The Flash: All Star Team Up

"So it's not a metahuman?"
"No, it's just another mad scientist."

The Bug-Eyed Bandit, Brie Larvin, appears and sets her sights on Mercury Labs - but this disappointing episode's strongest points are the characterization of Cisco Ramon and one or two high-tech effects on... robot bees. Meanwhile, Barry's become heavily paranoid, and is almost breaking down as he wonders who to trust.

The all-star team up in this show isn't so much the Flash and the Atom - although they work together. I think it's more the Flash and the police; the show opens with Joe laughing hysterically as they catch crook after confused crook. I loved the scene - it was hokey, but it was very much in the spirit of The Flash. After that, it went downhill. This was, depending on how you look at it, a very comic-bookey (complete with cheesy dialogue) episode about a woman controlling a swarm of bees which might appeal to the younger set if they hadn't seen the motivation and plot rehashed so many times already.

Or this was a great episode about the handsome Cisco Ramon flashing back somehow to another timeline and feeling the fist of Harrison Wells buried in his chest as he confesses he's the Reverse-Flash and how these flashbacks gave him fuel to trust Barry and Joe as they finally share their suspicions.

Or it's a really crappy episode about bad romance only lacking the presence of J-Lo. Seriously, I felt terrible for Ray Palmer and for Eddie Thawne. Ray should never have had his generous, over-the-top dinner disrupted like that, and Eddie didn't deserve to be constantly attacked.

I don't know. Iris sometimes rubs me as whiny and inconsistent, sometimes as very on target. I think I could "read" her attack on Eddie as basically a rebellion against a whole lotta secret-keeping going on, and we saw the same thing with Thea on Arrow. I was hoping she'd pull forward with her investigation of Mason Bridge, but she focused entirely on the emotional. In some ways, this character is written as almost a sexist stereotype. She "wants a career" but really what she does is be whiny in relationships. Is she even doing anything with her blog anymore?

Overall, this episode gave us three major changes and maybe one new plot moving-forward: Ray with new technology and a repaired suit, Barry getting Cisco and Caitlin on his side, a probable end-of-relationship for Eddie and Iris, and a confirmation for the Flash team that, yes, fifteen years ago, something serious changed for Harrison Wells. Are they finally on the trail of the real Eobard Thawne? By the end, everyone's on-board the Anti-Reverse-Flash team except for Iris and Wells, and Barry's learning to deal with his paranoia.

Bits and Pieces

While I always love to see Felicity, this crossover really did feel less substantial. I'm hoping that bee proves important for Ray's future. If so, will this be the first time a hero has origin stories in two other series before starting his own?

There's an increase in crime, but also an increase in Flash working with the police, and no sign of the Rogues.

What happened to Barry's dad? Sometimes he's there. Sometimes we don't see him at all.


Barry: (after trussing up yet another bad guy) "Haven't you guys heard of me yet?"

Ray: "It's my suit. I can't get it up." Uh-huh.

Felicity: "Move over. Mama's been away from a keyboard too long."

Felicity: "It's like dating Barry in Oliver's body. Forget I said that."


I think this episode was highly enjoyable the first watch, but very superficial. There didn't seem to be a lot of meat to the crossover aspect, the villain was fairly cardboard, and the dialogue made my husband and I roll our eyes at each other. The writers tried to build up a pretty lame villain by setting her against Felicity Smoak, but she's definitely no nemesis for Our Lady of the Salmon Ladder.

Two out of four miniature robotobees.


Patrick said...

The Iris stuff is getting old fast. On the one hand, she's not doing much to make me like her. On the other hand, the other characters could solve all their Iris problems by just TELLING her about Barry already. I mean, she's the only one of them who doesn't know, saying they're doing it to keep her safe just sounds so stupid at this point. To be fair, her judgment hasn't always been the best, so she very well might get herself in trouble if she knew. But they need to take that risk at this point and bring her into the circle. It's getting painful to watch them all dance around her. Plus, it's REALLY not fair to Eddie, and it's completely wrecking his relationship with Iris which is totally unfair to him. He didn't ask to be brought into this, after all. I wish he had more backbone and would stand up to both Barry & Joe. "You brought me into this, dammit. You are NOT going to ruin my relationship over this. We're telling her, and that's that! You want to keep her safe, then tell her what's really going on!" There, was that so hard?

While the episode overall was "meh", that opening scene with Barry, Eddie & Joe catching bad guys together was hands down one of the coolest & funniest things the show has done yet. More of that, please :)

Korlis said...

"I think this episode was highly enjoyable the first watch, but very superficial." - I think you really nailed it. I thought this episode was hilarious, but also kind of terrible, and on reflection it's kind of strange that some big revelations (Cisco's memories, which I have no idea how they're going to explain) were mixed in with the cheesiest episode out of either Flash orArrow.

I did love the opening montage though. It totally worked, and seems like a logical conclusion of Barry working so closely with the police. Normal criminals aren't even a contest any more.

J.D. Balthazar said...

I don't like Iris and the incredibly irritating state of her character at the moment. If they actually put her and Barry together I might not like the show very much anymore.

The Bee stuff was silly, but not that bad. It was nice to see Emily Kinney playing someone else who isn't covered in grime and fear. The Bee's themselves were kinda neat and actually served a small purpose beyond the villain of the week.

What bothered me about the crossover was that Felicity didn't seem very... concerned. They cemented the chronology of the episode, then they didn't pay off any of the drama built up on the other show. I guess it isn't the job of the cross over episode to deal with the other series emotional struggles, but it would've been nice to have at least one line of Felicity confiding in Barry about her inner conflict.

As for the rest, I thought the action and comedy were a lot of fun. Cisco is really starting to become one of my favorites. And I'm actually dreading the idea of Caitlin becoming her comic book alter-ego.

Not a bad episode in my opinion, but it could've been better.

Jess Lynde said...

I agree with everyone that Iris and all the Iris plot shenanigans are the worst. The husband and I find ourselves actively rooting for her to die every episode, and that's a pretty bad sign that the writers have failed with the character. (I'm not kidding either: we actually converse during each episode about how she could maybe die "this week.") I feel just awful for Eddie, and the whole situation is making Barry and Joe look like completely hard-headed buffoons. Like J.D. said: if they actually put Barry and Iris together at this point I would not like it in the least.

Like JRS, I thought the best part of this one was Cisco remembering what previously happened with Wells, and the revelations to the whole team at the very end. Cisco's memories reminded me of "the palimpsest" approach the creative team took on Fringe, where the altered timeline doesn't completely overwrite the previous version history, but is merely "laid on top" of an incomplete erasure of the old version, thus leaving the potential for aspects of that history to resurface in memory depending on the "strength" or "power" of the previous events. It worked for me. (Although I hope that doesn't mean Iris will remember what happened between her and Barry in the face of the tsunami. Because I now loathe the whole notion of them as a couple.)

Anonymous said...

I really want Brie to join the Rogues, along with Capt. Boomerang.


Korlis said...

Anon: I would totally be okay with this. Frankly I think she'd fit right in with Captain Cold, Heat Wave, and all their temperature based wordplay.

sunbunny said...

The thing that totally ruined this episode for me was Joe and Eddie's argument about Iris. They both want to control her and are arguing about whose claim to control her takes precedence. Joe literally told Eddie that he will be able to overrule him and make decisions for Iris when he marries her. WHAT CENTURY ARE WE IN????

TJ said...

Jess, "we actually converse during each episode about how she could maybe die this week."

That comment was the best thing that came out of this episode:)

So, overall, this ep was rather meh.

Anonymous said...

Has everyone seen the CW's Superhero Fight Club?

Bwa ha ha!

Call me Turnipseedd

Elfie said...

This episode was very "meh", I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. Which is saying something because I was actually quite excited about Felicity being on this episode, especially when I saw all the gifs on Tumblr about it. Firstly, I'm glad the Arrow/Flash writers are utilizing these crossovers unlike other tv shows *cough* The Originals & TVD *cough*, but I was a little miffed about the placement of this one, with all that's going on back in Starling City, it struck me as a little contrived that Felicity randomly decided to pay Central City a visit, even if it was for her boyfriend's Atom issues. Secondly, the villain was just plain awful, they could've done something cool with her but she just came off as extremely hokey and lame. I know villains are a small part of the story, but if you're going to use a villain-of-the-week method, please, focus on bettering your villains. Lastly, Iris.

Why, oh, why does every amazing show that I like have to have that one absolutely pointless, terrible character that everyone loathes but the writers still love for some reason? NOBODY LIKES IRIS. There. I said it. Now please get rid of her. Send her backpacking to Europe. Have her jump off a building Sherlock-style, or just let that tsunami engulf her. I don't care. Just get rid of her. She comes off as immature, stupid, whiny and plain annoying, and Barry deserves a worthy love interest, someone we can root for, not a caricature like Iris, whose entire arc is simply flimsy. And honestly? For a journalist, she comes off as so beyond naive it's amazing. Not to mention the character is sexist, like all the men in her life get to keep her in the dark to "protect" her puny self and she buys all their stupid lies every single time and doesn't seem suspicious and doesn't go off on her own to find out what's really happening? Yeah, some journalist, and some woman. She's the typical Mary Sue who needs to be saved by the man in the red cape. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let them not get together.

Iris rant over.

Anyway, I love the direction they're taking Cisco in, he's great. "Bees. It had to be bees. Ain't nobody got time for that." Haha. I don't know about this show's comic book routes, but I don't mind Caitlyn temporarily going evil, her alter-ego would kick ass. Please give Caitlyn more to do. I love Caitlyn. And Snowbarry all the way, I want them to get together, honestly, Caitlyn is just a much better match for Barry than Iris.

Hoping the next episode is a step-up from this one. I'm done with my awfully long comment. xD