FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 3×06 – “Shade”

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The Flash (3×06) – “Shade”
Written by:         Emily Silver & David Kob
Directed by:       JJ
So we start
this week with Wally telling Joe about his dreams of being Kid Flash.  Joe of course notices how this is pretty much
exactly what happen to Magenta to the detail. 
Wally thinks it’s totally different because… Because it’s happening to
him, I guess.
At the
station, Barry tries to make nice with Julian and it goes as well as you’d
expect.  Good thing DA Horton shows up
and makes Barry essentially Julian’s underling in the Meta-human Task Force.  I’m sure this won’t lead to tension between
the two.  Speaking of tension, here’s
some of the sexual time as Joe arrives and Barry learns that Joe and Cecile
have a date planned for later.  She leave
but before Barry can gossip, Joe tells Barry about Wally’s dreams and that
throws a big wet blanket over everything.
Over at STAR
Labs, it seems HR has got himself a case of cabin fever and that’s led to him
trying to come up with ways for their partnership with the Flash not to be so
obvious to the public.  His idea: The
STAR Labs Museum with him as the figurehead. 
Cisco and Caitlin think this is a great idea except for Harrison Wells
being a known murderer.  So while, HR
runs off to figure out a new greatest plan ever, Cisco notices Caitlin’s been
acting a bit weird lately.  She plays it
off but eyes some power dampening handcuffs Cisco has been working on.
At the West
Home, Barry explains to Wally that his dreams are a big, big problem and Wally
and Iris are understandably upset that Barry didn’t tell them sooner.  I know, I know! They told him not to tell
them about Flashpoint but this is a little different that not telling Joe he
was drunkenly spiraling out of control, Wally having powers made his a prime
target for Alchemy.  What’s worse, Wally
believes that the reason Barry and Joe are fighting him getting powers so hard
is that they don’t really trust Wally.
Cut to some
random business guy saying the business equivalent of techno-babble to someone
on the phone.  It all sounds very
businessy so you know he’s either about to become this week’s villain or a
victim of this week’s victim.  So it isn’t
much of a surprise when he’s attacked and murdered by a giant shadow.  The next morning, Barry and Julian are
looking at the body, unfortunately there’s very little evidence beyond eye
witness accounts.
So Julian
puts Barry to work so he can go off to work on the more important things back
at the lab.  Before he leaves, Barry
tries to invite him to a movie but Julian already has plans with his
girlfriend, sorry.  Joe shows up to see
if Barry has anything for him and let Barry know that Wally is avoiding them
all now and that they’ll have to keep an eye on him because this looks like it’s
only getting worse.
Labs, Cisco’s meta-cuffs have gone missing and he believes HR took them.  However, HR has a different toy he’s playing
with; a light-bending face-changing, pen that looks an awful lot like it came
from the Doctor Who collection.  Barry
shows up and recaps them on the murder and at the prompting of HR Cisco uses
the city’s cc-cameras to see the murder. 
(Side note: The constant surveillance in Central City creeps me the hell
out.)  Barry sets the team to work but he
has to deal with the Wally problem and the Julian problem.
At the
Police Station, Joe is trying to track down Wally but luckily for him Wally is
waiting for him.  Joe decides the best
way to diffuse the situation is something rarely tried by these people;
Explaining why he’s worried.  Joe tells
Wally the reason he’s worried about Wally is that Wally is a lot like him and
that Joe knows what he would do if he had powers or if he had the opportunity to
get them and that scares him.  The pair
decide to head to STAR Labs to see if they can maybe rule out Alchemy.  Unfortunately, Alchemy steps up his
recruitment routine with painful visions.
Back at STAR
Labs, Caitlin tries this new honesty fad that seems to be going around Central
City and tells Cisco she took his cuffs because she’s on the road to Killer
Frost town and she’s scared.  She asks
Cisco to vibe her to give her some hope that’s not turning evil but what Cisco
sees (her trying to kill him) is not very comforting. 
Later, the
whole team is together trying to figure out exactly how screwed Wally is when
HR comes up with the plan of locking Wally in the Pipeline until they can
either help Wally or capture Alchemy.  It’s
not the greatest plan, but it is the plan that everyone agrees to.  Speak of plans, this looks like Joe’s date
plans are in serious jeopardy but Cisco volunteers to go with him as do Caitlin
and HR after he shows off his light-bending pen including the “my friends can
see through my disguise so we don’t have to have another actor around all the
time” feature.
At the park,
while HR is off getting snacks Caitlin convinces Cisco to try honesty since it’s
so cool and trendy and he admits that he saw Killer Frost vs Vibe to the death
in his vision but he promises to help her fix this cause friends don’t let
friends become enemies.
In the
concession’s line, Joe and Cecile are flirting while Joe tries to keep an eye
out for messages from Wally.  When she
notices his split attention he explains what’s going on with Wally and she understands
because she has a teenaged daughter that she worries about too.  Honesty works again!  It’s so hot I wish I was more up on the
latest trends so I could have an analogy here!
Back at STAR
Labs, Iris and Barry are keeping an eye on Wally up in the control room (even
if you really were worried about Wally’s well-being you’d at least be down
there with him.) So it must be time for a heart-to-heart.  After a nice little moment where Iris laments
not being able to do more for the Team and Barry explaining that she’s the
whole reason he has the heart to do the things he does we go back to the park
where Cecile gets to meet Cisco Caitlin and HR.
HR and Cecile
are getting along great but before Joe can kill HR the movie starts.  But before we get a chance to see Jack Torrance
driving up to the Overlook Hotel Shade hits the scene.  Time to call the Flash!  While Barry races off, Alchemy makes another
move on Wally.  (It’s at this moment we
realize that someone’s been a distraction the whole time so Alchemy could go
after Wally.)  With everyone but her
gone, it’s up to Iris to talk Wally through the pain or failing that lay Wally
out with a right cross when he tries to attack her.
Flash vs
Shade isn’t going well, but fortunately Cisco has a plan to use light to
overwhelm Shade and he uses the STAR Labs equipment to hack into the lights in
the park to do it.  Fortunately for
Barry, since Shade is basically a toady for Alchemy the plan works without a
hitch and he is defeated.
Back at STAR
Labs, the team tries to figure out how to help Wally since as Alchemy works
harder to get Wally to come to him it’s doing more and more damage to
Wally.  Thanks to HR they realize that
Alchemy definitely wants Wally and will likely keep sending out metas to attack
them until Wally comes to him.  To make
things worse, Cisco can’t keep Caitlin’s secret any longer and basically forces
her to tell the others what’s happening to her.
After she
storms out, Barry follows her to talk to her. 
Judging by the way Barry just centers on her powers being his fault
because he created Flashpoint I don’t think it goes all that well.  However before Caitlin can do or say anything
Iris comes in and tells them Wally is getting worse.
After they
get Wally through a seizure, Joe decides enough is enough and calls in the SWAT
Team.  Meanwhile, back at the Lab, Cisco
and Caitlin talk through the tense moment they just had and she laments that
stopping her from becoming Killer Frost is looking pretty impossible at this
point.  Cisco then promises to help her
fix things because if there’s one thing Team Flash is getting pretty good at it’s
the Impossible.
Wally leads
Barry, Joe and the SWAT down into Alchemy’s underground lair.  There Wally finds Alchemy with three acolytes
worshiping some glowing stone in a pillar. 
Alchemy promises to give him his powers but Wally springs the trap.  It doesn’t actually go all that well for
Barry, since Alchemy still has his laser rock. 
They still manage to stop Alchemy but it looks like he may just be a lackey
himself since somethings shows up that is even faster than Barry and kills the
SWAT Team.
Wally picks up Alchemy’s rock and is enveloped in a cocoon of some sort before
the thing pins Barry down and reveals itself to be: Savitar, the God of Speed.
This was a
pretty good episode, moving the story along always helps by default.  Seeing Alchemy has a plan of some sort of
beyond “bring back the old continuity” like some asshole fanboy with a mask
while still not knowing what that plan is was welcome.  I liked the Caitlin/Cisco stuff a lot,
especially the Chekhov’s gun of the Vibe/Killer Frost fight since it basically
puts a big ticking clock over Caitlin’s head since it’s very likely that next
week’s episode will be a fake out to put the cast’s minds at ease while
ratcheting up the audience’s tension.
In case you
didn’t notice, I really enjoyed that the characters avoided the classic “I must
keep this secret” trope.  Yes, characters
making bad choices is what creates drama but every once in a while you have to
do this so we don’t just think the characters are all idiots and assholes.
Savitar, eh?
It’ll be interesting to see if they go with Savitar’s actual origin or if they
make him more like current comic villain Godspeed (which would put Julian front
and center of the suspect list) but that will have to wait as I imagine the
through line of the next few episodes will be Wally gaining powers and trying
to keep him and Caitlin from turning on the group.
In the end,
this episode couldn’t have come at a better time.  I was already a bit down on the season and
after the very, very heavy handed episode of Supergirl (Did you know if you don’t believe in the Climate Change
hoax you’re totally evil, guys?!)
I was
starting to wonder if I was going to completely lose enthusiasm for the
CW/DC-Verse.  So to see The Flash returning
to form was very welcome.
Last but not
least, a word of advice to anyone planning a scary movie for a first date.  The Shining is a terrible choice, the horror
comes from a near constant ratcheting of tension that becomes terror as the
characters start to turn on each other. 
There’s only one real jump scare in the movie and it comes very
late.  A good scary movie for a first
date would be something more akin to Friday the 13th or Nightmare on
Elm Street
.  Shorter builds with more pay
offs.  Take it from me, kids.  Also, don’t do the yawn and stretch, you’re
better than that.
Three Things We
Learned This Week:
Alchemy works for someone or something named
Caitlin has told the others about her powers.
HR’s Earth has had some very significant
technological advancements.
Three Questions:
Who or what is Savitar?
How long until Caitlin’s powers truly corrupt
Will Wally be a problem for the team going
Just another guy on the internet.