The Flash Season 1 Eps 19-20 (TV Show Review)

CW’s debut superhero spinoff show has been going all-out of late. While things have been heating up with regards to the overall mystery of Dr. Harrison Wells and the Reverse-Flash, the various characters’ lives have also been affected a great deal. Some characters have come out of it positively, while others haven’t. But that’s fine I suppose since the cast of the show is so big. And through all of it, there’s always that strong sense of optimism that the good guys, even while the villain of the show carries out his inside-man job.

Last week’s “Who is Harrison Wells?” and this week’s “The Trap” showcase really well how things are changing on the show. For the good guys, Harrison Wells’ secret is out in the open, they just have to find some solid proof of all the criminal things he has done so that the biggest mystery of the show can be finally solved as far as the CCPD is concerned: did Barry’s father really kill his mother? That has certainly been the driving force for Barry since that fateful night, and we are finally getting some major revelations, with these two episodes leading the way as The Flash
‘s debut season moves into its final stretch with just three more episodes to go.

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Last week’s episode was about Cisco and Joe taking a trip to Starling City, on the outskirts of which an accident took place many years ago, an accident that left Harrison Wells’ girlfriend Tess Morgan dead and changed him completely as a person, according to his former friend Tina McGee. This is what we learned in episode 18, and prior to that, we also saw how Harrison Wells isn’t really Harrison Wells, but is actually Eobard Thawne. That was certainly a very big moment because it basically messed with a ton of theories and predictions.

So here we are. Joe thinks they can dredge up something from the accident that might help them against Wells. Meanwhile, Barry and Eddie are still in Central City and their big task is to hunt down the changeling metahuman Hannibal Bates who has been causing all sorts of problems for the city since the day of the accelerator explosion. Together, these two storylines go a long way towards advancing the meta storyline because some of what happens here is going to end up affecting what comes next. Specifically the concept of Cisco having nightmares of dying at the hands of Dr. Wells right after the villain explains who he is.

And well, since Starling City is involved in the picture, we get to chat up with none other than Captain Lance and Laurel, in what is two of the best moments of the entire series: the first is when Joe gives the good Captain some advice on how to handle rebellious daughters, and the second is when Laurel reveals to Cisco that she knows all about Teams Arrow and Flash and that she is the Black Canary. She also asks him to do a little something for her, which I really, really liked and can’t wait to see happen in Arrow in the coming episodes. I think that it is going to have a big impact on how things are in Starling and since Joe pushes Captain Lance to make up with his daughter, well, that’s something to look forward to.

But, coming back to the question of WHO IS HARRISON WELLS. We, as the viewers, know exactly who he is. We have seen revelations that only we have been privy to, but no one else. The characters are all figuring it out as we go along, week-to-week. And it is not an easy road for them. Take Caitlin for example. She is fiercely defensive of him since he has been her mentor for so long and because she has seen him at his lowest and he has always been there to gude her and help her. Which is exactly the kind of stuff that Barry respects him for, but then there is this little thing where Wells did kill his mother Nora, and suddenly it is all so damn different.

This is what the show emphasizes at every turn: that while the overall look of the show might be… sunny and hopeful and what not, that there’s some dark things going on at the same time. Beneath that strong exterior projecting a certain positivity and humor is a core of darkness, and it all started with he murder of a mother in front of her son.

Really hits home doesn’t it? The writers make great strides in last week’s episode to showcase that internal truth of the show and moving the larger story forward while giving you a self-contained story at the same time. And then the writers of this week’s episode pick that up and just go to town with it. Because this week’s “The Trap” is all about the first stages of the reckoning between Barry and Harrison. Last week, right at the end, we saw that Barry, Caitlin and Cisco managed to discover Wells’ secret room in STAR Labs, the one where he keeps his Reverse-Flash suit and Gideon’s operating hardware. That’s where we pick up in this episode, and then it all just snowballs.

The time chamber actually provides some really good hints about what the future of the CW universe might look like. When the three kids see the “Red Skies” headline in the newspaper from the future, the stuff that happens really messes with their heads, especially when Gideon shows up to drop some more bombs and the trio is really wrong-footed. That was one one of the other great moments of the show I think, how the knowledge of so many things from the future is broken to the characters, and their reactions to it.The Flash Stills 0003

Of course, they have to get out of there soon since Wells is back in the building and everything, and then we start on a mission as the entire team tries to figure out how to get Wells to confess to everything. It ain’t as easy as it looks, and it definitely doesn’t prove to be easy from the perspective of the execution of the mission either. Let’s just say that instead of getting some answers, events get even more hectic for the good guys and that their lives are even more complicated now. All the relationships that have been teased out, all the revelations that are dropped, everything finds a home in this episode and kudos to the writers for making it all stick.

Sure, the actors are doing some of their best work, and the slight changes between the flashbacks to when Barry was comatose following the explosion, and the present really hit home that way. But it is still the story that handles most of the heavy load, and on that front I am extremely satisfied, especially of late. A lot of the burning questions I’ve had for the motivations of Harrison Wells to make sure that Barry is “safe” even though he wants to kill him ultimately are finally getting answered and there’s the show that Wells has had a very long and intricate plan in place since that fateful night.

And the scope of it all is just astounding. The way he has manipulated everyone, fooled everyone. Definitely totally comic book-y. Definitely epic. Makes him standout as a really strong villain, easily the match for someone like Slade Wilson over on Arrow, or even Ra’s al Ghul and the Dark Archer even.

This week’s episode packed in a whole lot of punch, especially in its final moments, and you really can’t help but be impressed by it all. Wells is a really slimy character, and he proves that in as grand a way as possible towards the end of the episode. And next week we are finally going to see Grodd in all his glory, which is amazing in itself, and you have the perfect recipe here for Barry’s life to completely go belly up!

More The Flash: Ep 1, Ep 2, Ep 3, Ep 4, Ep 5, Ep 6, Ep 7, Ep 8, Ep 9, Ep 10, Ep 11, Eps 12-13, Ep 14, Ep 15, Ep 16, Ep 17-18.

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Posted on April 29, 2015, in Review Central, The Flash, TV Show Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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