TV Recap: Flash, ‘All Star Team Up’


All Star Team Up Plot:

Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) and Ray (Brandon Routh) come to Central City seeking help with Ray’s suit; a meta-human releases deadly robotic bees; a group dinner does not go as planned.

Well that was fine. Pretty fine. Let’s break it all down.

I’m ATOM and I helped!

Superman is back, except this time he’s going to be mildly useful. That’s right. Fans of the goofiest hunk on TV are in luck as Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) stopped by S.T.A.R. Labs because why not? He’s cool, right? He can fly around and shoot lightning like the Emperor. That’s gotta be worth something. Luckily he brought Felicity who proved to be far more useful and fun.

Ray had a couple of key responsibilities in ‘All Star Team Up.’ First of all, he had to get some suit help, and jog Cisco’s memory. You see Ray is the only other person on either show who can use the phrase “You really are quite clever, Cisco” without it being completely out of character. Second, he needed to act as a human bug zapper. Third, and most importantly, he had to throw the least successful dinner in TV history — besides a specific wedding and that time Oscar invited the Pigeon sisters over without telling Felix. All in all, his cameo was fine. Honestly he makes a ton more sense on Flash than he does on Arrow, since the whole CEO thing went out the window when he started fighting crime. At least now he is interested in making things “smaller.” Hopefully that catches on quick.

Hold on a second? Was that HIVE?

Yeah. Emily Kinney from The Walking Dead had what can only be described as a reduced cameo as The Bug-Eyed Bandit aka Poison Ivy from Batman and Robin, but with bees. Well, except the bees aren’t normal bees. They’re robot bees. So Brie Larvin was a dangerous scientist who invented robot bees but tried to militarize them and got fired from Mercury Labs. Flash is able to subdue her after Felicity, in the most bizarre moment in hacking history since Jurassic Park, is able to hack the bees. So we get Barry running aimlessly around a warehouse (even though he just learned to vibrate through walls last episode) while Ray does his best Iron Man impression and Felicity does all the real work via bee hacking.

The real question I wanted answered, and maybe I missed it, is “Was Larvin associated with HIVE?” Fans of Teen Titans remember HIVE as the mini Legion of Doom that consisted of regulars like Jynx, Gizmo, and Mammoth. Brother Blood even led the group for a time. On Arrow, Deadshot mentioned to Diggle that HIVE was behind his brother’s murder and we saw a brief glimpse of them in the latest Suicide Squad episode. I only mention this because their logo is sometimes a honeycomb and Larvin had similar shapes scattered around her warehouse. It would make sense that she would join an organization with a similar bee penchant but it seems like more of a coincidence since it was never mentioned and if this were a HIVE episode, Diggle would probably have been involved.

You thought you didn’t like Iris before…

Sweet Christmas. If there was one thing I took away from this episode, it is that Iris just loves starting drama. Now I’ll give her that Barry and Eddie were acting super weird (we’ll get to it) but is that an excuse to react the way she did? Absolutely not. She gets mad at Eddie for keeping secrets even though he is a cop who clearly cannot tell her everything about his work. What’s worse is at dinner she starts a fight and storms off. At a certain point she even blamed Eddie for everything. Yes Iris, it is your fault that we’re not having a nice evening. You started a huge argument at the fanciest dinner of your life. As a huge fan of the show and of the character from the comics, I am more than ready for Wells to give her the handshake, if you know what I mean.


The worst liars ever!

Seriously. No one on this show can lie, literally to save their own lives. Here’s a hint team. If Iris can tell there’s something up, you might be the worst liars ever. This season’s connective tissue is that in each episode, the team is getting closer and closer to making their move against Wells. This episode, Cisco had a flash-sideways to the previous timeline in which Wells/Thawne killed him. Granted he now knows he is working with a serial killer, Cisco and friends are going to have to do a better job of keeping this secret if they want to not get Thawn’d.

Looking back, bringing Eddie into the fold was probably a mistake. He is clearly worse at keeping a secret than Caitlin and that’s saying something. He had the perfect excuse in his back pocket the whole time. “Hey, honey. You seem distracted. What’s up.” “Just cop stuff. It’s confidential. I can’t talk about it. Right, Joe?” “Right.” That’s all it would take. If Iris continues to push it, then you dump her. The issue is that she probably would push it because apparently on Flash, Iris is the worst.

Rating: 5/10

Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome staff writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Aside from weekly Flash reviews, he writes about film, television, music, and video games. Matthew also has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he discusses pop culture related brackets with fellow Pop-Break writer DJ Chapman. He loves U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. He can also occasionally be found writing lists on Topless Robot and his twitter handle is @NationofNando

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.


  1. “Superman is back” oh come on guys, you could do better. We say “Superman returns”…

    Great review. This episode was really, really, wrong on many levels and you pointed them out very well.

    I’ll just add that I am very much excited about all the HIVE talk between Arrow and Flash. They are related to Diggle’s story, of course, but they also have a big part in someone else’s story… Caitlin Snow. In New 52, it’s HIVE who locked her up in STU (the big machine she was working on) and transformed her into the heat vampire we know her to be. I’d love for the show to take that route, and not go with some cheesy theories I keep seeing online “Caitlin will become KF because Wells betrayed her, or because Ronnie died…” euuuh okay guys, but like, there’s no way in hell Dr Caitlin Adorable Snow turns evil because of a loss or something like that. She already went though one grief and came out of it stronger. Nope, big accident/not-so-an-accident giving her powers she cannot control, that’s comic canon and that would actually be interesting.

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