“Monster” – Review of THE FLASH S3 Ep5

Sometimes things are not what they appear to be. That can be a good thing…or a bad thing, depending on what you learn about in the end. We get a little bit of both outcomes here. First, you learn that the big bad of the week may not be so bad. Then, you may find that someone you normally count on to help is…not so great. There are some truly unique moments in this episode, with some developments that promise to have a significant impact on the rest of the season. Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!


NOTE: This review is posting before THE FLASH airs on the West Coast USA. If you haven’t seen the show yet, please watch the show now and come back!

Barry is sharing an apartment with Cisco for now, and he’s trying (too hard) to show his appreciation by whipping up a big breakfast at super speed. But, Barry isn’t the only person trying way too hard…

The Harrison Wells of Earth 19 is also trying WAAAY too hard to get in good with the Flash team, with an even bigger breakfast and coffee/tea set up just the way each person likes it…all except Caitlin, who…

…has gone to see her mother to get help for her developing metahuman powers!

Dr. Carla Tannhauser is Caitlin’s mother, and their relationship is almost as cold as anything Killer Frost could whip up. Dr. Tannhauser eventually agrees to check out what has happened to her daughter. They find that Caitlin can absorb energy at an amazing pace. There is a confrontation between Caitlin and a scientist who works for her mother, and the Killer Frost persona almost takes over…but her mother talks her down.  There is one more important thing here…but we’ll save that for the notes on the epilogue.

The local issue is a monster in town! A very BIG monster, one that looks like Godzilla and the creature from “Alien” had a baby. A big, big, baby. There are power surges around this monster whenever it appears…and it disappears just as quickly. The monster is causing extreme havoc in town, and stopping this monster is the mission of the week.

The effort to stop the monster is happening on two fronts. Julian Albert is leading the review for the CCPD, and Harrison “call me HR” Wells is trying to head up the team at S      .T.A.R. Labs.  There is some conflict at each place, between Barry and Julian at the CCPD and between Cisco and HR at S.T.A.R.

Here’s what we find before show’s end:

  • Barry and Julian finally find a way to work a little better together (I’ll get to the why in just a moment)
  • Cisco figures out that HR is a fake! He’s not a real scientist (more on that in a moment as well)
  • The monster is…a hologram! What?

The monster actually IS a hologram, projected by a kid who has been bullied at school and found this way to make others as scared as he has been in his life. The Flash figures this out just in time…as police snipers were beginning to shoot at the “monster” and innocent people could have been killed.

Julian tracks the controller of the “monster” down and is ready to shoot to kill when the Flash steps in just in time. Julian is shaken – realizing he could have killed a kid. It changes his outlook on the Flash…and by show’s end is changing his outlook a bit on Barry as well.

As for “HR”? Cisco finally realilzes that this version of Harrison Wells has no scientific knowledge at all!

Here’s the lowdown on “HR” – he was the “ideas” guy (more like a con man) on his earth, and his partner was the real brains behind the S.T.A.R. Labs of that earth. Eventually, HR was exposed as a fraud on his earth. He was losing everything when he got that message from Harry and Cisco…and convinced his partner to solve the riddle to give HR a chance to come to this Earth. He wanted to be able to write a book about his travels and return.  He asks for a chance at redemption, to be their “ideas” person…and the team agrees to give him a second chance.

At the epilogue…Caitlin receives a message from her mother. The test results show that the more Caitlin uses her powers, the harder it will be to reverse the changes that are happening to her. Caitlin is losing control…what will happen next?

NOTES: This was an interesting episode for a lot of reasons. This time, there was no metahuman threat to the Flash team (unless you count the foreshadowing of troubles for Caitlin). And, there was no mega-villain either. We had a bullied kid with an amazing scientific talent.

We learned once that Tom Cavanagh is an AMAZING actor. Think of how many iterations of the same character we’ve seen in this series. We had “Harrison” Wells in season one, the supposedly supportive scientist who turned out to be Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash! We then had “Harry” Wells from Earth Two, the more cranky and crusty version who at times worked against the team but eventually turned into their best ally. Now we have “HR”, the overly peppy-but-not-so-scientifically-competent con man persona…and Cavanagh makes all of them seem real…and all of them seem like a version of Harrison Wells. Most impressive!

As for the plot – We had a little reprieve from Alchemy this episode.  This episode was a little light on action, and didn’t give us some huge metahuman threat. Still, there were significant character developments that made the episode more than worth seeing. We have a potential change in the working relationship (friendship?) between Barry and Julian. We see a turn for Caitlin that should be significant very soon. And, we get a twist for “HR”…that may not be the last twist for this character. It’s another great episode of the Flash for me! I’d give this one at least an 8/10 – what to YOU think? Leave your comments below!


One thought on ““Monster” – Review of THE FLASH S3 Ep5

  1. Kelson

    I thought it was a nice touch that HR was basically Professor Lockhart (without the mind wiping) in an episode where Julian kept complaining about the golden boy who thinks the rules don’t apply to him….


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