Original Airdate: 11-11-14
After having a few episodes featuring the metahuman villain of the week, this one finally brings about its first sympathetic metahuman in Plastique. She has the ability to turn anything that she touches into an explosive, seemingly without being able to control it, though it’s unclear as to exactly how it works, or I just missed the memo. As her clothes don’t explode, neither do the gloves that she wears, but it does work on Barry’s costume. But aside from that, even though she is a sympathetic character, her ability makes it difficult to work with. The scientists at STAR labs can’t cure her, and neither can she really be much help to Barry as a crimefighter who can make bombs. On top of that, she’s being hunted by the army led by the great Clancy Brown who had also worked with Dr. Wells several years ago before Wells left due to ethical disagreements. Or at least that’s what he claims. So with this set up, there’s really only one possible outcome in this type of show and that’s exactly what happens. Plastique dies at the hands of Brown as she goes in for an attempt at revenge at the goading of Wells. There is a bit of a weak point at the end which is supposed to be a moment of tension, but that tension isn’t very effective as there is no doubt that Barry will survive this giant explosion, and I was bothered by the fact that they had essentially a repeated conversation about how fast he would have to run to walk across water. It worked well enough when he questioned whether or not he could run up the side of a building, but it was too much of the same thing and no matter what the answer that was given, it essentially boils down to “really fast”. I like how they are showing off some of his different speed powers besides running really fast, but they aren’t all working as well as they could. There’s the typical secretive love story between Barry and Iris, and while that is all fairly typical, it’s still done well. What is nice is how it is dealt with between Barry and Joe, they have such a great relationship together and my favorite scene was when Barry revealed how he could change his voice and there is such a moment of joy between the two of them. There’s also a nice reveal that Joe has known that Barry has been in love with Iris for years. Even if it is such a cliche plotline of “will they or won’t they”, it’s cliche because it works, and it almost always could go either way.