Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Flash Ep. 3: “Things you can’t outrun” Review
By Rob Jefchak


            Last episode featured a truly bonding and heartwarming moment between Barry (Grant Gustin) and Joe West (Jesse L. Martin). This development matured the characters relationship into a meaningful connection that continued to grow in this episode as the search for Barry’s mother’s killer continues more passionately. However, there’s a sense of “things to come” that keep popping up more frequently with each passing episode; even relying on it more so than “Gotham” does. In “Things you can’t outrun”, Barry and Joe reopen the investigation on Barry’s father regarding the mysterious death of his wife. Meanwhile, Caitlin, Cisco and Dr. Wells devise a new super villain/meta-human prison by re-investigating the particle accelerator as a suitable jail cell.
            Which is perfect timing since a new meta-human capable of turning into poisonous gas is killing citizens and making it quite difficult for Flash to stop him…considering he can’t even touch him. I know it hasn’t been long since the series aired but it’s nice to finally get some understanding of Ronnie’s “death” (Caitlin’s fiancé) and what kind of person he was and how their relationship was formed. Caitlin seemed only capable of mentioning him as a cheap means of reminding the audience “she’s damaged” somehow. Not to diminish the nature of her loss but since his death has been referred and introduced so weakly; it’s hard to really feel any emotional depth when so little has been said about the incident outside of using it as a reminder recap.
            I adore super heroes; even though I know very little about “The Flash” and what I do know I learned through scraps of information mentioned by other reviewers/fans in passing. Having said that, even a Flash newbie like me can clearly tell the show has been laying down a lot of Easter eggs with a rather thick coating at that. I’m not saying this is a bad thing (it is after all the very foundation of “Gotham”), but some of episode 3’s scenes felt like they were intentionally half-assed or short changed because they felt every audience member knew what they were talking about so OBVIOUSLY they don’t need to put too much work into it.
            The meta-human this week provided an interesting challenge that would be naturally difficult for any super hero to fight on their first try. Another thing I liked about this episode: seeing Barry blow it. Barry’s still figuring out how to be a super hero and how to handle meta-humans; that means he’s going to screw up and I feel it’s helping Barry/Grant come off as a more natural novice. The fact the show openly admitted that they had relied on killing the past few meta-humans when discussing the natural concern of finding a suitable prison was a “nod” I appreciated more than referencing future Flash museums or Ronnie’s obvious-upcoming-resurrection plotline.
              How Flash finally defeats “The Mist” (meta-human freak of the week) may seem visually disappointing but I give it points for creativity, I give even more points for the unique idea of Flash applying speed vibrations to hide his face from certain people. I may be a super hero fan but even I’m getting uninterested by numerous references that dull the surprise of future events and make things too obvious and less dramatic for the audience to discover by themselves. Things get better when they get more emotional and I feel “Flash” would be better served digging into the people behind the masks and lab coats. I want to like this show and I am slowly liking it more and more…but it’s got to try just a little bit harder to not be JUST another super hero show; it’s got to be something more and hopefully faster rather than slower.