Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

The Flash: Godspeed

"How long have you suspected her?"
"Since I arrived."

A big secret is out of the bag, and we'll have to explore Nora's backstory (or is it a futurestory?) to get to the truth. Along the way, we'll meet a new recurring villain and enjoy the directorial debut of Danielle Panabaker, who's apparently just as talented on either side of the camera.

Thanks to Sherloque, the cat's out of the bag: Nora's working with Thawne.

For those of you unfamiliar with the world's greatest detective, Sherloque Wells is really acting like his namesake here. The real Sherlock Holmes hated telling anyone about his suspicions before the big reveal. It ticked off his friends, just like it does Team Flash, but would Sherloque have been able to investigate if they knew what he was doing? I'm pretty sure someone would have meddled. Sherloque has seen Team Flash make a fuss over keeping secrets, so he quietly swept the floors while he followed the clues, knowing he would have to hurt their feelings to get to the truth.

Meanwhile, what is it about super speed that gives people delusions of grandeur? Godspeed is the second or third speedster with a god complex. And unlike Barry, who was struck by lightning, Godspeed is just abusing drugs to run fast, making him a juicer that takes himself way too seriously. But at least now we know how Nora got her speed: Godspeed zapped her, blowing up the inhibitor that Iris planted.

Nora's a fun character, but she doesn't make the best decisions. After being a speedster for a few minutes she decides it's a good idea to visit Thawne, the villain's villain, because apparently they don't watch Silence of the Lambs in 2049. But who else would she talk to about being a speedster? We can see why Iris wanted to inhibit her speed, but now Nora is isolated and has no one to talk to about becoming a meta. Thawne it is.

The whole episode is a warm remembrance of the pilot, but the nostalgia hits especially hard when Thawne talks Nora through phasing, even though you know she's taking her first steps into his trap. This scene is also a great showcase of Tom Cavanagh's acting, especially when we see him using That Smile from season one, when he was teaching the same things to Barry. We can't grasp his complicated scheme, not yet, but the smirk on his face means he's trapping Nora in his web. Thawne is a delight to watch, and we're lucky Director Panabaker moved in close to capture those unique expressions that only Tom Cavanagh can do.

Nora's story plays out as a wonderful tragedy. You know it's going to end badly, but it's impossible not to root for her anyway. And once we're caught up, we have to watch Barry banish her to the future. Even though this makes sense (and she really ought to be in her own time anyway, for the sake of the timeline and all) it's just a repeat of Iris's mistake. Now Nora won't have anywhere to go, and, naturally, she ends up back with Thawne.

It also hurts to watch Barry taunting Thawne, because I don't think a single person is fooled into thinking Thawne has lost. He's always a few steps ahead, and he knows how to make Barry too emotional to think straight. And it's honestly a little disappointing that none of our heroes sense that the ball is completely in Thawne's court.

At this point, Barry and Iris feel like they've lost a daughter, Cicada is stronger than ever, and Thawne is pulling all the strings. It's not the best of times.

Now, if you've read my reviews, you know I love talking about directing, lighting, and the general craft of making TV shows and movies, and it's fun to see someone new in the director's chair. Of course, a lot of actors direct the shows they're in, and they usually only direct one episode, which doesn't usually give them a chance to develop their style or contribute anything unique. This isn't the case with Danielle Panabaker, who directs a total of five episodes of The Flash and, right from the start, demonstrates that she has something to say with the camera.

If you didn't know, Danielle Panabaker is sort of a genius. Sure, she plays sweet, likeable ladies who are easy to underestimate, but there's a powerful brain ticking away behind those delicate lashes. Danielle graduated high school at age 14 and finished college at 19, having already made a mark as an actor. She's just as brainy as the characters she plays, and it shows when she takes charge on the sound stage.

If you want to size up a director, watch the actors. A new director will have an effect on everyone's acting, and Panabaker's episodes shine when the characters are sharing important moments. The air feels heavy in the opening scene as they deal with the fallout of Nora's confession. Nora and her work friend have an infectious camaraderie. And you feel your chest seize just a bit when Nora learns who her father is. Everyone's acting is on point, and the rhythm of each scene never feels rushed or dragged out.

Keep watching The Flash and you'll notice all of Panabaker's episodes include strong, subtle acting where intimate scenes are just as powerful as an action sequence. Since The Flash is all about The Friends We Made Along The Way, Panabaker's talent for filming interpersonal relationships makes her easily one of the strongest directors in the series, and I hope she finds more opportunities to sit in that chair.

Parting Thoughts:

-Once again, Thawne is eating Big Belly Burger. I bet those burgers are greasy and good.

-If you're watching the shows in chronological order, you'll have deja vu as you see a flashforward giving the origin story for a main character's future daughter. That's happening on Arrow right now, too. Do the producers do this on purpose? This isn't even the first time a future daughter was named Nora.

-I'm glad future people are geeking out about Jessie Quick. She's a cool speedster.

-Nora's version of the CSI office looks like Barry's office if it was taken over by an Apple Store. Overall, this is a pretty good look at 2049. It's not filled with flying cars or casual space travel, but it does have future tech that makes sense in a world where S.T.A.R. Labs is cranking out next-level technology.

-A few critics complained that the villain was treated like a one-off character. I'm guessing this was their first time ever watching a show based on a comic book. Buckle up; Godspeed isn't done.

-One again, Mister Myles is mentioned as the museum curator. We hear his voice, but don't see him. Don't feel bad if that name doesn't ring a bell. If you don't remember, he was the museum curator in season one who called the police on Leonard Snart. Apparently the Flash Museum is doing so well they could hire the curator from a fancy art museum.

Final Analysis: Multiple story threads satisfyingly come together through action, drama, and investigation, and all of it is visually pleasing. This is the Arrowverse at its finest. Five out of five white lightning streaks.

Adam D. Jones is a novelist, historian, and undefeated kitten wrestler. He is also something of a museum curator himself, having recently found a summer sausage in his cabinet that had been there long enough to have gone bad. He was told this was impossible.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.