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TV Review: The Flash – Season 1 Episode 5: “Plastique”

By: Kyle Shultz

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With each episode this show impresses me with its CGI. Every week, I go into these episodes with a thought of “it can’t beat what they did last week.” Yet, they end up doing just that. This episode featured The Flash accomplishing running on the side of a building & running on water while escaping an explosion. I knew the running on the side of a building was going to happen, thanks to the trailer, but not the running on water. Both of those displays of super-speed were well rendered. It’s obvious that it is CGI; but really it looked real & convincing enough to make the comic fan in me jump around like a little kid. Having a well-written show, with a fun cast who loves the atmosphere is perfect, but having well made CGI on top of that, is giving us the cake & letting us eat it as well.

Bette-Sans-Souci

Both of the displays of super-speed mentioned were from the effect of a new character that was introduced, Bette San Souci aka Plastique, who was played wonderfully by Kelly Frye; unfortunately that’s likely the last time we’ll see her as she met her demise at the end of the same episode. What sucks even more is that Plastique wasn’t even a villain, she was a potential hero to the Flash team. Having a meta-human in this episode that is a good person was pleasant to see. Souci actually would’ve been a fun addition to the cast, especially with how much Cisco was crushing on her in this episode. Plastique was one character that we’ve had so far, that I actually had some sympathy for, other than Barry. She & Barry actually had a bond between each other it really would’ve been nice to see that fleshed out. Also, Wells was a bit more open towards her with his overall intentions, while still remaining mysterious. The fact that Plastique died while almost telling Barry what Wells told her, made me a bit angry & is a bit of a cliché.

The real villain of this episode was General Eiling, played by Lex Luthor…I mean Clancy Brown. This is the first we’ve seen of Eiling & it won’t be the last. Realistically, I hope when he does come back, he is fleshed out better. His character was written as your typical hard ass General/Military person, so hopefully we’ll see more of him in the future and it won’t be as clichéd as he was in this episode. Before you read that as a bad thing, let me say that they sure did cast the right person for the role. I mainly know Brown from Superman: The Animated Series, where he voiced Lex Luthor, but he’s been in a number of TV Shows, both being DC cartoons (He also voiced Trident, Mr. Freeze, Paralax, & even Gorilla Grodd ironically enough) & Marvel cartoons (Red Hulk, Mr. Sinister, Sasquatch, George Stacy). The man is up there with Kevin Conroy & Mark Hamill with how much comic book voice work he does. Brown’s performance as Eiling may be generic, but he’ll be fun to see as he brings a certain gravitas to any role he is in, plus the guys voice is just interesting enough.

Geneal Eiling

The West family had a pretty eventful week in this episode. The West family relationship mainly focused on Iris’ blog that she has which is about The Flash…or The Streak as they currently call him in the show, which for the love of God they need to hurry up and call him The Flash. Simply typing “The Streak” makes me shudder because it sounds so horrible. The drama around Iris’ blog was really good to see. In typical DC Fashion, our heroes love interest reports the news of our hero’s heroics & actually has her first encounter with him. The encounter seemed to jump off the pages of a Superman comic, which was fun because we finally saw Iris light up like a Christmas tree seeing her hero face to face. Having Barry vibrate his face while in close proximity to Iris so she wouldn’t recognize him was just amazing to see again. Also, the fact they had him vibrate his vocal chords to disguise his voice, instantly gives him the best voice disguise ever. Sorry Arrow, The Flash has you beat on that one!

I didn’t like how Barry eventually pushed Iris away because she is too stubborn to listen to him to stop the blogs. She’ll find out Barry’s secret eventually, so having Barry pushing her away is just kind of stupid to me. Joe & Barry just need to talk to her & let her know what is going on, then she’ll probably stop writing about him. Speaking of Joe, I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again; the interaction between Barry & Joe is just pure fun. Jesse L. Martin is an underrated actor, & the moments he has with Barry are humorous, touching & all around fun. I’m glad that he’s in this show & is a perfect father figure for Barry.

Running On Water

This episode had some fun Easter eggs throughout as well, the fact that Barry can’t get drunk was cool to see in the show & Gorilla Grodd is more than just an Easter Egg, it is a full-blown tease & I cannot wait to see Grodd on the show as a villain. I wonder if they’ll have Clancy Brown voice him? Wishful thinking? Yeah.

“Plastique” was a great episode that offered a somewhat generic villain with hopes of a wishful epic return & a well-developed character in Bette San Souci that I wish would come back, & some great Barry/Joe scenes, with some badass Super-speed sequences. This is definitely one of my favorites this season.

Overall Grade: 8/10

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