Adam Reynoso ‘15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Over the first couple of episodes, The Flash has made it a point to really utilize its core characters and creating a team instead of having him work solo. And while the audience has gotten more insight into who Barry (Grant Gustin) is and what his relationship is with his father figures, this week’s episode turned the focus to Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes).
With more metahumans appearing, Barry and co. realize they need somewhere that can hold these superpowered villains, especially this week’s villain, The Mist (Anthony Carrigan). Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanagh) goes on to explain how the facility where the particle accelerator was held would be able to keep the metahumans imprisoned. However, both Cisco and Caitlin are hesitant, remembering the night of the explosion and the people they lost that night. The flashbacks this week introduced Caitlin’s fiance, Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) who made the ultimate sacrifice to direct the explosion away from the city.
As with the other episodes, flashbacks were a major component of the hour. The benefits of these flashbacks is that they are providing more background to the characters and have thus far been relevant to the events going on as well. And unlike Arrow, The Flash has more range as to where they can go back too, perhaps even go forward should time travel come into play later on in the series.
Ronnie Raymond’s introduction really allowed the audience to see a side of Caitlin and Cisco that hasn’t really been explored. Caitlin has always been more cautious and careful when working with Barry, so seeing her happy and in love with Ronnie really gave her more depth. It was also heartbreaking to hear say, “I didn’t want him to be a hero, I wanted him to be my husband.”
Panabaker really showed her versatility, adding more emotion and vulnerability. The same can be said about Valdes and his portrayal of Cisco. Instead of being the goofy, tech-savvy team member, he showed the guilt he felt for having to be the one who closed the door when Ronnie hadn’t made it back in time. Both characters are still coping with the events of that night, which is the opposite of the beginning of the episode that showed the two celebrating the success of the particle accelerator.
And though it may seem like Barry wasn’t in the episode as much, he did have his own story dealing with the Mist, as well as saving his father (John Wesley Shipp) and Joe (Jesse L. Martin). What makes Barry stand out from other heroes is that he’s still learning how to be a hero, which includes having to deal with the fact that he can’t save everyone. It was also very clever and great effects when he vibrates his face in order to keep his secret identity from his dad.
Speaking of the Mist, he was a villain that finally felt like a bad guy this week and had more of a motive. Yes, revenge stories are over done, but he was already a bad guy in the first place and his revenge was directed to those who sentenced him to death. Also, the way the gas was shown was really creepy and cool to see. And he was someone Barry really had to think about how to handle.
Taking a step back to revisit the explosion that started the series, this week’s episode served as a great introduction to Ronnie and gave more background to Cisco and Caitlin. Knowing where Ronnie’s character is going and his eventual transformation into one half of the superhero, Firestorm, his character has started out as an interesting guy who’s already displaying heroic traits. And while the flashbacks didn’t have much to do with Barry, the stinger at the end of the episode showed Wells watching in his secret room as he saw the lightning strike Barry, adding more mystery to who he really is and what he wants. It might not have been as intriguing as the past couple of reveals, but it’s enough to keep viewers guessing.
Overall Episode Grade: B+