The Flash Ep. 5 “Plastique” Review
By Rob Jefchak
After a week off from its usual air time, “The Flash” returns with a somewhat interesting new DC comics character and seeded plans for an even juicier DC character in a most interesting nudge at the end…but I’m getting ahead of myself; back to the beginning. Bette Sans Souci better known in the comics as the show’s titular name “Plastique” is the latest meta-human menace for Barry to run circles around.
Only this time, Bette is a victim more than a villain; she has powers that turn people and objects into high explosives with a single touch; causing some very nasty people like Gen. Wade Eiling to get on her trail and demand she be delivered from Flash friends into the army’s not-so-good graces. What follows is a very predictable and easily foreseeable outcome, but none the less successfully manages to dig up some good stuff that makes the obvious outcome acceptable…more or less.
Starting off with what worked here: Iris and Barry. I give Barry credit for trying literally everything to get Iris to stop writing about “The Streak” due to her father’s wishes; he know he looks like a full blown hypocrite to Iris but he still tries every trick in both books (Barry and the Flashes) and yet she still remains determined. What impressed me here is Iris’s motivation, it thankfully went much deeper into her relationship and his importance in her life rather than say making her some spunky Lois Lane reporter who just wants a good scoop (do people even say scoop anymore? Yeesh)
I find the exploration of Barry’s powers to be a great source of progress, always learning and discovering what he can and cannot do shows he’s still figuring this stuff out and isn’t truly aware of what he could be capable of doing. Mixing in two DC names like General Eiling and Plastique definitely made for much interesting development than another one person meta-human run amok storyline.
For the first time we also see meta-human bonding between Flash and another super powered person, had the ending not gone the way they did this could have produced some interesting developments and challenges for the two to overcome and discover. Sadly, as I said before; the way Plastique was set up made everything that was about to happen foreseeable from a million miles away.
Plastique in the comics was a femme fatale spy who used bombs to solve every sticky situation she got into, and she wasn’t squeamish about turning people into blood splatters. Here, she’s a meta-human who used to diffuse bombs; now she IS a bomb and would rather die than be a used as a weapon by the army. Sympathy makes for better social sparks with Barry but even I knew teasing her as a possible new team member was a heaping pile of BS from the get go.
Her sympathetic status and destructive powers make her impossible to function outside of giving Barry some kind of tragedy to experience. Changing her may make her more relatable as a suffering innocent but leaves her little room to grow or change other than the outcome that befalls her at the end of the episode.I just felt this possible relationship with Barry could have been interesting; having someone who is powerful like him experience this new dynamic would have been a nice change of pace from the usual freak-of-the-week syndrome.
Overall, I would have preferred Plastique stayed the hot bomb baddie she was in the comics and felt her innocent identity made her rather 2-dimensional considering the wasted potential she could have offered. But Iris and Barry had some great scenes, Iris’s motivation for the blog was actually quite deep and the ending with Dr. Wells and his little “pet project” definitely have me hungry for more.