Escape from Earth-2
The Flash can be a difficult show to pin down at times. While it has had a fairly good string of episodes of late, at times the weaknesses that sometimes threaten to overshadow the series make their unwanted return. While it’s a given that the CW caters to a certain crowd, part of what makes The Flash so fun to watch is exactly that: it’s fun, it embraces superhero tropes and just what makes them fun.
Even the revisions made to the Flash mythos like Barry being an adopted member of Iris’ family, or Thawne being an integral part of Barry’s life from the beginning served to diversify and grow the story to its culmination with Barry defeating the man who both gave and stole so much from his life. So it’s difficult in that regard to see Flash slide into being a practical parody of what made it fun.
Part of what has made the show so irritating to watch recently is Zoom. Beyond the mystery there’s nothing to him. He’s a scary implacable man with nothing distinguishing him from Thawne beyond being faster than him, and no motivation to speak of beyond being faster. What made Thawne a superior villain was the decision to grow a relationship between him and Barry to give their collision more weight. Jay Garrick at least has some distinguishing characteristics to define him from Barry both as a hero and as a man. Otherwise, the rest of the Earth-2 versions of major characters have been the actors doing broader (and sometimes evil) versions of their characters, which has done very little to mitigate the story’s flaws.
While this might come off strange to say given the episode’s culmination of plotlines brewing the entire episode, it in the end becomes a buffet of the show’s typical stumbling blocks. Elements such as stilted dialogue or puns that’s reflective of the character’s superhero/villian identity rather than a personality. While it comes off more naturally (or rather fun) when someone like Captain Cold or Heatwave make puns every other sentence, it fits the extreme nature of their personalities, Killer Frost or Geomancer don’t have quite that scenery-chewing ability to pull it off. Or yet another person just walking into S.T.A.R. Labs, to the point the writers won’t even bother to handwave it this time. Or relying on unnecessary mistakes to telegraph and propel the plot as the cliffhanger can demonstrate. Which really, isn’t meant to be a knock. The Flash has slid from being a smart if goofy show to being a parody of itself. With any luck, next week’s episode will bring it back together.
3 out of 5 gimp suits
- So, Zoom speculation time. My pick is Wally. He’s the only main character whose doppelganger we haven’t seen.
- Anyone getting shades of Forever Evil with the prisoner?