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REVIEW: The Flash 3×05 “Monster”

Ok, well that was really awkward and underdeveloped. Like, I can’t even let this episode slide on merit because we now have to wait a whole two weeks to purge whatever the hell “Monster” was. So, on principle not a bad idea to have a character development and team building leading into a break, but that really only works when we have a strong plot for it to be centered on. Here we have three very separate and really incongruous stories that are meant to mix together and make a strong episode. The only problem is that only one of these plot lines manages to evoke any sort of emotion and move the characters forward, the rest are just meaningless for the most part. I mean everything involving Cisco and Caitlin just failed to hit the mark, where as all of the Barry material was actually a fun diversion.

So of all the plots this week I can easily say that Caitlin’s was unfortunately the weakest of them all. There were so many different routes that Caitlin visiting her mom and trying to control her powers could have taken. We just happened to take the most formulaic and boring route to having Caitlin begin to reconcile with her mother. I mean Caitlin’s father also being dead and what made her mother cold and distant was a little to on the nose for drawing parallels. We could have had reconciliation after her mother realizes exactly how dangerous Caitlin was becoming, or for them to not see eye to eye but agree to move forward with finding a cure. Instead it became a “we are so alike” problem that didn’t really grow Caitlin in any meaningful way. Moving forward, as Caitlin becomes Killer Frost it will at least be fun to see how her personality changes. Man did she get angry tonight.

In the same vein we had Cisco being suspicious of HR and they gently allude to the idea that Cisco is still dealing with trauma from the previous Wells’. It is just the story never manages to capitalize on this thread, instead playing the reveal of HR being a massive idiot for jokes more that actual revelation. Cisco could finally be confronted with a version of his mentor that doesn’t live up to his expectations. Instead it felt very basic as if Cisco’s “aha” moment was supposed to be a huge reveal to us all. It’s not that I don’t like the idea of HR being a con man, but rather the way the writers wanted us to react to this reveal as if it was the greatest thing ever. It just came off as weaker writing, although I ma looking forward to seeing if HR the idea man is actually a solid addition to our cast.

As for the only plot that really worked tonight, I am glad Barry is beginning to developing his relationship with Julian. It would be easy to write of Julian as a villain or raging asshat, but after finally getting to see how he works and why he is so committed to studying meta-humans I really like him as an addition. I mean we literally dodged the easy of Julian just being jealous of metas because he has no powers. Instead Julian has prided himself on being the best possible scientist possible and now with the existence of metas he is back to square one. It is pretty depressing when you think about it from Julian’s perspective, and Tom Felton sells the hell out of Julians inner turmoil. I like that the Barry and Julian are beginning to grow closer I just wish it didn’t happen with such a weak plot.

Seriously, what the hell was up with the poster plot? I have seen some dumb plot devices in my life but kid being bullied creates giant hologram takes it to a whole new level. The worst part of all of this is that it makes no sense in the bigger picture of the episode. The kid was just there for the sake of being there, rather than a reveal of a former villain taunting the team. Just a huge waste overall and very unbecoming of this show.

Overall it was a waste of a week, so the next episode better be gangbusters to make up for it.

Final Grade C-

+Julian and Barry bonding

-Cisco and HR’s plot

-Caitlin’s useless plot

-The monster of the week plot

-No movement on the big elements of the season

Extra Thoughts

-We have a week off due to the election, so I may be extra pissed about how this week turned out.

-HR is gonna have some good material for his book when Grodd comes back.

About the author

Scott Swartz