“Shade” – Review of THE FLASH S3 Ep6

This episode is unique in a lot of ways…with some significant developments in both the personal and heroic lives of Team Flash. And, for once there is no epilogue…and I don’t think that has ever happened in any episode of the Flash in any season so far. What we get instead is…something pretty important, and you’ll have to follow us after the jump to find out more!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

We start the episode with a commentary about being a hero…but it isn’t Barry talking about the Flash. Instead, it’s Wally telling Joe about his dreams of being Kid Flash! As Barry tells them more about Flashpoint, the team begins to realize the danger Wally may be in. That doesn’t stop Wally from wanting to be a hero, but he will allow himself to stay temporarily in the Pipeline…temporarily being the key word here.

Meanwhile, a new danger hits Central City in the form of the Shade. In this iteration of the character, the Shade is able to vibrate at such a high frequency that he gives the illusion of being a shadow. It’s something he does quite spectacularly, first with a murder of a businessman and later with an attack at a movie festival.

Speaking of that movie festival, it’s the first date for Joe and Cecile! Since Wally is temporarily in the Pipeline and Barry and Iris are watching over him, Joe brings along Cisco and Caitiln…and “HR”, using a facial transmogrification device his partner on Earth 19 invented. After all, the face of Harrison Wells on the prime earth is wanted as a murderer – the first Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne confessed to the murder of Barry’s mother.

They are able to subdue the Shade with the help of a LOT of lights and a set of power dampening cuffs…that Caitlin has been wearing to ward off her own cold powers. Cisco finally outs her to the team – he’s “Vibed” her and knows they may fight in the future. Still, Cisco and the rest of the team are there for her, and they want to help. This revelation makes Barry confess to Caitlin that everything is a Flashpoint problem…her powers, Wally’s Kid Flash persona, even Dante’s death.

Eventually, Wally cannot physically or emotionally handle Alchemy’s call, so the team (and the CCPD) use Wally as bait to capture Alchemy an attempt to end the threat once and for all.  How did THAT work out?

Just as they are getting to Alchemy, a new character appears, moving so fast that only Barry can see him. While the two engage in a super-speed chase, Wally makes the mistake of grabbing the device Alchemy had been using to fight Barry…and it places him in a gigantic red-and-yellow cocoon! To make things even worse, this new evil speedster gets the best of Barry, while announcing himself as…

Savitar, the god of speed!

NOTES: This show scores on a lot of grounds. While there have been episodes with a stronger overall plot, there were still very significant developments for Joe, Cecile, Wally, and Caitlin (and arguably Cisco and “HR”). We see the introduction of Savitar to the TV Flash mythos…and it’s something that promises to be pretty amazing if handled well. I am glad Caitlin’s powers are finally known to the team – that had been stretching out for a bit too long over several episodes but now can be dealt with in a straightforward manner. I DID like the costumes we saw for both Killer Frost and Vibe in that vision Cisco had of the future. Overall, it’s a solid show – not their absolute best but a good show nonetheless. I’d give it an 8 – but what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

5 thoughts on ““Shade” – Review of THE FLASH S3 Ep6

  1. Paul

    I really thought The Shade we would see would be like James Robinson in his Starman. An utter disappointment. Did we ever find out his motivation? Who he was?

    Reply
    1. Lia

      I was very disappointed by the Shade too, it was a terrible waste. And no, we didn’t find out who he was aside from some nondescript guy. But he appears to have been a minion of Dr Alchemy, so I guess that’s his motivation.

      Hopefully we’ll see the Shade from another Earth someday (maybe Earth-19?) and he’ll be more like Richard Swift.

      Reply
  2. Kelson

    They really did pack a lot into this episode didn’t they?

    I love that people finally started *talking* to each other, and that Caitlin confided in Cisco. I hated that Cisco outed her without her permission, and that *she* apologized to *him*. Seriously? It wasn’t his secret to reveal.

    Shade himself was disappointing. No personality, no purpose behind his actions. Why did he attack the businessman in the first place? So the audience could see him in action, apparently….he might as well have *been* a shadow. IMO they’ve really been neglecting development of the weekly villains this year.

    I’m leaning toward the Julian/Alchemy split personality theory. And not just because it gives us Draco Malfoy and the Philosopher’s Stone.

    I like that we actually got some *complexity* to Wally’s decision to go to Alchemy. Some of what he wants, some compulsion, some trying to help.

    Holy crap that ending.

    Reply
  3. Dallin Turner

    So much of this episode was just plain dumb. But there were some really good things that happened, too.

    Everything about Shade sucked, especially the fight, where Barry was suddenly super slow. And I didn’t like how Cisco saved the day by “hacking into” all the parked cars to turn on their lights. I also hated the whole fake face for H.R. with the super convenience of everyone we know being able to see his real face. This is just incredibly uninspired and stupid writing.

    But I did like that the show kind of addressed one of my big complaints this season. “Barry, why didn’t you tell us this crucial detail about Wally’s life being in danger?” “Well … I … uh, you said you didn’t want to know about Flashpoint …” “Yeah, but you still should have told us!” And: “Caitlin, why didn’t you tell us you have powers?” “Well … I … uh, didn’t want to turn evil …” “Yeah, but you still should have told us!” I hope this means they’ll stop withholding information from their friends and allies for no reason, but knowing the laziness of these writers, I wouldn’t count on it.

    But finally, at the end, they did something that caught my eye. I think for the first time in this show I really noticed the music, with all the dark monk chanting preceding the Doctor Alchemy fight. That was a genuinely neat moment. Of course, the actual fight was also frustrating since, once again, Barry was ridiculously slow …

    As for Savitar … well, it’s ANOTHER evil speedster, and we’ve pretty much had all of them on this show. Who’s left? Inertia? Earth 3 Johnny Quick? Lady Flash? Actually, that reminds me of the original Savitar in the comics. He had a big castle and a huge following of ninjas that he gave super speed to. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like the show will be going in that direction.

    Reply
  4. Steve

    Wally was right about one thing: ultimately, Joe and Barry did not trust him with powers, and after they so decisively agreed to let him become a hero near the end of Season Two, it felt good to have him call them on their BS. Barry’s dismissal of Wally’s abilities began long before Dr. Alchemy, it began during Flashpoint. Joe, too, expressed fear at the thought of Wally having powers before Alchemy was even revealed, and Barry’s lack of faith in Wally persisted long after Rival was dead.

    The only thing I didn’t like was Wally never actually proving them wrong. Will this be corrected? Hope so, because his character is definitely due for some redemption. This season has not been kind to him at all. He also currently lives in his own pocket dimension at STAR labs, where nobody really has any kind of interaction with him short of his family yelling at him. Does he have a job there? Are there buttons to push? Why is he there?!

    Loved Tom in this episode, though. Shade was a bummer. Savitar was warmed up Sauron leftovers.

    Reply

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