I find it interesting that 24 hours after Supergirl had the Parasite…that Flash had Shade…and both characters didn’t live up to their comic book origins. And though “Shade” was better than Supergirl, that’s not saying much in this case.
“Shade” may have been a dual meaning title…but it honestly shouldn’t have been the title at all. The titular villain had all of two appearances, and spoke like one line. What’s worse, he wasn’t even close to the comic book version. Now yes, interpretation is important in some cases, but this form of Shade wasn’t even believable. For Young Justice fans out there, this was more like Longshadow with a small twist. What was his motivation? Why did he kill the guy at the beginning of the episode? We don’t know! And that’s frustrating, because Shade is actually a really cool villain when used right.
The real focus here was on Wally and Caitlin, who were going through very big changes of sorts. Wally started having dreams of the Flashpoint version of himself, which of course made everyone think Alchemy wouldn’t be far behind. Sure enough, he wasn’t, and it was cool. On the positive, we got to see more of Alchemy, and the effects he has on people. It’s clear now he can entrance people to an extent to make them want the powers they had in Flashpoint. This is a neat trick, and it gives context to why so many are taking his offer.
But…Wally continues to frustrate with his whole “I want to be a speedster!” act. He’s honestly behaving like a child, and is pouting because he doesn’t have powers and because Joe doesn’t want him to have them. The whole, “you don’t trust me” speech was pathetic on numerous levels, regardless of timeline shift. Yes, they recovered from it in a way, but it’s still sad that this will be the way he gets his powers in this timeline. The scene of him seemingly getting them will definitely be called Terrigenesis of sorts, and a knockoff of Agents of Shield, and kind of with good reason to be honest.
Then there’s Caitlin, who’s still struggling with her powers and the slow burn (or chill) to becoming Killer Frost. It is good that Cisco and the others know now, but I wonder how this will all turn out. That “vibe” wasn’t very reassuring, and the preview for next weeks episode even less so. I don’t want to lose Cailin like this, so I hope something happens soon.
Before I get to the end, I do want to acknowledge some other parts of this episode. HR is a bunch of laughs, and him getting a new face is nice so that he can experience our Earth. And Joe going out on a date is nice story for the character. Sadly, neither really added much to the episode. Also, Julian was suspiciously missing from the CCPD before the end…is he Alchemy? Or maybe one of his followers that we saw in the final battle? It would add up with what he said in “Monster” about people not living up to their full potential.
In all fairness, the best part of the episode was the last 8 minutes or so. Where Alchemy almost got captured, Wally seemingly got his powers, and we were introduced to Savitar. I’m not familiar with this character, but DANG he looked cool! And it was interesting that only Barry could see him. Maybe because of the Speed Force?
All in all, “Shade” was decent at best. In fact, the best parts were the parts that didn’t get much focus, which is sad to be honest. Hopefully things pick up soon, because this season is anything but stable.