Flash- Season V- Ep II- “Blocked”: A Review

Posted: 10/20/2018 in Uncategorized


Well if Arrow’s season opener sets things on fire….ep. 2 maintained traction from the previous episode. It wasn’t bad…it wasn’t great…and I am hoping that this mid range mediocrity is not the expectation for the entire season or this year might very well be my last. I will be reviewing both Black Lightning and DC’s “Titans” afterwards and while one shouldn’t compare shows and judge them entirely on their own merits, I can lead with saying Flash is thus far paling in their wake. My review follows below.

The villain du jour actually had a pretty cool power this week, one as yet demonstrated on the show. The results of her first attack were unsettling and coolly macabre. Vanessa Jansens is a recently released criminal who has the power to use density to encapsulate her opponents in cubes or blocks. On a quest to retake her spot as Central City’s weapon’s dealer, she efficiently eliminates her opposition. Barry’s (Grant Gustin) forensics knowledge comes into play and for a bit we are reminded that he is a very capable scientist. His daughter Nora/XS (Jessica Parker Kennedy) undermines his findings with a giddy clumsiness borne of hero worship and oversharing of future scientific information. Honestly timelines are so foolishly and routinely tampered with that the brain rattles in one’s head. Paradoxes in this ep alone would cause the universe to fold in on itself and implode.

Funnily enough, Nora seems to be far better received, fanwise, than Wally West/Kid Flash (Kieynan Lonsdale) ever was…though she is no less irksome. Back to the undermining trope, XS/Nora interferes with Barry/Flash at every turn whether bumbling into his professional life as his new “intern” or messing up in his career as the Flash. The standard trope on this show is the Flash underestimates his enemy, gets his ass handed to him and then rallies in the end…often with the necessary help from his friends. Flash has however evolved a great deal over the past 4 seasons, noting in particular “Out of Time” and “Flashtime” as nods to how bright and capable he truly is. This run features him nearly getting wiped out by an inferior foe before going on to getting another whooping. This isn’t fun anymore…nor in any form entertaining.

Subarcs fare marginally better, thought the Cecile Horton (Danielle Nicolet) revelation that her powers are fading is not such an example. She stresses out over not being a perfect parent..blahblahblah. Joements abound but even they cannot save this forced family centric arc. Joe’s (Jesse L. Martin) moment with Barry however is on point and reminds us of his irreplaceable importance to this show.

Iris (Candice Patton) quest for a good story yields some decent plot traction. Her interactions with her daughter allow for an interesting mystery on this show. The revelation that Iris pretty much raises her daughter on her own is met with Nora’s avoiding her mother at all costs in the present. The reason behind this could provide some substance to what is thus far a flimsy start to the season.

Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) is easily one of the best characters on this show…but his mopey lovelorn arc gets old fast. Enter Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer) who salvages this mess and links this subplot with one of the main season mysteries, namely Caitlin’s (Danielle Panabaker) father faking his own death and her search for the truth. Dibny’s 27 ways to recover from heartbreak yields such gold as the following:

Cisco Ramon: Cisco is creative. Cisco is good. Cisco is smarter than your average bear. That’s Yogi’s. You stole Yogi’s affirmation.

Ralph Dibny: Yeah, I did, ’cause it’s a winner. You don’t see him moping over any lady bears.

Cisco’s angst is dealt with the seriousness it deserves and the return to the supportive dynamic between him and Caitlin is later restored.

The end sequence throw down seems to offer a potential link between Cicada (Chris Klein) and XS…but really does not whet the viewer’s appetite yet. A slight improvement was seen this past week with the villain and some sub plot developments but the show still has a way to go to return to its former glory.

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