Sorry for the delays on this one, guys. We’re doing a double to get this all caught up.
Fortunately, these two dove-tail nicely in wrapping up one plot thread we left off on, so there’s that.
One of the interesting things about these two weeks is the fact that, despite having been unmasked as the official ‘bad thing that happens to good people’, Harrison Wells is keeping a lower profile these episodes. Fortunately, this is pretty in-character for a lot of what we’ve seen of him so far, though he’s more proactive, he’s still doing what he does best – nudging others and watching them scramble while he operates in the shadows.
As such, these two weeks see him throwing different sets of obstacles the STAR Labs team’s way – first in the form of Gorilla Grodd, then in a risk that requires the team to have to transfer their captive metahumans.
The Grodd episode is a great payoff to a storyline the show has been seeding off and on from the start of the season. The idea of an intelligent, psychic gorilla is one that could have been incredibly silly in its execution, and the show addresses that a bit in Cisco’s responses to the idea. The actual payoff, however, is willing to take the idea seriously enough to make it work well. Even the CGI used for Grodd is pretty solid for a television budget.
The second episode, while less focused, is arguably stronger for it. With Wills trying to cause another incident in the lab akin to the first reactor blast at the start of the series, it’s interesting to see Barry’s concern lie with the various metahumans in custody. Like the previous crossovers, the main upshot of this episode is to help underscore how The Flash isn’t Arrow. Barry isn’t going to take the harsher road Oliver would, and instead is optimistic enough that he’d be willing to offer the olive branch to his foes if it could help save lives.
The overarching story that carries through both of these episodes goes back to Harrison’s decision to swipe Eddie and reveal himself to him. I will admit I’ve been really hit and miss with Eddie over the course of this season – he hasn’t been bad, but he just hasn’t been a really standout character either. Which is why I’m kind of surprised that he’s been the one whose reaction to future knowledge is the one that makes the most sense to me.
I mean, yeah, Barry and co’s reactions are understandable in their own way, but Eddie is the only one who seems to be shaken in the long term by his look at what comes in the future. Of course, that may also be from the more personal edge of having it delivered by your own descendant who almost gladly declares you a failure. I mean, even for Wells (or, as he’s known in the Thawne family, Eobard), that is a cold-blooded move, and one that honestly makes you feel kind of bad for Eddie in his resigned acceptance of the future to come.
Speaking in part of his storyline, these two also paid off on the somewhat awkward moment of Iris learning Barry’s identity. Her reaction, to be honest, was understandable – especially for the sheer amount of information she’s been in the dark about. I will admit, as much as I’ve liked Candice Patton in the role, the writing on Iris hasn’t been a favorite for me for a while now. This week the anger is a mix where it’s frustrating as a complication for the story, but I’m also not going to pretend she doesn’t have a right to be angry under the circumstances.
Paired with Eddie’s resignation over his future, things are now in a curious spot between her and Barry, and I’ll admit it – I’m curious to see what the show will do with that.
Each episode ends things off with some interesting groundwork laid out for future episodes: General Eiling is, as I suspected, back in the picture, and for the moment at least a begrudging ally by virtue of shared enemy to Barry, the Snarts have successfully turned all of the metahumans loose, and Barry appears to have, for the moment at least, trapped Wells.
This last one makes for a great payoff to an episode. After the recurring concern of whether Barry could stop Wells solo, this week sees a three-man team of Flash, Arrow, and Firestorm take him down. It’s the kind of comic book moment that the show actually executes quite well, even if it’s only to briefly serve as a stinger to an episode.
With Wells now the only one left in custody, the show is in an interesting spot – especially since there’s the question of whether or not this is part of his plans or not, we know Barry’s been able to surprise him before.
In light of all of these events, I’m now curious to see what’s lined up in Fast Enough this Tuesday.
-Good build-up and FX work on Grodd
-Big finale to the second episode a great crossover moment
-The question of what the future knowledge could do to Eddie’s storyline has a lot of promise
-While her motives are understandable, Iris’s storyline does drag the Grodd episode a bit before bringing it back around
-Hopefully the metahumans released will get a bit more chance at character this time around, seeing as some of them are still cyphers