Title: The Flash: “Blocked” Review
Release Date: October 16th, 2018
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
The Flash opened with a very strong season premiere last week. I knew that it would be difficult for the show to consistently continue that momentum throughout their 22-23 episode season. However, I didn’t think that the second episode would stall as much as it did.
Now, let’s be clear, this is not a bad episode. There are a ton of good moments littered throughout and the dynamic between Barry, Iris, and Nora is still the focal point for the series.
However, “Blocked” heavily suffered due to having too much happening all at once. Monday night’s Arrow proved that we don’t need to see every character in the spotlight each week and I hope that The Flash learns this soon. We had four storylines to follow here with Joe/Cecile, Cisco/Caitlin/Ralph, Iris/Cicada, and Barry/Nora. Why? You have 20+ episodes to flesh out these characters, take your time.
Another lackluster villain of the week didn’t help either. I didn’t care at all about Block, her abilities, or the other side antagonists. It wasn’t until Cicada officially introduced himself to Team Flash that I actually became invested in the action.
I was worried about having yet another non-speedster villain for the main antagonist of a season. Although I still have some reservations, Cicada had a memorable scene with our heroes. His power to disable other meta-humans’ abilities is indeed worthy enough to combat the scarlet speedster as he took down most of Team Flash with ease in this first encounter.
Barry has now learned how Harrison Wells (the Eobard Thawne version) must have felt while training him in season one. What’s interesting here is that the show continues to make callbacks to his time on the team and his impact on Barry. It all makes me wonder if we will somehow see the 2024 article come to fruition this season, with Reverse-Flash and Cicada perhaps leading the charge against The Flash.
Anyway, we also learned that Nora is still an inexperienced hero with a lot to learn. Barry’s reaction to his daughter accidentally hitting him with a lightning bolt was absolutely hilarious, “I’m okay, I’ve been hit with lightning before”. Some will probably look at her over-eagerness to “catch the bad guy” as a negative here but I saw it as Joe did. She just wants to impress her dad and prove herself.
I really enjoyed this talk between Barry and Joe where the latter gives his adopted-son some much-needed parental advice. I’m not sure how you feel but I’ve greatly missed these two sharing these kinds of scenes. Hopefully, this is another dynamic that will continue to drive season five.
On the other end of the main story, we saw Ralph and Caitlin attempt to guide Cisco past his harsh breakup with Gypsy so he can use his powers to help find Caitlin’s father. This was pretty hit-or-miss comedy wise and it ultimately was set up to show Caitlin’s reluctance to seek out her father. It would have been a fine B-story if not for the other two minor arcs that plagued the episode down.
Look, I’m ecstatic that the writers have listened to the fans and Iris is back doing her thing as a journalist. Did she really have to discover all of this Cicada information now? Same goes with the mini-story with Joe and Cecile. We could’ve kept these two on the sidelines for a bit and fleshed out the loss of Cecile’s powers better down the road.
As it stands right now, The Flash feels bloated. There’s too much to focus on every week and nothing really progresses due to this. With Elongated Man, Vibe, and XS all on the team, The Flash himself sometimes feels like a third-wheel (or in this case, the fourth-wheel) in his own show.
What remains to be seen is how The Flash will juggle all of these storylines and if they will connect later in the season. We currently have Team Flash vs. Cicada, the Killer Frost story-arc, and Nora Allen’s attempt to save her father from his seemingly inevitable “death”. By the looks of next week’s episode, it seems that we will get our first look at the next version of Harrison Wells who will be joining the team, Sherloque Wells. This may add another wrench into things or it could act as a catalyst to drive one of these major plot points forward.
Verdict: Overall, “Blocked” wasn’t a bad episode, it just had too much going on for it to be great. Another below-average villain didn’t do this episode any favors either. However, the season still thrives due to the dynamic between Barry, Nora, and Iris. Hopefully this, along with a terrifying big bad in Cicada, will continue to make The Flash season five click.
What are your thoughts on this episode? Where do you think the series will go next with Cicada? Let us know in the comments below!
- The dynamic between Barry, Nora, and Iris continues to drive the show
- Cicada's introduction to Team Flash
- Cisco/Ralph/Caitlin subplot
- Parallels between Barry and Harrison Wells (Thawne) continue to grow
- The conversation between Barry and Joe
- Iris is back to being a journalist
- Too many story arcs
- Yet another forgettable villain of the week
- Comedy was hit-or-miss