Run, spoilers, run.
Warning: I’m calling my prediction for the Man in the Iron Mask right after the Highs and Lows. I’m not saying I can’t be wrong, but it could be a major spoiler if I am right.
The Flash brings another win this week, albeit with some very minor flaws. The Runaway Dinosaur is directed by Kevin Smith. No, don’t worry he didn’t add any dick jokes. You do get a Jason Mewes cameo but nothing that disturbs the time space continuum. The episode does a great job of increasing the tempo towards the finale. There’s just one thing that felt rushed in there.
First of all, the Speed Force makes itself present in a way that would make the Force jealous. Rather than show Barry in some weird vortex dimension, we get him experiencing a vision of the people he loves, Joe, Iris, Henry and Nora Allen. I did like the way that the Speed Force asks him to catch a blurry image that shows up everywhere. I did like him having to visit his mother’s grave. I did love him meeting his mother again. Cisco vibe-ing on the spot and being able to put everyone at ease (“I saw Barry, he’s alive”) was an immediate relief. The Flash regaining his powers once Barry catches the blur. It’s not a surprise to find it’s Barry himself, in full Flash costume. Didn’t that costume get shredded by the particle accelerator? Of course that’s just moot – the Speed Force recreating Barry’s costume is just too cool.
The show has very recently – and that means since last week’s episode – started pushing Iris and Barry together. Or kinda together. Actually, I was pretty mad at Iris half-declaration of love-you-maybe last week. This week they’re both doing it. The whole point was that Iris is the anchor that brings Barry back, but that would’ve made more sense if they had been some sort of an item several episodes before this one. It’s rushed. My other problem is minor. Cisco and Iris discover that dead meta-human Girder has been turned into zombie Girder by the particle accelerator mini-explosion. I call this a minor problem because for once, Iris is involved which finally allows her to participate on an actual meta-human hunt and become part of the team. So that positive majorly outdoes the negative of the pointless baddie of the week inclusion.
Teaser time. Yes, that is Katie Cassidy.
Arrow seems to have traveled in time for Monument Point. Suddenly we have a storyline seemingly ripped from the 80’s movie classics War Games or Superman IV: Quest for Peace. Darhk literally wants to bring on the end of the world while his little Under-the-Dome town is safe. He’s trying to launch every nuclear missile. Team Arrow decides to bring in Felicity’s father, Noah Kuttler aka the Calculator. Meanwhile, Lonnie Machin aka Anarchy returns, gets into the dome, fights Thea and kills Alex. At this point I start to tune out. What are we trying to do with this episode? The missiles are neutralized except one, which is headed toward Monument Point. Why did we name the episode after this random city (and yes, I know it exists in DC continuity). Oh and throw in Vinnie Jones back as Brick for a couple of fights and…
What are you doing, Arrow? This episode had a strange everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. We get some high-tech caper courtesy of Felicity losing her position as CEO of Palmer Technologies and having to break in to get the thingamajig chip. Thea is suddenly going against Anarky in the middle of her dome city drama and her boyfriend goes from being hypnotized to dead in no time flat. The storylines are literally all over the place with the main one getting lost in there. When Green Arrow/Ollie and Spartan/John find the nexus room under city hall and Damien Darhk conducting some magic light show in there, it’s almost a chore. Oh yeah, this again. I guess it’s another confrontation between GA and the big bad.
Next week, we focus on Thea. And apparently Darhk’s bubble city is called the Ark.
Sometimes Arrow is just too exhausting to watch.
- Supergirl has been renewed for a second season! It will be moved to the CW and will now film in Vancouver. Apparently Calista Flockhart prefers to film exclusively in California but accepted to make the trek just to keep the show going. Here’s why this is a good thing: CBS was not renewing this show. The move to CW is a lifeline, and they took it. Hopefully it also means Supergirl can now happen in the same CW/DC Universe (and gets better storylines).
- Caitlin Snow is still a prisoner of Zoom. When she tells him not to call her “Cait” I had shades of Killer Frost. Also, seeing the rogue gallery that Zoom has assembled from Earth-2 was both terrifying and exhilarating. That’s a lot of work for Team Flash. Or perhaps they will all go out at once.
- I liked the Cisco and Iris team up. Hell, I liked seeing Iris participating in the main storyline. Yes, I still feel they’re rushing Barry and Iris now. They really needed to start at the beginning of the season teasing this up to make it believable now.
- Barry has a moment in which he reclaims the Flash that is a little too brief. It’s actually the Speedforce investing him as the superhero he’s become, a transformation that was not accidental but fortunate in its first instance is now a much greater event. This time he’s accepting it rather than being thrown into his Flash role. Barry earns this. I wanted it to last a little more.
- Next week’s Invincible brings us Katie Cassidy as Earth-2’s Black Siren.
- Arrow was just a little too focused on other matters but the Darhk storyline. Sorry, but sometimes I have to make an effort to see Oliver Queen as the main character. I think Felicity has been lingering in the spotlight a little too long lately. Sorry.
- You know those headphones that you just threw inside your drawer and now you want to use them but they’re all tied up in knots? That’s what this episode felt like. In the grand scheme of things, I wanted to skip it.
- There’s a moment in which you realize that Felicity has to play God and divert the missile from a large metropolis to a smaller city for a smaller number of casualties. This was really dark, and yet the episode just had to keep going. This episode was straining the drama past a boiling point.
- On the same vein, John Diggle did tell Lyla last week that he killed Andy in self defense when he really didn’t. I’m glad the show didn’t forget that. I noticed it last week and I was glad to see Oliver bringing it up. Unfortunately, they didn’t really deal with it. It was a short scene where John and Ollie are going somewhere and suddenly called by Felicity to go somewhere else. Now it really feels like I’m trying untangle a knot. I’m going to stop.
- Happy for Supergirl been renewed, although wary of the budget cuts. Hopefully they’ll be better storylines in the future. The Flash is proof that threats can be localized and still feel overall more of a challenge. Arrow is proof that you can’t recycle the 80’s nuclear missile launch plot and have us care about dots in a digital map. Small and focused wins over global thermonuclear war. Want to play a game, Professor Falken? Keep it local. Destroying the world is something that happens too far away. Arrow should have learn from Supergirl’s far-reaching finale.
Calling it Now: I think I know who the Man in the Iron Mask is. Or rather, I have a theory of who he should be. If I’m right about this, it would be awesome. I think it should be Earth-2’s Oliver Queen.
Coming up on the Calendar:
- Sunday, May 1: Penny Dreadful (season premiere)
- Thursday, May 19: Legends of Tomorrow (season finale)
- Tuesday, May 24: The Flash (season finale)
- Wednesday, May 25: Arrow (season finale)
That will do for now.