Director: Dermott Downs
Writers: Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing & Brooke Eikmeier
Cast: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Rick Cosnett and Jesse L. Martin, with guest stars Kelly Frye and Clancy Brown
Synopsis: After a bomb goes off downtown, the army and General Eiling roll in and take over the case, much to Joe’s surprise. Suspicious, Joe tells Barry that he and his friends at S.T.A.R. Labs should look into the army’s involvement. Wells informs the team that Eiling was experimenting on his men to turn them into super soldiers.
After last weeks incredibly fan-pleasing hour of television, Barry Allen and his merry band of brilliant brainiac’s continue to please and shower the geek community in ‘Plastique’. With Felicity Smoak and Captain Cold enjoying some truly mesmerizing moments in the shows fourth episode, this week’s adventure attempts to match it’s predecessor with some great action and even greater Easter eggs scattered throughout.
The first thing that will become apparent when watching The Flash‘s fifth story (if it wasn’t already), is that Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns are taking the series very seriously in terms of characters and world-building. It is clear that the brilliant minds behind Arrow have laid out a long term plan to interweave a universe full of colourful, interesting and diverse characters for many years to come. The reason for stating this strikingly obvious fact is due to the sheer amount of antagonists that have been introduced to the show so far, with quite a few more planned for the coming weeks. This is a very clever move from the series’ producers, as many comic fans will no doubt be aware that The Flash is blessed with one of the finest rogue galleries in DC Comics history. Of course, introducing different guest star enemies each week is not only a good manner in which to please loyal fans, but it is also a fantastic way of maintaining the interest of general viewers.
With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that ‘Plastique’ brings yet another well-known guest star into the fray…this time in the form of fan-favourite character actor Clancy Brown. Brown is of course most commonly known for his iconic voice work as Lex Luthor in various Superman, Batman and Justice League-related media since 1996 (which essentially makes him the Kevin Conroy of Luthor-actors). Brown therefore presents an intriguing and challenging adversary for The Flash with his General Wade Eiling, which should develop nicely in future episodes (seasons?). Many will do-doubt categorise Eiling amongst his similar counterparts such as General ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, however the characters willingness to murder for his belief certainly makes him an unmistakably dangerous adversary to our morally righteous Barry Allen.
The episodes title character of Plastique however, isn’t nearly as impressive as the rest of the cast (which is severely disappointing). Kelly Frye is by no means a terrible actress, but she fails to convincingly convey the troubled and tortured past of Plastique to the audience. As a result, the character is not as interesting as she could have been, which makes some elements of the story slightly tedious at certain points. The CW also once again displays the large budget that has been awarded to their new star drama, as the writers manage to (thankfully) find more organic ways to show off their spectacular special effects. Barry’s continued testing of his new abilities allows each week to present viewers with even more visually stunning sights, such as The Flash running up a sky-scraper and also running across the ocean (which utilises some gorgeous CGI).
‘Plastique’ ends with more evidence that Dr. Harrison Wells will become a future antagonist for Barry (maybe even Reverse-Flash?), as it has now been confirmed that the secretive scientist is partially responsible for the creation of famous Flash villain Gorilla Grodd. This is a brilliant teaser for things to come that will excite fans like myself, and intrigue curious newcomers to the character. For those that do not know, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is a good example of what to expect from Grodd in later episodes of the show, elbeit with undoubtedly inferior special effects.
Overall, another brilliant (yet slightly flawed) episode for a show that is quickly becoming my favourite superhero television series of all-time. The Flash has managed to capture the rare ability to make a series based around a fantastical premise, strangely relatable and accessible for everyday life and situations. In particular, this weeks narrative thread involving the contemplation of friendship and the long-term effects individuals have on your own life, is something that I can hugely relate to…and I highly doubt that I am alone there. Let’s hope that The Flash can maintain this momentum for the entirety of its first season!
[usr=4] The Flash airs on Sky One every Tuesday night at 8pm. Check out their official website here.