By Josh Melo
‘The Flash’ Review – S2 Ep.5 (The Darkness and the Light) (Spoilers)
King Shark is nowhere to be found, but in that darkness love manages to prevail! which is an outlandish way of saying that all of Barry’s love interests gathered in one place, he makes out with Patty and all is well with the world! Also, Hawkgirl, Vibe and Zoom!
The tension Wells 2 brings to the group is welcome, breaking up the potential monotony of the crew before they get a chance to settle into their respective roles. Seeing each team member react to him differently, albeit almost unanimously negatively, worked wonders on a number of different levels. It reminds audiences how much viewers and the crew liked the original Wells before his turn and how much damage he caused in his final moments.
It was a little odd to skip over Barry’s initial reaction to seeing Wells but it isn’t too far fetched to believe he realized that this guy was a doppelganger. It does suck that we don’t get anymore King Shark though (sad face).
Having Wells out Cisco’s abilities was also a nice touch. Cisco hiding his powers from the team never felt like a good idea (reminding me of Laurel’s inability to tell the truth) so it was nice to see that issue addressed. And it ultimately didn’t lead to very much… aside from him getting an awesome name (Vibe is here!).
Despite his cold demeanor this new Wells does truly want to help. Tom Cavanagh manages to convey this dual nature with aplomb, I only wish we got to see more of the charming family man we glimpsed last season in flash backs.
His conflict with Garrick is also an interesting dynamic that adds layers to the ensemble. Not everyone is getting a long with each other but they acknowledge that they both bring something to the table. Having him there as nothing more than a romantic avenue for Caitlyn would have been a massive waste of potential (though I do appreciate the haste in which the writers are moving them along).
Turning Dr. Light in to a doppelgänger of Linda Park was an interesting decision, one that finally clears up why she came back in the first place as well as hinting at the inevitability of having other Team Flash doppelgangers appear later on (Killer Frost anyone?). As far as villains of the week go she was one of the better ones, but that was mainly because she had her short stint as Barry’s lover. Plus it was nice to see a female villain actually put up a fight this time (Peek-a-Boo and the bee lady were less than meh).
With the reintroduction of Wells to the team marks the return of his oddly appropriate life lessons. Last season Wells (Thawne) had an uncanny ability to teach Barry new skills and offer fitting advice while maintaining his sunny façade. They always seemed to gel with the thematic core of the episode as well as mesh with the grander Flash narrative. This new Wells doesn’t have that skill down quite yet.
Teaching Barry how to create after images felt completely out of place within the episode. He has already proven how fast he is. He can phase through phase through walls, hurl lightning and travel through time. He has even shown the ability to create after images in episodes past, so why does he suddenly doubt his ability to do so here? I understand that it was an attempt to tie the final fight to Garrick’s lack of confidence (also, why?) but with such an abundance of evidence pointing out the opposite, it didn’t make sense here.
As I have said numerous times in prior reviews, the relationships this season have been handled considerably better. Featuring a hint (and almost a lip lock) at the future for Caitlyn and Jay, the brunt of this week’s romantic subplot revolved around Barry and Patty, who went on their first date.
Having Barry go in blind (literally) seemed a tad superfluous, since it made their typically adorable awkwardness plain awkward. I’m glad they ditched the gag relatively quickly as well as how quickly they got the two characters to their first kiss. It is a fine line to walk, these superhero love stories, but considering The Flash is known for his speed, having the two get together so fast is the best way to go about it. Now to see if they can keep up the chemistry and momentum this episode built for their relationship (also go #TeamParry)
Returning to Cisco for a moment, he also received some loving this episode (though not as much as he got from Golden Glider). It also happens that his new potential love interest is none other than Hawk Girl, Kendra Saunders (played by Ciara Renée). Her cameo was short and her true nature wasn’t hinted at but it was exciting to see her character finally show up considering her part to play in the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow.
Looking past the notable absence of King Shark (we barely knew you, but we will never forget) and some questionable logic from Barry, The Darkness and the Light was an excellent showing. So far this season has been a little more up and down in terms of quality when compared to season 1 but if this week was anything to go by there is a lot to look forward to (Zoom next week!).
Overall The Darkness and the Light gets an 8/10.
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