UK VOD TV review: The Flash Episode 18 (All Star Team-Up)
Crossover humour and action9
Amon Warmann | On 25, Apr 2015
With Arrow regulars Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Ray (Brandon Routh) in Central City this week, it felt only right to tag team the review of the aptly named All Star Team-Up with our resident Arrow reviewer Matt Turner.
Amon Warmann: Before we get stuck in, as a superhero nerd, it’s exciting to see how seamless this interconnected universe is becoming. While we wait for the Justice League on the big screen, it’s hopefully going to be just as much fun to see a small screen version of sorts assemble soon.
Speaking on matters of The Flash first, it was an entertaining hour that progressed the overarching arcs of the season well but suffered from yet another underdeveloped villain. It did have one of the best opening scenes yet – I loved it when Barry revels in his powers, and having him geek out with Joe is always fun – and I enjoyed watching Team Flash interact with our aforementioned friends (the bromance between Ray and Cisco was frequently chuckle-worthy). But the inclusion of those characters made for an underwhelming adversary. Matt – what did you make of the guest appearances?
Matthew Turner: While I’m a huge fan of both the characters and the actors, I have to say that I didn’t think Felicity and Ray brought all that much to Central City this week. Don’t get me wrong, I loved seeing them interact with Team Flash and Grodd knows they could both use a little levity after the ongoing doom and gloom of their sister show, but it seemed like this was something that could have been saved for another time. Their appearance didn’t advance the plot of Arrow in the slightest (at least as far as Felicity is concerned) and their decamping to Central City for a couple of days didn’t really fit in with the current events in Starling City the way it did in the previous crossover.
That said, there was one development that gave me hope and that’s the bit with Ray having a brainwave after examining a robotic bee and realising that something about his suit has to be “smaller, not bigger”, or whatever the line was. What with the injection of nano-bots on Arrow last week and the robot bee technology this week, it seems more and more likely that The Atom will eventually gain the shrinking powers he has in the comics, probably just in time for his rumoured spin-off series.
AW: Completely agree with you on that. I’ve never really dug the Iron Man rip-off suit The Atom has been. It will be interesting to see how Arrow visualises his skill set, particularly when you consider the similarities with Marvel’s Ant-Man, who has, of course, got a film coming out on the big screen soon.
While Felicity’s presence here didn’t do much for Arrow, it had a significant effect on Barry. There has been a theme of mistrust of late, as our young hero comes to grips with Wells-Thawne’s betrayal, and – as she often does – Felicity gave him some much-needed perspective, which led to Barry telling Cisco and Caitlin what he’s discovered. Honestly, for all the Barry-Iris and Felicity-Oliver arcs that will inevitably happen, I’d love to see a Barry-Felicity romance. They play off each other so well, and Grant Gustin and Rickards’ easy chemistry is fun to watch. Any final thoughts?
MT: The Flash is gearing up for what looks like one hell of a season finale and Felicity and Ray popping in felt like it slowed that momentum a bit. I did love all the jokes, though, plus it was great to get the real, goofy Felicity back for a while, as opposed to the angst-ridden voice of reason she’s become on Arrow of late. Hell, it was lovely just to see her smile again. I especially loved her confession that dating Ray was “like dating Barry with Oliver’s body” – it’s funny because it’s basically true. I also loved her excitement at getting to show off her computer skills and her barely contained joy at having a nemesis.
I do have a question for you, though. What do you think Cisco’s alternate timeline visions (we can’t really call them flashbacks) are all about? Does that mean that, potentially, Iris could get them too? I’ve seen other reviewers suggest that Cisco’s “death” could trigger his latent Vibe powers and I have to confess, I hadn’t realised his character was a superhero in the comics. Do you think that’s where they’re going? Seems a bit pointless naming him Cisco Ramon, if they’re not going to go there eventually…
AW: I’m 99.9% certain that’s the direction The Flash is headed with Cisco. And, unfortunately, I don’t think Iris is going to get any memories of that day back – the manner of Cisco’s ‘death’ is what’s causing him to experience those timeline visions. In the comics, Caitlin also undergoes a transformation and becomes a villain by the name of Killer Frost. There hasn’t been much foreshadowing on that front, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a glimpse of that in Season 2.
The Flash is available to watch online on NOW, as part of a £7.99 monthly subscription – no contract. Sign up before 27th September and new customers will only pay £1 for their first month.
Where can I buy or rent The Flash online in the UK?
The Flash is available to watch online on blinkbox, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play and iTunes.
Photo: Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.