The Flash: “Things You Can’t Outrun” Review
The Flash Season 1 Episode 3
“HIS NAME’S ‘THE MIST.’ END OF DISCUSSION.”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Three weeks in, and The Flash continues to be one of the most vibrant, colorful, and overall likeable shows on TV. However, while three episodes isn’t a ton to go on, it seems like the show may be falling into a pattern. First, Barry and his team have some sort of emotional crisis, next, a super-powered criminal appears, Barry gets a pep talk to convince him being The Flash is worth it, and then he defeats said criminal. Rinse and repeat. While it’s not a huge issue (again, we’re only three episodes in), some variety would be appreciated. After all, monsters of the week can only carry the show so far.
The monster of the week in question was Kyle Nimbus (whom Cisco gleefully dubs “the Mist”), an old school DC villain from the ‘40s. Being on death row during the particle accelerator’s meltdown, he gained the ability to turn into poison gas and is now taking revenge on the people who sent him there (no doubt he also got the power of super-irony). Nimbus had an alright tale, but like Multiplex and Weather Wizard before him, he barely gets any kind of development and is fairly forgettable. Not to mention his cloud effects being a little too similar to Weather Wizard.
Far more interesting this week were the issues faced by the STAR Labs team, who are in need of a place to put captured Meta humans, as a regular prison won’t quite cut it. Harrison suggests the chambers of the Particle Accelerator could serve as their super prison, but the area brings back some painful memories for the team, especially Caitlin. It’s through here we get flashbacks to the night of the explosion and the fate of her fiance (Robbie Raymond, played by Arrow star Stephen Amell’s cousin Robbie Amell). While Robbie’s debut was decent, these flashbacks served to flesh out Caitlin Snow more, showing just why she often guards herself and remains the show’s stern voice of reason.
Barry’s story was decent, although the script by Allison Schapker and Grainne Godfrey hammers in the central theme a bit too much. Joe begins looking into Henry Allen’s case again, but Barry admits he doesn’t think they can find evidence to save his Dad considering how quickly the courts declared him guilty. However, Joe continues his investigation, and Barry encounters the Mist but isn’t able to stop him from killing a judge. Barry’s fight with the Mist is decently staged, although it’s a bit hard to wonder why, knowing Nimbus can become poison gas, Barry didn’t opt to bring a gas mask. And while Barry’s guilt over not being able to save everyone is a nice thread to play up, Joe’s speech about perseverance wraps it up nicely but leaves a feeling that more could have been explored with the idea. We also got an update on the dating life of Iris and Eddie Thawne (which is still a thing), as she finally tells Joe they’re dating in a sometimes chuckle-worthy, sometimes flat sequence.
Overall, “Things You Can’t Outrun” was a great episode. The world is great. The characters are great. But if the monster of the week trend continues, The Flash may fall into the trap that Arrow did in its first season, pitting its protagonist against one-and-done baddies who leave no lasting impression. Luckily, the supporting cast can pick up the slack for now, and the ongoing plots are still interesting. Here’s hoping next week we see an improvement with the villains.
What did everyone think of Robbie Raymond? Was the Mist a decent villain, or were you hoping for more? Leave your Central City Police files in the section below.
*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
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