Don’t get angry. It was fine. There was a lot of good but enough bad to make the episode uneven. Here is the breakdown.
GOOD Iris West is no longer a pouty mess
She hasn’t been one for a while, but this episode convinced me that her character has graduated from whiny CW girlfriend to well-rounded quippy team member. Her arc with Barry this episode wasn’t incredibly compelling, but it did answer an important question: how is Barry going to date someone who knows that he is the Flash. Done wrong, this could have turned into a Spiderman 3 type relationship i.e. everyone is jealous and crying. Iris was good this week and look like she’s gonna be a solid character going forward.
BAD Wally West is a pouty mess
It seems like the West family has a set amount of poutyness that they all share, and right now Wally has all of it. And I understand what is behind Wally’s pouting, but it happened so quickly that it turned him from the entertaining side character to that most annoying member of the group. That might be because everyone else is so strong (see above) but this week saw a notable dip in Wally’s enjoyability. Maybe if Wally had waited an episode or two to throw himself into traffic, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal.
Also the speed at which it happened (sorry about the pun Wally) (not) along with other new information choreographed his arc this season way too clearly. Barry will accidentally mention Kid Flash and Wally will seek out Alchemy (sorry Cisco) DR Alchemy in an attempt to get his Flashpoint speed restored. Then he will go bad for a little bit because of mind control or something and sacrifice either himself or his powers to stop Dr Alchemy once and for all.
GOOD Harry and Jesse are back!
After only a couple episodes, the show was clearly lacking a character that was having a ton of fun. Jesse Quick is that character. Her desire to join Barry and fight crime makes sense and her father’s reaction to that desire makes sense too. And speaking of Harry, it sucks that he is back. Not! He’s great. His quipping is also greatly appreciated. Hopefully he will die soon. Not! Alright, I’ll stop.
BAD Jesse’s costume is dumb
Why couldn’t they find her a new costume? Re-purposing Trajectory’s costume is the same as giving someone a car that the previous owner died in. It’s creepy. And the Flash symbol Wells slapped onto it takes away from Jesse being her own character in a weird way. Instead of Jesse Quick, it looks like she’s just going to be Flash Girl.
Also, all this CW leather is really starting to get to me. Jessie Quick has so many interesting looks. Granted most of them don’t have pants, that could have easily been changed. She traditionally wears a t-shirt and gloves. Just give her those. Everyone doesn’t have to look like the first movie X-Men. Arrow seems to have figured that out. Get with it.
Good Magenta wasn’t just crazy
Granted she was half crazy, the split personality angle saved an important Flash character from being another throw away villain. Flash talking her down was a very Flash moment. And it worked. That’s a really strong way to not only demonstrate Magenta’s humanity but also Flash’s value. He doesn’t always have to beat people up. His optimism is every bit as important as his speed.
BAD Julian is a huge jerk and kind of an idiot
Newsflash Julian, if you discover that someone is capable of superhuman murder, figure out a way to stop them that doesn’t involve making them really angry. He is simultaneously both smart enough to steal her glass for testing but stupid enough to forget why she’s dangerous. You could explain it away by pointing out that Julian is a dick to pretty much everyone, but that doesn’t make him that compelling of a character. If he instead was able to devise a clever plan to capture her that failed, we would have an adversary for Barry that may be smart enough to match him in some interesting ways. Overall the scene with Julian and Magenta felt weird.
UNCLEAR Caitlin is pretty bad at hiding that she is a metahuman
This “I don’t nuthin about no metahumans” gag is fun but bordering on unbelievable. Eventually she will get found out (and based on episode titles it seems like sooner rather than later) but she’s not so dumb that she can’t lay low for a little while. Caitlin telling Harry what’s what was pretty great though. She’s probably the character to whom the show has always given a perfect amount of screen time. It’s like real snow. A little snow is awesome but when you get so much that it’s covering your car, you never want to see it again.
Next week, we are going to be treated to a double helping of Rogues that fans have been waiting for. Mirror Master and he sister? The Top are going up against Barry and Jesse. This seems like enough action that we don’t need to really focus on Wally and his whining or Julian and his mood swings, so it might be the best so far. Fingers crossed.
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?