The Flash: “Things You Can’t Outrun” Season 1 Episode 3 Review

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The Flash is starting to have a villain problem. Three episodes in and the foes taking on the fastest man alive are boring.

This week, Barry faced off against the smoke monster from Lost, except he’s poison. The true DC name for this character is Kyle Nimbus, a.k.a. the Mist. First he attacks and kills the mob, then he goes after the judge that booked him. But his motives are explained to us in a lab by Team Flash.

Last week, Multiplex was a visually interesting villain, even if he had almost no depth. In the pilot, Weather Wizard mostly created fog and made a few thundery noises. Here we are, episode three and we have another smoke machine of a villain.

His backstory was fairly interesting. Turns out, he was being executed in a prison at the exact moment the particle accelerator went nuts and gave everyone superpowers. His body essentially fused with the gas they use to kill criminals on death row. Cool concept in theory, but it was obvious the Mist was a “we should save some money this week” villain.

The special effects likely didn’t have to be that different from Weather Wizard, just changing the fog from brown to green.

Some tension does get built when Nimbus’ final murder is planned to be Detective West, who’s visiting Barry’s father at the time to tell him he knows he’s innocent. This was a decent enough tying together of storylines that it didn’t feel forced. Flash found a way to beat him, a boring one at that, and we moved on.

That said, the Mist’s prison in the particle accelerator was pretty cool.

Before we get to the flashbacks that were clearly meant to be the highlight of the episode, there was one other subplot in the present. Iris and Eddie are dating. Iris’s father doesn’t know yet. It created romantic troubles. They tell him. He doesn’t care. No need to spend any more time there, it speaks for itself.

Now, the flashbacks here were interesting. For one, they nicely developed Caitlin Snow more than we’ve seen yet. We’re introduced to her fiancee, Ronnie Raymond (Arrow’s cousin Robbie Amell). Fans of the comics know that he becomes Firestorm (well, half of Firestorm). This was a good introduction to the character, showing his heroism before he has the chance to put on a costume.

As for the final scene, Dr. Wells watches just before Barry is about to get struck by lightning, implying that he always knew the Flash would be coming to him once he gained his powers. Wells’ role continues to intrigue, even if the formula of him getting s creepy scene at the end of each episode is already a little tired.

So Things You Can’t Outrun was a step down for The Flash. The show isn’t improving where it needs to improve, with the exception of the development of Caitlin Snow. This was the worst villain yet, given that he was not masked by the world-building of the pilot and that he was just too similar a threat to Weather Wizard. Two out of three villains have been smoke monsters. That said, next week we get Captain Cold and Arrow‘s Felicity! She can wash the bad taste out of our mouths from this episode. Grade: C

By Matt Dougherty

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