On the surface, this seems like another villain-of-the-week formulaic episode. But halfway through, it becomes much more intriguing thank goodness.
I had many issues with the first 15 minutes of Plastique, particularly with how ridiculously similar it seemed to Arrow season one. A guy trying to save his city from villains, the love of his life wanting to find him, and an odd exchange between the two (later on a roof). In fact, the whole thing not only screamed “season one Arrow”, but also a bit of old-school Smallville. So I hope that Barry and Iris’ “separation” will make her character do more than just say “Red Streak” every few minutes. She needs to become more interesting very soon or else just have her find out the truth about Barry. I can’t stand this storyline taking over an entire season.
Sans Souci certainly seemed like a dull villain at the first glance. Thankfully, she turned out to be extremely likable and intriguing. I do sort of wish her stay would’ve lasted a bit longer, but I appreciate the kind of complexity her presence brought to the episode. Barry wanted her to join the team (at which one point I thought was going to happen), but how could she when she is basically a human explosive (also called Plastique, thanks to Cisco). Harrison Wells’ involvement proved to be extremely effective. This guy has developed into the most fascinating and mysterious characters on the show, and Tom Cavanagh is amazing at being extremely likable yet sort of villainous as well (our favorite kind of villain).
Barry, Caitlin and Cisco are definitely starting to become a tighter group of friends, and their scenes were all excellent here. They all have great chemistry together now (finally) and none of their interactions feel forced. The same goes for General Eiling and Harrison. I was delighted to see Clancy Brown in this role, and I can’t wait to see him butt heads with Harrison in the future. It’s hard to assume who exactly is the Big Bad right now, but Harrison is definitely keeping a lot of secrets (and a gorilla perhaps).
Meanwhile on the Joe front, he continues to be an integral part of this show’s heart. His laugh, when Barry tells him he can vibrate his vocal cords and thus changing his voice, brought a huge grin on my face. It’s a little weird to discuss how amazing a character’s laugh is, but that was one ridiculously real-life laugh. And thank God he’s proving to be so much smarter than many other people on this show (I’m looking at you, Iris).
In many ways, this felt like a necessary episode to get a few kinks out of the way and to move the story forward. Now everyone in Central City will know about the Red Streak (thanks for that, Iris), and that will definitely have consequences on Barry and S.T.A.R. labs, something that should be extremely fun to watch.
– I haven’t talked much about Grant Gustin because I’m just assuming you too are also loving his top-notch performances as both a goofy Barry Allen and a heroic Flash.
– Cisco being worried about his suit was funny.
– It’s so great that we’re learning stuff about the Flash with every passing week. Apparently, he can also walk on water and climb buildings. I could’ve lived without the somewhat bizarre CGI during the river explosion, though. Just saying.
– There was only one flashback in this episode, and that’s fine because it included Gorilla Grodd! I’m not familiar with the comics and even I know how huge this is. Are they keeping this explosive arc for the season finale?
– Who else bets that Iris’ life will be in danger really soon? I can just see it coming.
– How amusing were Barry’s attempts at getting drunk? I especially loved Caitlin and Cisco’s 500 proof concoction that only intoxicated him for a few mere seconds. I am loving this trio now.
– I wasn’t not very fond of the voiceovers, especially when they were just about friendship and soapy stuff like that. I don’t understand why writers still go down that path when they hardly add anything to the episode.
– Sans Souci’s last words “Barry, Dr. Wells… he…” were a bit too soapy for my taste. But there’s no way Barry was going to find out the truth about Harrison that soon. At least he should be suspicious now.
– That song in the montage at the end is a cover of, ironically, “I Ran” by Flock of Seagulls.
Red Blurs & Quotes
Joe: I have watched you be in love with Iris since you were old enough to know what love is. And I’ve been waiting years for you to tell her. But you haven’t.
Barry: Because I was too slow.
Caitlin: He’s so hot. Uh, I mean, genetically speaking. Because I’m a geneticist, of course. Oh my god, do I sound like Felicity?
Barry: I can’t get drunk. I mean, I’m only 25 and my drinking days are already over.
Cisco: My suit went “kaboom”?
Barry: What if I get a bunch of mattresses and stack them?
Caitlin: Barry, this isn’t a Road Runner cartoon.
Joe: Barry, don’t you think Iris would recognize your voice?
Barry: No, I can do this cool thing with my vocal cords where I vibrate them so I sound like this. [Joe laughs] I know. It’s cool, it’s cool.
I Ran (So Far Away) by Boga
Another solid installment that improved with the second half of the episode and hopefully set the show up for bigger storylines in the future.