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The Flash – S3E5 – Monster

Previously on The Flash, “The New Rogues”

The Flash – S3E5 – “Monster” | Starring: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Jesse L. MartinTom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Keinynan Lonsdale, Tom Felton, Violett Beane

I was completely underwhelmed by this week’s episode, and it makes me sad. Each of the main story points had chunks that felt clunky; however, I’ll completely take this back if they have payoff in the future.

I’ll start with the storyline that worked the best: Caitlin visiting her scientist mother, Dr. Carla Tannhauser (Susan Walters), to get help understanding her new powers. Considering Caitlin is uniquely aware of how meta-humans were made, and she knows that all aren’t just evil because they got powers, it didn’t make sense to me that she would seek out her mother for things she could figure out on her own – especially if she confided in her teammates. However, Caitlin makes it clear she’s reaching out to her mother because of a recent paper she published on something that gives Caitlin the hope she can stop it, and deep down, she just needed her mother to help her through this difficult time.

Images: The CW

Images: The CW

On Earth-2, Killer Frost and Caitlin commiserated over the fact that both versions of their mother is cold and distant; KF’s because of the death of her brother, and we learn that the death of Caitlin’s father is what fractured her relationship with Carla. Her mother admits that closing herself off was a grief coping mechanism. After the tests are ran, Caitlin prepares to leave.

And here’s where things get… weird.  Nigel (Thomas Cadrot), Carla’s assistant and the only person besides Carla to know about Caitlin’s abilities, tries to keep Caitlin from leaving so he can continue to experiment on her and use what he finds to advance his career. Caitlin frosts out and damages his arm before Carla interrupts. She urges Caitlin to leave and promises to take care of Nigel. Nigel’s aggression (which looked downright evil for a moment) felt sudden, even staged. I half expected a reveal that Carla put him up to it to either a) use him to force Caitlin to stay for their cause or b) manipulate a situation in which Caitlin would feel indebted to her mother. This is one of those things that I hope means something later, or else it will continue to feel like a silly scene in an otherwise good storyline.

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Nigel wasn’t the only one to undergo a quick attitude adjustment. After Julian snitches to Captain Singh about Barry’s tardiness, attitude, and overall existence, Barry decides to try flattery to improve their working relationship. He asks to be Julian’s assistant so he could shadow him and learn. Barry also has an ulterior motive, of course: Julian is working on the case of a giant lizard-like monster that’s been stomping through the city. It’s through this investigation that we learn about Julian’s disdain for meta-humans, even the good ones like The Flash. When Julian almost kills the young kid who’d been controlling the hologram monster, he opens up even more to reveal his desire to live up to his family’s expectations, and how helpless he feels not being able to understand meta-humans. His change of heart isn’t a huge head scratcher like Nigel’s, but I would have loved a bit more of Julian being Barry’s professional foil. As nasty as they’ve been to each other for the past year, the two heading out for an over-work drink felt forced.

the-flash-s3e5-the-flash

Just a few moments into the episode it’s made clear that Cisco isn’t completely feeling Nu-Wells a.k.a. HR. This felt like the kind of skepticism they should have had and addressed before bringing in a stranger from another Earth and making him privy to all of your secrets. It doesn’t help that HR talks too much, tries too hard, and ultimately contributes nothing to their investigation. At one point he admits that he’s been hiding the fact that he’s an author and was taking notes about this experience for his next novel. Yet, he makes an even bigger admission when the team realizes he doesn’t really know anything. He makes them think their ideas were his and just repeats everything they say as if he had the solution on the tip of his tongue and they just beat him to it. Turns out, he’s a great idea man, but has no real scientific knowledge or training to implement the plans. His parter in Earth-19’s S.T.A.R. Labs decrypted their invitation and urged HR to go for it. He probably just wanted HR’s chatty ass out of his lab.

I wasn’t a fan of the fact that no one blinked twice about Wells’ suggestion of plucking a Wells out of the multiverse considering how many times they’ve been betrayed by people who travel through time and space. To make Cisco suspicious this week felt a bit like closing the barn door after the horses are already out. Even more confusing is that they agree to let him stay for a few weeks more. If his partner ends up being someone of importance, I’ll give this storyline a bit more credit.

There were other things that brightened the episode, like Barry crashing at Cisco’s until he can find his own place. Since Joe has twice now (once again off-camera) turned down Cecile for a date, it makes sense that Barry would move out before he’d found an apartment (which doesn’t solve his privacy with Iris problem); he wants Joe to get his life. However, Joe is unwilling to talk about it with Iris when she tells him to go for it. Are we supposed to believe Joe has been single and celibate for two years? And speaking of Iris, it was great seeing her help her city without needing to be instructed to do it by Barry or Team Flash.

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Still, it’s scenes like those (Cisco’s apartment, Iris counseling Joe), plus Barry and Iris having a lunch date in his office, which sets this show apart from other superhero series. Even when the villains disappoint, the other beats are great because we care about these characters.

But Wait; There’s More

Caitlin gets a video message from her mother explaining that the more Caitlin uses her powers, the harder it will be to get rid of them. She cautions her not to use them, but Caitlin is so frustrated she ices the desk and her laptop before she can hear the rest of the message.

Leave your thoughts on the episode below or on the Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast!

The Flash S3E5 = 7.3/10
  • 6/10
    Plot - 6/10
  • 8.5/10
    Dialogue - 8.5/10
  • 7/10
    Action - 7/10
  • 7.5/10
    Performances - 7.5/10
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About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on Amazon.com for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

3 Comments on The Flash – S3E5 – Monster

  1. For The Podcast:

    Where did Wallace/Walter go for most of the episode? He went away, didn’t come back for ages, and then we cut to his face in the lab like he never left.

    Also, so far the villains have been Baltimore Rival, Great Value Frank, and two teenagers. Wow, Barry is a great hero.

    Am I the only one that would immediately start blaming HR for the disappearance of Caitlin. That voicemail sounded fake af, and he was the only witness to her leaving. If I was San Francisco, I would be suspecting Wells of trying to off everyone on the team RIGHT AWAY. Why are they suspicious of him, yet ignore the MOST suspicious thing?!?

    Finally, I straight up thought Nigel was going to be a new love interest for Caitlin, so I guess it’s only natural that he would end up betraying her in record time. Once again, Caitlin really does pick winners.

    PS. Speaking of winners, I’ll repeat what I said last week after the podcast:
    Wakes up at 3 am to kill a spider, then records a podcast with you later in the day about The Flash. Ladies, get you a man who can do both.
    You guys are GOALS. XD

  2. For the podcast

    I didn’t like this episode. Very meh.

    Highlights were the Star Wars references and Barry living with Cisco at his very nice place. Oh, and Iris encouraging Joe to ask out Cecile and Iris talking about falling in love. So was she not in love with Eddie? Or did she just love Eddie but was never in love with him? Or did Flashpoint erase Eddie? Or at least erase him from Iris’ life? Now I’m just confused.

    That’s it. I honestly have nothing else to say. But why did they have to turn that cute brotha into a bad guy? It came out of nowhere! And other than not saying anything to Cisco about her powers, Caitlin continues to not annoy as much as previous seasons. But was I the only one worried she was about to flirt with Nigel before he got all evil?

    Can’t wait to hear the podcast! And that 11/15 episode is gonna be 🔥🔥

  3. FOR THE PODCAST

    “Sometimes a man wants to butter his own bread!” Ain’t that the truth. Barry is the an alabaster cricket y’all! If he don’t hop his ass to his own place and soon. But, we are indeed getting a more mature Barry.

    HOLY SHIT. DARE I FUCKING SAY, I AM LIKING *eye twitch* CAITLIN’S STORY? *eye twitch* What difference a story makes. Her momma, is cool I guess. I need more information on her to have a solid conclusion of her. Of course, from what we saw, she is of course going to be an asshole who uses her daughter. I guess once she pushes Caitlin to the edge again, she’ll ask for forgiveness but she won’t get it.

    I guess I have to call him HR now. He is on my bad side with putting nothing in those fucking cups he handed out! WHY DO THEY DO THIS? Is there a real reason why shows do this? There has to be a logical conclusion because why? It is my number one pet peeve *cries in who hurt me* But the fact that he called Wally, Walter, shows he has common sense about how strange it is to just be called Wally. So still likable.

    I see you Malfoy, swooping your dirty English hair over your face to hide your five head. Wearing that suit like someone who is on a Brit TV show. Analyzing folks like Sherlock. I like him.

    Joe better listen to Iris. Yeah you have Iris and Wally but do you have…moving on. You better get with that beautiful woman! Before the mid-season break, we better have those two on dates.

    Don’t think I wasn’t going to say that HR… *shivers* You know what, until Harry comes back, HR’s fucking name is Wells. I stop at Harry y’all. Anyway, Well’s personality doesn’t mean shit to me. I just want to run my hands through his hair and under his shirt. I know that he better be JUST A FACE OF SCIENCE. Please don’t do a fake out and then turn him evil. Overall, good episode.

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