The Flash “All Doll’d Up” Review
The Flash just so ended up being another show that we had to miss last week, and what a bummer it was having to wait for what followed Team Flash after their last hurdles. A daughter who suffers from immature tendencies, an investigation that suffered from clashing approaches, and a villain who found a way to weaponize the power of the press. And there was still plenty more that unfolded that we had to wait until now to get back to.
This week in particular was a big one for Flash fans. We’ve run into some familiar faces from the comics this season, but so far the one that tops them all has to be Rag Doll. This was one introduction you didn’t want to miss because this was also topping it for obscure choices in villain. I mean color me impressed that they went out of their way to actually find someone who could twist their body in such ways that didn’t require a bunch of unnecessary CGI. That’s not to say that everything he did was natural, but it wasn’t one-hundred percent impossible either. It was a good balance between natural capabilities and an added blend of effects to make him terrifying. Even I felt some sort of way when every time he moved it sounded like he was constantly breaking and putting himself back together at the same time. What impressed me was the way they chose to handle him. It was nothing over-the-top. It was actually very quick, and without the need to be flashy. I like that we can have some episodes where it is both someone else who saves the day and less reliance on powers to get out of trouble.
What made this such an excellent episode was the character writing from start to finish. Surprisingly this time around I would say that it was the effort put into the relationship between Barry and Iris which stood out. There was so much endearing about the way that they connected. We honestly do not get enough of Barry chasing after Iris or the other way around. Dates, working together, doing the normal things they don’t often get the chance to do. Those are the small moments that we should never take for granted in a superhero world. As I always say, it is never wise to forget the importance of the hero/person behind the mask. It is also never wise to forget the value of someone who doesn’t need a mask at all. Iris did something here that was commendable on all levels when push came to shove. At this point in the series it did wonders to take that one second to capture what it means when there is no damsel in distress, only heroes. Everything about Barry trying to distract Iris was heartwarming, and I hope this isn’t going to be a rare occurrence for the two of them.
That’s not to say that the rest of Team Flash didn’t have their moments as well. The momentum they put into the investigation to find Caitlin’s father did wonders for where they were at the start. I remember when they first got the wheels turning for this storyline, I wasn’t too interested in the way that they were pulling these characters away from everyone else. Now I can find investment in the way that Ralph has something to prove as a detective in his own right, in the way that Caitlin fears the reason that her father would abandon her in such a way, or how Cisco really felt some effects from their first confrontation with Cicada. For Cisco in particular I was wary about what was going through his head after that night. He was growing hesitant about using his powers, and the reason why would have mattered greatly. If it was because of his broken heart, then I would have had a big problem. Fortunately that was not the case, it was actually Cisco addressing a part of himself that he never genuinely embraced till now.
I felt that this time around there was a bit more to like about the writing for Nora. I was a bit worried when they finally revealed the reason that she was so distant from Iris. They weren’t very convincing when trying to sell us on the idea that a smart girl like her isn’t able to tell the difference between her mother in the future, and her mother now. Who managed to find the room to give her the talk was something to appreciate since that was also something neglected. Even if Nora is as old as she is, there still needed to be someone who could put their foot down.
Last night’s episode of The Flash “All Doll’d Up” was exciting, and it was at the same time heartwarming. This season is already miles ahead of the previous in quality for the focus that the writers and showrunners have put into the characters themselves. They should never play second chair to the story and plot.