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The Flash Celebrates Christmas By Revealing Some Serious Stuff

Ross Lincoln | 10 Dec 2014 18:00
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Final Thoughts:

  • I'm genuinely curious about the way the show is treating Reverse Flash. It's unclear precisely what's happening, but somehow Dr. Wells is in league with him - and probably is him. Is this a time travel duplicate situation? That would make sense, as we've already seen how Wells has a newspaper from 10 years in the future that suggests the Flash has disappeared after some kind of cosmic event. Is Wells attempting to stop that future, or bring it to fruition?
  • Speaking of Reverse Flash, for now anyway we can definitely rule out Eddie Thawn as the man under (one of) the suit(s). Especially after this episode's crisis seems to have changed Eddie's mind about The Flash. He was truly terrified by the display of Reverse Flash's power, and shocked, frankly, to still be alive. He's also witnessed incontrovertible proof that there are terrifying, superpowered people running around. He agrees with Joe that the general existence of metahumans is something that might be best kept secret for now, but more importantly, when he asks if Joe knows who The Flash is, Joe tells him "I do... he's the guy that just saved both our lives." As Joe walks away, Eddie tears up and it's clear he's feeling terrible about his initial assessment of the Central City Speedster. How much longer before he figures out Barry is The Flash remains unclear, but I suspect he'll soon become at least an adjunct member of Team Flash by the time the series returns in January.
  • This show has demonstrated remarkable special effects considering how relatively low its budget has to be, and "The Man in the Yellow Suit" is no exception. Firestorm's brief appearances were effective, and the two battles between Flash and Reverse Flash were thrilling. Better, the last-minute appearance by Firestorm was almost epic, signaling the appearance of (at last) a metahuman ally for Barry, and this show's full commitment to exploring the ramifications of having superpowered people suddenly become a real thing. I can't wait to see where this theme is taken when the show resumes.
  • I love how conflicts between characters are never dragged out for false drama. These friends and colleagues don't needlessly hide things from one another, they call one another out for their errors, and more importantly, they listen to one another and make a genuine effort to respond to the concerns of their loved ones. It's so refreshing, given that so much genre tv thrives on soap opera dynamics to mask a slow-moving plot, and it's one more reason this show is such a joy to watch.
  • Adding to the above, the chemistry between Jesse L. Martin and Grant Gustin has emerged as the thing that most effectively grounds this show. Their dynamic, caring, sarcastic, filled with mutual respect, familial loyalty and an unwillingness to let the other hide behind bullshit is fantastic and gives their surrogate father/son relationship real depth.
  • Honestly, the team in charge of Warner Bros. superhero films ought to resign and allow at least some members of the team(s) that developed Arrow and The Flash for The CW to take over. They're doing everything right and better, they're clearly not somewhat embarrassed by comic books as source material.
  • Last thing: I'm used to shows slogging through a traditional 24 episode season dragging, painfully, through boring plots-of-the-week and only occasionally touching on the implied myth-building. But The Flash is getting to some serious shit in only the 9th episode. Further, previous episodes, villain-of-the-week they may have been, have been so rooted in character building - effective character building, I should say - that they've made this week's episode feel like the fulfillment of the myth arc instead of the return to it. It's something Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. failed utterly to do in its first season, and once again, is why this show is special.

Bottom Line: Like I said on page one, at this point The Flash doesn't appear capable of letting me down. It's definitely the best superhero show on TV, among the greatest comic book adaptations of all time, and damn fun television to boot.

Recommendation: Binge the entire season and then watch this episode twice.

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