I’ve been pretty harsh with The Flash concerning Iris (Candice Patton). I’ll stand by it. The hero’s “girlfriend” has long been portrayed as a victim. Women in mainstream comics have a pretty difficult time overall. The “girlfriends” are ready-made kidnap victims, sometimes made to look like they get themselves into trouble because of some conniving scheme to attract the hero’s attention. Lois Lane has spent a lifetime falling out of windows because of Superman. Violence towards women who dare to love their adventurous men sometimes becomes the motivation for the star of the story. As if, the “girlfriend” exists only to be hurt, to die. This phenomenon is mirrored in television. Comics and TV are very similar mediums. Their episodic nature leads to a recurrence of themes; new bad guy every episode, main bad guy creeps closer, protagonist suffers a crisis of confidence, loved ones in peril. These things are the meat and potatoes of serialized fiction. That won’t change. The only thing that can mature is presentation. Up until this episode of The Flash, Iris was relegated to the “loved one in peril” trope. Well, not so much “in peril” as “protected from the potential of harm like antique porcelain.” It drove me mad. Iris West was a quietly pivotal character for The Flash and DC Comics as a whole. It takes a trip down Fanboy Lane to outline Iris’s importance but, if you’re with me, we’ll talk about it in an upcoming, supplemental column. (Note to my Editor: sorry, giving you more to do) Supersonic Punch! Loved the visual effects. Looked like it took miles in between Barry’s footfalls. Flying through the door to lay one on Girder a.k.a, Todd Woodward (Greg Finley) (Cisco named Barry’s practice dummy “Girder” but that’s going to be Todd’s evil villain name). Barry got in a good lick but Iris’s punch was truly beautiful. She laid him out! So, yeah, that punch felt good. More of that please. She’s a cop’s daughter who’s been in boxing gloves since she was six (her dad said that). I know cops’ daughters. They can take care of themselves and their dads know it. Cisco and Snow are still fun. They play Cisco a bit too loose at times but Carlos Valdes is just really likeable. The fact that he names all of the villains is fun running gag. Danielle Panabaker‘s Caitlin Snow is super capable and no one feels the need to treat her with kid gloves. I’m looking very forward to the introduction of Firestorm. I believe her character will really open up. Been a fan of her since “Sky High.” Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) had more to do this week. A little bro time with Barry. He’s likeable isn’t he? There’s some Superman Returns action going on mirroring the triangle between Lois Lane, Clark Kent and Richard White. Makes me wonder how Iris and Barry can ever come together when her current boyfriend is such a nice guy. That said, Eddie is still my lead suspect for the Man in the Yellow Suit. Like Senator Palpatine in The Phantom Menace we know he becomes the Emperor, so it is with The Reverse Flash, his last name is Thawne. He could be an ancestor but he just might be the bad guy. Snuggle up close to Iris and Barry to hatch his evil plan. Muhuhahahahaha! As an aside; doesn’t he look more like the comic book version of Barry Allen than Grant Gustin? Just thinking out loud. Todd Woodward made a very personal villain for Barry. Greg Finley hit all the right notes. Being Barry’s childhood bully was a nice touch. We wanted him to get beat up so bad. Barry, was it smart to show the bad guy your face right away? Really?? It’s a “Secret” Identity, Barry. “Secret.” Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) is still the best character on the show. At first, I thought he was Abracadabra a villain from the future who uses technology to bedevil The Flash. He’s still a suspect. But Wells’ preoccupation with keeping Barry safe and the reference to the Crisis is making me reconsider. “The Crisis” refers to Crisis on Infinite Earths, a 12 issue series DC Comic ran in 1985 in which Barry Allen sacrificed himself to save the multiverse. One of the main protagonists was The Monitor. He was, as his name suggests, a Monitor of key events who used his knowledge to gather heroes in an effort to stop the destruction of parallel worlds. There’s a good case for Wells being The Monitor but I think the profile fits another character, unique to Crisis on Infinite Earths. Pariah. Pariah was an arrogant scientist. He built a controversial science experiment that went wrong and caused destruction and change. He was friendless and alone. Pariah was forced to witness the end of the Earth only to wink out of existence and reappear on a parallel Earth to witness it again. He knows the future because he’s lived it a thousand times. This could be our Harrison Wells. I’m still inclined to believe he’s a time traveler. His last name is “Wells” for heaven’s sake. Even with the mystery of his identity, it’s still Tom Cavanagh that makes us care about the character. He has done some pretty awful things but it’s hard to dislike the guy. And how about the reappearance of The Man in the Yellow Suit?? Iris is a real target now. It won’t happen, but I think it would be prudent to arm Iris with the tools she might need to defend herself. Instead, everyone will lie to her and wring their hands wondering how she can be protected. Hey, I didn’t set the pattern. They did. Iris. All snark aside, this episode opened up Iris to the potential of co-star in her own right. She names The Flash. Her blog is gaining hits and spreading the truth about the Scarlet Speedster to the world. She’s using her communication with The Flash as a catalyst for good and not hiding from danger. I truly hope this continues. The Flash 1.06 “The Flash is Born”4.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.