The Flash: Things You Can’t Outrun

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

There’s nothing that makes me happier than when a series becomes an ensemble piece and that’s just what The Flash became in “Things You Can’t Outrun.” Every character had their time to shine, especially supporting characters like Caitlin and Cisco. The episode did a nice job developing those characters, along with laying some groundwork for future events.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

“Things You Can’t Outrun” leaned more toward the angsty and emotional side of being a hero rather than the lighter tone it had established in the first two episodes. Now that there is a sample of the angsty side of The Flash, I’m confident when I say they should stick to lighter storytelling. The darker stuff is more in Arrow’s wheelhouse. That’s not to say the quality wasn’t there because it was. The more emotional material gives the characters more depth. It’s just that what made The Flash so likeable in the first two episodes was its cheeky and airy tone.

I don’t know if this is the popular opinion or not but I’m going to throw it out there anyway: I really like Barry and Caitlin so much more than Barry and Iris. Barry and Caitlin seem to have much more chemistry and such an ease about them as compared to Barry and Iris. I know, I know, Caitlin (Spoiler Alert!) has Ronnie and will most likely go back to him once he returns, but there is something about the Barry/Caitlin dynamic that grabs my attention, even though Barry ends up with Iris in the comic book canon.

Barry has been pretty open about his superhero secret with everyone closest to him, so to see him blur his face in front of his father was curious to me. Then it hit me – maybe he wasn’t doing it for his father but instead to hide his face from the prison’s security cameras. It was a nice little trick, much like the centrifuge trick in the previous episode.

It sounded like the series finally let up on the cheesy dialogue. A lot fewer conversations stood out to me as being corny, which is a relief. Another thing they fixed was the Little Barry flashbacks, as in there were none.

Instead, there were flashbacks to the night of the STAR Labs accident. This type of flashback worked quite well, even establishing Caitlin’s fiancé Ronnie, aka Firestorm (Robbie Amell). Once again it’s so nice to see the younger Amell back on the small screen, even though I’m not entirely sure about his acting range. He seemed a lot like his character from The Tomorrow People.

So far every episode has had an ending scene with Dr. Wells being creepy and futuristic. Going forward, The Flash is going to have to branch out and hit another beat for the ending of the episode. The audience already knows that Dr. Wells knows who Barry is and who he will become, so to have the episode end with the revelation that the doctor had cameras in Barry’s lab was a waste of a scene.

Once again the villain of the week was weak, but what they did differently was keep The Mist alive. Converting the particle accelerator into a makeshift prison was genius. Before this episode, the villains in past episodes perished so this set up a status quo that allows them to live and hopefully come back.

Now onto a few comic Easter eggs. The fire and ice comment about Ronnie and Caitlin’s relationship was too funny as in the comics he is Firestorm and she is Killer Frost. There is a reference to Big Belly Burger, a fictional burger chain that Oliver Queen frequented during Arrow’s first season. When Barry stated he didn’t want a museum constructed in his name, it was a nod to the comics where there is a museum actually built in his name.

Rating: 4 out of 5


    One Comment

  1. MiaOctober 27th, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Iris is just one more of many superhero heroines that were dabbling in journalism-reporting field. I really don’t know why many superhero writers love their heroines to be a journalist/reporter lol. Actually I wouldn’t mind that, IF ONLY Iris hadn’t had one more tiring recycled attribute, which is the main hero’s childhood/long-time acquaintance-turned-love interest *rolling my eyes*. I’ll probably be OK if they play with their dynamics so that it feels fresher and a bit different than others, but so far Barry-Iris’ and also Barry-Iris-Eddie dynamics are nothing new to me. I’m bored.

    As much as I like Barry-Caitlin, I’m afraid it can’t be done. Yes, Barry-Iris is not as “fixed” as, say, Louise-Clark or Mary Jane-Spidey, but they also canon enough that the writers probably won’t dare to do something like “Arrow”, pair Oliver with Felicity instead. Not to mention Flash also had that confusing time travel plot and characters from the future like Professor Zoom (Eddie?) that tied with Iris’ fate tightly, so it’ll be really difficult to discard her as Barry’s love interest.

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