Each week Panelteers Chris and Ali have broken through the very fabric of time to bring you their commentary on the CW’s newest superhero series, The Flash! They’ll try not to screw anything up too bad. Spoilers ahead.
Chris: This one should be interesting. At the end of last week, we had death, we had destruction, and we had kisses. Oh, and time travel. This week we… made sure to maybe establish the most boring timeline. Maybe I’m off base.
Ali: I won’t lie, Chris. I did a lot of eye-rolling this episode. There was a lot of stuff that didn’t make sense given the established timeline (from before last week) and a lot of awkwardly heavy-handed explanations. I think, this may have been my least favorite episode.
Chris: I was on-board at first. I loved the idea of Barry doing what the Flash does best and steamrolling the bad guy before anything bad could happen. That’s a REALLY fun idea. Then it kinda went downhill from there. And we met Cisco’s monster of a brother. First major question: How does time travel in this world work? There is only one Barry now, yeah? Like… he ran into his own body?
Ali: That was what I was most confused by. I was expecting two Barries, like in Harry Potter when they use the Time Turner and have to avoid themselves so they don’t disrupt the space-time continuum. I was definitely not expecting Groundhog Day. That said, while I wasn’t expecting it, it is a more interesting concept. Barry is given a mulligan and totally screws it up. I’m just not sure I liked the execution.
Chris: Yeah. It’s kind of hard to figure out what this episode was trying to say. You normally get one of two things: change is possible or fate will find a way to make things the way they’re supposed to be. We got kind of a mess on that end. A lot of things majorly changed, but we still got echoes of the first timeline’s events, especially with Cisco and Wells. What did you think?
Ali: Cisco and Wells was one of the only things I really liked. I mean, Wells is still EVILL. But it’s nice to know that he genuinely sees Cisco as a son. Or that he’s committed to using that as a way to manipulate Cisco.
The bit I’m most confused about is the Linda and Iris stuff. It seems like the awkward bowling double date did not happen. Which means that, despite what Wells tells Barry, Iris discovers she’s interested in Barry when she sees that someone else is. Which I don’t really like. BUT without the awkward bowling double date, I’m not sure Linda has reason to think Barry isn’t as into her as he could be. I mean, I’m with Linda in that if you can see your significant other is more into someone else, you move on. But there’s not really a reason for her do what she does without seeing him and Iris all doe-eyed. Also, I don’t understand why they can’t/won’t write these characters the way they write Caitlin: awesome and competent ladies who have more important things to do than be Barry’s love interest. I felt like this episode was the weakest bit of writing I’ve seen for the women in the show.
Chris: You kinda nailed it. Last week, we had kind of resigned ourselves to just being okay with Barry and Iris and moving on from it. Now… they kinda threw another wrench into things and muddied the waters even further. Moving on from that terrible mixed metaphor, both Iris and Linda come off as plot points instead of characters and it’s really frustrating, especially with how great Caitlin has been. This show can be very uneven at times, no matter how much we love it. You know what I do, pretty much without justification, love? The Rogues.
Ali: Not to go all Ali, but I really want to make out with Cold’s face. Wentworth Miller is at Tom Hiddleston-levels of just relishing his character. And I think Leonard Snart, the character, is also relishing in his new Cold persona. I looooooove the way he calls himself “Cold”. It’s delightful to watch. I almost wish this show was Cisco and Cold all the time. And Caitlin.
Chris: No problems there. I was pretty gaga over Caitlin not that long ago. I understand. I’m not sure if there’s another actor on TV who is enjoying his job quite as much as Miller is. Every single word out of his mouth is perfect and I love it. My favorite part of the new Rogues dynamic has to be Heatwave playing constant second fiddle to him. “You’re gonna freeze.” “… or burn.”
Ali: They are fantastic together. And Lisa Snart was pretty wonderful, I have to say. I really loved her interactions with Snart and Mick. I’m really excited to have a lady in the Rogues Gallery, even if FOR NO REASON they have her riding in Cold’s sidecar instead of her own damn motorcycle. I mean, come on!! Sidecars aren’t even a thing anymore!
Chris: I had the same reaction! Ladies can’t drive bikes now? C’mon. It did allow for that kinda fun bit of action where she hopped onto the bike and swerved, I guess. I gotta bring up the thing I’ve been dying to talk about that isn’t just Cisco’s jerk brother. So… Cisco made brand new cold and heat guns presumably out of scraps. Right? He also invented a gun that creates and shoots GOLD on the spot. Seeing how he’s now an alchemist that can produce gold on command, how does Cisco not have a Nobel Prize or something? He is clearly the greatest inventor of all time.
Ali: You will get no arguments from me on that! Team Cisco forever!! I also love the idea that, billionaire playboy aside, Cisco is basically Tony Stark–forced to build weapons while being held hostage by bad guys. I also like that all of his brother’s douchebaggery is totally based on jealousy. He can’t handle the inherent awesomeness of Cisco.
Chris: The Ramons must be the only family in existence who are really disappointed in their amazingly successful inventor son but super into their weird artsy son who never did anything with their life.
Ali: Seriously. I feel like we need to talk about the “agreement” between the Flash and the Rogues. I’ve always loved the unspoken honor among thieves that drove the cat-and-mouse game between Barry and the Rogues: they don’t kill people; Flash doesn’t come down hard on them. But this heavy-handed scene with Cold and Flash fell really flat for me. There’s no reason for Barry to trust Cold with his identity AT ALL. And no reason for Cold, as he’s established here, to not go after Iris or Cisco or anyone Barry is close to. IT MAKES NO SENSE, CHRIS. WHY DID THEY DO THIS?!
Chris: It’s weird. Especially because this is kind of what we wanted. We wanted the Rogues with their code of conduct. Which we have now. This is just… such an odd way to get their. I’m glad that Cisco giving up Barry’s identity was shown to be the right thing and Barry’s reaction to it was great. You’re 100 percent right, though. What does Cold have to gain by keeping Barry’s identity secret? It is kinda funny that I’m totally fine with a villain learning he doesn’t have to be a killer to get what he wants but I’m still super mad about it when it’s done with Superman.
Ali: I just think it works better as a character thing, not a forced plot point. This feels so off. Especially when the very first scene we’re introduced to Cold, he says “don’t kill anyone because it’ll bring the cops down on us.” Instead of having him break his own rule almost immediately afterwards, they should have just let Cold keep his code. It gives Barry a reason to trust him a bit.
Chris: I had kind of forgotten how annoyed we were with that during his first appearance. Sometimes, I wonder if this show forgets that they’ve done things or established things before. I don’t think this is the first time something like this has happened. Onto the Lightning Round?
Ali: Let’s do it!! While I do love Barry tidying things up quickly with the bad guys, Weather Wizard is now in the Pipeline. But clearly he belongs with the Rogues. So I’m hoping and praying we get a prison break. I mean, we got a casino heist this week. But a prison break would be pretty sweet. Especially right under Barry’s nose!!
Chris: Kind of hoping that the Trickster plays a part in getting all the Rogues together. I have to point out “I need something pretty and toxic” as my favorite line of the episode. The Snart’s shared love of sticking to thematic crime and weaponry is one of the best things about this show.
Ali: They are just so great!! And I seriously CANNOT WAIT for Mark Hamill to show up as Trickster!! I mean, this was my dream for the show and they’re making it happen and I AM SO EXCITED, CHRIS!!!
Chris: Definitely excited for everything that’s coming. Here’s hoping they can keep going with the forward momentum and avoid the speedbumps that come with episodes like this.
Ali: I mean, for as much as I was not into this episode, it’s probably the first one in a long time I didn’t dig. So I trust the creative team with all the goodies coming up.
Chris: We’ll see you all here next week.
Ali: For our recap of The Cisco Show (with that guy who runs fast).
Watch Joe, Cisco, and Eddie (Jesse L. Marin, Carlos Valdes, and Rick Cosnett) sing the theme from Firefly!!
Comics in your inbox? With our newsletter The Stack, you can receive a roundup of the best and brightest posts on Panels. Subscribe now!