The Flash: Monster


Guys, this is NOT how you catch a bus

This week, Flash and the STAR crew are dealing with a “Monster.” It’s a good episode for the “nothing is as it seems” theme. We learn a few secrets about various characters, and get a few surprises along the way. Of the various hero shows currently airing, I think Flash is remaining my favorite, not counting the Netflix shows which are in a class by themselves.

Barry’s resolution last week to get his own place hasn’t gotten too far. He’s presently rooming with Cisco, which seems weird. It’s not like Joe threw him out. If Barry didn’t have a place yet, why move twice? Moving’s a pain, even with speed powers. Cisco, aside from feeling a bit crowded by his new roommate, is worried about HR, their new Wells.

Caitlin, getting desperate about her powers, goes to see her mother. We’ve seen hints from her past that they don’t get on well. After we finally see Dr. Carla Tannhauser, I can see why. Caitlin has cold powers, but mom is just cold. Caitlin finally perks her interest with a flash of temper, and power. They never state it outright, but I presume Caitlin and her mother having different last names is part of Caitlin’s attempt to get out of her mother’s shadow.

Back at STAR, the team is getting to know the new Wells. He has a lot of different phrases from his Earth. He’s also being very upbeat and trying to ingratiate himself by bringing coffee for everyone. Apparently, coffee was wiped out on his Earth, so he’s very excited about having some. He’s also trying a bit too hard, and the team makes their excuses and slips away.

Barry’s day doesn’t get any better at work. His annoying office-mate Julian has gone to Captain Singh to complain about him. Singh doesn’t seem too worried about it, and that ticks Julian off even more. I bet Barry’s REALLY regretting his whole Flashpoint misadventure now.

He’s probably ready to hit something about now, so Barry likely feels some relief when Cisco tells him there are hits on the metahuman ap. Flash races to the scene, and there’s a giant monster. I had my suspicions about this right from the start, and I was eventually proven right (although I was wrong about who and what was behind it).

Wells has picked up on the tension directed his way, and is borderline sulking. Flash finds Iris helping people out of a damaged bus. By the time he finishes there, the huge monster is gone. He goes back to STAR to brainstorm, and no one has any ideas. By the way Barry, if your office-mate and semi-supervisor is already gunning for you, hanging out with your buddies at STAR might not be the best idea. Hearing Wells talk about his world’s version of Hitchcock was worth it, though.

Caitlin’s field trip isn’t going well. Mom isn’t exactly a font of maternal concern. She is a skilled scientist, though, and runs a lot of tests on Caitlin. Her powers are more impressive than anyone was expecting. Mom and her lab-rat Nigel are both impressed and a bit awed by her abilities.

Barry finally gets back to work, and, sure enough, Julian noticed he was gone and gets snarky about it. Barry tries to make peace with him, and even flatters him. When that fails, Barry offers to give up his half of the lab and move to the basement. How he’s going to work down there, I’m not sure, but Julian likes the idea.

Wells talks some more about his world’s history, and makes enough bizarre references that Cisco finally gives up and wanders off. Wells then makes some kind of creepy secret report. This isn’t looking too good. While that happens, Barry and Iris almost have lunch, but Barry gets called away by Julian after Barry and Iris compare notes about Joe’s weird avoidance of Cecile, the woman who’s been interested in him lately. In fact, he avoids her so well she’s not even in this episode.

While Caitlin and her mom argue about their relationship, Barry meets up with Julian. Julian, we learn, dislikes metas as much as he dislikes Barry. We get some of the backstory as to why. I can see it, but it’s really kind of petty. Between them, they get a few theories going about the monster, which appears and then vanishes again. Barry also learns that Julian is carrying a gun.

Caitlin and Nigel end up having a falling out about her powers. Mom finally steps in and sends Caitlin home, saying she’ll deal with it. I have a suspicion or two here, but we’ll see what’s up with this later, I’m betting.

Wells, Cisco, and Barry do some more brainstorming before Wells wanders off. The others are noticing a pattern with Wells, and it’s not a good one. Iris visits her dad for more awkward conversation, which thankfully is ended when Julian tells everyone he knows where the monster will show up next. For what it’s worth, Julian was right.

Caitlin gets back in the midst of both the monster hunt and some revelations about Wells. Before they can deal with all this, Flash races off for his confrontation with tall, scaly, and ugly. The showdown goes about like I thought it would. Flash manages to end the threat and also prevent Julian from making a tragic mistake. Julian, in turn, reconsiders his ideas about metas, the Flash, and even Barry a bit. Joe gets a good conversation in with someone who really needs it.

The team agrees to give HR a chance to prove himself, but there’s a time frame. I think that’s more than fair. Caitlin and Cisco have a talk about her trip to see mom. Later, Caitlin gets some bad news and doesn’t handle it well.

What I liked: HR is entertaining, whatever else we learn about him. “Murder on the Titanic” was a great little bit. Barry at least tried to patch things up with Julian. Julian’s motivations at least make a tiny bit of sense. Flash’s initial reaction to the Monster was really amusing.

What I didn’t: I’m finding I don’t care about Julian’s back story. He’s just annoying. He’s not a good addition to the cast and I’d love for him to go back wherever he came from. I think Caitlin isn’t done getting bad news on a few fronts.

I’ll give this one a 3.5 out of 5. It was a decent, not great episode.