The Flash: 4.03 Luck be a Lady
The last two episodes have been somewhat enjoyable; the villains may have been lacking personality and screen time but what was lost, was gained in interesting story and character development. This week’s episode Luck be a Lady only has two aspects that make it worth watching, the increased attention on The Thinker, developing his master plan, and, getting an explanation for where the new breed of meta-humans have come from.
Last episode established the 12 potential villains, leaving the audience none the wiser as to where they’ve come from, i.e. not the particle accelerator. This week explained how, when Barry was freed from the speed force, he created a dark matter field causing people in close proximity (12 people situated on a bus) to gain nonsensical powers (so basically the particle accelerator but smaller affected area).
This week’s villain, ‘Hazard’, a woman who, before being hit by dark matter, was the world’s most unlucky person, losing her job, getting robbed several times and constantly being down on her luck. Now everywhere she goes good luck follows, but, bad luck for everyone else. Not at all a threatening or even interesting villain, Hazard simply plays a role that puts puzzle pieces together. Most notable is the return of Harrison Wells to the team, initially returning to facilitate the break-up between Jesse and Wally, only to then lend a hand providing a more scientific approach to Hazard’s powers, explaining it as probability manipulation. This was poor, unnecessary and unimaginative, too much time was spent either explaining her character before her powers arose, or while she had them. Tom Cavanagh’s return as Harrison Wells however was very welcome, injecting a huge dose of humor as the personality that successfully plays alongside Cisco’s manic energy as well as interacting with the remaining cast well.
The general direction this season has been taking is to match and reinvigorate the flare and humor of season one. Bringing Harry back, although sudden, was a good start. In terms of the villain, the comedy comes across as slapstick and satirical with scenes showing the The Flash falling over marbles while attempting to apprehend Hazard, and handcuffs himself … Yawn!
A somewhat disappointing aspect was the departure of Wally; it’s been made apparent that since Barry’s return, his presence has either been unwanted or sidelined so perhaps not surprising, just a shame. The entire scenario was awkwardly confusing, it seemed as though it was supposed to be a heartfelt and meaningful goodbye, but due to the lack of concentration on the character in previous episodes was just a by the numbers moment. It’s a real shame as the character had lots to offer, if the writers knew the shows direction, more emphasis should have been put on making that clearer. Given emphasis has been taken away from Caitlin I certainly hope the same doesn’t happen to her.
Luck be a Lady serves as a filler episode that generates quirky sub-plots that don’t match tonally. Iris’s wanting to get married immediately, bringing Barry to a church to get married after a funeral, was both distasteful and irritating with the humor falling flat. Joe’s house suddenly falling to bits was not only forced, given this week’s theme of unlucky, but again was a stepping stone to randomly tell us that Cecile is pregnant. Whoever had the bright idea of another particle accelerator explosion to defeat Hazard should be ashamed, this was cheap and, like Barry’s return from the speed force, will presumably have little consequence. I get the desire to manipulate this season to mirror the first but this was a step too far …… come on, you’re better than this.
We get more screen time with the Thinker showing, once again, his intention of using the 12 newly created meta-humans as weapons against the Flash. His character looks brilliant, a welcome change from the usual speedster, although as of yet the plan makes no sense, why bother sending half-assed villains at the team when you’ve perfectly good Samuroid robots at your disposal. To be fair, as confusing as the story currently is, I wait eagerly with anticipation every week to get more snippets into his mindset.
Overall, an episode you unfortunately have to endure to get the tiny important pieces of information that could have been added into a more entertaining episode. Last thoughts, what on earth does Iris do? I mean aside from being engaged to Barry, what happened to her pursuing a career in reporting? Is she now just a member of team Flash and nothing more? It’s a shame as I thought she’d be given more of a powerful role, maybe soon, who knows.
For now box number 2 has been filled.