With this, we’re now five episodes out from the end of the newest addition to the DCTVU’s first season. I have to admit, I’m impressed with how quickly this has found its footing.
With this week, the noose is continuing to tighten on Wells and the show continues to integrate itself into the larger continuity in a way that, rather than feeling intrusive, actually gives an incentive to want to branch out.
I’ve said it several times now, but DC, what you’re doing here is working.
I started mentioning this in the preamble, but I do want to add on the earlier statement, I’m genuinely liking how DC’s television team is crafting a larger continuity. While their films sound like they’re going to become a mess of cramming everything in at once, the television branch is taking advantage of the greater space of time they’re allowed to let the setting expand at natural rate. While I’ve still not checked out much of Arrow yet, the building within The Flash alone has already done an admirable job of making the setting feel larger than its single story.
(Purely as a personal aside here, the Coast City nod at the start of this episode DID make me grin more than it probably should have, even though I know nothing is set on that yet.)
That larger setting comes into play with the question hanging on this episode as well – this time sending Joe and Cisco off to Starling City to investigate the fateful accident that changed the man they know as Harrison Wells.
With two of the Wells investigation team out of town, it’s on Barry, Caitlin, and Eddie to deal with this week’s metahuman – a thief with the ability to take on the shapes of others who then take the fall for his crimes. It’s a bit of a tried and true story for a villain of the week, while that plot leads to an effective and creepy ending scene, the big reward of this week is in the character interactions.
Barry has certainly had moments with Caitlin and Eddie before this, but this week in particular feels like it’s had some of their better moments of the season so far.
In the former case, it’s Barry trying to convince the last uncertain member of the team that there may be something seriously awry with her employer/mentor. This is, justifiably, a lot for Caitlin to have to consider given her backstory to this point, and Panabaker is playing it well. With the new reveals at the end of this week, it will be interesting to see what’s left of that uncertainty.
Eddie, meanwhile, finally gets some payoff after the last few weeks of awkward moments keeping Iris in the dark. Besides finally putting that storyline to rest this week, his insistence with Barry that, despite being framed for assault, he wants to clear his name through the proper channels rather than have Barry spring him speaks pretty well.
A lot of their earlier scenes in the series tended to be incredibly awkward for the sheer amount of things Barry had to keep from him. Now that circumstances require them to be more open with each other, it has made their interactions more fleshed out and memorable. It also helps Eddie feel more like a member of the group than he has prior to this week.
And, of course, there’s the note this episode ends on – the team has now found Wells’ secret room. Next week stands to mark the ultimate test of just how much Wells is unaware of and how much is just him feigning ignorance until his pursuers make a mistake.
With next week being called The Trap, I imagine we’ll find out who blinks sooner rather than later.
-Crossovers going from ‘special event’ to actually feeding the feeling of a larger continuity
-Splitting the team leading to good chances for different character team-ups to shine
-This week’s antagonist sort of falls short compared to the reveals on the bigger storyline
-I can’t tell you all how happy I am that this looks to be the last week of the Iris-Eddie friction