Last week I was critical but relatively happy with the shakeup The Flash did in its third season. The budget constraints were obvious, but it was still nice to see the show breakaway from its main conflict when it brought back Gorilla Grodd. This week, however, didn’t fare as well because of the episode’s slow pace and overall lack of conflict.
While I’m certainly glad the show didn’t devote an hour to Team Flash’s battle with the gorilla army, it would have been nice to get more than we did. Barry was faced with a familiar issue, to kill or not to kill, something that has plagued him for much of the show’s run. One might think that with everything on the line (Iris’ life included) that Barry would finally cross the line, but it’s just not who he is. Iris and the rest of Team Flash didn’t want to see him compromise his moral compass and like Wells reminded him, there’s always another way.
I found the conflict between Team Flash and the gorilla army to be relatively mundane, but it was still an important moment for Barry. This week especially, reinforced who Barry is and what makes him different that most superheroes. Just like people, superheroes fall on a spectrum. Barry is not the Green Arrow, who’s not Supergirl, who’s not Firestorm. It was nice to see The Flash emphasize this idea.
Meanwhile, the rest was a typical episode of The Flash. Most of it was spent following the inner conflicts of Team Flash while we waited until the closing minutes to see the real action. We saw an interesting Harry v. HR dynamic that continued to show how much of an asset Tom Cavanagh is to the show. When you think about it, HR doesn’t do anything for Team Flash, but at the same time, I don’t think they could survive without him. Not only is he an effective counterbalance for the rest of the team, but he also brings forth certain fatherly characteristics as well. The more I see Harry and HR together, the more I realize HR is actually better for the team.
We also saw the very predictable romantic drama in this week’s episode. Wally and Jesse struggled with how they were going to tell Harry the news of her staying on Earth-1, and Cisco was able to reconnect with Gypsy. Normally I find these storylines to be a bit much in The Flash, but I really enjoy watching the Cisco and Gypsy dynamic. Cisco is one of the show’s best characters and seeing him either geeking out or in love, something he did both of this week, makes him that much better.
As a whole, the last two episodes of The Flash have been a welcomed sight. I like seeing shows take a risk. Individually, however, they weren’t that compelling. This week’s episode had the potential to be filled with action and suspense but instead, it felt more like a soap opera. I’ve said before that Team Flash is the heart of the show, but I still can’t help but be disappointed by this relatively mundane episode.