The Flash: 3.12 Untouchable
After the game changing mid-season finale, the setting of the pieces in the mid-season opener and the fun antics of last week, this episode of The Flash felt a little...dull. It's not to say there was anything terrible; it just felt like it was going through the motions, creating a bit of a holding pattern before the build up to Iris's death at the hands of Savitar in the finale.
Part of the problem was that the villain of the week had cool powers but little character. To be fair this is a problem with most superhero shows, from Supergirl to Agents Of SHIELD, but it was particularly noticeable in Clive Yorkin, a man so unmemorable Cisco and HR didn't even bother to give him a cool super villain name. With a mere touch, his victims would decompose to nothing and one of the better moments were the reveals of the mummified victims before they turned to ash (in fact it was so horrible, I'm leaving this episode off my kid's viewing schedule this week).
But his motivations were lacklustre - a revenge angle against the cops who put him away in Flashpoint; after seemingly moving beyond the ramifications of that storyline, the show went right back to another metahuman given powers by Alchemy - the difference being that this happened some time ago rather than having Julian descend back into the dark side. It added nothing to the story other than to tease a potential alternative and just as tragic fate for Iris and the transformation of Caitlin into Killer Frost.
Having Iris attacked by Yorkin posed a problem for the episode, one I don't think it ever managed to resolve. Were we supposed to believe that she was going to die now rather than in the future glimpsed by Barry? Either it destroyed any attempt at suspense or her death would undermine the path laid out oft the rest of the season. Unfortunately it would be the former in this case. As for Caitlin, forced to use her ice powers to slow the effects of Yorkin's powers on Iris's arm, it would have been far more impactful if this is what had turned her evil. Not that I completely buy why - with her powers - Caitlin would turn against Team Flash. After all, we've seen plenty of good people with meta human powers. It feels as is if it is more a new personality emerging that an eroding of Caitlin's current one, which will make the inevitable transformation all the more tragic.
On the plus side, I have to admit that I'm liking Barry's new role as mentor to Wally and it is clear that Kid Flash is having a lot of fun as Central's City's latest hero. I'm confused about the hero worship by Laura though; hasn't Kid Flash only been around two minutes? The race at the beginning was a lot of fun and Barry phasing the entire train through the rubble was a ridiculous but cool moment. Wally finally phasing through Yorkin, using his blood to negate the bad guy's powers was a nice touch too. I have no idea how Iris recovered though - that was glossed over by a throw away line. The Flash, you're better than that.
I also like the emotional fallout of Joe finally discovering Iris's fate. Keeping the secret is superhero playbook 101 and it was frustrating to see Iris and Barry keeping Joe in the dark. Fortunately it led to some great performances between Candice Patton and Jesse L. Martin this episode, so I can forgive it a little.
And then we had the return of Jessie Quick and the reveal that her dad had been kidnapped by Grodd. Hooray! I love this villain and with a whole two-parter devoted to this telepathic gorilla, the next two weeks should be fun indeed.