The Flash: Monster Review
The CW‘s The Flash: Season 3, Episode 5: Monster continues to struggle the same fate as these past couple of episodes where concepts sound so good when written, but it doesn’t fare well on screen. However, the dynamic with Team Flash has always remained the strongest on the show. With some very powerful character-driven moments, ‘Monster’ proved that the show is still great when it comes to developing their characters.
This week’s installment had the team face off against a giant monster that attacks Central City. It’s kind of strange to see how a show of this caliber can pull off these kinds of special effects that only movies can do. The only thing is that this is network television, so the effects can be somewhat disappointing since the monster used here is only a holographic projection. The other problem was the fact that this huge creature didn’t offer much of a physical challenge to Barry Allen (Grant Gustin).
Even the mystery of who’s behind these attacks was nothing worth mentioning. After so much hype, we soon find out that our new metahuman-of-the-week was just a teenage kid who just wanted to get rid of a city of bullies. When villains are introduced, it provides the viewers some sort of attachment to them. In this case, we don’t get emotionally invested in the monster until we find out who is actually behind it. It allows the writers to get a chance to introduce bad guys who aren’t metahumans. We had a few of those on the show, so it was good that The Flash went to revisit that. Although, it didn’t make a strong case with the villain this week.
Just like the other episodes, much of the hour had to rely on the main cast and it worked. It was good to see Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) getting the attention she deserves after witnessing her steady transformation into Killer Frost. We got to meet her mother, Dr. Tannhauser (Susan Walters) who turns out to be much like her daughter in term of her personality and cold-heartedness at times. The show went deep into Caitlin’s history with her family, touching on how her father’s death caused a rift between Caitlin and her mother.
What we got learn from Caitlin is that her father’s death made a huge dent on her life, much like Barry’s. That part of her life is holding her down, especially since these powers she has is bringing out a much meaner and darker side to her personality. It was vital to see her with Cisco (Carlos Valdes) on that last scene, showing how important her work family is to her. It’s going to be really upsetting when her secret suddenly comes out and she starts to lose herself.
Another great development was with the new Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), who calls himself H.R. It was cool what the writers did to keep this character around since the Earth-2 version had to leave. Tom Cavanagh did fabulously playing another version of Wells. It was troubling to know that the show would continue to use Wells and mess him up. However, H.R. comes off as a new hilarious take on the character. Soon we learn more about what Wells wants and some of his silliness changed into a serious tone and becomes the character we are all familiar with. It was also kind of fun to see the show play around with our outlook on Wells. It’s hard not to think that Wells is up to something just like the two previous versions. The secret turns out to be that Wells has been a phony who doesn’t know a lot about science. He comes off more of a team player and gives some ideas. It shows Wells as a goofball and lighter than others. Wells does end up finding something that will move him forward.
The episode also did wonders in expanding on the relationship between Barry and Julian (Tom Fenton). We get a bit of a background into Julian and what fuels him into taking any metahuman, including The Flash. We learn that Julian comes from a rich family back in England who just wants a clean break and try to prove himself to be a hope for chance to the city. Julien did become more sensitive throughout the episode. It seems that despite their differences, Barry and Julien end up being appreciative to one another. These two guys go from rivals to friendly co-workers. It’s going to be interesting to see how far this new bond for a while.
Despite the episode involving a giant monster attacking Central City, this week’s installment didn’t bring enough action, display, or a better villain. However, it did offer plenty of interactions between the characters. ‘Monster’ did a good job developing the new Harrison Wells, developing Barry and Julien, and even Caitlin soon becoming Killer Frost. Hopefully the show reinvigorates their villains, but they shouldn’t slow down with the character arcs.
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