The plan for this season was to bring the fun back into the Flash. It had got dark and moany, especially last season. This episode does a good job in reminding us that Barry is a quirky and fun character while giving a few real laugh out loud moments, but a bad job in falling back into it’s obvious pitfalls.
The episode begins by making this abundantly clear that happy Barry is back and hitting one liners that is very reminiscent of the first season. Barry’s interactions with the police chief was the first real call back with him proclaiming how late Barry is. Through out most of the episode it does seem like the cast, especially Grant Gustin, are having a lot of fun. It does become a little in your face though when everything that comes out of Cisco’s mouth is a one liner. The further the episode goes on, the further the episode falls into it’s previous pitfalls. Barry becomes sad and not a team player; Iris becomes moany and sad as always; Wally is under utilised as always and I’m not really sure what Caitlin is going through. Im hoping the next couple of episodes will make the characters’ arcs clearer.
One standout scene for laughs is the couple’s therapy session that Barry and Iris have. However the purpose for them having it is a little thin. Barry’s first outing as the Flash since he’s got back shows Barry not really listening to the team and more specifically, not listening to Iris. This all of a sudden means that Barry and Iris’ relationship needs help and that they aren’t acting like a team. I understand this storyline and it makes things interesting, especially when it’s clear that Iris hasn’t forgiven Barry for leaving her. Bye the end of the episode however, Barry listens to Iris, ultimately saving his life, and everything seems to be hunky dory again. For such a serious point to be brought up, it was forgotten very quickly.
The villain of this episode felt a little out of place and didn’t really suit the funny tone of this episode. A guy who could hack systems and control them, seeking revenge on previous collaborators who stole his idea. It suited it’s purpose though in giving a little bit of action to Kid Flash, to then immediately make him useless by rendering him unconscious in the final battle, wasted. The villain then controls Barry’s new suit which looked really cool with new gadgets, but then probably won’t be used again so it’s not hacked again. It feels pretty pointless and unfortunately might not be used again. The only interesting thing about the villain is that it’s revealed he is somehow connected to the season’s main villain, The Thinker. It’s unclear his end game or even his plan, but this is a good thing. Mystery is better. The Flash literally revealed the end game last season, so don’t make the same mistake.
One extra thing that was great to see is a nod to Arrow, reminding us that this is all a connected universe. Barry is sitting waiting on the therapist when he picks up a newspaper with the headline, ‘Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow’. It’s a small detail but it’s a good reminder that most of the CW shows are not just in the same universe, but on the same timeline. As a fan of both shows, these little moments are great to see.
Verdict – More major to minor surgery
The episode started well with it’s new fun outlook on life but it quickly returned to the same old Flash. It needs to find the right balance and return to the fun show it was back in Season 1.