Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) learned the hard way that he can’t run from his problems—whether they’re the supervillain Mist or his own grief in the latest episode of CW’s “The Flash.”
The Flash investigates a strange murder spree were mobsters are killed by poison gas and discovers that the murderer is the gas.
The CW’s latest superhero series continued its run last week with another solid episode, albeit another one featuring a villain who’s not in Flash’s rogues gallery. The villain of the week was Kyle Nimbus, aka Mist, who, in comic book tradition, must’ve had parents who knew he’d become a gaseous supervillain. He’s an effective antagonist who challenges Barry to find creative ways to defeat him since he mostly untouchable and could easily kill Barry despite his super-speed. However, like Mutliplex from the previous episode, he’s not a Flash villain. He’s a nemesis of DC Comics hero Starman. While Multiplex has some remote connections to Flash, this character seemed far removed. Also, he’s a rather simple character: a hitman who survived his execution in a gas chamber thanks to the particle accelerator and now seeks revenge on those who imprisoned him. He lacks any shades of depth, though he looks scary.
The episode was elevated, however, by the supporting cast. The series deviated from its usual formula by having the flashbacks focus on Barry’s team, in particular Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker). Her previously mentioned backstory about the death of her fiance, Ronnie Raymond, the night of the particle accelerator explosion is shown. He dies heroically within the machine saving her. This plays into one of the subplots where Dr. Wells is trying to turn the accelerator into a metahuman prison, but Caitlin has trouble even looking at the device. This allowed her to bond with Barry with their shared grief. It not only played into the theme of the episode—facing grief and loss—but acted as part of the origin for Firestorm (yes, Ronnie is a superhero in the comics). Plus, there was a wonderful “easter egg” line from Caitlin that hinted at her becoming the villainess Killer Frost: “Some said we were like fire and ice.” This is ironic since Killer Frost was originally a Firestorm villain.
The flashbacks also added more mystery around Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanaugh). He was seen in a wheelchair. Then in the closing scene, he was shown standing in his secret room watching Barry on surveillance as if he orchestrated the accident that gave him powers. So much intrigue! Even comic book fans may not be able to figure out who he truly is.
Iris’ (Candice Patton) challenge this episode was keeping her relationship with Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) secret from her father (and Eddie’s partner) Det. Joe West (Jesse L. Martin). It’s a subplot that doesn’t add much to the episode. It dragged on until the end when Joe said he always knew, and while he was annoyed that they kept it a secret, he approved. Comic book fans know, though, that she’ll end up with Barry…eventually.
There was an inside joke for hardcore Flash fans. Barry remarked to Joe that, “It’s not like I want a museum in my honor.”
Overall, this wasn’t the series’ strongest episode, but it was still a good run.
Tonight, Captain Cold comes to Central City! And so does one of Green Arrow’s compatriots!