Features TV

REVIEW: The Flash 1×18 “All Star Team Up”

I honestly don’t know how to feel about tonights episode, it just felt like it was out of place or meant for another type of show. I mean I know who these characters are, what their motivations are, what they fight for, but somehow, everything felt just slightly off. I guess that is the best thing I can say about “All Star Team Up”  is that it’s a Flash episode that feels like it really has nothing to do with our hero or the problems facing him. Think about it, Brie has no motivation to go after Barry and Barry has no motivation other than basic heroic ideals and that just somehow is supposed to be our main plot. Also, for some reason Felicity and Ray decide that now would be the perfect time to show up and help Ray finish his Atom suit (FYI this episode is supposed to take place before Arrow 3×17/3×18). Add on to that that the crux of the episode is supposed to be dealing with Eddie lying to Iris about knowing who Barry is. It just felt wrong as an episode like a picture that was just off kilter.

So let’s look at the good part of the episode all of the characters, and yes I do mean all of them, somehow manage to work. Both Ray and Felicity fit right in with the Star Labs crew as Ray in particular quickly bonded with Cisco and Caitlin like a secondary Barry. I loved watching Ray and Cisco finish each others thoughts and sentences like they were best friends forever, and Felicity always has perfect timing on The Flash and this week was no exception. Even Eddie, sweet naive Eddie got some great character work as he was stumbling around Iris since he can’t reveal Barry’s identity and yet everyone else knows who Barry is. Iris’ frustration at being left out of the loop by everyone was justifiable in a sense as up to this point she at least knew Eddie was as much in the dark as she is. Now that she is the odd woman out it puts her at even more risk since now she will be willing to do whatever it takes to find out the truth.

Unfortunately, despite some great character material a lot of the episode centered around a lackluster plot or basically no plot at all. Brie was a weak villain with no real motivation or for that matter screen time, and especially coming off The Trickster who was so amazing I wanted so much more from her. Even though the special effects and the actual use of the bees were interesting it was not enough to make me care for or even fear her as a villain. She just seemed very silly and out of her element facing off against Barry and Ray, and the “hack off” at the end did not do her any favors. It wasn’t like the time Felicity was beat by the Clock King earlier in an episode and then managed to outwit him, Felicity always had the advantage in this scenario no matter what.

It felt like for a large part of the episode that we were just missing an A plot, we clearly had a B and C plot but not even a whisper of a solid A plot. There was no dislike between Ray and Barry like there was in the earlier Arrow and Flash crossover, although now that I think about it they really didn’t spend that much time on screen together. Felicity wasn’t out of her element in dealing with meta humans or super villains like she was in the first Captain Cold episode. Even the overall cohesiveness of the team was not in question like it was in both of those episodes. The internal conflict needed to be reveal much earlier if we were to care about the threat Brie was posing to our hero and it just never materialized into anything beyond a basic structure, and that is disappointing considering how great this show can and has been all season long.

Overall it was an okay episode but nothing I feel compelled to watch again.

Final Grade C-

+Ray and Felicity work well in the plot

+Good character material

+Fun special effects

-Weak villain

-Weaker main plot

-Barry and Ray don’t get a lot of time together

Extra Thoughts

-There is never a one on one scene between Ray and Barry and that is a crime considering how great both actors are.

-“Wow. So everybody but Iris.” “Feels that way” I may not have enjoyed the episode that much but this bit of dialogue was perfect.

-Felicity’s “drop the mic” moment only manages to work because Emily Bett Rickards sells the crap out of Felicity over reacting.

About the author

Scott Swartz