Same Geek Channel Review: ‘Flash’ Episode 318 “All Star Team Up”

Reading Time: 6 minutes
Witness: Actual chemistry. Source: CW.
Witness: Actual chemistry.
Source: CW.

Mordechai: Sadly, despite the episode title, we do not actually get to see Barry and Ray work together. On the same case, yes, but not together.

Yet at the same time, it could be referring to the final scene, where Barry and Joe finally let Caitlin and Cisco know they’re working for a murderer. That’s really the main point of this episode: teamwork. Ray with Felicity, Cisco with Ray, Eddie and Iris…. and on that, I’m going to sit back and let Corrina lay some words on you (hey, if Felicity can say “drop the mic,” I can say that).

Corrina: Once upon a time in my writing, I had my character say “yeah, I know, it’s a big coincidence,” about a far-fetched plot development. It was pointed out that this was me subconsciously telling myself: “fix this plot problem.” Which is exactly what this exchange on Flash was last night:

“Does everyone know but Iris?”

“It only seems that way.”

"I'm not in this scene, but this is my 'you guys are jerks' face." Source: CW.
“I’m not in this scene, but this is my ‘you guys are jerks’ face.”
Source: CW.

Yes, great that Iris is finally realizing people are lying to her and demanding they behave appropriately. But poor Eddie, the least guilty offender. Am I supposed to feel bad while Barry tells Iris to give people lying to her a chance?

Because I do not.

Iris takes Barry’s plea as advice to give Eddie a chance. Sorry, Barry’s not that noble. He’s talking about himself.

Mordechai: Here’s my problem here–Iris is right to be angry, but oh my glob does she ever come off as a petulant child. In the real world, people in relationships do not share everything. Also? He’s a homicide cop and she’s a reporter–there are really, really valid reasons why he can’t tell her. But no, instead we find out that this has been going on for two weeks. Oh, and that either it’s giving Eddie ED, or Iris is withholding.

And this is Joe's "stop talking NOW" face. Source: CW.
And this is Joe’s “stop talking NOW” face.
Source: CW.

Classy, Flash writers.

Corrina: Psst… Mordechai, so far, there’s been no indication that writing for anyone on this show is that subtle. But moving onto the show’s biggest issue: if this had been a book, this scene was the point where it would become a wall-banger.

I’m talking about the lovely exchange between Eddie and Joe, in which Eddie asks when his vote counts as much as Joe’s vote not to tell Iris about, well, everything going on with everybody in her life.

Joe’s answer: “When you’re her husband.”

HELLO!!! IS THERE NO ONE WILLING TO TREAT IRIS LIKE A GROWN-UP WHO CAN MAKE HER OWN CHOICES?

Mordechai: Not the writers, that’s for sure.

image copyright DC Comics
image copyright DC Comics

Corrina: In my first years of comic reading, one of the issues I grabbed off the spinner rack was Flash #233.  It was my introduction to Barry, Iris, and the Reverse Flash. In this comic, Barry and Professor Zoom, the Reverse Flash, face off at the beginning and Zoom is apparently defeated while Barry goes back to spend the day with Iris. However, Iris deduces that her husband’s been replaced by an imposter. How? Because Barry has a habit of being late, so she’d adjusted his wristwatch to have him arrive on time to pick her up from her errands.

Iris is angry, confronts the imposter, Zoom threatens to kill her, Barry reappears, recovered from Zoom’s assault, and saves her.

Iris is smart. Always has been. Image via DC Comics.
Iris is smart. Always has been. Image via DC Comics from Flash #233.

Let me say again: this was my introduction to these characters, and this story left me with the impression that Flash had cool powers, Zoom was scary, and Iris was smart. The creators did in one comic what the writers of the Flash show haven’t managed to do all season. 

I hereby sentence Joe, Eddie, and Barry to get their asses whooped by Iris and Thea from Arrow because they’re sick of being on a pedestal and being treated like children. (In Thea’s case, she was actually a minor for a bit, so I could see it. For a while.) However, I don’t believe that will happen. I expect it will play out this way:

Iris: Barry, I’m so pissed you’re lying to me! We’re done even as friends.

Barry: But, Iris…

Big battle royale, Reverse Flash, lightning….. SWOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMM………………….

Time resets. Barry has another chance. Iris never remembers how angry she was. Will the writers start treating her like a character after this? Magic Eight Ball says “Ask Again Later.”

Mordechai: To be fair, it’s not just Iris. Caitlin is back to being furniture. Her conversation with Felicity is a massive Bechdel fail–the guys talk science and crime fighting, the girls talk guys.

Corrina: Caitlin? You mean she was in this episode? :sigh:

Things I enjoyed: Ray and Felicity. They are cute. Loved the Superman homage with Ray’s appearance.

This is such a cute scene, neither of us can snark at all. Source: CW.
This is such a cute scene, neither of us can snark at all.
Source: CW.

Cisco! Lots of Cisco. I’m with you on the bug thing, dude.

beeweapon
Batman and Cisco agree on something! (Image from the Amazons Attack! event by DC Comics.)

Felicity and Anti-Felicity, especially Felicity dropping the mic. Emily Bett Rickards is adorable. Hmm… what’s she doing? A job, not angsting over her Oliver? How did that happen? Oh, right, she was integrated into the story instead of being stuck in a romancelandia subplot, like poor Iris.

Mordechai: Eh. The whole date scene felt forced, like Felicity showing off her boyfriend. But not as bad as the scene where they “inadvertently” brag about their sex life. But some good scenes, yes. Especially Caitlin and Cisco wondering why they didn’t get an invite.

Corrina: I kinda like the sex life scene because, yes, there are two of them. I smiled.

Such sad little faces. Source: CW.
Such sad little faces.
Source: CW.

Mordechai: Oh, and how about that antagonist?

An embittered scientist using robot bees to kill people. She kills the first two silently, but when she goes after the third, she makes a big monologue, giving the good guys a chance to track her. Nice. And let’s not forget that while her life may have been ruined, she has apparently had the time and money to build this massive, themed lair and an army of robot bees.

Corrina: She does have hacker skills, yes? Probably she stole money from various bank accounts, like Oracle used to do, back when Oracle used to exist. (Oracle is the DC comic character that Felicity basically has become, though Oracle never angsted after anyone. She had Nightwing and Dinah Laurel Lance to fill her pretty quota.)

I dunno, it looks like she's done pretty well for herself. Source: CW.
I dunno, it looks like she’s done pretty well for herself.
Source: CW.

Mordechai: The Bug-Eyed Bandit is a classic Atom villain, but that doesn’t make the name any less stupid. Speaking of stupid, if Barry can outrun a lightning bolt, how the heck is he cornered by bees? I don’t care if they’re robot bees–that’s some weak sauce, right there.

It's too bad he didn't just learn how to vibrate through things. Oh wait. Source: CW.
It’s too bad he didn’t just learn how to vibrate through things. Oh wait.
Source: CW.

Corrina: More than that, Barry handcuffs people while moving them between speeding cars. Why couldn’t he grab Captain Cold’s gun in the earlier episode? Also, I like superheroes enjoying using their powers, but Barry seemed far too smug in those opening scenes this week.

Mordechai: In terms of threat level, this episode feels like the “Inca Mummy Girl” of Flash’s first season. Forgettable.

Corrina: Those little bees make great spies. I wonder if we’ll see that use later in the season? It seems like Cisco, Caitlin, or even Wells might be able to use the little buggers to spy on the enemy.

Mordechai: We also get Cisco seeing visions of his death in the other timeline, something that makes me think we’re going to be looking at a New 52 version of his power set, which had to do with dimensional vibrations. Blegh.

Corrina: But Cisco! Also being adorable! Have I mentioned I like Cisco?

Mordechai: But by far, the absolute dumbest thing about this entire episode is the opening. We see Barry directly aiding Eddie and Joe, in full view of the suspects, making it absolutely clear that The Flash is connected to these two cops.

Barry and Joe; best jerks forever. Source: CW.
Barry and Joe; best jerks forever.
Source: CW.

This, of course, makes the whole “We can’t tell Iris because she’d be in danger” nonsense even more of a mess, because by showing yourself as tied to Joe, it means you’re making them both targets.

Corrina: Hmm… that part of the equation hadn’t occurred to me, distracted as I was by Barry’s smugness. You are absolutely correct, however.

Mordechai: And hey, Iris, if you want to know if The Flash is helping Eddie and Joe, why not just interview any of the criminals they stopped and mocked?

Oh wait, no. That would involve giving the character agency and her own arc.

Corrina: Not to mention intelligence!

Get the Official GeekDad Books!