Oh sure, there’s an actual monster in this episode of The Flash as the title indicates, but that title is more about the monsters we see everyday and don’t quite perceive as monsters… until it’s too late. Find out who the real monsters are, after the super-speed jump, in my review of “Monster.”
Hearing “Express Yourself” by the Noisettes was a pleasant surprise as we opened on Barry making breakfast for Cisco. Per last episode and Barry finding his own place, he’s temporarily moved in with Cisco. Mr. Ramon is a bit overwhelmed by the super speed breakfast, which has been every day of Barry’s stay, almost as much as he’s annoyed by the new Harrison Wells.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, H.R. Wells has endeavored to make friends, build the team, and do as much for everyone as possible – donuts and getting everyone their own personal favorite coffees. Just as Cisco feels it, so do we, there’s something off about this dude. Too happy? Too eager to please? Too in your face? Too odd? Or perhaps just too unlike Harrison Wells? What is it?
HR’s colloquialisms are off and is in desperate need of Urban Dictionary. And what we know of his Earth is sketchy, beyond they have Big Belly Burger and don’t have coffee. But beyond weird parallel movies and tales of alternate superheroics like World War M, there may be something more sinister than just annoying Cisco.
Let’s not forget that this post-Flashpoint Cisco has his own, possibly unresolved, demons, still grieving his brother and possible remaining resentment against Barry, but H.R. is working his last nerve. It appears to be too much as Cisco and Barry rifle through his stuff to find recordings about them. H.R. claims he is also a novelist and their notes for a new book, about his adventures on another Earth, but is there more?
Notably it’s mentioned that while in this reality Julian Albert has been around for quite some time, our poor Barry has only been dealing with him two weeks as he’s a product of Flashpoint. Barry decides he needs to make friends after Julian reports him to the Captain. When a forty-foot monster starts rampaging downtown, Barry asks to follow along and observe Julian’s work to try and build a working relationship with ol’ Draco Malfoy.
The road is hard, and the Flash has to save the day before Julian lightens up. We get some insight into the Brit’s thinking when he expresses frustration at the metas, so many squandering their power robbing banks and causing destruction. If he were ‘chosen,’ he’d help people, help the world. I had to wonder, do we have the makings of a superhero here, or a villain? Could Julian Albert be Doctor Alchemy, or is that too obvious? His motivations seem awfully close to the comics version of Zoom, which is a bit scary. Still it was nice to see Julian and Barry go out for drinks at the end of the episode, I wonder how long that will last.
Caitlin takes some off to visit her mother, a woman who at first seems ironically cold. Dr. Carla Tannhauser is the CEO of her own company and a research scientist in cryo-medicine. She’s very busy and one would barely know she and Caitlin were even related by her behavior. Mom’s assistant, Nigel, treats Caitlin better. For a while at least.
Dr. Tannhauser seems more interested in testing her daughter’s power levels like she’s a guinea pig than actually helping her. Apparently Dad’s death hangs between them, while Mom dove into her work, Caitlin ran away. Nevertheless when Nigel tries to contain Caitlin for his own ends, Mom helps her daughter. But is there something else going on, or is Cisco’s paranoia contagious? The kicker is that after the tests are run, Mom gets in touch with Caitlin later, she tells her that the more she uses her powers, the harder they will be to reverse, at hearing this, she freezes the console in anger.
As usual, this is an episode rife with Barry-isms, and for once, Barry isn’t making all of them. Barry, Cisco, Caitlin and her mom, all monsters in one way or another, and in some ways more than the CGI Harryhausen rip-off rampaging in the city, or its young unnamed master. Was it just me or did that look a little bit like the Ymir from 20 Million Miles to Earth? I hope like King Shark it didn’t use up the budget.
Things are going to get bad quickly if, as I suspect, both Wally and Caitlin are to be Kid Flash and Killer Frost and in the thrall of Doctor Alchemy. Make that a triple if Julian is in the mix. How many husks did they find, and how many are accounted for? The Rival, Magenta, who else?
And when the crap hits the fan, what good will this Harrison Wells be? Cisco was right, he hasn’t been helping only repeating and agreeing to what’s already been said. He’s a fraud, not a scientist at all. So much for Earth-two’s Harry’s interview skills. But as I said last time, why did Team Flash need to get another Harrison Wells (other than to give Tom Cavanagh a role), they were doing fine without him.
Next: Kid Flash, and “Shade,” but is it The Shade??