The Flash: Power Outage
November 28, 2014 8:58 PM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

The Flash goes up against Blackout, a metahuman who can harness electricity; Tockman takes several people inside the police department hostage.
posted by oh yeah! (19 comments total)
 
Hm. Some thoughts about this:

* Iris' annoying desire for the Flash to rescue her reminded me of a certain Homer Simpson moment. It's really good she ended up saving herself in the end, although I'm annoyed it didn't lead to any character growth. Seems like this would've been a great moment for a frank discussion about the dangers of hero worship, instead of Barry making more promises he can't keep.

* Joe breaking the coffee mug was great. Iris' reaction was also great.

* I really liked Tockman. (Loved Clock King in the Diniverse, too. Particularly Task Force X.) It's funny how cool someone can be when their only power is obsessive punctuality, but there we are.

* I was disappointed that they killed off Cut Rate Colossus before that secret identity gloating could cause trouble. I did like that Wells' play failed though. Guess that one was a wash.

* Wells was creepy at the end again, which I'm pretty much always looking for.

Still enjoying this show, despite the rough edges.
posted by mordax at 1:26 AM on November 29, 2014


I'm still waiting for the one good-guy superhero to turn up. So many evil dudes - statistically skewed.
posted by arzakh at 2:06 AM on November 29, 2014


Ralph Dibny!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:17 AM on November 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Ralph Dibny!

I'm so hoping they do something with that, yeah. But it's probably a stretch to expect him in Season 1. :)
posted by mordax at 10:45 AM on November 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


I was disappointed that they killed off Cut Rate Colossus before that secret identity gloating could cause trouble.

I wish they would stop killing off all the other metahumans so quickly.
posted by homunculus at 12:32 PM on November 29, 2014


I don't know, I think I prefer them dead than locked up in little solitary confinement cubes for life, if those are the only options the writers are giving. The prison thing is such a deeply creeptastic element of the show.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:13 PM on November 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


I enjoyed this episode quite a bit, which surprised me given that I generally hate "OH NOES I'M DE-POWERED" stories. It's kind of odd that they went to that well so early in the series.

I did like that Iris saved herself. Probably the first time I've liked her.

On preview: Yeah, I'm hoping they address the lack of due process at some point. It doesn't even seem to have occurred to anyone that this is a problem.
posted by brundlefly at 1:15 PM on November 29, 2014


It's not the lack of due process I find most creepy, I can see them handwaving that away with 'metahumans are too powerful to be captured/contained by normal jails, and we caught them committing the crimes anyway'. But we've had umpteen threads on the blue about how incredibly damaging solitary confinement is on the human brain, so for our ostensibly good-guy characters to be subjecting metahumans to never-ending solitary yanks me out of the story because of how cruel it is.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:48 PM on November 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


But we've had umpteen threads on the blue about how incredibly damaging solitary confinement is on the human brain, so for our ostensibly good-guy characters to be subjecting metahumans to never-ending solitary yanks me out of the story because of how cruel it is.

Yeah, those cells are incredibly small and horrible. I mean, they don't even toilets, televisions, anything at all - it's basically the equivalent of locking someone in a broom closet.

(I get the impression Wells doesn't really intend for any of them to make it out alive, since he plays so fast and loose with showing off that he can walk in there.)
posted by mordax at 3:35 PM on November 29, 2014


Yeah, so far the only permanent occupant of the tanks is a hitman who was found guilty and only saved from execution due to The Event. The lowest of the low will be kept there - the redeemable will be released, mayhaps to die like poor Girder who would have been a lovable lug but for those folks he murdered.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:40 PM on November 29, 2014


I assume that at some point ARGUS is going to show up and cause the due process/civil liberties issue to come to a head.
posted by homunculus at 4:04 PM on November 29, 2014


I assume that at some point ARGUS is going to show up and cause the due process/civil liberties issue to come to a head.

Um, ARGUS are the guys who have a slave labour assassination team comprised of captured murderers who are compelled to do their bidding via the threat of execution by exploding neck bombs. They're not exactly 'due process' types.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:23 PM on November 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess the solitary confinement thing doesn't bug me as much because it feels like a cartoony visual shorthand for their incarceration. We don't see how they eat, poop or bathe either. I'm sure next time we see one of those guys get out they won't be insane from their isolation.

But in the end they're basically kidnapping people. Why I can write off one thing as cartoony and not another, I'm not sure.
posted by brundlefly at 6:30 PM on November 30, 2014


Um, ARGUS are the guys who have a slave labour assassination team comprised of captured murderers who are compelled to do their bidding via the threat of execution by exploding neck bombs. They're not exactly 'due process' types.

Right. I didn't mean ARGUS supporting civil rights, I mean ARGUS forcing the issue through their abuses. They're a government agency (if I remember right) who routinely violate civil rights and due process; Barry is going to be appalled by them and probably oppose them. I don't know if that will force Barry and Co. to reexamine their own attitudes, though it certainly should (that's up to the writers,) but with metahumans popping up all over the place I expect there to be some kind of metahuman civil rights storyline at some point with ARGUS as the Orwellian bad guy.
posted by homunculus at 7:53 PM on November 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


They're a government agency (if I remember right) who routinely violate civil rights and due process; Barry is going to be appalled by them and probably oppose them.

Probably, but then Barry will be a massive hypocrite.

It has always bugged me that the Star Labs Pals are keeping metahumans secret. Why aren't they warning law enforcement about all these superpowered nutters tearing up the city? The army demonstrably already knows. Barry reveals his secret identity to every Tom, Dick and X-man rip off around, and has flirty chats with Iris, and catches a product placement Uber home in costume. They're not being secretive that the Flash exists - why not come clean about the other metas, stop the bad ones and deliver them up to law enforcement for incarceration; the Star Pals could earn some mad cash consulting on custom prison designs.

Or is it just that Wells doesn't want to cop more flak for blowing up the city AND creating all the super villains?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:24 PM on November 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm still waiting for the one good-guy superhero to turn up. So many evil dudes - statistically skewed.

I thought the Blackout thing did some nice stuff with that. This guy wasn't so awful beyond what he was driven to by hunger and grief. That probably did a lot more to explain why these folks trend one way rather than the other than anything else thus far.

I still feel like we're not getting a good explanation of why this all seems to be happening now. Barry was in a coma. What about all the rest of these people? Why didn't their shenanigans start 10 months ago? The indication seems to be they were all changed immediately, so where have they been?
posted by phearlez at 12:46 PM on December 1, 2014


The indication seems to be they were all changed immediately, so where have they been?

Well, Plastique was being experimented on by the Army.

But otherwise, yes, that's a very valid point. Why didn't cyanide gas man kill all the people he had a beef with on day 1? Why wasn't cut rate Colossus robbing banks all that while? And wasn't electro guy declared dead? How did they do that without the body? Was he in a grave for 10 months, and then clawed his way out looking for power?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:21 PM on December 1, 2014


Right. And it wouldn't bug me if they would stop talking about how long it's been. Just hand-wave it and we'll get on with things and assume maybe shit has been happening but not noticed. But they talk about how long it's been every single damned episode. It comes up all the time. And when the metas do shit it's super attention-grabbing. Big car chases. City-wide blackouts.

If you want to duck the question, stop drawing attention to the question. If you're going to draw attention to the question then either answer it or acknowledge you're ducking it.
posted by phearlez at 3:43 PM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was really irritated by Joe not telling Barry about the case file being stolen/threat against Iris from the previous episode. The whole keeping secrets thing was mostly ok for me for the first couple of seasons on Arrow, because most of it was being done by Ollie and Moira. Ollie was/is a survivor of some really awful stuff and Moira was a master manipulator, so them keeping secrets for reasons of self-preservation and/or manipulation felt in-character for them.

Barry and Joe are supposed to be more or less emotionally healthy (which I like, I've had my fill of damaged superheroes and sidekicks), and the habits of keeping secrets just seems like much more of an obvious formulaic plot device than anything organic to the characters.

Also kind of frustrated with the length of the flashback for Iris's interaction with Eddie. It seemed really obvious that Joe was up to something, and that Eddie would be whispering something helpful to Iris, so all we really needed to see/hear was Eddie whispering "ankle holster" and that would settle it. But it was like the writers didn't trust the viewers to understand that this was Joe's plan all along, so they had to spell it out at great length. I hate it when shows assume viewers are dumb.

I also thought it was kind of interesting that Joe/Eddie/Iris used a bad guy's moment of human decency against him, but the writing has been so clunky in other areas, I'm not sure the writers intended for that to be interesting.

I'm liking the actor who plays Eddie more and more, and wish he was in a role other than The Obstacle to Barry and Iris's One True Romance, because then he'd stand a better chance of sticking around.
posted by creepygirl at 9:25 PM on December 6, 2014


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