Guest Review The Flash

The Flash 2×19 – Back to Normal

“Why is it that bad guys always insist on having the creepiest hideouts?”

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Watching television shouldn’t be torture, but that’s exactly what it’s been like for this season of The Flash. I really hate coming down on this show so hard with negative reviews week after week, but dear God was this episode boring.

“The superhero loses his powers” is one of the oldest plots in the book when it comes to the comicbook world, and it’s a relatively interesting one as it focuses on the hero’s human and humble aspects for once. But for The Flash (both the show and its titular character), it’s unexciting and lackluster. The problem is that Barry Allen is a boring character without his speed and the dreadful writing doesn’t give him anything to do in Back to Normal besides wallow and wait for someone (usually Joe, this time Iris) to boost his ego with an inspirational “but you’re a hero with or without the suit” speech.

That makes this show extremely predictable and difficult to watch. Even Zoom taking Caitlin hostage is naturally a disaster. There’s no understanding as to why he wants to keep her imprisoned, and there’s no reason to leave her unattended with Killer Frost and the man in the iron mask, both of whom just existed in this episode without moving the plot anywhere. Caitlin’s doppelganger in particular was horrendous; her promising Cait that she’ll help her escape if she lets her out of the glass prison couldn’t even fool the least avid TV viewer, so it came as absolutely no surprise when she wanted to destroy and kill her once she got what she wanted. Again, why a supposed scientist like Caitlin couldn’t see the double-cross happening from a mile away is simply unacceptable.

Why this episode even decided to revert back to a one-time villain isn’t that surprising considering that the season-arcs can’t possibly be stretched any longer, but there wasn’t much to Griffin Grey’s character that’s worth talking about. I appreciated the nice change of pace this time, having the metahuman mistake Harry for the evil Dr. Wells of last season, but once he captured him it was only a matter of time before Team Flash figured out a way to get him back. I wish I can keep count of the number of times someone on this show is taken captive.

Then there’s that ending. After Harry spends the entire episode blaming himself for his doppelganger’s actions (building a particle accelerator which killed and ruined SO many lives), he goes to Barry and tells him they should build ANOTHER one. It might be for a good cause (getting Barry his speed back), but I can’t believe the writers let the episode end on this note after spending the entire hour showing the downsides of having the first one. Sure, they’ll probably figure out a way to do it without ruining other people’s lives this time (because of course they will), but the cliffhanger left such a bad taste in my mouth that makes me sick and completely annoyed with this show.

UGH.

Speedy Bits

– The opening teaser was just so not cool. Is the show suggesting that waiting in line for coffee is a horrible thing to do? And, more importantly, did he used to pay or just steal the coffee and sprint away?

– So many cringe-inducing lines from Killer Frost this week and I’m not the least bit sad to see her go, but I really loved that sequence: Zoom speeding in (through Caitlin!) and stabbing her with her own icicle. That was cold (horrible pun intended).

– Wally had a subplot. He wanted to meet The Flash. And he met him. Subplot over.

– Am I dead inside or was the Harry/Jesse reunion just not very emotional?

– On that note, both Harry and Cisco call her “Jesse Quick” this week. Foreshadowing to a potential female speedster perhaps? Must I care about this at all?

– Interesting that Team Flash ended up agreeing on not helping Grey like they usually do with the metahumans they encounter (not sure if he died in the end or what?). Less interesting is that this will have no effect on any of these characters’ psyche coming next week.

– LOL at everything Iris said or did this week. Barry mentions the name “Eddie” and Iris turns her head the other way, in a super soapy-dramatic matter. First-class acting, ladies and gents.

Red Blurs & One-Liners

Killer Frost: Well, hello doppelganger of mine. What do you know, I can still pull off brunette.

Cisco: This is my version of crash assist. It’s like those Russian dash cams, but you know without attack helicopters and bad pop music on the radio.

Jesse: Bio-chem was one of my majors in college.
Barry: One of your majors? How many did you have?
Jesse: Five. What, is that not common here?
Iris: Girl, no, that is not common anywhere.

Joe: I can’t watch you be a human punching bag until he turns into Grandpa Simpson.

Conclusion
It might not be as horrendous as last week, but this was still a boring and forgettable hour.

Chris Rating
C-

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