Flash- Season 5- Ep. 5 “All Doll’d Up”: A Review

Posted: 11/16/2018 in Uncategorized

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Much more of a return to form. There were of course ‘cutesy’ moments but they didn’t linger overlong. It is kind of cool and sad concurrently that Danielle Nicolet (Cecil) must now deliver the “Jo-Ment” wisdom as Jesse L. Martin (Joe West) is off for an undetermined amount of time due to a back injury. The villain du jour however was genuinely good, delivering a huge volley of creep factor. My review follows below.

The villain du jour “Ragdoll” (Troy James) was as close to horror as this show has ever gotten. From his voice to his grotesque contortions, Ragdoll is genuinely disturbing. His motivations, as with most, are framed by the desire for revenge but his manner of obtaining it was quite unsettling. The entire robbery scene with a young couple in which he ‘unboxes’ himself then ‘adjusts’ his body to fit in impossible places – as well as forming a key for a latch – presented some brilliant visuals. What is even more alarming and cool of course is that the actor whose nickname is “Twisty” actually does a fair bit of his own contortion with CGI supplements. My wife was not a fan, but from a perspective of pure spectacle, Ragdoll was an intriguing villain. He is more likely than not a one off…but his stalking his prey and techniques for concealment made for watchable tv.

The fracture between Iris (Candice Patton) and Nora (Jessica Parker-Kennedy) informs the majority of the episode. The resulting attempts by Barry (Grant Gustin) to distract Iris,  including drawing her into an investigation of the latest meta – yield middling results which as a newly wed should concern him….just saying…ah well. The push to give Iris something to do continues. This plot device is more tempered this season, offering her background in journalism and her desire to investigate from a young age. This works far better than arbitrarily making her team’s major domo last season. The drawing together of Iris’ journey with Nora’s worked very well, occurring seamlessly via Cecile’s year book/Flash stories. This angle brought back more of the heart that made the show’s early seasons superior.

The subplot involving the ongoing quest by Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) to find her father brought the remaining ensemble characters together. Sherloque remains annoying and whether by design or by accident, Tom Cavanaugh’s meandering French accent proves cloying and sounds more like a middling attempt at an Irish brogue. The new detective duo dynamic favors Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer) whose character’s stock continues to rise. Dibny’s taking the initiative and main hero status worked wonderfully. His “I saw it in a comic book” segment in which he transports Iris to save Barry allowed for gonzo yet thrilling and fun visuals. The rise of the Elongated Man continues. I must give the show runners props for a potential reinvention of  the Killer Frost origin story, possibly one with mythological ties.

The Flash again did not come off well in this episode. He is “the fastest man alive”, faster now than he has ever been and yet villains still get the drop on him –  and easily. The Iris roof top sequence however was very good and allowed for Nora to see her mother in a better light. Iris gains cred in this episode with both family and viewers alike. The potential healing of the rift between mother and daughter will hopefully put to rest what stood to be a stumbling block to the remainder of the season .

Cisco’s injuries allow for a return to the status quo of earlier seasons. Caitlin’s decision to hold off on a potential short cut to finding her father allows for this mystery to be properly delved later. After all, this is a 23 episode season. The ep while not on course with the Cicada central storyline did not feel like filler. “All Doll’d Up” made for an engaging segment that is certainly a step in the right direction for this series. Flash proved to be well worth your time. Here’s hoping the show continues to stay on track.

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