The Flash Review: “All Star Team Up”

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Let me just preface this review of The Flash with this: I want to be Ray Palmer when I grow up. Not because he has more money than he knows what to do with (though I wouldn’t say no to it), or because he has a smart, beautiful girlfriend (ditto previous statement) but the way he looks at things. Everything is a puzzle to be solved and everything has potential to be fun. Failure is just a way to eliminate bad options.

Anyway, this was a fun episode, even borderline silly. Then again, any episode with Ray Palmer is bound to have some humor. It also had some dark moments as well and did a few things to push the overarching plot of the season (that of the Reverse Flash) forward.

Let’s get the stuff that bothers me out of the way first: once again we have a situation where a romantic plot is being used to force things to happen in the story. The Iris/Eddie drama just feels forced. Iris is demanding that Eddie talk to her and tell her what is going on and he hesitates and pulls away. Barry even talks to Iris and gives her a damn good reason why Eddie might not be telling her what is bothering him. And what does she do? Does she forgive him or tell him she understands? No, she delivers an ultimatum.

What it boils down to (for me) is this: Eddie is a cop, a detective as a matter of fact. There are things that he isn’t ever going to be able to tell Iris. Period. The story should end there but the writers have decided to make this awkward situation worse by not having Iris take what could be seen as a reasonable approach and have her force the situation with Eddie. All this is leading to a point where Eddie stops trusting Barry and we get to the point we saw in the previews where Eddie kills two cops. Or perhaps Eobard body swaps with Eddie (as he did with Wells) because Eddie is ‘broken’ enough to let him in. Either way it just feels forced and uncomfortable.

And before anyone accuses me of just hating romance in TV let me say this: I love Felicity and Ray. I also like Castle and Beckett now that they are together (still not a fan of Leonard and Penny, however).

The ultimate inclusion of Caitlin and Cisco in the ‘Wells is Reverse Flash’ conspiriacy group felt rushed. They could have played it out a bit more and did it next week instead of the last 30 seconds of the episode. This brings me to the number one pet peeve of this episode: Cisco is having flashbacks to an alternate timeline.

Sorry, what? How is that even possible? Since Barry went back in time those events didn’t actually happen so how could Cisco ‘remember’ them? Yes, with cross-dimensional bleed-through and quantum fluctuations and all that anything is possible, but come on. That just screams contrived. Barry needs to convince the Wonder Twins that Wells is a bad guy and Cisco just happens to remember something that didn’t actually happen because Barry changed the past… argh! The only viable explanation would be that Cisco is developing powers that eventually turn him into Vibe since Vibe’s power is multi-dimensional in nature.

Oh well, such is the nature of the comic universe and the main reason my wife refuses to discuss any of this with me. It gives her a headache.

In the grand scheme however, the fun quotient in this episode was high. The villain was a bit lackluster and the forced tension felt out of place but it was a good solid episode, and I can’t wait to see how the tiny robot bee technology get incorporated into the A.T.O.M. suit. Can anyone say ‘shrinking’?

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