The Flash was back after a break from action last week and the show continued right in stride with where it had left off. The reason that the show works is because while it boasts extraordinary special effects, the series has more heart than you would expect. On the outside it understandably looks like a cheese-fest, which it may be. However, the acting and relationships, particularly between Grant Gustin and Jesse L. Martin is what continually elevates the show over what is expected.
This week Barry Allen (Gustin) encounters another victim of the explosion that has created a weekly stream of meta-humans. However, things get a little more complicated as this is the first instance of a super-powered freak, that isn't inherently criminal. Bette Sans Souci (Kelly Frye), aka Plastique, is cursed with an explosive touch that leads her on a revenge driven path against those who experimented on her. The presence of Bette reconnects Dr. Harrison Wells with General Eiling (Clancy Brown), a former colleague tasked with taking her down.
It's also worth noting the ever expanding range of Allen's powers. There were two moments, the skyscraper rescue and the bomb escape, that were visually jaw-dropping. Even in week five, the quality of the visual effects and set pieces do not fail to impress. In this episode he learns that he can alter his voice by vibrating his vocal chords, run up walls and on top of water. And he even shows why he could be the world's greatest archivist if he just put his mind to it. Discovering these abilities, along with Allen, is exhilarating and akin to "leveling up" in video games. There are a host of other creative uses of his speed that he will eventually discover. Hopefully the showrunners don't blow their load and allow a slow reveal of Allen's god-like capabilities over the course of the show's span.
Iris West (Candice Patton) has figured into the fabric of the show in a more logical way. The fact that she is investigating "The Streak" on behalf of Allen, considering his past, actually makes sense. It is a little frustrating that Joe West is insistent on keeping her in the dark however. Particularly because it is clearly motivating her to investigating further. It seems that their problem would be solved if they simply told her the truth. And just when you think the writing isn't realistic, West drops the biggest bomb of the series. He has been aware of Allen's crush on his daughter for years and supports him. Joe West ain't no fool. These real human reactions make the character's motivations plausible, elevating the material and grounding the series.
Harrison Wells is twirling his mustache tighter every week. It seems as if he is familiar with all of the villains, or at least their skill-set, from his unexplained knowledge of the future. It's a possibility that he will be the puppet-master uniting the Rogues in upcoming episodes. He also has a past partnership with General Eiling. They split ways in the past over the treatment of an ape named Grodd. Who fans recognize as one of the Flash's greatest and smartest enemies. Things are about to get bizarre.
The Flash has succeeded on a weekly basis of maintaining a high bar of quality. There has yet to be a major stumble. It seems the show that we are watching weekly, is the exact show that the creators are setting out to make. That is the mark of a quality program. The next few episodes will be leading to a huge cross-over event. If it hasn't jumped the shark by the time the ape speaks, there will truly be no limit to where the show can go.
What did you think of the episode? Gorilla Grodd? What!?!