Flash: Marathon

marathon

Team Flash gets a visitor and an inheritance 

 

After a longer than normal season break, the Flash and his friends return to try and figure out the strange new world Crisis left behind. We get a feel for some of the changes, some important decisions, and the beginnings of a big new threat. An old ally helps with the adjustment and brings some wise words about a “Marathon.”

Destroyed earlier in the season, Jitters has a grand re-opening and robbery. Frost and Cisco seem more amused than worried, and Flash makes an appearance at the festivities, thrilling everyone except the somewhat inept robber. It’s a short conflict and there are a lot of cheers afterward. After a new opening montage I really can’t say I cared for, Frost and Cisco talk about the new world and all the changes from the remaking of history. Cisco is really worried about all the new unknowns, while Frost is more, well, chill. Cisco has been very busy, assembling a resource that resembles something from the DC Comics of the 80’s. Nash makes a comedic entrance and there’s a lot of snark, which seems to be one of the defaults between Cisco and any new Wells.

 

Back at the loft, Iris is enjoying some new developments at the paper. Her pleased reflections get interrupted when Barry gets home with special guest John Diggle of Star City and Team Arrow. Diggle’s visit both sets up a new subplot and establishes the time line—despite the shows being in different order, this episode comes before the Arrow finale. After getting a text, Iris leaves to check in with a source while Diggle isn’t sure about Barry’s sudden intense fervor for a new mission. Iris’ meeting reveals a dangerous new foe and a high-tech enemy.

 

Abuzz with righteous energy, Iris leads her staff of Allegra and Kamilla in a new investigation. They’re very excited and focused, while legal advisor Cecile urges some caution. Iris listens, but decides to go ahead anyway and leaves for a meeting with the CEO of McCullough Technologies. That company keeps popping up, and shares the last name of one of Flash’s Rogues. Barry and Diggle do some investigating and come up with some interesting results that leave Barry leaping to conclusions while Diggle isn’t quite as sure. They talk about the late Oliver Queen, secrets, and returning to someplace important to the deceased hero, as well as dealing with a running joke.

 

At McCullough Technologies, Iris interviews the CEO, who puts a very different spin on Iris’ source’s story. The CEO, Joseph Carver, casts some doubt on what happened, and even drags in Obsidian, the tech company that’s been part of Supergirl’s last two seasons. Iris isn’t swayed, and boldly tells the man so. I get sticking to your beliefs, but maybe antagonizing a powerful man in the midst of his own company isn’t the best idea. The Citizen triumphantly posts the story and the staff is happy with the immediate views they get online. Andrea Rojas would be pleased. The celebration is short-lived as the assassin we saw before comes calling and nearly kills Iris. She escapes mostly because of Cecile’s emotion-reading powers giving some warning. Allegra, for her part, seems to forget she has powers at all. They manage to get away, although their carefully-assembled conspiracy wall is destroyed, which Kamilla manages to gets some pictures of before it goes away. They didn’t have other backups?

 

Most of the team meets up at STAR, where we learn various reasons why no one can get in touch with Barry. Lian Yu being a radio dead spot makes a lot of sense, all things considered. After having been nearly killed, Iris rushes off to check on her source, leaving various superpowered allies behind, because who wants superpowered help when an assassin is trying to kill you? Cisco vents some serious temper at Nash, and there’s a passing reference to former friends who died in the Crisis. Iris’ meeting doesn’t go well, but at least she manages to not get killed and grab a clue to the big mystery. Returning to STAR, Iris uses Cisco’s new project to ID the assassin, and we see someone we’ve met before has been remade in the Crisis aftermath. Iris’ speech about her being fine gets interrupted as she passes out from out her wounds.

 

On a completely different part of the planet, Barry and Diggle make some unexpected discoveries. Diggle is relieved, but Barry doesn’t seem willing to accept some good fortune. After a long talk, Diggle delivers some wise words and the title of the episode. Caitlin and Cisco have a talk about his decision to be “cured” (I still dislike this word and idea) of being Vibe. I guess he got his powers back in Crisis and then either took the cure again or lost his abilities in the reset. This turns into what sounds like a setup for a character’s departure. There’s also a holo-message, but I don’t see how that works since it seems to be from an Earth that never existed in the post-Crisis world. Iris and Joe talk about her latest quest, and the need to slow down and enjoy their lives. Iris reluctantly takes the advice, and then realizes something about her investigation.

 

The bad guy sends out a worse guy, and things aren’t looking great for our intrepid reporter. With some help from STAR Labs, they manage to confuse the assassin and set up a trap, which later falls apart when two experienced fighters make a really stupid mistake. Iris has another chat with Carver the CEO and sets the terms for a sort of Mutually Assured Destruction treaty. Someone makes a fateful decision they telegraphed earlier, and I really don’t like it. There’s some talk about a new mission and an excuse for a wanderer to stick around. We also see some hints about what someone is hiding.

 

I guess Diggle went home to pack and get ready for Oliver’s funeral, leaving Barry and Iris to talk about the lessons they learned in this episode and enjoy a quiet evening in. Naturally, this doesn’t last, as Iris decides to rush off on her own again to do more digging. Maybe someone should remind the cop’s daughter that breaking and entering, even in a good cause, is still illegal? The episode ends with a nasty surprise that I saw coming.

 

What I liked: It was great to see Diggle stop by, and I’m impressed with how tightly they’re still weaving events together from the various shows. Barry’s new obsession made some sense. They’re taking advantage of Crisis to undo some dumb decisions about characters they killed off earlier in the series, which I like. Of everyone, Cisco being the one most focused on charting the changes makes a lot of sense to me.

 

What I didn’t: Where the heck was Ralph? I get they need to make decisions about screen time, but there wasn’t even a mention of him. Iris did a lot of dumb things, and lived because she got lucky. The holo-cube seems like it shouldn’t have been there. I’m not happy about Cisco losing his powers again, or the character departure I mentioned above. The assassin getting away because the ones sent to deal with her were dumb was just sloppy writing.

 

It was a good episode, but not great. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5.