The Flash

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“Girls Night Out” splits the cast into gender-specific groups for typical bachelor/bachelorette party episode, Flash-style. While Barry‘s (Grant Gustin) night is hijacked by Ralph Dinby (Hartley Sawyer), it’s the ladies who get to lead the episode’s main storyline which finally answers some questions about Caitlin‘s (Danielle Panabaker) missing months while also bulking up the roster this week with the inclusion of both Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and guest-star Katee Sackhoff as the D-list villain Amunet Black. While mentioned briefly pre-party, and making an appearance in the show’s epilogue, DeVoe (Neil Sandilands) continues to be a mystery to Team Flash.

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While seeing out heroes’ luck turn bad, “Luck Be a Lady” answers a couple of lingering questions about the new season, most importantly how this new crop of meta-humans was created (nice one Cisco!), while bringing back the Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) of Earth-2 and introducing an unusual villain in Hazard (Sugar Lyn Beard). Despite the various troubles the woman’s luck field causes (increasing her good luck at the cost of everyone else around her), the episode continues to keep the upbeat nature of the season and bring the fun.

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If Iris (Candice Patton) ruins Barry‘s (Grant Gustin) new-found lighter outlook on life I may not forgive the character, or the show’s writers. While relationship issues seep their way into both the main story involving Barry and Iris and the B-story involving Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Gypsy (Jessica Camacho), the threat of the week comes in the form of the meta-human Ramsey Deacon (Dominic Burgess), loosely based of the DC Comics’ character Kilg%re. With a power to manipulate technology, the villain begins targeting his former associates who cut him out of the sale of lucrative technology he helped invent. Attempting murder by elevator, car, and insulin pump, the bad guy turns whatever tech he can find into a weapon – including Cisco’s new upgrades to Barry’s suit.

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After showcasing the heroes of Central City fighting without their friend, “The Flash Reborn” mainly deals with Cisco‘s (Carlos Valdes) plan to pull Barry (Grant Gustin) out of the Speed Force and get the show back to something resembling the status quo by the end of the season premiere. It takes most of the episode, but Barry is back in action just in time to save Iris (Candice Patton) from a Samuriod… even if his return isn’t without it’s issues. While I appreciate the idea that Iris putting herself in danger is the shock necessary to push Barry out of his Speed Force fugue state, the episode races through the important moment later in the running time than necessary in order to get Barry back among his friends just in time for the credits to roll.

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IF THE FLASH WAS HONEST

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the-flash-season-3-blu-rayWhile the Third Season of The Flash feels a bit too familiar with the introduction of yet another evil speedster, the show does provide several memorable moments including a dark turn for Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), the death of a major character, a musical crossover episode featuring Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), and the shake-up of The Flash’s world following his Flashpoint adventure. There are a few clunkers here, but when it’s good The Flash can be awfully good.

Other highlights include a fun Christmas episode, characters dealing with the complexity of what Savitar is, a trip into the future, the season finale, meta-humans altered by Doctor Alchemy to match characters from the Flashpoint reality, Jesse Quick racing into action, the Invasion crossover, the two-part return of Grodd, the introduction of Gypsy (Jessica Camacho), and the first appearance of a classic Flash villain.

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Framed for murder by the Ninth Circle, Oliver Queen hits the road to prove his innocence. This leaves Seattle in the capable hands of Ollie’s friends. Taking its name from Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams’ famous run (minus the social commentary), part one of “Hard Traveling Hero” catches up to Green Arrow on the road where his investigation crosses paths with another member of the Justice League: the Flash.

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Immediately following Savitar killing Iris (Candice Patton), the Third Season finale opens with a big twist, and it won’t be the episode’s last. The good news for Team Flash is that Iris is alive and Savitar’s plan has failed. The good news for the show is a tremendous weight has been lifted off of Barry‘s (Grant Gustin) shoulders and we see a more hopeful and less brooding version of the character throughout the episode, even in the face of an emotional sacrifice to close out the episode. There’s a calm to Barry we haven’t seen in quite some time which serves both the character and the season finale well. Let’s hope this continues in to next season.

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Despite Barry Allen‘s (Grant Gustin) initial belief that he could rewrite the future he glimpsed months ago, much of the Third Season of The Flash has had a hopeless vibe (so to speak). “Infantino Street” is the inevitable conclusion of these events. The day of Iris‘ (Candice Patton) death finally arrives, and despite bringing in Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) for a theft inside A.R.G.U.S., the existence of the speed bazooka, and Barry refusing to learn too much about his friend’s plan to stop Savitar, he episode never sells us on the idea that Iris has any chance of walking out alive. Because of this the episode’s final scene is anti-climactic, especially after giving us the return of both Captain Cold and King Shark before seemingly going through the motions concerning the fate of Barry’s fiance.

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“Cause and Effect” offers an explanation for last week’s reveal that Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is Savitar. It turns out he is and he isn’t. The Barry inside the Savitar armor is a remnant, a speed duplicate left over from one of the Flash’s fights against Savitar years from now. I still think there were more interesting options for the villain’s true identity, but this at least adds some context to the reveal and help explain how a version of Barry (a flawed duplicate created during a time of hopelessness) might become a super-villain.

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