The Flash: “Plastique” Season 1 Episode 5 Review

Photo Credit:http://comicbook.com/2014/10/29/the-flash-season-1-episode-5-sneak-preview-plastique/

The Flash sort of had an X-Men vibe this week by having a government official going after a meta-human, eventually taking an interest in Barry’s alter-ego as well.

Plastique introduced two villains: Plastique (Kelly Frye), the titular meta-human with the ability to make anything she touches into a makeshift bomb, and the hard-nosed General Eiling (Clancy Brown), who is hunting her down.

Plastique causes a major explosion in Central City while trying to find a file on her. The Flash catches up with her only for her to accidentally touch him, causing his suit to explode. Her power was reminiscent of Rogue from the aforementioned X-Men, who drains life energy from anyone she makes physical contact with. The writers treated Plastique in a similar way to Bryan Singer’s approach in his X-Men films. Her abilities made her tragic, much different from the celebrated, at least by Iris, hero that superspeed turned Barry into.

This dynamic played especially well when the team at S.T.A.R. Labs ran tests on her only to discover that the technology needed to synthesize her blood doesn’t exist yet.

When General Eiling tracks her down, Wells denies ever know Plastique was there. It’s clear Wells and Eiling have a history, but what that history is remains a mystery (though wouldn’t it be cool if this crossed with Arrow by these two having ties to Amanda Waller and A.R.G.U.S.?).

Afterwards, Wells managed to convince Plastique to go kill Eiling, but it’s not clear if that was his true goal or if he wanted to give Barry another chance in the spotlight. The latter is what ended up happening. After Plastique subdues Eiling and his men, Barry shows up to convince her to stand down, giving Eiling a chance to shoot and kill her. As she dies, it becomes clear that she’s going to explode. In a great moment of heroism, Flash runs on water for the first time and drops her body at sea just before she blows.

The interactions between hero and villain this week were way less black and white, making for a much less obvious villain-of-the-week episode, even though it still was.

Holding back the episode a bit was Iris’s blogging subplot. While it was great that Detective West has known Barry is in love with his daughter for quite some time, Barry’s attempts to get her to stop writing her blog were incredibly forced. It also didn’t feel warranted to have Iris just give up on their friendship so easily. We know it’s not the end, but the show could have tried a little harder to trick us into thinking it was.

Other than that though, this was on par with the great previous episode in that it shook up the dynamic to give us a more interesting look at both the Flash and the phenomenon that created him. Plastique’s quick death was unfortunate, but based on the final scene you can pretty much guarantee Eiling will be back. A human villain against all these meta-humans is a very exciting prospect. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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