THE FLASH Review: “Shade”

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The crossroads start to intersect on THE FLASH this week as Alchemy now poses a bigger threat than initially shown. “Shade” starts off familiar enough with someone else proclaiming they’re the fastest man alive. And we discover it’s Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) as Kid Flash running through Central City saving people instead of Barry. But alas, it was only a dream. A dream that sets forth Wally into an unrelenting purist of his powers that now, unfortunately, Alchemy has started to painfully exploit. Barry (Grant Gustin), Joe (Jesse L. Martin), and Iris (Candace Patton) are worried as that’s exactly how Frankie Kane/Magenta turned bad by listening to Alchemy.

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Poor Wally is tortured by powerful, painful seizures from Alchemy as he becomes possessed with an evil rage and desire to find his powers through Alchemy. And Alchemy has a distraction for Barry in the meantime in the form of a new metahuman who is a shadow H.R. dubs Shade. I have to admit this is where the episode lacks. This week’s meta is underused as he appears as quickly as he disappears. Why not use a meta we’ve seen already? To introduce such a throw away villain is disappointing to say the least, but it’s par for the course for the this season so far as we haven’t let any of the metas stick around for more than one episode. But with “Shade” its title character is almost an afterthought to be quiet honest.  I’m all for a villain using a henchman as a distraction (especially as powerful and unique as Shade), but man does it give a little less impact the more we learn nothing as far as character . He pops up twice in the episode and that’s it.

But, we did make some headway with Caitlin Snow’s (Danielle Panabaker) character and her potential turn into Killer Frost. In confidence, Caitlin tells Cisco (Carlos Valdes) about her powers. She asks Cisco to vibe her, causing Cisco to see a future where Vibe is fighting Caitlin as Killer Frost, leading him to lie to reassure her that she’s still good. Cisco however has a bad poker face and an even bigger heart leading him to reveal to her the truth about what he saw and goading Caitlin into confessing to Team Flash. Barry makes his second Flashpoint confession of the episode to Caitlin like he did earlier with the West clan and gets similar results in that they are annoyed and angry with Barry’s actions. And I can’t really blame anyone too much either as all their lives pre-Flashpoint were as normal as can be.

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Using Wally as bait, Joe and Barry set a trap for Alchemy that backfires badly as Alchemy foresaw that and set a trap of his own. Joe’s entire team is taken out, and with no way to escape Joe himself is pinned down as Wally touches a rock that Alchemy dropped that begins to talk to him. Sadly, the rock traps Wally into a rock cocoon and Barry chases a silver streak around the room until he’s punched by it and is pinned down by the being known as Savitar, The God of Speed. Another. Damn. Speedster.

The metahuman of the week thing is showing its biggest weaknesses in this week’s episode. Now I feel as if we’re spinning wheels until we get to the main event of Alchemy. Also, enough with the speedsters. We’ve had Barry fight a total of four different ones on this show. What blows my mind is that one of Barry’s arch-nemesis has been on the show and mentioned by name this week by H.R. (played by Tom Cavanagh), and that’s Gorilla Grodd. I want to see Grodd and the rest of the gorillas wreak havoc on Central City using the Speed Force. Some of the best storylines involve Grodd, the gorillas, and the Cosmic Treadmill. Speaking of H.R. as good as he was this week, they need to find a use for him quick. I’m glad they can have him go out in public using a cloaking device he brought with himself from Earth-19, but they seriously need this guy to be a tad bit proactive otherwise what was the point of getting him. Also, as funny as it was to see H.R. highjack Joe’s date with Cecile Horton (Danielle Nicolet), I wish they’d just make Joe and Cecile a couple or not and move on as this romance drama is played out. Everyone on this show has had some romantic entanglements and they need to take a page from Supergirl and let the character have strong storylines first. The reason why on that show Alex’s current romantic storyline works is because it doesn’t feel forced and feels like great character on her part. Also, I guess we’re back to Julian Albert (Tom Felton) being a complete dick again. Again. Well, at least he and Barry seem to be working together nicely now.

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Is Julian Alchemy? Will Wally and Caitlin succumb to the darkness or be heroes? And who is Savitar? Stay tuned true believers.

TB-TV-Grade-B

Season 3, Episode 6 (S03E06)
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8PM on The CW

Read all of our reviews of The Flash here. 
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A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is an indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop).
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @bwood0824
Keep up with all of Brandon’s reviews here.

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  1. Pingback: The Flash Season 03 | FLIXBURGH

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