The Flash: Plastique Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

So far in The Flash’s tiny existence, the series has yet to take a major misstep, which is surprisingly delightful. Even the best shows take a handful of episodes to establish characters, tone, and storylines, but that never happened with The Flash. This series and its creators knew exactly what they wanted to do and have executed it well. “Plastique” continued the series’ steady pace.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Typically, The Flash has had a trend of having Barry defeat “freaks of the week.” However, “Plastique” switched up this formula and created a bigger and more complex problem for Team Flash.

It’s admirable that the series broke up their traditional formula by making the Team confront a meta-human who wasn’t a villain. They had to find a balance of how to help Bette Sans Souci and keep themselves and the rest of the city safe. (There was a nice shout-out to Captain Boomerang when she was showing the Team her powers.) The writers were able to make the audience sympathetic to Plastique’s story. This is something that the writers haven’t been able to do yet with meta-humans, so it was a big step forward for the series.  

On the periphery, there was another villain, General Eiling. Traditionally, he is one of Captain Atom’s enemies, but he fit in nicely in this universe. I fully expect him to return in the future.

The series gave more depth to Iris’ obsession with The Streak. It’s not just being obsessive for curiosity’s sake, but instead it’s rooted in her friendship with Barry. However, the Barry and Iris angst was a bit overblown. Yes, they disagree over this one thing, but do they really need to spend time apart? And Iris and The Streak’s “interview” on the roof was a little too on-the-nose in comparison with Lois Lane and Superman’s first interview.

The one good thing about their constant debate was that Iris was given more to do in the episode. She continues to be the series’ main problem. The writers need to give her more of an identity apart from Barry and more to do.

“Plastique” wasn’t all filled with gloom, as there were some fun, light-hearted moments scattered throughout. One of the funnier moments was when Joe was visibly amused by Barry’s vocal cord trick. Or Barry’s disappointment that his drinking days are all but over. You know, unusually high metabolism and all that.

Some of the stronger Streak moments were when Barry was trying to further push the boundaries of his abilities by running up the side of a building, running on water, rummaging through files, or outrunning an explosion. It’s fun watching him try to figure out what he is capable of with his new abilities. By the way, all of these new aspects of his abilities were very well done effects-wise. It continues to astound me how well the effects department is able to create these large pieces on a short TV schedule.  

There was yet another nice break from the Little Barry flashbacks and the obligatory visit to Iron Heights because of the “Barry’s dad’s wrongfully rotting in jail” storyline. It seems as if the writers figured out that those two elements don’t need to be in every single episode.

Finally, the audience got a quick peak at Grodd. Even though it was a tiny, shadowy glimpse, it was exciting nonetheless. I continue to be disappointed in the ending tag scenes featuring Dr. Wells and his villainous ways. “Going Rouge” was a nice departure from this, but in this episode, they were right back at it.  

Rating: 4 out of 5

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