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‘Flash’ Recap and Reaction: “Shade”

Considering that we did not see a new episode of the Flash last week, this newest chapter knocks socks off. There is some major plot development, in both the personal and professional lives of Team Flash.

Identity Problems

First off, danger is spreading through Team Flash like wildfire. Much like Magenta once did, Wally is starting to experience dreams of his Flashpoint life. As if the possibility of Alchemy’s involvement was not enough Caitlin steals some power-dampening handcuffs from Cisco to keep her Killer Frost side on ice.

Having seen what happened in Flashpoint, Barry is concerned that Wally might end up dying again. Joe is afraid that he will get hurt and Iris is worried about Alchemy’s involvement. With the promise of powers just beyond his reach, Wally understandably lashes out and accuses them Barry of lying and Joe of mistreating him.

Wally dreams of his Flashpoint life

After coming clean about stealing his power-suppressing handcuffs, Caitlin asks Cisco to Vibe her future. Despite our best hopes, it appears that Caitlin is fated to fall to the dark side and Killer Frost will face off against Vibe. Although he later reveals the truth, his only failed prophecy was the destruction of Earth-Two. The odds are not in their favour.

As for our latest Wells, there is a slight problem.With Eobard Thawne – under disguise as the original Harrison Wells – having confessed to murder, H.R. will constantly be under house-arrest but we have a nice loophole for that. Earth-Nineteen has light-refraction technology so he appears to be somebody else. But that would be costly in terms of actors so he lets Team Flash – and the audience – see him normally.

Power Plays

The villain of the piece – Alchemy and his allies notwithstanding – is Shade. Whilst the Arrowverse does a wonderful job of adapting most characters, the top-hat and cane immortal seems like a better version than the shadow creature they went with. It’s crass against class. Also, this meta-human is beaten back by a few headlights. Give him a fear of blankets and he’s practically a bogeyman. With at least three more Alchemy created meta-humans left, I hope the rest do better.

flash-shade

Deciding that Wally is best locked up to keep him away from Alchemy, the team can only watch him endure flashbacks and seizures. Following one such episode, Cisco forces Caitlin to reveal her abilities and she storms off. Barry goes to try and calm her down. Despite his best intentions, the message that comes across reveals that Alchemy, Caitlin’s powers and the entire Flashpoint-fallout did not happen in the original timeline. But considering Snow has been hiding her powers for the past few months, it could be that she had them previously but chose not to reveal them. And her powers do not necessarily make her evil.

Storming the Castle

With the same bravery that lets Aquaman stand in the Justice League – because, let’s face it, he’s Aquaman – Wally volunteers as bait to find Alchemy. In an unusual twist for the vigilante group, Detective West goes by the book and brings in a SWAT team. He also brings along one of Harry’s guns for good measure.

flash-wally-west-joe-west-alchemy-captured

Events go about as well as can be expected. Wally goes in first to attract attention. Flash comes in next and takes out most of the sidekicks. Gunslinger Joe takes a few potshots at Alchemy and saves Barry. Although there is the constant rule of ‘no touching’ involved throughout Operation Take Down Alchemy, Wally decides that picking up the Philosophers Stone can’t hurt. I get the hypnotism thing but he was locked up for a few days. Did none of that get through? Right after Wally goes all cocoon, the Flash is caught by his most powerful foe yet – Savitar. Not only was he moving too fast to be caught by Barry but he is also invisible to all non-speedsters. Sadly, that’s where we end for now.

Observations

  • H.R. is getting really irritating. Hipster Wells is now using words like ‘rascals’ and ‘scamps’. Then he comes up with good ideas, has people repeat them just to say ‘I agree with’.
  • At long sweet last, Wally is about to become a speedster. Always my favourite Flash, his role in this episode shows his bravery and the temptation of powers to normal people.
  • It honestly did not occur to me that Alchemy and Savitar would be working together. Their DC selves had always been completely separate but this looks to be exciting.
  • Savitar has always been one of the strongest DC villains ever. He can take and give speed, is practically telekinetic and now appears to have invisibility powers. Over-powered to the extreme.

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