Only The Flash Could Make So Many Missteps So Quickly -- The Flash 1x15
All the plot happened on this week's The Flash
(I don't really consider this first point a spoiler since it comes in the first 5 minutes of the episode, but apparently most of the Internet missed it, so I'm putting it after the spoiler space anyway. Full-blown spoilers follow thereafter.)
...except, they establish in the first 5 minutes that they're doing a Groundhog's Day episode when Barry briefly sees another Barry running beside him, immediately followed by a series of commonplace everyday occurrences of the sort that they never show on TV unless the day's going to repeat
After that, we get about half an episode of freak-of-the-week plot with the slightly-less-lame brother of the lame Weather Wizard character from the series premier, while Cisco continues to be conflicted about suspecting Wells is up to something -- basically, run-of-the-mill Flash
. I'd like to think their goal here was to make the episode feel just mediocre enough for just long enough to get the audience to forget the time travel reveal from the beginning, so that when all the plot hammers started falling they'd still achieve some impact. If that's what they were going for, I have to admit it largely worked.
Watching all the overarching plot lines that have been plodding along since the premier finally come to fruition made for some of the best scenes this series has ever had. Even though the "big reveal" of Wells's true identity was only confirming what pretty much the entire fan-base has suspected since the beginning (despite the show's creators outright lying about it), the dawning realization as he came clean that we were watching Cisco's final moments gave it a certain poignancy. And no matter how much I'd rather they drop the forced and vaguely incestuous romantic subplot between Barry and Iris entirely, seeing that relationship actually move forward
was still better than more treading water. And, the most forgodssakesfinally
of them all, Barry's forced to give up on the pointless and counterproductive charade of hiding his powers from Iris to "protect her". Let me say it one more time: For gods sakes finally!
Except... A second after all those long overdue plot advancements, I remembered: They already showed us a big ol' reset button. And then I felt doubly cheated: once because the writers were playing dirty pool, and again because they almost managed to get away with it even after starting the game by telling us they were cheating.
If the changes to the status quo had been legit, this episode would have earned the show a whole new level of respect from me for having the cojones to finally go somewhere. But even if these changes had stuck, I'd still be disappointed that they went to the wrong places.
Yes, the Barry/Iris relationship going anywhere is better than
continuing to go nowhere, but it really just needs to go away. That's been messed up since the beginning, though, so at least the writers didn't lose ground there. Unfortunately, they also screwed up the one really good thing the show had going for it: The mystery of Harrison Wells. His true identity has been obvious for some time, but they've deftly managed to keep his true intentions a little more hazy. We knew his moral compass was several shades darker than the rest of the team's, and that this would inevitably bring him into conflict with them. But up until now, even with all his lies, the connections between the characters seemed genuine enough that it was easy to imagine that conflict causing real pathos.
Instead, we watched Wells coldly murder Cisco with no real regret. And in that moment, the most interesting, complex character on the show became just another two-dimensional comic book villain. #tv #review #theflash