After a two week break (DANG ELECTIONS!!!!) Flash returned with a powerful episode that delved deep into the DC Universe, all the while breaking the trend of past Flash episodes. By that I mean a typical “villain of the week” affair.
“Plastique” may have started out similar to the past four episodes, but it quickly evolved into something much more. As the titular Plastique became a part of Team Flash…sadly, it was quite brief. But in the short time she was there it was clear this was something that could’ve been special.
Plastique is a well known DC villain, and her association with the Secret Society (who I’ll touch on later) and the Suicide Squad is well documented. But she wasn’t the only DC character to be introduced here, as General Wade Eiling (played by THE Clancy Brown) was brought into the fold. Of the two, Eiling was the one who didn’t deviate much from his comic counterpart (or his role in the Justice League cartoon), as he believed that his “assets” were necessary to save American lives, even if they didn’t want to do what he wanted. That being said, Brown delivered, and I hope it’s only a matter of time before he reappears.
However, the writers took a very interesting route with Plastique. Making her not only the crush object of Cisco (poor guy, first the suit, then her), but also kind of a mentoring project for Barry. It was great chemistry between the two when they were together, especially when Barry related how it was Caitlin and Cisco who helped turn him from Metahuman to hero. And you really wanted to believe that she would join Team Flash, especially when they tried to find a way to truly cure her condition…but someone else had plans for her.
No, I don’t mean Eiling, it was none other than Harrison Wells, who again showed his dark side by all but tricking Plastique to kill Eiling at any cost to “protect her flock”. The question of why he did this weighs on my mind. Mainly because his knowledge of the future seems to be both all-knowing and spotty. Did he know that Eiling would kill Plastique, and thus wanted to create a scenario for it to happen? Or did he truly feel that Plastique was a threat and that Eiling would be the best way to get rid of her? Questions abound.
If not clear from my numerous mentions above, Plastique dies, but it was a very heartfelt scene as Barry had to make sure her body exploding wouldn’t wipe out a city block. Seeing him outrun an explosion was very reminiscent of the animated movie Justice League: Doom, and was very cool to see in live action. However, I’m really sad to see Plastique go. True, we didn’t “see” her body explode, but it’d be very hard to explain how she survived that explosion AND the gunshot wound. I’ll admit I didn’t expect her to go the hero route, maybe that’s what makes me sad to see her die, there was so much potential for a friendship with Barry, and Caitlin, and especially Cisco…poor guy! I know it’s the job of writers to make sure that some sacrifices need to be made to keep the show fresh, but after watching this episode, I really wish Plastique wasn’t one of them.
The only real other story was Iris and her desire (see: obsession!) with writing about The Streak, aka The Flash, aka Barry. Her writings continue to put Joe and Barry on edge, and when she attaches her name to her articles it makes them go through the roof. This storyline was both funny, epic, and cringe-worthy. It was funny and epic as we saw Barry pull an Ollie and meet Iris as The Flash. He even used his speed to change his voice patterns so Iris couldn’t recognize him. It was also great when Barry and Joe talked about it and Joe revealed he knew Barry loved Iris. It showed that he knew Barry even better than Barry thought, and it will no doubt play into the rest of the season when it comes to Iris.
However, it was cringe-worthy at times because they went a little too Arrow. And by that I mean the whole “Flash standing behind Iris while she looks back flirtingly”, really? Also, why didn’t Iris listen to Flash when he told her to stop writing about him. Sure, she did it for Barry (kind of…) but wouldn’t you listen to a guy who can make you disappear in a Flash? …sorry, couldn’t resist. Then there was the end scene where they broke up their friendship because of the blog. It was another Arrow like move (see: The Pilot), and we KNOW they’re going to get back together as friends, it’s just a matter of time.
Before I wrap up I want to touch on two things. First of all, the comedy of Flash continues to impress. It’s both perfectly suited, and totally full of foreshadowing. From Caitlin and Cisco calculating how fast Barry needed to run to go up a building (and come back down, SPLAT!) to the tests with Plastique and Cisco bringing out a boomerang, (Clearly you didn’t think this through), and of course Cisco’s reaction to the Flash suit being destroyed (and his forgiveness of the event afterward). It was all great.
And finally…GRODD!!!!! Yes, Gorilla Grodd, THE Gorilla Grodd…kind of. We saw the “origin” of him if you will (pre-explosion), and how Wells knows all too well (I’ll stop) about his future. This continues to be fun.
In the end though, “Plastique” brought a very different kind of story to Flash, one that I hope gets replicated (with happier results!) in the future. Flash may only have 5 episodes so far, but this one is my favorite.