FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 1×18- “All-Star Team-Up”

The Flash (1×18) – “All-Star
Written by: Grainne Godfree & Kai
Yu Wu
Directed by: Kevin Tancharoen
As Joe, Eddie and Barry as the Flash thwart multiple
robberies around the city (and one case of indecent exposure) across town, Dr.
Lindsay Kang is leaving her lab at the Applied Physics and Robotics Department
at Hudson University.  She gets in her
car and as she’s about to drive off, a swarm of bees flies out her car’s vents
and she scream.
The next morning, Barry, Eddie and Joe are investigating her
death scene.  Barry hypothesizes that she
died after going into anaphylactic shock due to the bites on her face but he
won’t be sure until he’s run blood tests at the Police Station.  Joe asks why he doesn’t take his test to STAR
Labs and Barry is wary of using the facility now that he suspects Wells of
being the Reverse Flash.  Joe stresses
that they can’t tip off Wells in any way and that means continuing to act
normally.  When Barry brings up Cisco and
Caitlin Joe points out that they may not be of Barry’s side either.  Barry is adamant that the two can be trust
but Joe says no until they have proof that the two aren’t working with Wells.
Barry takes his data to STAR Labs where Cisco is hesitant to
help due to a fear of bees while Wells and Caitlin point out that the amount of
bee venom in her bites was incredibly high; “Enough to kill a herd of elephants”
according to Wells.  He guesses that the culprit
is capable of both controlling bees and enhancing their toxicity.
Felicity then arrives on the scene.  She’s brought Ray Palmer with her, it seems
Ray’s ATOM suit is not working properly and he needs help.  After a commercial break, some banter and
then some Felicity and Ray babbling, he explains that he’s having trouble
maintaining steady flight.  Barry is
clearly uncomfortable with their presence and while Felicity initially plays
this off as jealousy she decides to go get a coffee with him to talk about
whatever is bothering him.
At the Police Station, Iris comes over to Eddie’s desk.  She’s working on the story of Joe and Eddie’s
multiple arrests from the night before, the conversation then quickly veers
into Iris’ suspicions that Eddie is hiding something from her.  Eddie denies anything and she leaves, saying
hello to her father on the way out.  With
Iris gone, Eddie confronts Joe.  He wants
to tell Iris about Barry being the Flash before it wrecks his relationship but
Joe wants her left out of it.
At Jitters, Barry is about to tell Felicity about Wells when
Eddie arrives to talk to Barry.  Barry
tells Eddie that she knows which only drives home that Iris is one of the last of
them left in the dark.  Felicity tries to
explain the importance of protecting the ones you care about from retaliation
from the Flash’s enemies but Eddie is unconvinced.  Felicity offers to help by offering dinner
with her Ray, Barry and Iris and Eddie. 
Barry is now the one who looks unconvinced.
At Folston Technologies, a man walks through the lobby while
discussing his meeting plans.  He passes a
blonde woman and after he does she speaks to a bee she was holding in her palm
and instructs the bee to attack the man with the rest of the swarm.
Cisco and Ray are working on the ATOM suit.  Cisco comes up with an improvement on the fly
and Ray calls him clever.  This triggers
a flashback for Cisco to the previous timeline; he remembers the conversation
he had with Wells from that timeline and Wells killing him.  Ray snaps him out of the flashback but before
he can dwell on what he remembered Caitlin calls him up to the hub.
They call Barry about the bee attack at Folston Tech and he
leaves Felicity at Jitters.  When he
arrives he finds the man that the blonde woman instructed her bees to attack,
already dead.  The bees seem to be gone
but they start to pour out of the dead man’s mouth and chase Barry through the
building and outside.  Joe arrives in
time to see Barry overcome by the bees and dying.  Joe calls Cisco and starts CPR but Cisco
wants to use the defibrillator built into the suit.  It takes two tries and it ruins the
defibrillator but they revive Barry.
Once back at STAR Labs, Barry asks Cisco what went
wrong.  Cisco explains that his building
plans were no longer up to date, considering the last few weeks Barry is suspicious
so once he gets a clean bill of health from Caitlin he is more than ready to
get out of there even if it means being a fifth wheel on a double date.   After Barry leaves, one of the bees that
attack him flies out of the suit.
At the restaurant, Felicity Ray and Barry find Iris and
Eddie already there.  As Ray leads them
inside Iris asks Barry how Ray got a reservation.  It turns out Ray bought the restaurant.
Joe’s at the Station, Cisco arrives to talk to him and Joe
points out that both victims worked in the field of robotics.  Cisco finds that odd but he didn’t come for
that.  He came to talk to Joe about
Barry.  He’s worried about Barry; Joe
says that he might be worried about the Reverse Flash showing up again.  When he does so Cisco flashes back to the
previous timeline again then leaves hastily.
Meanwhile, Barry has found himself involved in a double date
even more awkward than the last double date he was on.  Iris and Eddie are fighting and Ray seems set
on bringing up what a great guy Harrison Wells is and how lucky Barry is to
work with him.  Finally it’s too much for
Barry and he steps out for some air. 
Felicity follows him and he tells her that he believes Wells is the
Reverse Flash and to make matters worse he’s not sure he can trust Cisco or
Ray calls them back into the other room to find that Eddie
and Iris’ fight has become even more intense. 
She accuses Eddie of not trusting her and storms out to stay over at
Joes.  Eddies tries to follow and a moment
later Barry is called away to STAR Labs.
At the Lab, Cisco and Caitlin are under attack by one of the
bees and can’t seem to fight it off. 
Just as Wells seems about to intervene, Barry races in and traps the bee
in a sample vial.  Upon examining the bee
they find out that the bee is some sort of robot.  At the same time, the blonde woman is
watching them from the bee’s camera.
After Felicity and Ray arrive the group discusses the bee
and the incredible technology behind it. 
Wells suggests they try to figure out the connection between the two
attacks.  Felicity quickly determines
that the two share a connection through their work at Mercury Labs.
Wells, Barry and Joe question Dr. Tina McGee at Mercury Labs
about the two attacks and she points them at Brie Larvan.  She had developed the bees for agricultural
work but Kang and Carlisle warned Dr. McGee about Larvan’s attempt to repurpose
the bees for military use she fired the woman. 
Joe points out that McGee is likely on the hit list but when Wells
brings up letting them protect her she scoffs and reminds them that they
weren’t able to protect her Tachyon device before she dismisses them.
Barry meets up with Felicity at Jitters and she strongly
urges him to trust Cisco and Caitlin and ask them for help to stop Wells.  Barry is worried that they might be conflicted
because Wells is more than just a friend, he’s their mentor.  Felicity believes he owes it to the pair to
trust them.  Later at home, Barry finds
Iris and he tries to convince her to understand that Eddie loves but the nature
of his work means he will try to protect her from the darks things he sees
every day on the job.
Back at STAR Labs, Caitlin and Felicity are sharing some
small talk when Wells points out that the bee seems to be reactivated.  Felicity traces the signal controlling it and
sees it’s being instructed to go to Mercury Labs.  The other bees gather outside Dr. McGee’s
window and begin to smash through.
Barry is suiting up when Wells instructs him to go after Larvan.  Barry protests but Caitlin points out that his
defibrillator is disabled, he won’t survive another attack.  Ray then offers to try and help Dr. McGee. 
Ray arrives at Mercury Labs and leads the swarm away, while
Barry confronts Larvan.  She then
unleashes another swarm on him but before they can kill him they stop, Felicity
has hacked the signal and she and Larvan begin a battle of keyboards.
Ray meanwhile is still fleeing the first swarm when Cisco
instructs him to dive through the river to fry them.  Unfortunately this will also fry the ATOM
suit.  Cisco promises to catch Ray with
the van.  He dives into the water and
bees pursue and end up fried.  At the same
time, Felicity wins her hacking battle with Larvan and disables the swarm
that’s about to kill Barry, allowing him to arrest her.
Caitlin pulls the van over and the three get out,
unfortunately there’s still a bee left charging at Ray.  Cisco steps in front of it and is stung.  He goes into shock; Barry arrives and uses
the Speed Force like a defibrillator, saving his friend.
The next day, Dr. McGee visits Barry at his lab and thanks
him for “trying” to help her, she then says she’ll be more trusting
the next time the CCPD offers to help. 
Barry apologizes for losing the tachyon device again but before she
leaves he asks her how her falling out with Dr. Wells came about.  She tells him that he was once a very
compassionate man but he changed completely after Tessa died. 
At Jitters, Ray and Felicity are saying their goodbyes to
Barry.  Ray then tells Barry that he was
inspired by Larvan’s bees to fix his suit’s problem by pushing the tech into a
smaller size.
At the station, Iris visits Eddie and tells him about her
conversation with Barry.  She then gives
him an ultimatum, he has to trust her or she’ll leave him.
That night, Cisco and Caitlin arrive at Barry’s lab to
meet-up for some karaoke.  They find
Barry and Joe in the lab and it is clear they aren’t heading out.  Cisco and Caitlin ask why they were brought
there and Barry shows them the evidence board he’s put together for his
mother’s murder and the Reverse Flash. 
Then he shows them a second board containing all they know about Dr.
Wells.  Caitlin asks how the two are
connected and Barry tells them that he and Joe believe they’re the same man.  Caitlin is skeptical at best while Cisco again
remembers the previous timeline.  This
time he tells them what he’s seen.  He
believes that he’d somehow learned Dr. Wells was the Reverse Flash and that he
killed Cisco as a result.
It had to happen sooner or later.  This is a bad episode, probably the worst
episode of the series.  The villain
concept is silly and underwhelming.  Yet
again, Iris is written as obnoxiously selfish, and at one point needlessly
cruel when she backhandedly points out Barry trying to defend Eddie.  I understand that she thinks she’s being lied
to but the writing staff is not doing nearly enough to make me feel sympathy
towards her over it.
Which brings us to the crossover, again it feels
forced.  The presence of characters from Arrow throws off the chemistry of the
show and at the same time shines a light on the problem with the Ray Palmer
character; that being the impression that they’ve turned a beloved DC Hero into
a shameless rip-off of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark.  That impression was not helped by taking a
cue from The Dark Knight and having
Palmer buy the restaurant.  It’s
painfully clear that once DC/WB said no to the producers using Ted Kord in Arrow they should have scrapped the
entire plotline instead of remaking Ray Palmer like this.
However, I don’t want to end the review on a sour note, so
I’ll point out that the subplot of Barry bringing Cisco and Caitlin into their
conspiracy against Wells was very satisfying and I’m intrigued to see if there
is more bleed-over from the previous timeline to come.  This subplot is probably all that prevented
the episode from scoring lower.
Three Things We
Learned This Week:
Barry is now experimenting with his connection
to the Speed Force.
Tina McGee was a colleague and friend of the
real Dr. Wells.
There seems to be some remnants of the previous
timeline and Cisco may be tapping into them.
Three Questions:
Did Larvan see Barry use his powers?
Why is Cisco seeing the previous timeline?
Is Cisco changed as a result of Barry using
Speed Force energy to revive him?

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