THE FLASH Season 5 Episode 10 Review: The Flash and the Furious

A common hazard of the longer twenty-three part season format is that you’re almost guaranteed to have a certain amount of middling, generic episodes that isn’t quite terrible so much as forgettable. THE FLASH is no exception; “The Flash and the Furious” would be inoffensive, if boring, had it not been for the fact it was the midseason premiere, and one coming on the heels of the one-hundredth. As it is, the lack of any drama or suspense stuck out more than usual because of what it came after, even as the season’s overarching story still continued to show promise. 

The series has tried and failed many times to reboot The Rogues, and I can’t see that this time will be any more successful. Silver Ghost’s powers are laughable, and no matter how much she talked up her WayneTech car, the ensuing chase wasn’t any more compelling than those the show’s had in the past. Weather Witch fared a little better, although re-inventing her as a reluctant criminal with a hidden heart of gold feels pretty odd considering how gleefully she dropped a car on someone in her previous episode. Still, there could stand to be a few more developed villains running around Central City, so it’s a change I can get behind, awkwardly done or no. 

It's kind of strange that a grown woman like Nora would have the rather childish attitude towards right and wrong that she displays this episode both towards Joss and Thawne, but THE FLASH has always gone for broad strokes over nuance, so it doesn’t feel tonally out of place. I expect some people will have a time reconciling her decision to keep working with Thawne—it certainly does reek of characters making decision because the plot demands it rather than the other way around. But it isn’t as if Barry himself hasn't also reluctantly worked with Thawne in the past, often using the same “saving-my-loved-one-at-all-costs” reasoning as Nora. 

What I find more intriguing is Thawne’s new obsession with his legacy and the implication that he’s on his deathbed. Although the Reverse-Flash has been around since day one, we’ve learned very little about his origins or the reason for his vendetta against Barry. His little asides to Nora about idolizing Barry as a child in the 30th century have me wondering whether the 2040s aren’t the only time period in the future we’ll be visiting… 

As for Cisco and Caitlin’s metahuman cure, the obvious parallels to the X-Men mutant cure storyline from comic and film probably go without saying. However on interesting distinction is that, as Cisco points out, Central City’s metas all came from artificial disasters that Team Flash was directly involved in creating, making the people their responsibility in a very tangible way. Having Cisco and Caitlin represent the two opposing sides of the dilemma is compelling because of their history, but it also highlights how inconsistent the writing for their characters has been. 

Cisco claims not using his powers had given him new clarity and focus, but he’s used his powers in almost every episode since his injury. And Caitlin claiming powers can’t automatically turn a person evil is pretty galling considering that’s exactly what happened to her dad. That said, it is heartening that it looks like these two will once again be involved in the main storyline. One of the frustrating parts of last season was that the characters’ various subplots were disjointed and never came together in a meaningful way. This at least gives us hope that Team Flash will be acting more like a unit than a messy hodgepodge when it comes to taking on Cicada.

Written by Kaitlin Roberts, THE FLASH Beat Writer

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