This review contains spoilers.
1.18 All Star Team-Up
When The Flash introduced time travel earlier in the season, one of the main (if not the only) complaints was that the occurrence negated some of the events in what will most likely go down as the best episode of the season.
While the audience got to enjoy it, of course, the fact that the scene between Wells and Cisco in Out Of Time was more or less not canon after Barry relived the day was a mild annoyance, so you can imagine my delight in discovering that the characters are capable, with the right stimulus, of remembering those scenes in the present timeline.
Which means that Cisco and Caitlin are now in on the ‘Wells is a bad guy’ secret along with Barry and Joe, and we’re on our way to the rest of the season. One of the best things about The Flash is the team dynamic that Barry can lean on in times of uncertainty – a stark contrast to the constant warring between members of Team Arrow – and so a showdown between Barry and Wells without them would have felt very wrong.
Saying that, bringing in Felicity to push Barry towards his final conclusion was perfect, too, and makes you glad both of these shows have a bunch of other characters to pull in when they need an outside perspective. I’m sure some Flash fans who don’t watch Arrow are getting annoyed with the constant guest spots, but they make this feel like a real shared universe, rather than a just spin-off and its predecessor.
This was also probably the most likeable Ray’s been since he was introduced – the sort of nerdy, awkward rich guy who’d think nothing of renting out an entire restaurant for his girlfriend, her ex and her ex’s friends. They also finally pulled out the obvious Superman joke, far less irksome when said in the sunny streets of Central City than it would have been in Starling. He just needed to get out of the gloom so we could see how fun he is.
The same goes for Felicity, since her two guest stints this year have brought out a far better side to her than anything she’s done on Arrow’s third season. Can we trade? Maybe send Eddie to Starling in her place – he seems like he needs a holiday right now.
Yes the ‘let’s all lie to Iris parade’ continues marching on, and Eddie’s displeasure at being forced to keep secrets from his girlfriend spiralled faster than I expected. Detecting for the first time that not everyone is being entirely truthful with her, she immediately jumps to cheating as the reason for his distance, dumping him by the episode’s end. Poor Eddie didn’t even last one week when Barry’s been lying to her for an entire year. And he’s her brother (or something).
The metahuman threat was so superfluous this week that it’s barely worth mentioning, and The Flash will probably become a better show when it discovers some episodes can exist without a freak of the week.
And that wish may yet come true, as we’ve only a handful of episodes before the end of the first season. Wells/Reverse Flash is obviously going to be the focus of the finale and, if time-travel also ends up being a factor in that (as it almost definitely will be), there probably won’t be much chance for random metahumans outside of maybe Captain Cold, Heatwave and Grodd to be (re)introduced.
So this was probably the last filler-ish episode of the season and, while there was a lot of fun to be had with Ray’s awkward dinner and Felicity and Barry’s always charming dynamic, it mainly existed to push Cisco and Caitlin towards the conclusion that Wells might not be the great guy and mentor they thought he was. Now that they’ve gotten there, Thorne’s days in hiding are numbered.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Tricksters, here.
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