Welcome again to this edition of “this week in comic TV.”
(2.02) Flash of Two Worlds
Wow. This episode was stuff full of so much comic references and shout outs I’m surprised the Internet has imploded from the mass nerdvana and discussion.
The first comic issue where Barry Allen crossed over with Jay Garrick (see above, on the left) is one of those history changing issues… like Action Comics #1 (first appearance of Superman) history changing. Without this issue, we would haven’t continuity between comics, crossovers, the “mega event” Crisis on Infinite earths… pretty much comics today for better or worse. So if you want to occupy a nerd for a few hours, just ask him to go over all the references and historical aspects of this episode (even me if you want to leave your comment). I must say it’s still… stupendous to watch a prime-time TV show (watched by families) actually take on a sci-fi concept as weird as “multiple universes.” Previously that kind of thing was the domain of nerds staying up late night for their star trek viewings.
Besides all the tributes to comics, I quite enjoyed using a Villain of the Week (VotW) opportunity to advance the characters. Since Barry seems to have a pretty good handle on his usual powers now (some of the more esoteric stuff still to come), now Cisco gets to advance in his becoming the superhero Vibe. Previously Barry was thrilled and excited to work on expanding his powers, so it’s interesting to see the show taking a different tact with Cisco in having him be shameful about it. Plus while Barry seems to keep running into experience speedsters to help him train, so far Cisco is completely alone with nobody having any idea what he is even capable of. He is without any possible guidance so the trepidation is very believable.
I’ll also admit the show pulled one over on me. Being a comic fan, I knew of course that Jay was totally legit and telling the truth so I was a bit baffled by Barry’s reaction. Then he pointed out that Harrison Wells put on every bit of a similar show. Of course! Barry’s reaction was totally logical and within reason, they SHOULD have every reason to be suspicious about Jay as… well any other random person. That the show could take an audience preconception and play with it for a character twist that’s actually rational is brilliant. Not so sure how much I buy Barry’s “oh that’s your hat? we cool” reaction but I’m hoping to see at least another episode or two of Barry working up the trust towards Jay. Heck given his experience, he has every reason to believe Jay is really Zoom! But to drag out such a suspicion for an entire season would get old. So 2-3 episodes should be fair.
And for the shippers out there: Caitlyn’s crush on Jay – legit or a Raymond rebound? It certainly makes one wonder if she’s transferring any feelings she has towards another certain speedster to someone less… awkward.
Final Grade: Very well deserved A.
(2.02) Zombie Bro
Was there a plot? Liv showed up in some kind of police-tape dress and the rest is a blur…
Nah I’m kidding. While Liv is a total cutie, I’m a bit more into that saucy redhead she’s rooming with.
Three major things I noted in this episode:
1) Blaine, who I thought was set to overstay his welcome as an antagonist, shows that he’s not going to let a little thing like “being alive” stop him from fulfilling his goal. In fact he’s going to keep using the converts he made last season. Part of me is still curious how his altered clientele didn’t rage out in the time he took setting up his funeral parlor but that can be handwaved away a little (though maybe we’ll get more story from it later). Also, as a family friend runs a parlor himself, I know that those things are more regulated than you might think so I’m curious as to how legit Blaine’s business is. I really hope we get to see the Detective take him on this season in a kind of Seattle version of the Untouchables kind of like how Major took Blaine on last season as a quasi-punisher figure.
2) I am really curious how much longer they’re going to work at keeping the detective in the dark. (Then again, how long did Psych do it?) Especially given the mood swings he’ll watch Liv go through, it starts to seem just cruel not telling him anything. Then again maybe he has some suspicion but figures the “psychic” pretense is better. I don’t know, they have a delightful little odd couple thing going on, but it seems… lopsided? It might be time for Det. Babineaux to join Ravi in “covering” for some of Liv’s mood swings or roll his eyes or get some digs back at Liv when her temp personalities go too far. Or maybe adopt more of a Batman/Lucious Fox “I’m going to pretend to not know” style, just something allow Babineaux to zing her back once in awhile. Then again I’m not running a television show so what do I know?
3) Then to the other man in Liv’s life… you know on paper I should hate this guy, he’s practically a textbook definition of a Marty Stu. But dammit if they don’t make him a human character. Not only that but the writers actually go and put WORK into his and Liv’s relationship instead of taking it as a given (which a lot of lesser works do and part of why so many “official couples” fall flat as romances). While yes the whole “a secret keeps them apart” is so often overdone, here it works because… well “I’ve been contracted to kill your kind, and if I don’t, you’re next” isn’t something that’s easy to say (they don’t make hallmarks cards for it). Not to mention that his friendship with Ravi (Jock+Nerd) is just adorable and totally works in a way you can’t explain.
Overall this was a fairly typical episode, but the characters are really starting to gel and dammit if the show doesn’t go and break your heart.
Final Grade: I’m going to give it… B-.
10 days and counting…
Legends of Tomorrow
Looks like Flash is building towards it. I’m going to miss Victor on there, but he does deserve to headline a show.
You can check out Alice’s review.