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The Flash: Blocked

"Yes! I get to take down my first baddie. Uh, with your permission, of course."

Instead of making us wait, we get to see the new arch-villain right away. Some ordinary Joe who moonlights as a super bad guy. Apparently. Giving us an early glimpse is a fun way to shake things up.

We've got the season setup right away, too: Nora's getting trained so she can help Team Flash change the newspaper and stop The Flash from disappearing in a crisis. I feel like we're not supposed to try and change the future, but it's a fun season, so I'm not going to complain. Much.

Villain of the week: Block. She puts people in gelatinous cubes. Even though almost every big bad is a speedster, they do a good job making the mini-bosses unique and interesting. Not much is revealed through her, but she's a good vehicle for the storyline, and brings our characters face-to-face with their new arch-nemesis. And it's only episode two!

The writers are doing a great job of weaving a few stories together. Caitlin is going along with Cisco to help him with his girl troubles, because they're best buds. We've mentioned it before, but Caitlin and Cisco's friendship is one of the neatest things on TV. Men and women can be friends, contrary to popular belief, and it's a relief to see this played out on screen.

However, we're also watching Caitlin pretend not to care about her missing father and the possible link to Killer Frost. When she yells at the boys for pushing her in that direction you can really feel the tension. Her sweet face is a thin facade, barely masking a storm of fear.

Also, Caitlin, with her long legs strewn across Ralph's desk, is a picture-perfect reminder of those ladies who graced the cover of pulp detective novels.

The meat of the story is told as part of Barry's return to CSI work and Iris's return to investigative journalist again. This "season one" energy is working.

Parting Thoughts:

-I never get tired of watching Barry twirl his arms really fast to make little tornadoes that push things. Some people think it looks corny, but it's exactly how things look in the comics.

-Math. Yes, that's the thing Barry wants to teach his daughter. Back to basics. The Flash is a science geek at heart.

-How far into the future is Nora from? Can't be more than 20 years, right? Discussing her high school textbooks, she sounds like someone from the year 3000. And with the trends we're seeing in education, I have a hard time believing they're teaching advanced physics in her grade school.

-Barry's prison time isn't in the museum? Some propaganda going on there...

-Jesse Martin (Papa Joe West) doesn't move much this season because he was recovering from a back injury. If you ask me, he might be the best actor in the Arrowverse and his back only hurts because he's been carrying The CW.

-Being stuck in the cube means Barry gets to show off his mime-trapped-in-a-box routine, every actor's dream.

-So, they get their powers back when they're away from the bad guy? I'm not totally clear on how that works.

-And we have a name for our arch-villain: Cicada.

Adam D. Jones is a writer, musician, and something of a speedster himself, having recently avoided sitting on his cat by moving at the last second and spilling food everywhere. Not all heroes wear capes.

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