*Warning this episode contains SPOILERS for season 5 episode 19 of The Flash
This episode of The Flash is a very mixed bag. And this continues to be the show’s biggest problem, it’s inconsistent. I really wish the producers, the directors, and the writers would just take some more time on these episodes and think things through. It just seems like the writers and producers are just cranking scripts out in an hour and tossing them to the directors. There is no clear direction in where this story is going. This episode contains so many obvious, fixable problems it’s shocking to me that no one working on it realized them.
The first obvious problem was the opening scene. Now I just praised the latest episode of Arrow for having an amazing opening scene that really got me into the episode. This opening was the polar opposite. I don’t know who thought having Iris and Barry aggressively screaming at each other would be a good opening. And it was even more baffling to me that no one working on this episode realized it was a problem.
Now the overall story for this episode isn’t actually that bad. I thought both storylines were well thought out on a script level and did not seem rushed, which is unusual for these shows. Iris trying to save Nora was actually my favorite storyline. I loved how determined Iris was with her take no sh*t kind of attitude. Also, her bringing Ralph along certainly helped things. Ralph is so good on this show but for some reason, he is very underused.
I also really liked Caitlin’s storyline with her parents. Icicle is a very cool character and his motivations actually made sense. Caitlin’s mother was the standout for me in this episode because of how cold she was. Now I’m not talking about physically cold, but just how sharp and standoffish she was. However, I did not like how they made her nicer towards the end, some people are just not nice people. It gave the image that all cold people can become nicer with kindness, and that’s not always the case.
This is Jeff Cassidy’s first directing gig within the Arrowverse. Now while he is new, anyone could have realized that this episode had major problems. And because he was new, the producers should have had his back, but they did not. Just like I mentioned in my latest Arrow review, the most important parts of an episode are the beginning and the end. Cassidy messed up both of them. To be fair the script wasn’t doing him any favors, but he should have realized that some of the things in the script just weren’t translating to live-action.
Once again, the opening scene in this episode is beyond bad and the ending is just a crazy mess. The fight sequence at the end did look kind of cool but it was just ridiculous. These shows don’t have to be realistic but some part of them should be rooted in reality. The Flash also continues to borrow serious horror storylines which I find interesting. First Silence of the Lambs, which they actually acknowledge in this episode, and now Pet Semetary. So far it’s working but it is a weird direction for the show to go in.
Another thing that becomes clearly obvious in this episode is that this show just can’t handle complex storylines. That’s why the beginning of this season worked better. They were telling more simpler and episodic storylines. A lot of people think a show being episodic is a bad thing but its actually not. Batman the Animated Series was an episodic show and that is still one of the most popular superhero shows of all time. Because by the time Cicada showed up at the end, there was just no point to that overlapping story.
Overall this episode is a very mixed bag, and really just ends up being a mess. While parts of it were enjoyable, there were so many mistakes that could have easily been fixed. Also, this show clearly can’t handle complex storylines and should stick to more of an episodic structure. The acting continues to be solid with the show nailing its female characters. Also, please give Ralph more things to do, he is just a great character. The Flash keeps fluctuating in terms of quality and entertainment. That is a huge problem because if people can’t consistently count on a show, they won’t watch it. While The Flash is still enjoyable for me, I do fear for the future of the show.