The Flash S1x18 “All Star Team-Up”
We’re in the home stretch of The Flash’s first season now, and as was evident from the crossover earlier in the season with Arrow, episodes where the STAR Labs team had people from Starling City dropping by allowed for some of the stronger ones in the series. That was again the case here, as Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer dropped by with Felicity Smoak in tow, in order to get some new upgrades for Ray’s kit. It was great to see someone else outside of the Arrow drop by in Starling and even though I’m not the biggest fan of Ray’s character, the other addition to the line-up really helped and felt like a welcoming change, as we were pitted against one of the most absurd villains yet to enter the show, and that’s saying something.
As usual, we got a lot of fun dialogue this week with some great exchanges between the STAR Labs team, as this allowed for the “It’s a Bird, It’s A Plane,” reaction to the suit, which was a nice homage to Routh’s original role as Superman. However, the highpoint in the interactions between the cast came from the exchanges between Cisco and Ray, who have quickly developed a friendship which will be something that should be great to develop going forward, if these two characters were ready to meet again. They also shared a brief interaction on this week’s Arrow, albeit not quite on the same scale as here, with Cisco dropping by in more of a cameo role.
The element of trust was another thing that was explored here between Barry, Cisco and Caitlin. Barry knows that Dr. Wells is the Reverse Flash, yet West and Eddie aren’t quite sure that they should be trusted yet, as Cisco and Caitlin could be in on the whole thing. Of course, we know that they aren’t thanks to that alternate timeline episode, and Cisco’s visions of him getting killed by Dr. Wells (which came back in a big way this episode), allowed for a nice end reveal where Barry brought them onto the team setting up next episode’s “Who Is Harrison Wells?” in a very nice way indeed. It also planted a seed that could potentially turn Caitlin into her Killer Frost, which could lead to some very interesting fallout, even if it’s going to be a real shame to see this team no longer working together in the future. It looks like the main aftermath will certainly play out next week, though.
The Walking Dead fans will probably Emily Kinney, who played Beth in the show, dropping by as The Bug-Eyed Bandit. Whilst the villain was under-developed, and almost as forgettable as the antagonist in the big crossover episode, it made a nice change to see Kinney take up the antagonist role even if a bit more effort could have been put into her character. But then again, this episode was primarily hero-centric, meaning that as a result somebody had to suffer; as is often the case with the DC shows (how big a problem did Arrow have with its villains in Season 1? A very big one) it’s normally the villain.
This did allow for Christina McGee (Amanda Pays) to show up as well, to drop some hints about Wells’ past, and how he was a completely different man with, again, the main fallout probably coming next week. It was good to see another star from the original Flash series show up alongside Mark Hamill and John Wesley Shipp, and makes me wonder if they have something planned for the show with the amount of actors they’re throwing in. With the Flash having already tackled some alternate timeline stuff, maybe there could be an alternate timeline out there somewhere that would allow Barry to run into a world where Shipp is The Flash? It would certainly be interesting, even if just a theory that I’ve seen crop up a few times before.
Yes, the Iris/Eddie stuff was a letdown as well, as it so often is, but on the whole, there were lots of good things about All Star Team-Up with a nice guest appearance from Ray Palmer and Felicity Smoak, and some cool interactions between Ray and Cisco. Whilst Emily Kinney’s character was largely wasted there’s a lot of potential for next week, which should potentially be something that moves the plot along in a big way.