Flash: Invincible

siren

Flash and a familiar face… sorta

Flash’s season is almost done, and there’s a lot going on in “Invincible.” Zoom has unleashed his horde of evil metas on Central City, and the police are hopelessly outgunned. The group shot doesn’t allow us to pick who most of them are (I’m not quite geeky/obsessive enough to go back and watch it on frame by frame), but two of them appear to be versions of Hawkman and Hawkgirl at least.

Just when the police are being completely overwhelmed by the flood of bad guys, called a meta-pocolypse on the show, there’s a familiar red and yellow blur. The Flash rounds up the bad guys and gives the cops some breathing room. We also see Caitlin finally coming back to STAR, and Wally seeing the news and deciding he needs to help. Everyone is a bit uncertain about Barry’s new attitude of zen calm and unshakable confidence after his trip to the Speed Force.

Not all the new bad guys remain faceless and nameless. Mercury Labs comes under attack from who we eventually learn is Black Siren, Earth 2’s Black Canary. The make-up and costume to one side, Siren is different from Canary in the way the actress moves, too. Katie Cassidy gives Siren a lot more of a strut in the way she moves.

Geek digression for a moment: This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Black Siren name. Back on the Justice League cartoon, a version of the Justice Society showed up. For whatever reason, they couldn’t or didn’t use the original characters. Their version of Black Canary was called Black Siren. It’s nice to see the name used again.

At STAR, Cisco gets the first of several vibes about dead birds. At various points he gets off some great lines as these keep recurring. Barry races off to rescue Tina McGee from the collapsing Mercury Labs, bringing her back to STAR, where they learn Tina has figured out Barry’s secret. She, in turn, gets surprised by seeing Harrison Wells.

Wally is off finding new ways to get in trouble. He breaks up a mugging (somehow the poor college student has a new car, since his was destroyed a while back), then gets a nasty surprise. The purse snatcher proves to be another meta with purple energy powers (I have no idea who this was supposed to be). Wally is saved at the last minute by Joe using one of Cisco’s gadgets. They have some words about Wally’s new hobby. Wally apparently feels he needs to prove himself worthy of Flash sacrificing his powers for him.

Back at STAR, Caitlin is testing Jessie. Jessie thinks she might have gained powers from her recent exposure to the dark matter wave. Wells is both annoyed that she didn’t ask him, and very emphatic that she’s not a meta. I don’t know if this is denial on his part or if there’s something else going on. Caitlin is getting images of Zoom lurking around, apparently suffering from her own version of PTSD.

Most of the cast takes turns talking to Barry about his new attitude. No one seems to be able to get through to him. They make a big deal about finding out why Mercury Labs was attacked, but they never really answer that question. The various discussions end when Zoom makes a big glowing Flash symbol on the side of the Central City Police Department. He and Barry, both with their masks off for no good reason, debate the flaws and weaknesses of good vs evil. Zoom seems really intent on making Barry doubt himself. Zoom ends up using the same argument the Joker does in Killing Joke on Commissioner Gordon: You’re just one bad day away from becoming me.

There’s a lot of talking about what Zoom is up to, how Caitlin’s handling her stress, and how to take down all the metas running around. Joe also asks Barry to have Flash caution Wally about what he’s doing out on the streets. He does, but Wally isn’t going to listen. The whole argument gets undercut after Flash faces off against Black Siren, gets beaten badly, and then is saved at the last minute by Wally.

Black Siren and Zoom have a conversation that mostly seems to be about hinting at whatever Zoom’s plan is. Siren doesn’t know what it is, either. She also says she’s the only one of Zoom’s Lieutenants still standing. On the other end of things, Iris cautions Barry that both he and Wally need at least a little bit of fear as a healthy thing in their lives.

What the STAR crew finally decide on is some kind of energy pulse that they liken to a singer shattering glass. Flash can use his speed to set up feedback that will do bad things to all the Earth 2 folks, but as they start to get this in motion, Black Siren is attacking again. Cisco and Caitlin embark on an interesting mission to handle Siren as Barry sets the pulse in motion.

The energy pulse is a success. Most of the bad guys fall over from it. Zoom makes a portal and escapes back to Earth 2. Wells and Jessie had protective headphones (how that helps with body-wide vibrational energy I’m not sure), but for some reason Jessie’s stop working. Wells takes his headphones off and puts them in place of  Jessie’s. I’m not sure it works that way, but it seems to here.

As the show starts to wind down, there’s a conversation between Captain Singh, Joe West, and the Flash about where the metahumans are. Singh hears hints about the Pipeline and Earth 2, and decides, wisely, he doesn’t want to know. Barry shows up just after Flash leaves, helping cement what’s left of his secret ID. Barry tells Joe he’s not going to try again with Wally, that Wally is on the path to becoming a hero and they should let him do that.

This is really seeming like a season, or even a series, finale. There’s a big party at the West’s place, with the STAR crew, Henry, Tina, and Wally. Everyone’s happy, and there’s a hint of a love interest developing between Henry and Tina. That’s a wonderful geek moment, since John Wesley Shipp played the Flash on the 90’s show, and Amanda Pays played Tina McGee, his love interest then, and possibly now. I really was wondering what they were going to do for the season finale.

I won’t go into detail because of spoilers. I will say the end on a big surprise I, at least, didn’t remotely see coming. It’s going to be something that haunts the cast for a while, and finally snaps Barry out of his “untouchable/we can’t lose” mind set. Barry now has even more motivation to go after Zoom in the finale next week.

What I liked: The Black Siren, and Henry/Tina moment, were nice nods to DC’s tv history. I like that they include those, but if you don’t catch them, it doesn’t detract from the show. Cisco, as always, gets some great lines. Caitlin being shaken up by her time in Zoom’s lair makes a lot of sense. I’m really curious to see how things develop for both Wally and Jessie, and why Wells was so insistent that Jessie is NOT a meta.

What I didn’t: Ok, I’m a detail geek. I’d like to know how Wally got a new car if he’s having money problems and doesn’t drag race anymore. With so many known characters they could have used, I’m not sure why Wally faced off against Purple Energy Guy. It seemed like why Siren attacked Mercury was an important plot thread that they just randomly dropped.

I thought it was a good episode. I’ll give it a solid 3.5 out of 5. The finale should get really interesting.

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