THE FLASH “BLOCKED” REVIEW
By JUSTIN CARTER
The Flash has had two problems that have only worsened over the years: everyone on Team Flash keeps secrets from one another, and the villain takes too long to meet the team. The most surprising thing about this week’s episode is that both problems are rectified by the end of the hour, and conclusively at that.
As far as DC villains go, Cicada is a strange one to pick for a big bad. In the comics, he’s a cult leader who gained immortality during the early 20th century and murdered everyone saved by the Flash. The Arrowverse interpretation of him seems different, inasmuch as he doesn’t appear to have a cult and is murdering metahumans for currently undisclosed reasons. He’s the right kind of menacing for Team Flash to face for now, with his lightning bolt dagger, and his ability to beat Flash, Vibe, and Elongated Man with minimal effort makes him a credible threat in terms of physicality. More interesting is that he may actually be immortal; if only because Nora sounds as though she’s heard of him at the end and the staredown the two have when she stops him from killing Team Flash.
Cicada doesn’t show up until the very end, though; most of the time is spent tracking down a new metahuman named Block who basically creates giant blocks of compressed air that can turn people into blocks of meat if crushed enough. (Ew.) Block is a nonentity, largely there so Nora can adorably and annoyingly follow her dad around like a lost puppy. “Parenting is complicated” is the theme of this episode, as Barry has to learn to help Nora see him as just her dad and not the subject of an entire museum.
Likewise, Joe has to help Cecile deal with losing her powers just as she’s starting to realize reading minds can help make them the perfect parents. It probably wouldn’t be perfect for Jenna growing up to learn your mom can read your minds whenever she wants, but it’s easy to see why Cecile would feel that way after having spent so long being able to effortlessly connect with her. It’s a short storyline, but a touching one, as Joe helps her realize that part of being a parent means not really knowing what to do but taking it all in stride.
Finally, there’s the dream team of Caitlin, Cisco, and Ralph, who decide to help the middle out of his post breakup funk with Gypsy. After a pretty good makeover that could’ve been ripped straight from Queer Eye, Caitlin admits that she’s so gung ho about everything to avoid dealing with her own problems with her dad. Naturally, it turns out that Caitlin’s problems lie deeper than just her dad, as her mom apparently has something to do with him faking his death. There’s a surprising swiftness to the way this season of The Flash seems to be handling some of these storylines –f or whatever reason that ultimately turns out to be, I hope it continues.
- Ralph’s 27 steps include giving your best bud $20 every time you think of your ex, going to the gym twice a day, flying a kite in a lightning storm, renting a Vespa, and attending a Corgi beach festival (bring treats!).
- I’m tempted to believe Cicada works or did work at the Flash Museum in the future; it would explain how he’s in possession of the bolt-shaped dagger and why he froze when Nora showed up screaming “Dad!”. Time will tell.
- Say what you will about Ralph, he does dress very well in each episode.
- Next week: A new Wells arrives and Vibe dies! …Maybe.