Sorry this one took a while. That’s the dark side of working retail during the holidays.
However, this episode was a nice surprise.
This week saw The Flash come to its mid-season break on a strong note. The way things stand now, I’m sticking to my earlier assertion- of the three new DC series, this was definitely the winner.
(And yes, I do plan to review Constantine, though it will likely be a season overview. Sorry. For what it’s worth, I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far.)
As the title suggests, this week we finally dive into the mystery that kicked off this series in the first place. Of course, since it’s only halfway through the first season, they wisely don’t just dump it all out there. We get some answers, some questions, and some answers that are almost questions in and of themselves.
After several weeks of pursuit and lost clues, the STAR Labs team finally gets their lead on the mysterious man in the yellow suit (given the moniker of Reverse Flash by Cisco, naturally). With the potential for a resolution finally in his grasp, this week becomes a big turning point for Barry – continue to chase after this dangerous phantom, or let go of the past and live his own life?
On his own, Barry is fully prepared to see this through to the end. Instead, the show turns to Joe and his father to present the case for him that maybe it’s time he let go of the past. This also delves into a bit of the meta aspect as both of them give him a variant of the “Will you just tell Iris already?” talk along with it.
For the record, he does tell her, and pretty early in too(though the show moves back and forth with flashbacks). I actually have to commend the show for how it’s handled. The emotion is there for both of them, but it doesn’t feel like it’s laid on too thick. In the end, there is no big happy moment with the confession, since she’s now moving ahead with Eddie and he’s telling her more to get it out of his system and make peace with it.
It’s safe to say this story’s not over, but after the time spent circling the airport on it in the weeks prior, this was a nice, understated way to get that big step set up for the future and settle some of the drama for now. By the episode’s end, they’re still on good terms without any excessive levels of angst to go around. It’s a little sad that is considered a pleasant surprise, but still – points to the show for handling it that way.
Back on the Reverse Flash front, I have to give the show some credit here as well. For as mixed as I have been with some of their handling of metahuman characters in the past, I’m really liking what they did with Reverse Flash this week. We barely know anything about him, but the show has done a great job at making him menacing based on the little clues we do get.
Additionally, the reveal that there may have been another metahuman the night Barry’s mother died, as well as Harrison’s involvement in the incident (I’ll say no more on the long shot you haven’t seen this yet) have provided some great hooks for the show to move forward with when the second half of the season resumes next year.
Once again, I have to commend the showrunners- A lot of series tend to be kind of bumpy in their first seasons (lookin’ at you, Gotham) but so far The Flash has, if you’ll excuse the punny term of phrase, hit the ground running. I’m not going to say it’s been perfect, but it’s found its voice and has been working out its weaker points in short order.
With this mid-season finale, they’ve left themselves in a promising spot to resume next season, and I look forward to seeing where they take this.
Well, it’s been a fun ride so far, and hopefully I will see you guys again next year. To that end, keep an eye out. I’m already making plans for Marvel’s Agent Carter and I’m going to be subjecting myself to some holiday cheer this week.
Maybe cheer won’t be the right word, but you’ll see when I get there.
-Great place to leave the season for the year
-Nice to see another antagonist that isn’t resolved in a single episode
-Ronnie’s return is somewhat underwhelmed by all the bigger events happening around it