THE FLASH Throws Shade

The Flash’s sixth episode (“Shade”) is full of revelations, steps forward, and steps in unknown directions.

Let’s start with Wally. Poor emo Wally, who wants to be one of the cool kids—or, in this case, fast kids. He’s Alchemy’s latest target (ten bucks says that it turns out to be Julian, btw, who was conveniently absent from work for a day) and pining hardcore for the Kid Flash that might’ve been. While I understand that Wally wants to be useful, he (and Iris, to an extent) tend to come off as mopey. I did find it compelling that his feelings were hurt, because Joe lets Barry go out and be crazy but not him: “Say it, Joe. You don’t trust me, do you?”

Granted, Joe later explains himself: “You’re not getting your speed the same way Barry got his. … I don’t trust what’s going on with you right now.” Which makes sense and is super timely, since Wally then gets a vision of his own death in the other timeline. Those are the worst vision seizures, man. And after that, they lock him in a cell and throw away the key.

…only partially kidding. It’s really the worst plan, since Alchemy ramps up the coercion and vision torture. While, of course, everyone but Iris is at the movies.

No, I’m not kidding with that, either. Granted, the movie setup is super charming. Joe gets to be himself on a date, or as Iris says, “Go be Joe West. You’re always dad.” It’s sweet. And I’m a sucker for an outdoor film. What’s not to love? Snacks. Sounds. Wine. Snuggling. Unless HR is there to flirt with your girl, which he spends a bit of time bogarting Joe’s date. (Confession: I have loved all versions of Wells, minus Evil Wells. HR is no exception. He smartly points out that they’re going to need a cover for lab, lest the general public figure out they’re #TeamFlash. And he likes coffee almost as much as I do. WIN.) Regardless, I loved Cecile’s slyness here: “I’m just glad you finally figured out what you want.” Because that delivery was on point.

Of course, Shade shows up, who does not—as Cisco quipped—throw side eye as his enemies. No, he’s a dude who turns into a shadow and then kills them. Add in a clown, and that’s basically every nightmare. Never fear, though: the Flash gang make quick work of him and at least some things are settled.

You know what’s not settled? Prettttty much everything else. Allow me to explain. No, there’s too much. Let me sum up. Caitlin came out to Cisco about her powers. (FINALLY.) Unfortunately, he vibes, sees she goes Killer Frost, lies to her, and then tells her the truth…at the movies. Because apparently, he has my insane sense of timing. But wait, there’s more! He later outs her to the rest of the gang: “Ignoring the problem does not get rid of it.”

I totally understood both sides there. Caitlin felt betrayed. Cisco wanted to help. It was dicey, but it all ended up for the greater good—and we got an excellent scene between Caitlin and Cisco, where they make up. And he gives her something important: hope—“When it comes to the impossible, we’re the experts.” There’s something infinitely heartwarming about friends like that, who go the extra mile to reassure and comfort, even when the odds seem ridiculous.


Lastly, there’s the matter of Alchemy. At Wally’s insistence, they use him as bait, but chaos ensues, including a lot of random SWAT guys getting toaster-caked. Alchemy has a magic crystal of light, which he eventually drops. Wally picks it up, gets vaporized and then cocooned—and a Speed God gets released.

Guys? Worst genie bottle ever. For once, Barry wasn’t the stupidest person in the episode, y’all, so I guess that’s something.

Hopefully, next week, no one triggers the apocalypse. I mean, we kind of already did. I hate a retread.

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Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.