Review: The Flash 3×06 – Shade

Despite – or perhaps because of – being jam packed with incident and shock reveals, this week’s The Flash fell short of the usual high quality…

 

It’s typical, isn’t it? You wait a quarter of a season for the big reveals to happen and they turn up all at once. While that meant this episode of The Flash leaves us with lots to chew on, then, it made for a bit of bloated and slightly disjointed episode.

First of all, the titular villain Shade somehow tops last episode’s holographic monster as the weakest weekly metahuman the show has ever had. It’s fitting that this anonymous guy’s power was turning into a shadow as he had little to no substance. Three seasons in and with such great character drama to play with, The Flash shouldn’t be afraid of breaking out of its formula and ditching the monster-of-the-week on occasion. If Shade was removed from this episode, you really wouldn’t miss him.

Instead, he just distracted from the main story of Wally being targeted by Alchemy and having visions of his alternate life as Kid Flash in Flashpoint. Keiynan Lonsdale got to stretch his legs a lot more than usual this week – playing both the happy hero who is saving kids and complementing their skateboards as well as the angry, near-deranged Wally. Now that he’s all cocooned, what’s the betting he will be a speedster when we next see him?

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The most interesting storyline continues to be Caitlin, however, and her growing fear of her icy abilities. That comes along leaps and bounds this week as she finally confides in Cisco – who then comes clean to the rest of the gang. After all the problems they have had with secrets in STAR Labs, Cisco’s reluctance to keep another made sense – but it did mean that everyone suddenly knowing about Caitlin came as a bit of jolt after weeks of her hiding it. The best scene of this subplot was Cisco’s exciting yet heart-breaking vision of the future – him and Caitlin going at it as Vibe and Killer Frost!

Finally, the big climax where CCPD apparently takes Alchemy down was sadly disappointing. The guy has been such a nebulous foe so far we’re not really invested in what happens to him. Hopefully things will pick up in this area now that Savitar, the God of Speed, is on the scene. Though I have to say it: another speedster big bad? Really?

Now that all these cats are out of the bag, hopefully any niggles we have will be smoothed over in coming episodes.

 

Speed Thoughts:

  • H.R. Wells continues to bring the humour, with his jovial demeanor and references to Earth-19. The facial transmogrification was also a good idea, as it finally allowed Tom Cavanagh to leave the STAR Labs set for the first time in about two seasons.
  • Iris admits to also feeling like a bystander in Barry’s quest to save the city. So is she going to become a speedster too?
  • Julian wasn’t at work… on the day they caught Alchemy!

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Rating:

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