In “Shade,” Wally met Alchemy, Caitlin begrudgingly came clean about her powers, Joe went on a date, HR was HR and Barry fought an insanely subpar villain of the week. All heck broke loose in the end as Barry encounter a new villain only he can see (apparently). What did I think of it all?

Favorite Moment(s): Caitlin fairly standing her ground when reminding Cisco that her secret wasn’t exactly his to share.

Every time HR introduced an idea during a Team Flash moment, and then quickly acted like it was someone else’s idea, the best example being him suggesting they lock Wally up to best control the situation and then pretending like it was always Joe’s idea to begin with. This, after all, is supposed to be HR’s contribution to the team. He is their muse and idea’s man now, but realizing that particular dynamic is not always an easy thing to pull off on film or TV. Cavanagh is employing a lot of fast-talking to make the transitions from HR’s idea somehow becoming someone else’s idea, and thus far it’s all rather amusing even though he’s not always successful in tricking the rest of the team. For example, everyone seemed fully aware that locking Wally away was HR’s idea, not Joe’s. Actually, that makes it even funnier.

HR sonic screwdrivering himself a new face in one of the most efficient displays I’ve ever seen of a show’s writers waving away a continuity problem (i.e., Walking around looking like Harrison Wells in Central City is a huge problem, but now thanks to convenient science from another Earth HR can do it without anyone seeing his actual face).

The fake-out opening with Wally narrating his Kid Flash adventures as if this was his show, not Barry’s.

Least Favorite Moment(s): I don’t completely buy the argument that Caitlin would automatically and so whole-heartedly equate her powers to automatic evil just because her doppleganger was evil. Cisco’s Earth-2 doppleganger was evil too, and that hasn’t changed him yet, right?

Barry making Caitlin’s big moment all about him. While it is true that he is responsible for her becoming Killer Frost thanks to Flashpoint, in that exact moment he needed to be there for her as a friend, consoling her and disabusing her of this insane notion that she’s going to become evil just because her Earth-2 doppelganger was. Instead, it was him – and the show’s writers – trying to connect her plot to the concurrent plots with Alchemy and Wally, thus making Barry come off as a tad narcissistic even as he was ostensibly apologizing for his own selfishness. At least they have nicely set up Caitlin and Barry’s conflict for next week’s episode since she now has someone to blame for what’s happening to her.

Shade interrupting “movie on the lawn” before The Shining could start. I was looking forward to seeing if Cisco could actually make it all the way through the movie this time, what with him apparently being terrified of those creepy twins.

Shipper’s Delight: It seems fair for Iris to openly wonder what she brings to the team since she’s not a scientist or a cop nor does she have any powers. However, as Barry sweetly pointed out, “There is no Flash without Iris West.” It’s the old “you are the heart of the team” argument, and while Iris’ journalistic skills have come in handy it does actually seem as if what she most brings to the team is simply being herself and all the good that entails.

The Villains: Did we ever even learn Shade’s first name? Or his background? Unless I missed it, they pivoted so fast from worrying about Shade to worrying instead about Wally and Alchemy that Shade might have been the least celebrated/discussed villain-of-the-week in the show’s history. In a way, it was a refreshing change of pace, an almost Spider-Man-esque display of “Look, man, I’ve got too much shit on my plate right now to get into your tragic backstory. Can we just fight so I can put you behind me and get back to my life?” At the same time, man did I not care about a single one of his scenes.

Theories About the Big Bad: The writers and producers are completely messing with us, right? Julian being mysteriously absent at the end is supposed to make us believe he’s somehow connected to Alchemy, but it’s so, so obvious. It’s almost impossible not to make that connection, but maybe the dude really was sick that day. Maybe they’re using him to throw us off the scent of the real bad guy, challenging us to figure out whether or not they would seriously add a new series regular who turns out to be the big bad two seasons in a row (e.g., first Teddy Sears, now Tom Fenton).

Also, who the heck is Savitar, and why the heck should I care? The God of Speed? Really? Give me Alchemy because at least he appears to be a dude in a suit (or robe), but a CGI monster villain? Meh.

Nitpick:

1. Alchemy knew Wally was setting him up, right? The dude who can see through dimensions and timelines (I think) had guessed Wally brought The Flash and half of the Central City police force with him, right? You’d think so, but he actually seemed surprised by the ambush.

What did you think of the episode? What were your favorite parts? Least favorite? And are you totally questioning Julian’s whole “I have a girlfriend” excuse? Let me know in the comments.

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Posted by Kelly Konda

Grew up obsessing over movies and TV shows. Worked in a video store. Minored in film at college because my college didn't offer a film major. Worked in academia for a while. Have been freelance writing and running this blog since 2013.

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