FLASH: SPOILER Review 01×05 “Plastique”

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The Flash (1×05) –
“Plastique”
Written by: Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing & Brooke
Eikmeier
Directed by: Dermott Downs
This week’s episode opens at a Central City bar where Barry,
Cisco and Caitlin meeting up with Eddie and Iris.  Barry’s considering his various relationships
and a revelation about his powers that I would have found horrifying at
twenty-five.
The scene shifts to a Central City hi-rise, where a window
washer is working outside while a security guard is inside sweeping the
fourteenth floor.  He comes across a
woman attempting to steal a file folder and in order to make her escape she
detonates an explosive bag.
Back at the bar, Barry, Cisco and Caitlin are
“experimenting” when Eddie is called to respond to bombing.  Eddie, Barry, Iris and Caitlin all make
excuses to leave. 
Barry arrives on the scene in costume and sees the window
washer about to fall to his death. 
Barry’s first plan of stacking mattresses is dismissed as cartoonish but
inspires another plan.  He’s going to run
up the side of the building and save the man. 
While Cisco attempts to crunch numbers, Caitlin advises Barry to simply
run “really fast” but maintain velocity on the way down or they’ll
both meet Wile E. Coyote’s fate.
After saving the man, Barry comes face to face with Iris,
who’s come to the bombing to attempt to see the Streak in person.  Barry uses the same trick he used to hide his
face from his father in episode three then races off.
The next day, Barry, Joe and Eddie are investigating the
robbery/bombing.   When Joe asks for a
theory, Barry is stumped as there is no evidence of an explosive device.  Eddie brings them to the record’s room and
shows them that she used a small charge to enter before lamenting that it could
takes them days to figure out which file was stolen.  Joe gives Barry a look before ushering Eddie
out of the room.  Barry then speed
through the room until he finds an empty file.
At the police station, the US Army has arrived headed by
General Wade Eiling.  He has informed
Captain Singh that the Army will be investigating since the bomber is a member
of the Army before they confiscate everything the CCPD has on the bombing.  Barry manages to save the folder and Joe
advises him to investigate with the STAR Labs team.
Joe returns home after he learns that Iris was at the
bombing, while he assumes it was about Eddie being on the call Iris tells him
it’s about her investigation in the Streak. 
Joe tries to convince her there isn’t a Streak but after seeing him she
is convinced and sure that the people of Central City need to
know about him.
At STAR Labs, all the Team has to go on is a VA file number,
Barry tells them that General Eiling ordered the CCPD off the case and Dr Wells
tells them that he’s had dealing with Eiling before.  Eiling ask STAR to work on gene therapy for
the military but he and the two did not part on good terms.
Cisco quickly identifies the bomber as Bette Sans
Souci.  Bette was an Explosive Ordinance
specialist with the army but little else other than an address for her emergency
contact in Central City.  Barry arrives
at the address as Bette is leaving and when he asks her to come with him she
touches his suit and it starts to glow with purple energy.  She tells him his clothes are about to
explode.  Barry runs away and strips out
of the suit just in time but is left in his boxers and Bette has escaped.
Barry returns to STAR Labs and informs the team that Bette
has the ability to blow up things she touches. 
Cisco, who was infuriated at the destruction of one of the suits he
designed, vows to bring Bette to justice… until he sees a picture of Bette and
promptly becomes smitten with her.
 Joe arrives on the
scene and asks to speak with Barry.  Joe
is angry that Iris is investigating the Streak and urges Barry to help him stop
her.  Barry finds her at Jitters and does
his best to discourage her, first by claiming that the Streak doesn’t even
exist.  Iris counters that she’s seen the
Streak and that he even smiled at her. 
Barry then tries to convince her to stop because she might compromise
the Streak’s identity, to which Iris replies that she doesn’t care who the
Streak is she only cares that people know about him.
Iris then asks why can’t be supportive of her and Barry
implies that she’s not really serious about the blog since she hasn’t put her
name on it.  Iris is furious that after
years of chasing strange phenomenon Barry has no interest in the Streak and she
suspects he’s hiding something from her.
After Iris leaves Cisco calls and tells Barry that he and
Caitlin have tapped into the Army’s communications and that Bette’s been seen
near a VA Doctor that oversaw her injuries. 
At the clinic, Bette confronts Dr Hadley just as Eiling and
his troops arrive on the scene to capture her. 
Barry arrives in a new costume just as Bette is shot.  He offers to help her and gets her out of the
clinic before a flash-bang goes off in the room.
At STAR Labs, Better tells the team that she was injured by
an IED in Afghanistan and flown back to Central City to recover.  Caitlin theorizes that Bette was exposed to
dark energy during the Accelerator explosion and that is what gave her the
ability to blow things up by touch.
While they’re running some tests, Caitlin notices that Bette
was grazed by a bullet.  After removing
the bullet, they learn it contained a tracker. 
Eiling has found her and arrived at STAR Labs with his troops, Barry and
Better escape while Eiling and Dr. Wells have a rather tense discussion.
Later outside STAR Labs, Bette is helping Cisco analyze her
abilities by “blowing stuff up” and talking with Barry about what
it’s like to have powers.  Barry tries to
encourage her by offering to help her control her abilities but she only wants
her powers gone.  Joe calls Barry and
tells him that Iris has not only posted another story but has put her name of
the blog.
Barry comes to Jitters in costume.  He stands in shadow and changes his voice as
he attempts to get Iris to shut down her blog but she refuses.  She feels that she has to tell people about
him because of Barry’s experience as a child and that she’s afraid he’s losing
faith in saving his father.
The next day at the Lab, Caitlin informs Bette that she’s
been changed at a genetic level.  Dr
Wells then tells her that there is no way to fix it.  Bette leaves and Cisco wonders what to
do.  Barry’s adamant that she join the
team while Caitlin feels she’d be too dangerous.  Wells is more worried about the threat of
Eiling and the military.
Barry returns to his lab and finds Joe working on Nora
Allen’s murder.  The two discuss Barry’s
talk with Iris, Joe worries that Iris might have recognized him but Barry
explains his voice changing trick; by vibrating his vocal chords he’s able to
distort his voice.  They agree that they
want to keep Iris safe but Barry points out the only way to do that is to tell
her.  Joe’s unsure and he reveals that
Barry’s not especially good at telling Iris things.  Barry asks if he’s that obvious and Joe
replies “Not to her.”
Bette is still at STAR Labs and Dr Wells convinces her that
she must kill Eiling to protect other Meta-humans.  She pretends to turn herself in but neither
Barry, nor Eiling are convinced.  She
uses her powers to subdue Eiling and his team but Barry arrives before she can
kill him.  Eiling shoots Bette and before
she can tell Barry what Wells said she dies. 
Her body begins to charge up to explode and Barry’s only choice is to
run on the river to keep her from blowing up the city.  He manages to run her far enough away and
outrun the explosion safely.
Eiling goes on television and claims the explosion was a
training exercise and that there is nothing to worry about.  Barry is furious that the man will get away
with Bette’s murder but Wells tells him that powerful men have the ability to
escape consequences.  Caitlin points out
that Barry’s ability to run on water puts him “pretty interesting
company.”
Barry arrives at Joe’s house and talks to Iris.  He tells her that the reason he doesn’t care
about the streak is he’s put his mother’s murder behind him and implies that
her blog is making that difficult.  Iris
says that while she started the blog to help him it’s become about more than
that.  Barry says he thinks they
shouldn’t talk for a while and leave. 
Caitlin and Cisco find Barry at the bar from earlier and
Caitlin offers him something she worked on to deal with Barry’s special
drinking problem.  While it’s not quite
successful Caitlin says they’ll keep working on it, implying that their
friendship is important to her.
Eiling returns to STAR Labs and asks that Wells work with
again.  Wells refuse and after Eiling
leaves we learn that the experiment they worked on together in the past had to
do with Grodd and we are left to wonder just how changed the gorilla is.
Another solid episode this week; Clancy Brown is great as
General Eiling, providing a balance between menace and what he believes is a
noble aim to defend his country.  Bette’s
character provided a different twist on the “freak of the week”
formula as someone trapped by their powers in a no-win situation.  The regular cast continues to gel and the
relationship between Barry, Joe and Iris is once again where things shine. 
The effects were solid again, particularly the sequence at
the end with Barry running on water. 
Overall, the episode stuck a good balance of a one-off story and laying
groundwork for the long-term arcs while having plenty of fun moments like
Barry’s drinking issue and Cisco’s crush on Bette. It may not have the weight
of other episodes but it was still a fun ride.
Three Four Things We Learned This Week:
1)     
Barry’s metabolism makes it pretty much
impossible for him to get drunk.
2)     
Cisco is as smooth as sandpaper.
3)     
The prison beneath STAR Labs has been dubbed
“The Pipeline.”
4)     
The director of tonight’s episode, Dermott Downs has a bit of a DC history.  He’s directed the Balloon Man episode of
Gotham and as a child appeared on an episode of SHAZAM! (imdb)
Three Questions:
1)     
Will Eiling continue to pursue Barry?
2)     
Like Eiling asked; how long until the public
start to link metas with the Accelerator explosion?
3)     
Is it strange that Joe might be a bit of a
Barry/Iris shipper?
Just another guy on the internet.