TV Recap: The Flash, ‘Invincible’

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Invincible Plot Summary:

After Zoom unleashes an army of Earth-2 meta-humans on Central City, Barry is shaken when he sees their leader is the Black Canary’s Earth-2 doppelganger, the Black Siren. Meanwhile, Wally takes to the streets to help The Flash stop the meta-humans, which worries Joe. Iris and Henry are concerned about Barry taking on Zoom.

Last week we had what was by all accounts, an incredible Flash episode. It didn’t have a ton of punching or special effects. It was just Barry talking with visions of his various family members in attempt to get past the tragic death of his mother that has been haunting him since the series began. More importantly, it took a character that comics rightly paint as the fun loving superhero optimist and wrestled him back from the darkness and pessimism that this season has been lousy with. In essence, TV Flash became THE Flash.

Photo Credit: The CW
Photo Credit: The CW

Well say goodbye to that and say hello to more goddamn pointless tragedy and an even angrier Barry!

That’s right. This week we lost another one of Barry’s parental figures (with another looking to be in jeopardy next week) in a desperate effort to raise the stakes of the season finale, as if Zoom conquering all of reality wasn’t dramatic enough.

“Invincible” really felt like a direct retaliation to last week’s “Runaway Dinosaur.” And to be clear, we loved “Runaway Dinosaur.”

After his reincarnation last week, we got a new Barry. He is zen. He doesn’t have any of his usual self doubt and is ready to meet these new challenges with a positive attitude. And we, the audience, know that he was right to feel that way. He spoke to one of the fundamental forces of the universe and it brought him back to life with his speed intact. It isn’t crazy to assume he will have a little more confidence in himself and his ability to do good.

So Zoom unleashes a metahuman army and Barry handles it. He says he can defeat them and indeed he does. The plan goes about as flawlessly as a Flash plan has ever gone. And for some reason, every character on the show besides Barry thought this newfound optimism was strange. The entire S.T.A.R. team, from Joe to Cisco (who is always unusually chippy during their world saving adventures) brought up Barry’s new positive attitude as an issue that Barry needed to address before he got too cocky and made a dangerous mistake.

The team’s reaction to Barry’s enlightenment felt like the show attempting to discipline him. “Barry can’t have this much fun or have an outlook that isn’t every bit as bleak as Arrow’s and if he doesn’t behave, we will kill his father so that the show gets dark again. That’ll show him.” But why? That’s not who the Flash is. Why can’t he have some peace?

Photo Credit: The CW
Photo Credit: The CW

For crying out loud, not every superhero has to be Batman. Barry can get emotional and be motivated by dead family members, sure. What superhero doesn’t. But why does raising the stakes on these shows always mean raising the darkness? Why can’t Barry keep his positive attitude for more than a week? He is closer to Spider-Man than most other mainstream superheroes and this week’s episode seems to be steering Flash into the very dangerous Spider-Man 3 territory. We are getting a lot of crying and yelling that with ultimately end up nowhere.

Kevin Smith and Zack Stentz did The Flash a huge favor last week. They saw the direction the show was going in and gave Barry a hard reset. They got him over his dead parent issues that had been weighing Barry down since last season’s finale and gave him to confidence to be the kind of character that the Flash should be. And now I feel like their work has been erased. And with an almost certainly dramatic ending to the season coming up this upcoming week, there is nowhere they can go but darker.

Why do I get the feeling when Zoom is talking about embracing the darkness, he is talking to the audience?

Photo Credit: The CW
Photo Credit: The CW

Other Stuff

Laurel was fine. It seems like this should have been how Canary worked all along (minus the evil part). Also how is the Flash gang going to explain her doppleganger to the Arrow team when they find out that she’s dead? Just kidding. I’m sure original Laurel will be alive very soon.

The rest of the meta humans all were all pretty bland. Everyone had a power that seemed to be represented by a different glowy color. That’s fine I guess. Having them all in normal jail should present some interesting problems that I’m sure the show will ignore.

Cisco has powers now, which was the highlight of the episode for me. I’m really glad we’re finally moving along with this part of the show. Please please please please please don’t tragically kill his brother in an attempt to up his drama level. Cisco doesn’t need that kind of boost. He already wants to be a superhero.

Photo Credit: The CW
Photo Credit: The CW

How stupid is Wally? Does he honestly not know Barry is the Flash yet? He has met him multiple times and doesn’t know anyone in town except the couple of people in his family and the street racers. If I lived in a city with the Flash, I would work backwards from the assumption that everyone I met was the Flash. Not the other way around. Also I liked that his car is the same color as his Flash costume.

I’m honestly pretty bummed to see John Wesley Shipp go. I thought he did an excellent job as Henry Allen. He played the dad beats right. Off camera, he clearly really enjoyed being on the show. And it was cute to have him meet up with Amanda Pays aka Dr McGee, who played his love interest of the same name on the original Flash show. And while I’m angry that Henry Allen is now dead, I’m much more worried about how his death will affect the show going forward.


Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome Senior Staff Writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he focuses on 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 has an unshakable love for U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. His twitter handle is @NationofNando. Did we mention how handsome he was?

Matthew Nando Kelly is a cool and tough Senior Staff Writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he makes pop culture brackets with fellow writer DJ Chapman.

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