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TV Review – The Flash – Season 1 Episode 18 “All-Star Team Up”

I’m going to make a bold statement up front, The Flash is fun, there I said it. It is for this reason that even with the occasional weak villain, questionable plot or repetitive character beats the shows still remains entertaining. Never has that sense of fun been better executed than in this episodes opening scene.

The-Flash-970x545Detectives Joe and Eddie are in a high speed pursuit, calling Barry for backup he instantly zips in to the back seat of their moving patrol car cocky and care free. For a superhero small time crooks in a getaway car are nothing. Where the Arrow would be aggressive and grim toward crooks of any calibre Flash just finds them laughable, even bringing a freshly caught assailant along with him and flasher no less. Joe looks in the back seat “who’s this?” “I caught him flashing” Joe looks him up and down in disappointment “you really shouldn’t be doing that” Barry looks him up and down too and agrees “you really shouldn’t”.It’s fun, fast paced and clever. Barry then zips in to the criminals car ahead swapping Joe out for the criminal driver in an instant, stops the crime with ease and everyone shares in a fist pump to celebrate a job well done.

Jesse L. Martin as Joe always looks like he’s having the time of his life on this show, he gives his emotional scenes his absolute all and is visibly giddy whenever he shares a scene with The Flash. It’s this joy that spreads out to the audience. The best television shows and movies make us genuinely care for it’s characters, when they cry we cry, when they laugh we laugh. Every time we watch them on screen it’s like catching up with an old friend friend we haven’t seen for awhile. The Flash always has this fun light hearted energy going for it which is what keeps me coming back each week. Unfortunately this episode suffers from every one of thee aforementioned issues.

This week see’s a new Meta-Human taking out prolific scientists with the use of tiny nano tech bee’s. This villain Brie Larvan AKA The Bug-Eyed Bandit just felt like Big Bang Theory’s Bernadette getting grouchy and spouting insect puns that would make Arnold Schwarzenneger’s Mr Freeze cringe. “Buzz me up”, “the sting of betrayal” and “I’m the queen of this hive” we’re just some of the one liners that really “stung-k” (that last one was mine).astu

There was one neat moment though, where the bee’s formed a face so that she could evil monologue to her next victim and I liked the honey comb design of her dress also but outside of that she was too over the top and unbelievable. Right as this is all going down Felicity Smoak and Ray Palmer from CW’s sister show Arrow pop in to say hello and ask for help optimising Ray’s (supposedly) top secret Iron Man, I mean ATOM suit.

While it’s cute seeing Ray and Cisco quickly develop a bromance over science akin to the Stark/Banner bromance in The Avengers the addition of Ray and Felicity felt quite frankly shoe horned in. They weren’t really essential to the plot and felt worked in to an existing script rather than an original “All-Star team up” like promised. Still, the two team Arrow members really shine in a show with a more light hearted tone and I’m really hoping Felicity joins Ray on his new spinoff series because they have great goofy awkward chemistry.

The Iron Man suit’s, I mean Iron Man suit’s (that’s right) special effects also really benefited from the higher quality effects work being done on The Flash. But everything else treads familiar ground. Iris is still being selfish and closed minded, just as she was last week and the week before that. Barry is still grouchy and untrusting of Wells, just as he was last week and the week before that.

This episode keeps the Wells/Reverse Flash storyline afloat name dropping the situation throughout but it doesn’t progress it any further until the very last second of the episode and even then it’s just characters telling other characters what we as an audience already know. To quote Ray, this episode just “couldn’t keep it up” but I still look forward to everyone’s further adventures, till next time I’m dropping the mic (metaphorically that is).

Review by Dylan Boaden.

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