Skip to main content

The Flash Review (S2E5): "The Darkness and the Light"


★★★★☆ (4/5)

Until 'Legends of Tomorrow' are officially on the air and running, 'The Flash' and 'Arrow' will be assembling the origin stories of the team. It's a delicate balance of introducing guest stars for the sake of establishing their backstory for another show and servicing the main narrative of the season. It can get awkward like 'The Fury of Firestorm' but in 'The Darkness and the Light' the introduction of Kendra Saunders (aka Hawkgirl) is a little more subtle while still adding Dr. Light and addressing Cisco's secret powers. With so many storylines going on it could easily have gone sideways but the episode smoothly juggles them with precision.


"You know, our Dr. Wells may’ve been evil, but you’re just a dick," Cisco with a keen observation about Earth-2's Harrison Wells, called Harry for clarity now. It's such a treat having Tom Cavanagh back on the show playing a possibly evil scientist again but with a way more abrasive personality. Arrogant and ill-tempered, Harry is no patient mentor to Team Flash. Especially with Cisco trying to tap into his "vibe" powers. Oh, yeah that secret's out of the bag now. Harry, like Earth-1's Wells/Eobard Thawne, is invested in making Barry a better Flash. His approach is much more urgent and direct. The fact that Zoom is holding Harry's daughter, Jesse Wells (Violet Beane), hostage I'm sure is an important factor. 

However, as you can imagine the devasting legacy Wells/Thawne left behind everyone has immense trepidation trusting Harry. Jay Garrick knows first hand about Harry from their conflicts back at the sepia-toned art deco world of Earth-2. Where Harry is quick to build Barry up he's just as fast at tearing Jay down, calling him a coward and ridiculing him for not stopping Zoom before. It's uneasy alliance to say the least. 

Dr. Light is the latest Earth-2 villain to make it through the breach on orders from Zoom to try and kill Barry. She's under the impression that she can shake Zoom's influence if she kills her Earth-1 doppelganger Linda Park (Malese Jow). Barry confronted her before, trying to reason with her, but was stunned twice; once seeing it was Park and then with her ray of light. The light temporarily blinded Barry which led to an amusing bit.

Having made a promise to Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) to show up for their date, blind Barry enlisted Cisco to be his eyes via camera-enabled sunglasses. Watching the ongoing commentary from Cisco was hilarious and Barry and Patty were adorable exchanging quizzical glances until the jig was up. VanSanten has added a burst of infectious energy and joy as the highly motivated metahuman detective and her scenes with Grant Gustin are some of the most endearing. 

Cisco, ever uneasy about his developing powers, gets outed by Harry out of necessity. Harry's metahuman radar watch proved his assumptions about Cisco and  helped to find Dr. Light. By the end, Cisco got a cool nickname thanks to Barry. "Vibe" was born and the added confidence helped to successfully ask out the barista at Jitters after fumbling it earlier in the episode. It just so happened to be a new transplant to Central City, Saunders (Ciara Renée) who'll be making her eventual arrival to 'Legends of Tomorrow' mid-season.  


Zoom's impending arrival is raising the stakes leading to Team Flash having to bring more help and find new ways for Flash to improve. They'll be using Earth-1 Park to pose as Dr. Light to lure Zoom and Harry's play call to have him run fast enough to create multiple impressions of Barry could prove useful. Heck, Garrick's friend from Atlantis might even make an appearance, whoever that is. 'The Flash' does a great job of balancing all these situations while holding on to what makes the show fun and charming. 

Check out this preview for the next episode, 'Enter Zoom.'


After recent events, Barry (Grant Gustin) decides it’s time to confront Zoom and comes up with a dangerous plan. Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) sides with Jay (guest star Teddy Sears) and deems it too dangerous for Barry to engage with the speed demon. However, Iris (Candice Patton) shows her support and brings forth a surprising ally. We see what Earth-2 Harrison Wells’ (Tom Cavanagh) life was like before coming through the breech. JJ Makaro directed the episode written by Gabrielle Stanton & Brooke Eikmeier (#206). Original airdate 11/10/2015. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Best Comics of 2017

It's that time of year again. What comics site is complete without an obligatory "Best of 2017" list? No doubt it's been a crazy year in so many ways and the comic book industry is no different. But instead of concentrating on the scandals and controversies all that matters is the fruit of so many talented peoples' labor who've produced some amazing stories. These are just some of the best independent comics of 2017.


DISCLAIMER: [Editor's Note] Spartantown relies on the generosity of independent comic book publishers to provide review copies in order to post reviews. Thanks to companies like Image Comics, Valiant Entertainment, Archie Comics, Dynamite Comics, Black Mask Studios, Action Lab, and occasionally others, I've had access to some wonderful stories that otherwise I would have missed. I don't get review copies from mainstream publishers like DC Comics and Marvel so this "Best of..." list is far from comprehensive but a good sample …

REVIEW: 'Port of Earth' #3 by Zack Kaplan, Andrea Mutti, and Vladimir Popov

The hunt continues for a deadly rogue alien accused of killing a human. ESA agents Rice and McIntyre abide by different rules which make this pursuit a tense, precarious affair. A city on shut-down, a cop with a hair-trigger, and a showdown that could alter intergalactic diplomacy forever.


PORT OF EARTH #3 
Writer: Zack Kaplan Artist: Andrea Mutti Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 10, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
'Port of Earth' continues to evolve from a savvy sci-fi premise to a thrilling cop drama to a thought-provoking commentary on American worker displacement and the otherness of aliens as an allegory for immigrants. It's not heavy-handed mind you but there are layers to Zack Kaplan's story. When you consider the seismic change an alien technology that helps turn water into an efficient and powerful energy source would have on the planet it's inevitable that it would set off a societal chain reaction. Especially for those displaced by…

Fred Van Lente & CAFU Decode ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1

Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

NYCC: Dynamite's Next 25-Cent Revival is 'Dejah Thoris' with Amy Chu

The Princess of Mars is set to return to her throne this January, as Dynamite Entertainment announces the relaunch of one of their most beloved characters, Dejah Thoris. Writer Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja, KISS) will bring the strong, iconic character back to the comics in the debut issue Dejah Thoris #0, which will retail for 25 cents and allow fans to join the adventure at this introductory price.


This replicates the outstanding debut of Sheena #0, which broke 120,000 sales. Retailers can confidently stock their shelves with extra copies of this red-hot new series.

This exciting prequel to Edgar Rice Burroughs' beloved book, A Princess of Mars, will delve into the untold story of the classic Red Martian princess!  After learning of the legendary Gardens of Mars from her grandfather, Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, sets off on a dangerous scientific expedition to save her dying planet. But things don't go the way she planned when she encounters a mysterious Green Martian…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …