FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 3×05 – “Monster”

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The Flash (3×05) – “Monster”
Written by:         Zack Stentz
Directed by:       C.
Kim Miles
Alright
gang, time to actually get this
season kicked into gear and I don’t
know about you but nothing helps me get kicked into gear quite like a healthy
breakfast.  Barry Allen seems to agree, but we all know
his need for food intake is pretty
high but he also an ulterior motive.
As you’ll
recall, Barry moved out of Joe’s
house for the sake of his romantic
life, Joe’s loss is Cisco’s gain(?) and they’re now roomies for the time being at least. 
Now back when I had roommates if I was getting breakfast I’d be pretty pumped. 
Cisco seems a little put out,
maybe it’s because he doesn’t trust Earth
One’s new roommate “HR Wells.”  Don’t
know why, it’s not like the previous two Wells betrayed them or… Oooooooh.
Somewhere
else in DC America, Caitlin has pretty much literally ran home to mother with
her little “I have super ice powers and since I don’t know any bald men in
wheelchairs or Canadian men with metal claws that’s pretty much exclusively a
villain thing” problem.  Caitlin’s mom has got it going on, not necessarily in the same way as Stacy’s Mom
(though Susan Walters isn’t exactly
hard on the eyes) more in the “I’m a scientist turned successful CEO feminist
business woman” way.  You know, no big deal.  I’m sure everybody’s mom runs some big corporate lab.
Back at STAR
Labs, HR is treating the team to bagels and coffee and showing off how “wacky” his earth is compared to
ours.  (Coffee on Earth 19 has been wiped out by blight and apparently Mathew
McConaughey wasn’t there to go
through a blackhole and save it.) So he’s looking to stay, but Cisco isn’t
ready to roll out the welcome mat just yet. So HR is going to have to work a
little harder to build trust.
Speaking of
building trust, Barry’s been called into Singh’s office, it seems my new
favorite CSI has chronicled Barry’s failings as an employee better than I have
and has taken his issues to the Captain. Harsh but by the book, Julian.  I like it. 
Barry’s a little pissed, but I gotta take Julian’s side here.  Being a superhero doesn’t excuse you from the
rules, Barry.  You’re not a Clinton.  Barry complains to Joe but Joe’s just plain
tired of the fighting.  I know it’s been
two weeks for Barry, it’s been a year for everybody else.  The Barry who was there has probably burned
up most of the sympathy by now.
Saved by the
bell.  There’s a big problem down by the
harbor.  So what’s the deal this
week?  Cocktail Waitress that can
suddenly breathe fire?  Star Football
Player that can now cause earthquakes?
It’s a ten
story tall monster stalking around.  Hey,
that’s a new one!  What kind of ironic
thing happen to you the night of the Accelerator Explosion?  So while Barry and Cisco try to figure things
out and HR pouts over a bagel.  Iris has
taken to helping out bystander on the scene. 
She’s gone full Lois Lane, ladies and gents.  Amy Adams would be proud, so am I so I’ll use
this cheap excuse to put this picture of Amy here:
This frees
up Barry to stop our would-be Godzilla but all the traffic cams are down for
some reason.  Fortunately, HR hits on the
idea of tracking the monster by following the sound of car alarms.  But the monster still manages to
disappear.  Back at STAR Labs, Barry
Cisco and HR are stumped, every meta-human they’ve encountered so far had the
decency to be human-sized and give off some way to track them but this a-hole
is doing neither. 
In fact, all
they’ve got is a transformer exploding without the monster touching it and a
half-plan to use carbon-fiber ropes to stop it. 
That probably means something so HR pressures Barry into making nice so
they can get a look at the transformer.
At Dr.
Tannhauser’s (Caitlin’s mom) lab, they’re running the usual medical exams.  Bloodwork, reflexes and flash freezing molten
tungsten. (As a serious aside, if you’re reading this and you’re a script or
novel writer let’s clear this up.  When
you use “centigrade” for temperature, no do
not
use degrees.  Something would simply
be “2000 centigrade.”)  Caitlin’s
cooperating the best she can but she does have a strained relationship with her
mother so it’s difficult.  They determine
that Caitlin’s powers work by absorbing energy.
At the Police
Station, Barry has managed to choke down his pride to try and extend an olive
branch to Julian.  When that fails
miserably, Barry uses something that always works: Flattering his skill as a
scientist and bribery in the form of moving out of the lab into a storeroom.
Meanwhile,
Cisco is working on the carbon-fiber ropes while HR basically sits there
filling the air with babbling about his adventures on Earth-19 (still no
mention about Batman defeating Jack the Ripper, though.)  When Cisco bails out, HR takes the
opportunity to do something that every Wells has done before; use his journal
to plot vaguely.
Iris visits
Barry with lunch and she mentions Joe is now actively blowing off DA
Horton.  So, he’s either playing hard to
get or he’s spooked for some reason and Iris has vowed to get to the bottom of
it.
Back with
Caitlin and her mom is still running tests so Caitlin finally admits why she
came to her.  It’s what you’d expect,
Caitlin’s run tests on herself already and found little helpful information so
she came to her mom for comfort. 
Unfortunately, Carla was never the same after Caitlin’s father died and
she falls back into scientist mode as a defense mechanism.
Julian’s
called Barry to the scene of the monster’s rampage to look at the
transformer.  Julian believes that it was
a power surge that blew up the transformer and while Barry believes that equals
coincidence.  Julian believes there’s
something going on and he’ll figure it out. 
Good news, gents! The monster’s back so you’ll have an opportunity to
observe things first hand.
Back with
Caitlin, she’s had enough poking and since he mother isn’t helping in the “Help
me, mommy. I’m scared!” Department either, Caitlin’s going home.  Unfortunately for her, Carla’s assistant,
Nigel is also frustrated by Carla’s personal skills.  In his case, it’s his work being overshadowed
by Carla’s so he has a plan to use Caitlin’s powers to make a name for
himself.  Unfortunately Nigel doesn’t
seem to understand, that with one notable exception, ice powers= villain in the
making.  Caitlin freaks out and uses her
powers on Nigel, severely injuring his arm.
Before
Caitlin can do even worse, Carla stops her and convinces her to leave.
Back at the
Station, Barry and Julian have figured out that not only is the monster blowing
out transformers, it’s confined to a ten-block radius.  This is where Julian gives us his motivations
via backstory.  Julian grew up an heir to
a rich and powerful family in England but his ambitions didn’t lie in the
family business rather in the sciences and instead of squandering his gifts he
left England to become a great scientist. 
Only for metas to start showing up and make his work feel meaningless.  That’s why he doesn’t like metas, he sees
them as squandering their gifts on petty crime or saving cats out of tree.
Back at STAR
Labs, when Barry gives Cisco and HR the information he’s gathered.  Something interesting happens, it seems HR
isn’t exactly up to the usual high standard of genius that you get from a
Harrison Wells.  After he leaves, Barry
and Cisco realize HR’s not actually doing anything, just throwing flowery
language at them, so it’s time to vibe him. 
They don’t get a chance to vibe him but they do stumble on his audio
journal.  That’s when they learn HR’s
secret evil plan: He’s a writer with a plan for Wor- Write a great novel? Well
that’s interesting, not quite what I expected but cool.
So what better
time for the monster to attack than now? 
So, it’s time for our carbon rope and a little homage to Empire Strikes
Back and bingo-bango problem solved, right? Nope! It’s a hologram and the
police have dispatched snipers, we’ve got ourselves a serious pickle.  Barry needs the team to figure out where the
hologram is coming from, but while HR claimed to be a scientist/novelist he’s
more of a novelist/novelist so he is of zero help.  Time to run, Barry.
Barry
arrives just in time to save a bystander from sniper fire and keep the police
from killing anybody.  Cisco’s managed to
find where the signal came from, and sends Barry there.  Julian’s also found it and has confronted our
villain, with gunfire.  Fortunately save
the kid and Julian and learn he’s just a bullied kid.  So after a Joe speech on bullying (cue the
Full House lesson time music) Julian finding some new respect for the Flash and
Barry being able to actually offer a successful olive branch the city is safe
for democracy again.
Back at STAR
Labs, it’s time to confront HR about him being a fraud.  But lucky for him, Barry and company are
soft-hearted when it comes to Harrison Wells-es so they’re going to give him
another chance and that’s pretty much it.
Well, except
for Caitlin getting a message from her mother. 
She’s got a big problem, the more she uses her powers the harder it will
be to cure her or control them.  If she
wants any hope of getting rid of her powers she cannot use them under any
circumstances.  Caitlin response with
restraint… Well not really, she has a flash of temper and freezes the
computer.  Good listener, our Caitlin is
not.
This was
better.  After the last two weeks of
essentially marching in place I felt like we’ve got some forward momentum.  Trust in Zack Stentz to provide a shot in the
arm in that regard.  I liked the HR
plotline a whole lot.  It’s would’ve been
so easy to just make him another scientist with a hipster gimmick.  I feel like this provides a lot more
opportunity story-telling wise.  After
all, he still has that Harrison Wells mark of genius but he will no longer be a
safety net for the team. 
The
relationship between Caitlin and her mother was fine… I guess. No real new
ground was covered as it was typical “you don’t understand me, mother!” Stuff with
some techno-babble rubbed on it. 
However, I like the ticking time bomb being added to Caitlin with her
powers.  Telling someone they can’t use
their powers pretty much guarantees their going to have to after all.
The
development of Julian was also nothing new/earth-shattering but was welcome all
the same. 
Lastly, I
could’ve done without the bully stuff, it’s always so heavy handed.  We all know bullying is bad, as so many are
so fond of saying “It’s Current Year.”
All said and
done, I liked this episode more than the last two so while it’s not back to the
standard I believe Flash capable of it’s a step in the right direction that
will have to hold us for two weeks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG6arcSTjqw
Three Things We
Learned This Week:
1)     
Caitlin’s mother is a prominent scientist and
business owner.
2)     
HR Wells is a fraud.
3)     
Caitlin’s powers are becoming harder to control.
Three Questions:
1)     
Did HR make up all that stuff about a final
battle?
2)     
Will Caitlin’s mother be able to help her before
her powers cause her to do something she can’t take back?
3)     
Will Julian’s family play a role down the line?
Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson

Contributor at WOBAM! Entertainment
Just another guy on the internet.
Jason Thompson
Just another guy on the internet.