries*
Chris: *Also cries*
Ali: I feel bad relegating this to the Lightning Round, but omg Firestorm!! I kind of love how Caitlin won’t give up on Ronnie. She had some really great moment this episode. Also, FIRESTORM FLYING WAS SO TOTALLY WICKED!!
Chris: Just goes to show how packed this show is sometimes when we almost totally glossed over a major development. Flash has been pretty dang good about setting up things to be potentially awesome, and I think they’ve successfully did it again. They’ve got my curiousity, at least. Speaking of curiosity, For a second I totally thought Cisco had on a WicDiv shirt and I got really excited and kinda jealous. Then I remembered he’s not really the NONE MORE GOTH type.
Ali: Right?! It was a Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock shirt from The Big Bang Theory (Flash Fact: I also have that shirt and will be cosplaying Cisco at the next con I go to). But I WISH it was a The Wicked + The Divine shirt!! One of the things I love about Barry Allen’s origin is how he read comics. While I don’t think it fits as well with TV Barry, there is NO WAY that Cisco doesn’t read comics. I feel like manga might be more his jam, but the definitely dude reads comics. And he’d totally be into WicDiv.
The Flash will be on holiday hiatus, and so will the recaps. Come back for “Revenge of the Rogue” in January.