The Flash: Things You Can't Outrun
October 21, 2014 10:34 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Barry and the team go after the Mist, who possesses toxic gas powers, and they reflect on the night Caitlin's fiancé died. Meanwhile, Henry gets a long-awaited visit from Joe; and Iris and Eddie continue to keep their romance a secret from Joe.
posted by Catblack (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Just noted that the 2 movies on the marquee at the beginning are "Blue Devil 2 - Hell To Pay" and "The Rita Farr Story". Nice nod for the quickeyed DC fans out there.
posted by Catblack at 10:44 PM on October 21, 2014


Just once after Barry goes running in his regular clothes I wish they'd pan down and show us that his shoes have disintegrated.
posted by homunculus at 10:52 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


"I have a good idea: let's illegally imprison people in our secret base with unlimited resources."
"Sounds good. Too bad my innocent dad has to stay in prison."
"That reminds me, I wanted to tell you something. It's vital that you know that-"
"I know what you're going to say. My mom would be really proud of me."
"What? No. Why would you just cut me off like that while I was trying to tell you something important? I was going to say it's your job to clean up The Mist's poop."
posted by ODiV at 12:09 AM on October 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


That was the lead from the cancelled Tomorrow People series playing the dead fiancé, wasn't it? Does that mean we should expect him to come back someday as a meta-human fireball?
posted by oh yeah! at 6:09 AM on October 22, 2014


I'm just happy that Jonjo Shelvey is acting on the side in case his football career doesn't pan out.

I'm not sure I get the Mist's motivation. I can understand getting the crooks who ratted you out, but also the judge and the cop who were just doing their jobs? And how did the crime family not notice their waiter looked just like the hitman they betrayed? It's been a bad October for criminal catering establishments hiring enemies, eh Maroni? Anyways, Mist had no cause for revenge against the cop and the judge (what about the lawyers? jury? guy who cleaned his cell?) and he even hints at that when he initially doesn't want to off Barry - he's a professional killer who kills for money, not for free, so run on home.

I know we can't expect much from Villains of the Week, but it would have been nice to have the Mist think through his position just a bit more. I suspect they are building some better villains with the backstory leading up to the accident. Caitlin will somehow learn that Wells was responsible for the "death" of her fiance and will confront him. Wells will dramatically STAND UUUPPP and shove her into a science thing that will give her powers. She'll attack Wells later and he'll be all like "Save me, Flash!" and they'll fight for a bit. (I had previously thought she's become the brains/Stein of the new Firestorm but then Ronnie was revealed to be smart on his own, not a dumb jock so idk).

Still looking forward to this show. I like the little easter eggs and the fun of it. It's earnest in a way that Gotham isn't, a hopeful earnest rather than the earnestness of a kid pulling apart bugs.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:12 AM on October 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


After watching the episode -- which moved along pretty well -- I think I may like this show. I did have issues with how fast at the beginning the STAR labs team jumped onto the discussion of a metahuman without any evidence of one, but I guess they'll be going "that's weird... so it must be a metahuman!" a lot.

Also Barry's hair doesn't get messed up without the suit. That's some super hair product right there.
posted by Catblack at 10:32 AM on October 22, 2014


I like the idea of him speedily taking out a mirror and fixing his hair whenever he ends up anywhere.

Wait, how fast is light? Would he be able to do that and have the mirror reflect his hair accurately? This being comics based I'd imagine the answer is written up somewhere already.

My earlier comment might have made this clear already, but I'm really not keen on the idea of Barry helping to illegally imprison people while also respecting the rule of law that keeps his father locked up. I can't really see a way out of it that maintains the needed dramatic tension though so I guess we're stuck with it. Maybe his dad could just conveniently die?
posted by ODiV at 10:48 AM on October 22, 2014


The Faces of Joe West
posted by 1970s Antihero at 12:18 PM on October 22, 2014 [2 favorites]




I'm not sure I get the Mist's motivation. I can understand getting the crooks who ratted you out, but also the judge and the cop who were just doing their jobs?

I would swear this has been a villain trope for a long time, like going back to the pulp/crime/noir novels & movies of the 30's and 40's. And it's been used a bunch in various comics. Of course, I can't really come up with examples off the top of my head. . . . . :)

I think it's a way to characterize the villain as a sociopath/egomaniac/Really Bad Person, because "regular" criminals, like guys who rob banks because it beats working as a ditch digger, can make that kind of distinction, but for this guy Everything Is Personal so anyone who played a significant role in putting him in jail (which, yeah, could definitely include the lawyers & jury members) deserves to be a target of his revenge.

Kinda lazy writing, yeah, but lazy because they're using old cliches.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:15 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm really not keen on the idea of Barry helping to illegally imprison people while also respecting the rule of law that keeps his father locked up. I can't really see a way out of it that maintains the needed dramatic tension though so I guess we're stuck with it.

In this version of the DC Universe meta-humans/superpowers are totally new, though. A handful of people have been helped by a red blur, another handful of people have seen some weird shit during the commitment of crimes, but most people in Central City and the rest of the world have no idea. (In Arrow everything hews pretty close to plausible human abilities - there's been some fringe "super-science" stuff, but nobody's (yet) been able to flat out turn themselves into mist or anything.)

So regular cops & jails can't handle these new super-criminals, and revealing the existence of meta-humans to the authorities would get them laughed out of the room, revealing them to the public would be panic-in-the-streets time. I think the show's made it clear that Barry & team are illegally detaining people (well, one, so far) 'cause they don't know what else to do.

Given Iris' interest in documenting & investigating the "red streak that saves people" phenomenon, I think growing public awareness that Something Weird Is Going On will be a pretty major plot element for the rest of the season. And I would not at all be surprised if a "jailbreak" is a major part of the season finale, and that's how the rest of the world learns of the existence of meta-humans, and next season deals with the fallout from that reveal.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:46 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm getting tired of the script nerfing the Flash so much just so battles with villains are almost fair, especially when it's a villain like the mist who matches up spectacularly poorly against super-speed.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:35 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I hadn't realized until a day after that that was Ronnie Raymond, Firestorm, who I adored when he was introduced in the comics. I can't seem them handling his character very well, because part of the charm of the character (and I'm delving back to comics I last read 30 years ago) was that he was a high school aged kid, not an engineer as they have him here.

Must be a great time to be a 10 year old comics fan though. I know there's one still inside me... somewhere.

Once this show gets past the crappy voice overs and hackneyed plots and has the Rogues really start hanging together, I'm sure it'll get better. (Probably next season.)
posted by Catblack at 7:57 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


The prison is the first time I've felt like this show could lose me. I can buy Wells proposing a secret illegal super-jail because he's an ends-justify-the-means murderer, but (a) everybody else goes along with it so easily; and (b) the logistics of it are...well, they're basically throwing these people into a locked basement. It's like the Ghostbusters containment chamber with people. There are no guards, no human interaction, and with only three people working there, it strains my suspension of disbelief just to accept that they'll somehow get fed, never mind things like the abovementioned sanitation issues. So yeah, it's basically a torture room. Heroic!

Other than that it was a fun episode, if heavy on the SCIENCE! ex machina.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:16 PM on October 22, 2014


That was the lead from the cancelled Tomorrow People series playing the dead fiancé

My husband reminded me that he's also the cousin of the guy who plays Ollie in Arrow.

I think the prison is sketch at best, and the STAR team (other than Harrison Wells, who's clearly a problem) should know it, but I'm hoping that plot point comes out over time since it didn't come out this time.
posted by immlass at 9:15 PM on October 22, 2014


Hell the you had me executed so I'll take my revenge was an award winning X-Files Episode, The List Given that barry can slow time down by speeding up, and he can do it while standing completely still and apparently think at that speed, he should be out thinking/dodging his enemies more.
posted by gryftir at 9:24 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


My husband reminded me that he's also the cousin of the guy who plays Ollie in Arrow

Brother, actually.

In any case, I'm not minding the current formulaic model of the show. I like it's non-grimdark tone because holy cow, I'm tired of the all serious-no joy-comics are grown up gritty stuff all the time in any medium involving them. It's sweet, fun, and a pleasure to watch, unlike Gotham, which is just killing me with its dullness and its Christopher Nolan-wannabe tone.
posted by Kitteh at 5:58 PM on October 23, 2014


I haven't seen the second episode yet, but I really liked the pilot and the third episode. The show has a bright tone generally and is helped tremendously by the fact that Grant Gustin is likeable and charismatic. I also really like John Wesley Shipp as original-Flash-and-Dad-of-new-Flash.

There are things you could tweak to make it more sophisticated, sure. I favorited ODiv's comment because it's funny and true. Still, I kinda like that it reminds me of an 80s/90s show in its more earnest and optimistic tone. The first thing I would change if I were the showrunner would be to make sure the diverse characters are not rendered too sidekick-y. Joe West seems to be getting some strong screen time, but I would enjoy it more if the show aspired to be a true ensemble show. That was one of the strengths of the Wally West era of the comic book - Pied Piper, Chunk, Mason Trollbridge, Linda Park, Detective Chyre, etc. all seemed to be important characters in their own right.

I'm not sure the actor for Ronnie/Firestorm was that well-chosen, but it looks like he won't be back for awhile.
posted by Slothrop at 4:47 AM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Given that barry can slow time down by speeding up, and he can do it while standing completely still and apparently think at that speed, he should be out thinking/dodging his enemies more.

That's a problem with Flash's powers overall that is problematic at a storytelling level. Once you let him think at superspeed, he's basically invincible in the way a terminator robot would be. In the current comic book, in an early issue, his superspeed kicks in, without him being completely conscious of it, right as a bullet hits his head. Actually, this happened in the Wally West series, too. That makes him basically untouchable by all but telepathic enemies.

In the latest episode, Barry ran up to the Mist at superspeed for their first confrontation, but then punched him at regular speed. That's already "unrealistic." Barry can't control his speed very well, sure, but I don't know why he'd slow down to throw an awkward haymaker. "Realistically" he would have thrown an awkward, but superspeed, punch and Mist would have never seen it coming. The episode would have ended much earlier, though!

That's basically a storytelling flaw with many if not most superpowers, though. If Superman or the Hulk can actually pick up a building, which they have been shown to do, it would be almost impossible to for them to fight any other hero without totally and literally pulverizing them, like turning them into mist. So, I just turn off that part of my brain that tries to view superpowers "realistically" and just allow all superhero stories to operate as metaphors and myth, which I think they are better suited for anyway.
posted by Slothrop at 5:02 AM on October 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


I agree that it's a bit monster-of-the-week right now. But here's a quick list of shows that spent most of their season in formula, only pulling out the stops in the back half of Season One or even taking a full season to really kick into gear:

X-Files
Supernatural
Fringe
Arrow
Agents of SHIELD
...Seinfeld?

That's just off the top of my head. I can appreciate that this is a goofy fun MotW show right now, hope it will benefit from a broadening mythology, and be patient.

Cavanagh steals the show, for me. I'm hoping they can get Michael Ian Black in there at some point as some sort of snack-themed supervillain so we can get a bit of the old MATES magic back.
posted by Shepherd at 5:06 AM on October 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't help myself, but to me Barry looks more like Wally (minus the red hair), and if I were hiring an actor to portray Barry they guy playing Eddie Thwane could very well be top of my list, especially if I were casting based on Carmine Infantino pencils. I know, I'm old.
posted by sardonyx at 11:03 AM on October 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Realistically" he would have thrown an awkward, but superspeed, punch and Mist would have never seen it coming. The episode would have ended much earlier, though!

Barry's fist going right through Mist's head in an explosion of gore would have certainly been an entertaining way to end the episode.

"Now he's red mist." (awkward silence)

This show is making me want to pick Arrow back up, but I know if I do that I'm going to start feeling inadequate because of his abs. Holy shit, those abs.
posted by ODiV at 12:16 PM on October 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's definitely a thing for a convicted (and hey, executed, too) criminal to seek revenge on the justice system that put him away. Interestingly, he claimed he only wanted to take those out on his list and Joe was the last one. Would he have retired from the life of crime? (Eh...probably not).

It's a major problem whenever you have anyone with a power that is X the best at whatever it is, and right now with Barry, the only limitations we have been offered for him is simply not getting enough to eat and emotional/psychological problems. I can see him slowing down to awkwardly punch at the bad guy because he has no training in fighting and probably doesn't know how to throw a punch, thus, requiring him to over think it and slow down to make sure he does it right. But yeah, there are tons of limitations in the writing, as everyone has mentioned.

Was I wrong to assume that Cisco sealed the fiance in the collider before he was supposed to? Did it matter because Wells essentially made sure the accident happened to create the Flash?

Every episode, Barry grows on me, so I'm looking forward to the next. In general, I'm pretty happy with the casting.

Another waiter problem, how many businesses have deadbolts that lock with a key from the inside?
posted by Atreides at 5:28 PM on October 25, 2014


Oof, this was a rough episode.

Why is it that we're not telling Iris, exactly? It would make everyone's lives easier.

Joe "joking" about shooting his partner because of dating his daughter: not enough ugh in the world.

I'm glad you're all enjoying it though.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:44 AM on November 2, 2014


Why is it that we're not telling Iris, exactly?

Because in this version of the DC Universe, at this point, there are seriously like a dozen people in the whole world who even know these kind of superpowers are possible. Sure, some of the crime victims/witnesses and the people Barry's helped have seen something odd, but the very existence of these new "meta-humans" is, so far, a secret. The general public has no idea super powers exist and we've not seen any evidence that any governmental organizations or scientists outside of Wells and his team know about this stuff either.

The existence of real, actual, super-humans is the kind of reality-altering piece of information you don't just blurt out to a young journalism grad student/barista, even if she is your daughter and/or quasi-sister & Crush Object. Iris is really low on the "need to know" list, she can find out when (if) the rest of the public does.
posted by soundguy99 at 12:08 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was going to complain about how quickly Caitlin "reverse engineered" an antidote to the toxin...until I remembered that we were told earlier in the episode that the toxin was cyanide.

You don't need to "reverse engineer" a cyanide antidote, you can Google it. Seriously, that's a known thing. I believe it's even standard safety equipment for labs that work with cyanide.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:35 PM on November 2, 2014


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