The Flash “Blocked” Review
I gotta say, after the events of The Flash season 4, I was not all too sure about what the future looked like for me continuing with this series. However, with what we got out of the season 5 premiere last week? I felt a rejuvenation that we needed from this series. A whole new set of problems, new characters, new villains, a little more solidarity that of course is too safe to say is assured after one week.
As I said last week, it is also too soon to say if they will do better than last season, but they are already on the right track with a plot that is more appealing, and an approach to these characters that isn’t taking steps back. The very first moments of this week’s episode saw to that when we were given more of this new villain that separated him from the rest, and an approach to the Nora situation that was a breath of fresh air in contrast to how things could have gone if we went down the same path as before. Nora’s way of blending into this time was goofy in the best way. The best times for The Flash is when they embrace that these stories exist in a superhero world. They took things a step further when they continue pressing Nora’s eagerness to prove herself and have all these new experiences with her dad. You know she will cause more trouble than help, but knowing that she has the best of intentions is good for the balance of tones. I mean, watching Cisco suffer from a broken heart and Ralph of all people try to help him is funny, though that feels more like filler than anything else.
For this second week, they still did not pull punches when it came to the metas that Team Flash would face. This one stealing high-tech weapons had a unique powerset as well. Because of these powers, she presented the right kind of challenge to The Flash that forced him to have to think outside the box. Nora stepped up to the plate in a big way when she proved that you can really do more with your speed when quick on your feet. Just the action scene she gave us was a big improvement on many speed effects they have used in the past. How this led to their run-in with Cicada was awesome. This new foe has already been a strong contrast to Thinker from last season. Thinker was hunting the metas he created to steal their powers. Cicada on the other hand? He simply hunts these metas down to simply kill them. And all of that is not mentioning the edge we know that he tends to have against other metas and people in general.
Transitioning from the first episode, I enjoyed this new direction given to Iris as well. She is as strong as main characters come as both a woman and one without powers. How she stood up to establish that leadership she had last season came with excellent execution, but it was the challenge that stood out even more. When they revealed why Nora was here in the present, that raised some red flags. How do you react when your daughter is more interested in seeing the dad she never met more than the mother she knows? Of course one would take priority over the other given the situation, but to ignore the other? That’s not something you so quickly get over. How they have set Iris up to work around this was a great move considering its neither forced to throwing her into an unfavorable role. It’s a real dilemma that requires a real solution.
The side story with Cecil was surprisingly something worth following. I don’t want to be that guy, but I find it more appealing to engage myself with her experience in having powers in contrast to Caitlin. With Caitlin they tend to be all over the place with their need to have herself and Killer Frost as two separate people. Yet with Cecil its pretty straightforward with her powers that came with the baby, and the powers that she would inevitably lose once having the baby. There’s a sense of wonder that she captures perfectly, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when someone like her is faced with the reality of becoming normal again. Wouldn’t you feel broken like her? Especially when she has a connection to her baby that most wish they had? That is the kind of new take we need from this season.
The Flash “Blocked” was a thrilling episode for everything serious that this season has begun to address. We have been given a reason to fear this version of Cicada. a reason to sympathize with family matters, but above all we have been given a reason to see this as a show we can have fun with here and there. Drama and doom aside, the best kind of comic book shows are the ones who can balance the atmosphere.