A SuperPowered Iris Helps The Flash Pick Up Speed

first_img Top Movies and TV Panels to Keep on Your Radar for SDCC 2019’The Flash’ Season 5 Finale Recap: 2 Big Bads and 1 Pre-Crisis Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. I’ve been waiting for this episode for a while. Ever since Iris picked up that giant sci-fi gun in S.T.A.R. Labs, I’ve wanted to see her in action. Then, when the show released that photo of her in a superhero costume, we all knew her time to shine was coming. We finally got there last night. Iris became the superhero we always knew she could be. Thankfully, the episode didn’t disappoint.After last week’s standalone episode brought us a thrilling high point for the season, it’s back to the main DeVoe story, but only for a little bit. Cisco and Harry are hard at work trying to think of a plan to defeat DeVoe. In the opening scene, the episode actually does something pretty smart with this story. This whole season, we’ve been seeing The Thinker as an adversary for The Flash. It’s led to maybe one decent confrontation between the two. The show hasn’t been able to turn the whole speed vs. brains conflict into something consistently worth watching. The opening scene recontextualizes it to focus on Harry’s struggle. He’s finally met someone who might be smarter than him. That intimidates him. Harry grows ever more desperate to prove he can be just as smart, smarter even, than DeVoe.He hatches a plan to copy DeVoe’s thinking cap, the device that turned him into The Thinker. The rest of Team Flash isn’t on board. It’s way too much of a risk. The bickering gets to Ralph, though. He knows he’ll eventually end up in DeVoe’s body-snatching crosshairs. He decides to hide in the basement and return to looking out for number one. Not even the can-I-talk-to-you hallway can dissuade him. Once again, the show seems to know it relies on that hallway too much. It’s finally starting to be as ineffective in-universe as it has become as a narrative device.Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells (Photo: Katie Yu/The CW)The problems keep piling up. The police want a meeting with both DeVoe’s. They can’t find Marlize, and Ralph isn’t really in a shape-shifting mood right now. And of course, there’s another bus meta on the loose. The show sets it up pretty well, allowing us to think it’s the guy with fire powers robbing the bank. It turns out to be an EMT named Matthew Kim. He has the power to steal other meta’s powers. Iris feels bad about always staying behind after Dibny accuses her of not understanding what he’s going through. She tags along with her dad to question Kim, and the frightened meta takes her hostage. The Flash shows up in a, well, Flash and rescues her, but something goes wrong. The Flash loses his super speed. Now, Iris has it. Oh, I like this development a lot.The show has struggled with what to do with Iris for a long time. They made her a reporter so she’d have a reason to get involved with the goings on of the week, but then did nothing with it. For a reporter, she sure does a lot of sitting around. This episode doesn’t fix that, but it gives Iris some long overdue time in the spotlight. And it’s a lot of fun watching her giddily discover her abilities. Candice Patton is clearly enjoying playing the hero this week, and it brings a new energy and life to the show. Her costume is awesome too, the reveal of which put a huge smile on my face. Can we have more than one episode of this? I like Iris as The Flash. It’s also fun watching Barry have to experience what he’s been doing to people these last few years.Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Candice Patton as Iris West (Photo: Katie Yu/The CW)It does take some time for her to get there, though. Her first attempt to do Flash-like things doesn’t go so well. Barry’s not all that great on the comms, and Iris doesn’t quite have a handle on her powers yet. She’s able to save the people, but can’t put the fire out. Or phase through a piece of debris that falls on her. Cisco is able to Vibe her away from danger, but it’s going to take more training. Caitlin can’t figure out how to reverse the swap. For now, Iris is the speedster. And she’s determined to prove that she can be the hero. That she’s more than the person who stays behind. The show even brings up the fact that she used to be a reporter and do cool reporter stuff, and stopped for no discernible reason. At least the show acknowledges its shortcomings even if it doesn’t entirely fix them.And hey, she gets another shot. There’s another fire-powered metahuman about to rob a bank. Eager to try again and prove herself, Iris rushes to the scene. Kim tries to stop the new meta, who reveals that Kim is the one who inadvertently gave him the powers. Iris puts Kim in cuffs, and runs to deal with the fire-thrower. Once again though, the flames are too strong. It’s remarkable what having a new Flash can do. Better than any episode that came before it, Iris’ transformation makes it feel like season one again. Iris now has a second chance to confront an out-of-control fire.Everything comes together really nicely in the final battle. Iris’ uncertainty in the face of fire, Barry’s discomfort in a position of command, and Harry’s thinking cap project. He finally gets it to work without setting his head on fire, and instantly calculates Iris’ best chance of winning the fight. She has to do something even Barry’s never done before. She runs as fast as she can on water, digging her heels into the surface to create a tidal wave. Even with the CW-budget CGI, this scene looks really cool. We haven’t seen a speedster fight scene that fun in a while.Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells, Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, Hartley Sawyer as Dibney and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen (Photo: Katie Yu/The CW)As much as I love Iris as a speedster (even her costume was cooler than Barry’s), we all knew it wasn’t going to last. Despite her natural talent at it, the speedster life isn’t for Iris. She and Barry have Kim switch their powers back, and we end with some more good news. Team Flash has yet another new member. Matthew Kim is freaked out to hear that a body-snatching super-genius is after him, so he decides to stick around. Partly for protection, and partly to help the other metas that might be targeted next. And hey, Henry knows exactly who they are. He’s perfected his thinking cap, and the episode ends with the reveal of the next two names: Janet Petty and Edwin Gauss. That first name means nothing to us, but Gauss is the name of a minor villain from the Flash comics: Folded Man. He has the power to transition between dimensions. He can make himself flat by crossing into the second dimension, or portal between places via the 4th dimension. It’s a cool power, and should make for a really fun Flash episode. If it’s done right.The Flash is taking a month-long break now. While the season has had its ups and downs, I’m happy that this was the episode it chose to leave us on. It demonstrates that the show has a clear path forward in mind. It’s building to its end goal slowly and organically, and for now, it’s just giving us some cool, exciting episodes along the way. We’ll see if it can maintain this momentum once DeVoe shows back up, but these last two episodes definitely instill confidence. Iris is even back to being a reporter. Maybe she’ll be an active character again. It really feels like The Flash has found itself again.center_img Stay on targetlast_img

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