Mid-Season Premiere of THE FLASH – review

NOTE: This review is posting prior to THE FLASH airing in the Pacific Time Zone, USA – if you haven’t seen the show be aware that there are some spoilers here…

We are finally back to new episodes of THE FLASH after that mid-season break. This episode lets us see some of Barry’s worst nightmares…literally, while also bringing back that most classic of Flash villains, the Turtle! All that and more on the mid-season premiere of THE FLASH!

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD

Okay, let’s get this out of the way…Zoom grabs Patty, drops her from the top of a building, and she dies…except that it turns out to be a nightmare. Barry wakes up next to Patty, screaming, but she is otherwise okay. While I’m glad to see that this isn’t Patty’s fate, it’s a bit of a bait-and-switch that isn’t my favorite TV stunt.  But, once we are past that, the episode is really good.

That is also pretty much all we get as far as Zoom appearances, though most of this episode is still based on the effort to stop Zoom. What we DO get is…The Turtle!

This version of the Turtle is a metahuman who can steal kinetic energy from everyone around him, effectively slowing everyone down. This opens up a whole host of possibilities…including (if they can figure out the secret) stealing speed from Zoom himself! As for the Turtle’s backstory…

The Turtle was a small time crook, until the particle accelerator accident. While he gained this amazing power, his personal life was falling apart. His wife was ready to divorce him, taking away the relationship that was the “most precious thing” in his life. As a result, he used his powers to take away whatever he thought was the “most precious thing” to other people. In the end, that meant grabbing Patty Spivot – while he didn’t figure out Barry’s secret, he could still tell that Patty was precious to The Flash.

In the end, Barry is able to beat the Turtle…though I’m at a loss as to how the Flash team figured out the deal about the time between the pulses of the Turtle’s power.  Barry powers through and saves Patty…though not his relationship.

You see, Barry has been debating telling Patty who he is. Iris advises him to tell her, Harry advises him to keep it a secret, and Barry DOES decide to tell her. But, he is interrupted by one of the Turtle’s thefts…and in the end Barry loses his opportunity as Patty decides to break up with him and move away! Will this be the new normal for Barry? Only time (and future episodes) will tell.

The other story threads in this episode? We find that Wally has been street racing, winning his opponent’s cars to sell – and pay for his mother’s hospital bills. He wants nothing to do with Joe’s efforts to establish a father/son relationship, but in the end accepts the chance to be Joe’s friend.  And, we find that Jay is dying…yes, dying – and his only hope is to recover his speed. Harrison Wells follows up on the research into the Turtle’s powers, with what appears to be devastating consequences for the Turtle himself.  All this leads to an epilogue where we see…

SPOILER COMING

SPOILER IS ON ITS WAY

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED ABOUT THE SPOILER

The Reverse Flash! He appears near what I think is the Allen house, obviously confused about where (and possibly when) he is. But, this is the blond-haired, not-Harrison-Wells, Eobard Thawne Reverse Flash. This leads us to the trailers for next week’s show…can’t wait to see how they work this angle!

SUMMARY: This was a good episode, in spite of a few plot holes. Having us turn the big cliffhanger into a dream sequence was a bit of trickery that I’m not fond of, and the sudden knowledge of how to defeat the Turtle didn’t seem to come from a place that made sense in the script. Other than that, though, this episode did what it needed to do – establish a firm foundation for the rest of the season. We have – finally – a hope to defeat Zoom. Barry is back to square one – at least for now – in his personal life as Patty is poised to leave the scene (hopefully not, Patty’s character has been a great addition to the show). A new urgency has been given to Jay’s search for his speed. Wally isn’t “happy to be here”, but his relationship with Joe has a chance on a fairly realistic basis. All this and the return of the Reverse Flash means we have a GREAT half-season ahead.

So, other than a few minor complaints, this was a good episode. What do YOU think? Please leave your comments below!

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3 thoughts on “Mid-Season Premiere of THE FLASH – review

  1. Scott Timms

    I loved seeing The Turtle (first to go up against Barry Allen). I’m ready for Jay to get his speed back, but I guess that wont happen til Zoom is defeated.

    Reply
  2. Kelson

    I had really mixed reactions to the episode.

    The Turtle’s powers were really interesting, as was the creepy reimagining of the character. (I also liked the name-dropping of Martin Naydel, artist on the Turtle’s first appearance.) I liked seeing Wells grasping at a possible way to save Jesse without helping Zoom – it adds another layer to his game, which is fitting. Wells *should* be complicated.

    I’m glad they didn’t fridge Patty, even though they strongly teased it — and were clearly aware of the problems with the trope, as shown by Turtle’s remark about “This isn’t *about* hurting *you*.”

    But it also pointed out some of the problems with the superhero/secret identity/loved one in peril trope. Wells told Barry to keep his identity secret from Patty so that Zoom wouldn’t threaten her. Why would that matter? *Her* knowledge doesn’t put her in danger. *Zoom’s* knowledge would put her in danger. The Turtle’s knowledge *did* put her in danger.

    Keeping your identity secret from the general public? Yeah, that keeps your loved ones safe. Keeping your identity secret from *them* doesn’t, unless they’re total blabbermouths. It protects *you*. Which is fine, but be honest about it.

    And I kept watching Barry blow chance after chance. Really, his best opportunity would have been instead of “I have to go” just telling her right there and racing into action. (Actually I was kind of disappointed in Patty for not figuring it out by the time he showed up at the Turtle’s hideout.) To be fair, all of his missed chances were completely in character, it was just painful to watch.

    Jay’s disease came out of nowhere, as did Caitlin’s decision to test his stolen DNA sample. Really, who does that?

    Wally’s interactions with Joe were interesting, and made sense because where Wally stands, his dad effectively abandoned him. Even though he didn’t know about Wally, he stopped looking for Francine and I’m sure even if she put a positive spin on it, he’s got a lot of resentment there. I don’t see the Wally of the comics coming through yet, but I can imagine seeing it once he’s more comfortable with the lost side of his family. It took a while for Iris to find her investigative side, as well.

    It does make me wonder, though: How far away is Keystone City in the Arrowverse? I thought I remembered it being really close in Season 1, but “going back to Keystone” makes it sound further away. And if Francine fled to the next city over, that really doesn’t say much for Joe’s attempts to look for her. Maybe she went further, and they moved to Keystone recently?

    Reply
    1. Steve

      Yeah, I think the anger comes from Joe abandoning both of them. Wally clearly loves his mother enough to put all of his winnings toward her hospital bills, and we don’t even know what he’s had to deal with when she was still an addict. Her terminal illness is a disease Joe didn’t know about, but her addiction was a disease he did know about. I don’t think anyone would blame Joe for getting his daughter out of a dangerous household, but he still could have done a little more for his ex. I know the temptation is to get mad at an addict for lying or refusing to change, but it’s not malice that causes any of these things, it’s the reality of the condition.

      And I think a few things of the classic Wally have seeped in. He has a dependent mother and an absentee father. Talk about fridging, though, this is the SECOND mother of a hero getting killed off for drama. It’s less tone-deaf here than in the comics, but geez, I thought Marvel was the company owned by Disney.

      Reply

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