The CW’s DC content continues to out-class the competition, Arrow is consistently brilliant and The Flash is performing well with the promise of great things in the future. Once again the CW delivered a strong episode of The Flash, I maintain my opinion that they are really giving the character some impact. Characters such as Superman and Batman have featured in so many TV shows and films that we are used to seeing them on-screen now, whereas a character like The Flash has been in very little. As a result it could be that when The Flash appears on the big screen in the slate of new DC movies planned it may be a bit of a shock to the system. Casual superhero fans haven’t seen much of the Flash in this capacity they may be unsure of the character and his powers. They may find it difficult to react to him given that they would have to learn about the character as the action happens. The CW’s branch of the DC universe is fixing this, though this version of The Flash will not appear in the movie universe it is still pleasing that audiences will be used to The Flash by the time he appears on the big screen, even if it is just a basic knowledge of how The Flash’s powers look after only seeing a poster or the show in passing.
For my liking this episode was a little too consumed by its romance story lines, it felt like the early episodes of Arrow when it was a little too soap opera and the romance story arcs were very melodramatic. However, it is never a challenge to see Felicity Smoak on-screen she is a well acted and well written character; an antidote for when the darker characters get a little bit too much. It was fun to see Felicity meeting the cast of The Flash after they have been established a little bit more than the first time they met, which was in the episode of Arrow that saw the first appearance of Barry Allen. In that episode they seemed very generic and one-dimensional, but now after the character development they have got in the past few episodes they have an emotional base to work off. The characters can work off each other better when there are things about the character’s past that add an emotional weight to the character. In this episode Cisco was dealing with guilt after creating the weapon responsible for a man’s death, this adds one more interesting thing to the character, making him more than just the joker who happens to also be good at science. The last time Felicity and Cisco were in an episode together he didn’t have this, and as a result the dialogue between the two weren’t as effective as a result. Cisco is becoming increasingly more interesting as the episodes go on, he is someone who keeps the wise cracks and the joker attitude even though he has some terrible things to contend with. He somehow remains positive even after the events of the accident when he was forced to lock his friend’s fiancé in with the malfunctioning particle accelerator.
The action was once again strong, though Captain Cold was a little thin on the ground in the way of personality and motive he made a fun villain for Barry to go up against. The weapon was a visual treat to observe, the way the ice looked when it was shot out of the gun at something was incredible. A particular visual treat was Barry racing the ice beam to save an innocent, the scene was in slow motion as the orange streak raced the blue ray of ice to a helpless citizen. Every week The Flash boasts strong CGI, not just expensive looking but well used. I have always said that the CGI does not need to be at the height of technology as long as it is done well. Art is better than budget.
The final set piece in which Barry was moving so fast the rest of the world was in slow motion was very impressive. The scene entailed The Flash moving through a derailed train at high-speed, saving citizens and removing them from the train cars before they hit the walls. The carriages flipping through the air, the inside of the train as the citizens float in mid-air because time is standing still for Barry was reminiscent of a scene in Inception. Doctor Harrison continues to be a compelling character, he seems reasonable and charming most of the time, until we get a glimpse of the ruthless psychopath. In this episode the scientist revealed his aggressive side to Cisco as he sees him as someone who can be bullied and manipulated. I look forward to seeing the revelations about Harrison’s true character in the episodes to follow.