Guest Review The Flash

The Flash 2×11 – The Reverse-Flash Returns

“Don’t slurp.”

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Wow, and I thought last week’s episode was bad.

With a title that exciting, I really thought The Flash was going to deliver a pulse-pounding hour of television, but sadly everything felt overstuffed and hugely underwhelming, even with Eobard Thawne’s return.

I’ve never once questioned the science behind shows like this (after all, let’s not forget this is a show taken out of a comic book), but all the timey-wimey stuff seemed to go straight over my head this time. It’s confusing to see Eobard still alive after Eddie sacrificed his life last season to avoid the Reverse Flash from being born, and a simple diagram and mentions of the Speed Force just didn’t seem to do it for me this time. However, if the writers wanted to go down this road and explain their way out of this, there has to be at least a reason for this to happen. Here, the show simply brought back Eobard Thawne only to send him back again by hour’s end. I can’t seem to connect this storyline to any of the Zoom-related arcs this season is supposed to be based on, and that just makes for dull storytelling. Neither the pacing nor the writing felt on par with the episode’s overall tone, and it all culminated in an anticlimactic, unsatisfying ending to the show’s supposedly most menacing villain yet.

Sadly, it just seems like The Flash has forgotten to have fun. Admittedly, the best thing about the show’s debut season was its lighthearted tone. Even if the best episodes last year were some of the darkest, most gruesome ones (“Grodd Lives”, “The Trap”, “Out of Time”), what made this show unique was how it stayed true to its source material in a fun, energetic matter. Which makes episodes like this, where there’s hardly anything fun or upbeat, feel tonally jarring.

Then there’s Patty Spivot. The writers managed to screw up their best female character yet. The fact that it took over 10 episodes to finally reveal Barry’s secret identity to her was a huge misstep on the show’s part, and after I thought they’d gotten rid of her last week, they brought her back again only to give her an even worse sendoff. No, Patty discovering his secret on her own doesn’t rectify everything you’ve done to this character, writers, and I don’t know whether to be sad to see Shantel VanSanten leave or relieved that this horrendous storyline is finally over. What a huge letdown.

The West family drama was surprisingly touching as it featured Iris giving a truly heart-breaking speech to her dying estranged mother, but adding this subplot along with Caitlin and Jay’s atrocious scenes in an episode that already felt overstuffed was too much to handle. The mention of Hunter Zolomon, Jay’s Earth-1 doppelganger, was a nifty little nod to the comic-book fans (I did have to look this up though) and could be an exciting arc for the show, but seeing how dreadful this season has been, I’m not holding my breath.

Speedy Bits

– Seriously, where’s the serialized storytelling we’ve all been waiting for? I really can’t see how this episode fits within the season’s overall arc.

– Why does this show even still use the opening voiceovers? I thought we agreed they were cringe-inducing and lame, writers.

– Even when The Flash suffers from the writing department, it used to be at least entertaining with its special effects and action sequences (barely). Sadly, there was hardly anything impressive here to keep me entertained.

– The fact that Barry continued to lie to Patty even after she figured him all out was just a terrible move on Barry’s part. The little train trick she played on him in the end, while predictable and hardly gave me any closure, at least allowed Barry to see that he’s not the brightest person on Earth (or any of the other Earths for that matter).

– It’s no surprise that Cisco continues to be the best character on this show. This week, he didn’t have a lot of cool one-liners, but I did love his “slurp” game with Harry in the beginning, how he screamed like a little girl when Harry was dressed in the Reverse-Flash costume, and his “bye Felicia!” line to Eobard Thawne.

– So, why exactly was Cisco vanishing into thin air like that? And why is it that the team figures out a solution to every problem within SECONDS?

– Ah yes, we definitely needed Patty to say “bye Barry” at the end. Great writing there, guys.

Red Blurs & One-Liners

Cisco: Are you telling me I can see the future?
Harry: That’s exactly what I’m telling you.
Cisco: Those goggles are getting named immediately.

Harry: You do realize this Earth is my Earth-2, right?

Conclusion
A forgettable, highly disappointing and overstuffed hour, one of the show’s worst episodes yet.

Chris Rating
C

3 comments

  1. Yeah, this episode could have been better. I did like the emotional subplot with Joe, Iris, Wally, and the dying mother. But I didn't care about the Jay-Caitlin subplot which came to the same conclusion they reached last episode which is to save Jay, Zoom must be stopped. While the Reverse-Flash storyline should have encompassed the entire episode, I think it did serve a point which is that the Reverse-Flash will always be out there despite what was done to stop him in the S1 finale and Barry being faced with that tormenting fact. However, I wish there could have been a Reverse Flash-Zoom teamup or Reverse Flash possessing some knowledge of Zoom somehow that Barry could find useful.

    The Patty storyline was the biggest misstep of not only this episode but the ongoing season. If they had let her just disappear from the show after last episode, I would have been fine with it. But they had to drag out her departure and her figure out Barry's secret only for Barry to lie again and, even when he does expose himself as the Flash unintentionally to Patty, for that to not change her leaving Central City. I stand by what I said in the comment section of last episode's review about how I would prefer Patty to have left, knowing the truth a lot earlier and making her own choice to leave Central City to strengthen Barry's focus as the Flash.

  2. A Reverse Flash/Zoom teamup is exactly what this episode needed! Wasted opportunity right there. In fact, Zoom's absense for the past couple of episodes makes this season much worse. How are we supposed to be frightened (or feel anything) by this villain IF HE'S NOT EVEN HERE?

    And the less we speak of Patty, the better!

    Thanks for commenting! Always nice to read your thoughts, glad we agree most of the times!

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