The Flash: 4.12 Honey I Shrunk Team Flash
If you can remember a time where my reviews for The Flash where upbeat and I would look forward to the coming episodes, firstly … thank you for reading, I appreciate it. Secondly, you’ll know that the last few have been very mediocre. This time however is the total opposite. The show takes it back to basics, as far back as introducing another bus Meta (box 8 to be precise), running perfectly the villain of the week formula. It’s charming, funny and continues to develop Barry and the team's stories.
Honey I Shrunk Team Flash begins with Joe and Cecile, reminding us that she is pregnant (doesn’t greatly matter at this stage but I forgot it nevertheless). Then comes the part of the episode I had the most issue with, the whole Cecile-has-powers thing, after she randomly develops telepathy. The opening scene with it served as an ice breaker that was genuinely funny but it remained throughout, quickly becoming old. It acts as a lazy story device to add depth to their relationship, but didn’t work well.
Now we've covered the bad, let’s concentrate on the good. There was real rhythm to this episode; it flowed consistently, interweaving story between Barry in jail and the team outside. Barry wants to help his new inmate friend Big Sir (Bill Goldberg) get released after discovering his innocence. This leads to the villain of the week “Dwarfstar” (bus Meta number 8), who has the ability to shrink and unshrink anything. His introduction was hilarious, as the mayor introduces a new “meta-proof” building, Dwarfstar shrinks it; it’s silly but fits in perfectly.
It turned out the reason Big Sir was in jail was simply a case of mistaken identity. The real culprit was Dwarfstar, who the team begin to track down. During a failed attempt to apprehend the new Meta, Cisco and Ralph are miniaturised. There’s no great drama here but the two being shrunk provides more much loved comedy and banter. To return to normal they must be hit again by Dwarfstar. In another attempt to capture him, Harry manages to trick him into enlarging Cisco and Ralph, in the process finally taking down their man. Unfortunately, Dwarfstar refuses to confess to any crime, sealing the fate of poor Big Sir.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Big Sir. Prior to helping him out, Barry asked what he would do if he ever got out, and his reply was to live in a secluded Chinese village called Jiaju. In an effort to keep his promise, while the camera’s pointing away from his cell, Barry Flashes (pun intended) him there. If truth be told I’m very torn by this scenario. On the one hand it was nice to see Barry take a chance and do right by someone as he somewhat understands his situation. On the other hand he is still (in the eyes of the law) helping a convicted felon escape prison. Either way, Barry gets his comeuppance for it.
Barry gets a visit by the warden who tells him he installed a new unseen camera next to his cell. Thanks to Barry helping his friend, the warden uncovers his secret identity, drugs him and places him in a new and more hi tech cell. The episode ends with the warden talking on the phone to the British bucket-wielding Meta, Amunet. This was one of my favourite twists even taking away the Amunet element. It’s refreshing to see someone finally discover (on their own) the identity of The Flash: it was shocking and creates new and exciting pathways I look forward to seeing develop. I assume this will be the catalyst Barry needs in order to get released from prison, but either way I doubt it’ll end well for the warden.
Overall, this was a refreshing episode that’s removed the sour taste the previous two left behind. All elements blended well together, scene transitions were smooth rather than abrupt and, most importantly, the comedy was consistent and hilarious throughout. The villain, although silly, was fun and brought a new energy, not to mention the effects used to show the shrinking and enlarging were fantastic. I find it extraordinary that a show about the Flash can go two full episodes without seeing Barry in costume and still be good. How long it lasts I’ve no idea but for the time being it’s working, and working well. This is the kind of energy level I hope is maintained for the foreseeable future and once again I am back to being super excited. Bring on the next episode!