The World of Television
Tonight’s episode of The Flash proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is the only show that you should be watching on Tuesday night! Spoilers begin NOW, so don’t read another word if you haven’t watched tonight’s episode of The Flash OR last night’s episode of Gotham.
This week’s episode of The Flash picked up right where last week’s episode ended. We see Barry and Caitlin making a mad dash from the nuclear explosion that was Firestorm. Once the mushroom cloud clears out, Barry and Caitlin return to find not only Ronnie Raymond, but Dr. Martin Stein as well. The two successfully separated from one another and except for a bit of a fever, they seem perfectly fine….until they start feeling each other’s sensations, begin to act like each other (including a humorous scene in which Stein gets Barry to fetch him a pizza), and realize that they are no longer as individual as they once believed.
As featured last week, Clancy Brown’s General Eiling is still after Firestorm (and the Flash), and actively seeks out Dr. Harrison Wells in an attempt to force Wells to give up one or both halves of Firestorm. Wells does just that, drugging Stein and allowing Eiling to walk into S.T.A.R. Labs and take Stein to an abandoned military base for “testing.”
When this happens, Ronnie uses his mental connection with Stein in order to decipher the doctor’s location. Once Ronnie and the gang figure out the location of the old base, Ronnie and Barry make a mad dash to save Stein. The only catch is that if Ronnie and Stein get too close to one another, they run the risk of fusing together again. In order to prevent that, Cisco gives Ronnie the tachyon device that was used in last week’s episode to separate them again if needed (and if possible).
Eiling is ready for them, though, and immediately attacks the Flash with an exploding corrosive. In order to stop it from burning him to death, the Flash does what he does best: Run. In the meantime, Ronnie and Dr. Stein fuse together to form Firestorm once again and prove to be more than a match for Eiling.
In the end, Ronnie and Stein decide to go on the run in order to stay a step ahead of Eiling. That may or may not be necessary, though, if the end of the program is any indication!
Before addressing the end of the show, though, let’s take a look at a couple of things going on in the background while the focus was planted squarely on Firestorm. First of all, Iris is starting to dig deep into the S.T.A.R. Labs incident and is beginning to find answers as to what really happened on that fateful night that Barry became the Scarlet Speedster. I’m sure this story will develop more as the series progresses. Barry, who really took a step back on this episode for other characters to take the spotlight, learns that he is present at his mother’s murder in both his young form and in a future adult form. He talks about time travel with Dr. Stein and we all got the hint that sooner or later, the Flash is going to be traveling a whole lot faster!
Now, that ending…..THAT……ENDING!!!! We were teased a bit a couple of weeks ago by Gorilla Grodd (and even got a very faint glimpse of him), but tonight we got to see him in a bit more of his glory, as Reverse Flash (or Professor Zoom, whatever he goes by) delivers General Eiling to Grodd. When Reverse Flash first drops Eiling into the sewer, Eiling asks him who he is. Reverse Flash pulls off his mask, revealing himself as Dr. Wells (no big surprise there), and then we hear growling in the background. Wells tells Eiling that he “protects his own” and Grodd grabs Eiling, pulling him into the darkness! It was awesome, and I cannot wait to see where the story goes from here!
The episode as a whole was brilliant. I really enjoyed the fact that this episode was about Firestorm and not so much about the Flash. I also loved how the tachyon device looked eerily like Firestorm’s costume from the comics. I hope they build on that look for the character, as it’s a great look. The cast was solid as usual and I see nothing but excellence ahead with this show! I can’t wait for the next episode.
Gotham was new on Monday night and, yes, all of the talk was about the Joker making his highly anticipated appearance. Many people felt that the character shouldn’t be explored since his origins in the comics and in other media is so out of balance. There’s no one true accepted origin story for the character, so the show can take his origin in any direction, but the brief intro that we got on Monday night was excellent.
In the episode, Detective Gordon, along with his date for the evening, Dr. Thompkins (Morena Baccarin), are attending Haly’s Circus and enjoying performances of the Flying Graysons (hint, hint). When the Graysons finish their performance, a fight breaks out between them and a group of clowns. Gordon goes into cop mode, ends the fight, and soon uncovers a murder. The murdered person is a snake dancer named Lila Valeska, and she has a son named Jerome, who Gordon brings in for questioning.
During the initial investigation, Thompkins uncovers a family feud between the Graysons and the family of clowns. She tells this to Gordon and as the episode continues, proves multiple times that she has excellent investigation and deduction skills. Thompkins has definitely developed with each episode she appears in, and I hope the writers keep up the development.
A blind fortune teller arrives at GCPD and gives Gordon a cryptic clue to the true identity of Lila’s murderer. Gordon quickly deduces that the real murderer is Jerome, and also finds out that the fortune teller is Jerome’s father. Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) has a shift in both mood and speech, phasing from scared and upset teenager to psychotic and murderous villain and back again. His description of his mother and his reasoning for murdering her were classic Joker-speak, and it was excellent. Monaghan may or may not eventually become the Joker, but he has definitely laid the groundwork for the character’s eventual turn into the greatest of Batman’s villains.
Also going on while the episode played out was Bruce Wayne’s first meeting with Wayne Enterprises’ board members. The meeting was quick and to the point, and young Bruce showed the much older board just how serious he was about the company, going so far as to remove any and all of them if necessary. It was a gutsy move, and David Mazouz pulled off an excellent performance. We also got to see Penguin’s shaky management skills at work at his newly acquired club. Victor Zsasz shows up with an “experienced employee” that he personally rehabilitated for Penguin: Butch, Fish’s former right hand man. Oh, and we totally saw Dick Grayson’s future parents become a couple as well!
Sadly, the two poorest performers in the show were, once again, Jada Pinkett Smith and Erin Richards. Richards fumbled through her role as Barbara as she took advice from Cat and Ivy on how to get Gordon back into her loving arms. Her performance was lukewarm and the whole story was forgettable. I seriously hope that something is done to remedy the poor development of this character.
Smith’s Fish somehow became the leader of the group of prisoners she is a part of in her storyline. I’m sorry, folks, but Smith is wretched in this role. Her attempt at being a strong and fearless leader is forced, overacted, and flat out terrible. She needs to go, and soon! Of all of the characters on this show, she is the poorest in both writing and acting.
So, while the episode as a whole was very good, the Fish and Barbara debacle weighed the overall quality of the show down. It has to get better, Gotham, because you can only rest your success on the shoulders of the Penguin and the excellent acting of some of the cast for so long.
Oh, and the best line of the night belonged to Donal Logue’s Harvey Bullock: “You smell like lady soap!”
That’s all for now, citizens. Thanks for reading!!!!!