Title: The Flash: “The Girl With The Red Lightning” Review
Release Date: May 7th, 2019
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
I have no idea how, or why, Barry has become the worst character on his own series but this has got to be rectified next season.
Both Arrow and The Flash had their own penultimate episodes this week. Even though they both didn’t necessarily feel like penultimate episodes, the difference between them is like night and day. I think that’s because Barry has just been plain unlikable lately. On top of that, it’s been frustrating to sit through filler conversation after filler conversation with so little that happens in between. Seriously, I counted 3 “hallway scenes” in a row this week (Nora/Barry/Iris, Joe/Cecile, and Sherloque/Renee Adler).
My personal solution, follow what Arrow went through this season. Divide the season up in arcs. It wouldn’t entirely do away with the show’s patented hallway scenes but they would seem a lot less pointless. Seriously, we could have been through the Cicada stuff a few episodes ago and turned our attention to Eobard’s master plan sooner (and this is coming from a guy who actually has enjoyed Grace’s version of Cicada). Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome twist and we’ll dive into Eobard’s plan here in a second. I’m just getting tired of The Flash treating me like I’ve never sat through an episode of their show before. Luckily we didn’t hear about “family” around 100 times on top of this. I’m not sure I would be able to handle that without my brain exploding.
I’m getting a little too riled up so let’s focus on what clicked with this week’s episode of The Flash. The top of that pretty short list is the Reverse Flash. Eobard’s motivation to specifically stopping Cicada this season has been strange throughout. Why does he care so much about a meta that could dampen powers? Well, it’s actually a simple yet mind-blowing twist. Cicada’s dagger has been powering Eobard’s meta-dampening vest this entire time. He’s been messing around with that vest since we first saw him in Iron Heights.
Someone had to tell Grace about where to find the last piece for the Atomizer and how to travel through time as well. The Grace turning into Cicada revelation was good and all but this is the first time since Savitar’s reveal that I felt The Flash had really hit its mark on a big shocking moment.
I loved watching Ralph slowly piece it all together throughout the episode and showcase his detective abilities as well. Not only that but it gave him something of note to do while Team Flash ran around like idiots for 30-ish minutes.
Here’s what I don’t get. How can The Flash continue to put out tedious pep-talks week after week yet manage to absolutely nail this Reverse Flash twist and storyline so well? Tom Cavanagh and our connection to this legendary character have something to do with it. Sure, I can accept that but this part of the season has been written extremely well from his relationship with Nora to his tense confrontation with Barry in Iron Heights. This amazing revelation also managed to get me grinning ear to ear in anticipation for next week’s finale. Which is crazy considering that I’m still disappointed with the episode as a whole.
Barry was useless this entire episode, wasn’t he? Out of fear for his daughter’s “safety”, he doesn’t want Nora to use her connection to Grace. Wait, what? Thousands of people can die, with Nora being the only person who can track her but you are worried that she’ll become slightly evil again? That’s just dumb and it only served as a way to waste about 30 minutes so Nora can tell Team Flash where to go for the final showdown with Grace.
Let’s fast-forward to the big final fight with Cicada. Everyone enters, they knock out Grace, for some reason they don’t have any meta-dampening cuffs on them, and when Grace wakes up she decides to knock Barry out of the fight with one hit. Yep, Barry’s pretty useless. At least he was able to save Cisco in the nick of time though.
Anyone who has following along with my reviews (thank you by the way) knows that I find Nora to be a good character and a tremendous addition to the main cast. I was fine with Barry being on the sidelines more this season because of that. I truly was. But I’m not fine with turning this character into a shell of his former self. He’s supposed to be smart, likable, optimistic, and at the peak of his abilities. Trust me, he’s not any of those things right now.
The Sherloque and Joe side-arcs were fine. Like I mentioned before, the timing of 3 back-to-back-to-back pep-talks hurt them a little but they served their purpose. The Flash is setting up Joe to probably take over the Captain’s desk next season and this was Joe’s first real test at the job. Jesse L. Martin is great and Joe needs something to do next season. It’s a win-win for all of us.
Sherloque’s relationship with Renee Adler was set up a long time ago and it needed to be brought up again this season. In this case, I think I just got too much of an H.R. Wells vibe from his interactions with Renee. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him to sacrifice himself for the team in next week’s finale. It would definitely suck because Sherloque has quietly become one of the better versions of Wells we’ve seen since probably Harry Wells back in season 2.
Verdict: “The Girl With The Red Lightning” felt like a waste of time until those last 20 minutes. Even though the last chunk of the episode was spectacular and succeeded in hyping me up for the finale next week, there are just too many issues to justify giving this week’s episode anything higher than a “Disappointing” rating. I know Eric Wallace is the new showrunner coming to The Flash for season 6. I hope his first order of business is fixing Barry Allen’s character.
- The last 20 minutes were awesome
- That twist at the end was the best revelation the show has made since Savitar's reveal way back in season 3
- Reverse Flash's plan and story arc as a whole
- Ralph figuring it all out
- 3 hallway scenes in a row
- The first 30 minutes or so were pointless outside of Ralph's scenes
- Actually, Barry Allen as a character has become pointless too
- The big final fight between Team Flash and She-Cada was underwhelming
- The Flash's formula for how every episode goes down is really predictable. That has become apparent to me this week.
Avid gamer and placeholder of what is now the worst selfie of all time. Mostly an Xbox/PS4 player but I have been known to destroy friendships in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.