The Flash: 6.03 Dead Man Running
The Flash season six continues to execute successful, thoroughly entertaining episodes week after week, and Dead Man Running gives this latest run a perfect three for three. It may not be the first season to do it, but it’s certainly the first to show such consistency and optimism in the process. The accumulation of great effects and a better balance between dark gritty story and humour has made for a refreshing watch thus far.
The previous episode, while still very good, at times felt a little clunky, with two villains sharing the antagonist spotlight. Thankfully this instalment focuses much of its attention on Dr Ramsey and his introduction of him to Barry. This arc was executed well, had some genuinely interesting story and it incorporated Frost without it feeling forced. As each episode passes, Dr Ramsey’s character development continues to surprise, as we see him take steps from grieving son to corrupted metahuman lunatic to normal human being, making him far more relatable.
Furthermore, the lack of Barry in costume as the Flash, allows for him to interact with characters outside of his inner circle such as Ramsey, with the main arc this season neatly bringing the two together. Ramsey, who curses his late mother for not fighting her disease, longs to prove her wrong and will do whatever necessary to achieve his goal, essentially engaging with his survival instinct as most of us would. Barry however has accepted his fate and instead chooses to spend his time saving as many lives as possible; but is he giving up to easily? This arc is tantalisingly thought-provoking, depicting both sides equally.
The most memorable moment of the episode was the introduction of the next Harrison Wells. Season Five’s Sherloque was perhaps one of the worst versions so far, leaving audiences questioning the necessity for another one, however expected it may be. While this remains to be seen, “Nash” Wells shows a lot of immediate promise. For starters, there are no silly accents or caricature-like performances. His inclusion, like much of this season, feels natural. The Indiana Jones adventure-type, for what little we see, worked well, and assuming the ruby plays a role, he could make quite an impact.
Dead Man Running had a distinct lack of action, allowing for more character and story work. What little there is was provided by the secondary villain Mitch Romero, whose character was not only incorporated into the main arc brilliantly, but did a superb job of playing a dark matter fuelled zombie, setting a nice eerie tone.
This episode is packed full with story and surprisingly it all works. Ralph and Cecile tackle a case with his mother who just happens to get arrested, giving us some unexpected character depth for Ralph. Frost becomes Barry’s meta human CSI consultant and has a birthday party (continuing the theme of her wanting to live a life), Cisco attempts to connect with the new Wells, and Iris struggles to keep hold of her new intern. Somehow the scriptwriters managed to keep every plate spinning to deliver one coherent episode.
Season six continues to deliver a refreshing change of pace, bringing The Flash back to life after a couple of lacklustre seasons. Previous seasons have struggled with the large cast, well-timed humour and worthwhile villains that keep you guessing. By not replicating past annoyances, this could well be the best season yet.