The Flash Review: ‘Untouchable’

The Flash Review: ‘Untouchable’

The third season of The Flash has had its ups and downs, but the biggest complaint has been about the show’s inability to explore the potential of the Flashpoint timeline. Now that the show is concentrating on saving Iris and changing the future, it has given audience the impression that they are basically done with the timeline and its repercussions. However, this episode i.e. ‘Untouchable’ gives us hope that this may not be the case and they might bring Flashpoint up again. Some lingering loose ends of the timeline were effectively used in this episode and it also dropped hints that Barry Allen had yet to relax and believe that he was done facing the fallout of the alternate reality he had created.

This week, the big takeaway was essentially that there are still some metahumans left over since Julian’s days as Alchemy. While one remains a mystery as yet, the second one turned out to be Matthew Kevin Anderson’s Clive Yorkin. This metahuman only has to touch someone or something to cause them to decay rapidly, which is a good storyline for an X-files episode. As its becoming the norm, the writers failed to make use of this week’s villain as much as they could have. In the comics, Yorkin’s character has a rather interesting backstory, but the show didn’t make use of any of it, which is incredibly frustrating at times.

Nonetheless, Yorkin’s power is undeniably neat and unique and is great for putting the rookie Kid Flash to test. Wally had a lesson to learn this week and he had to do it the hard way. Sure, he might be able to eclipse Barry as far as top speed is concerned, but he doesn’t have the experience and finesse that Barry Allen possesses. Being The Flash is not just about taking selfies with your fans or just running fast. This dilemma led to some character growth on both ends.

Wally came to the realization that he would have to change his approach because his carelessness puts his loved ones at risk and can also get them killed. As far as Barry is concerned, he found himself taking the role of the mentor, one like Harrison Wells and Jay Garrick, as they had done for him. In their final battle with the villain of the week, both Flashes got the chance to shine and had some heroic moments of their own. Barry pushed himself to get better and succeeded by not just phasing himself, but also a whole train.

Even the comics didn’t have such a powerful moment that showcased Barry Allen’s powers in this way, which made it all the more impressive. In contrast, it seemed a bit trite that Wally just phased his own blood into Yorkin’s body, but it was a major accomplishment because five minutes ago, Wally hadn’t been able to phase at all so it was a big win for him. The week turned out to be significant for Joe as well. He finally discovered the truth about the latest time travel jaunt by Barry and with some explosive results, as expected.

Jesse L. Martin’s scenes in the episode proved that he just might be the show’s strongest character as he lashed out at his friends and family for keeping such an important secret from him. His terror, hurt and betrayal were very heartfelt and the actor did an excellent job at portraying them on screen. The shine on his character is also a warning sign that his days might be numbered. In the future, Barry glimpsed a news ticker that showed that Joe was being ‘honored’ at city hall and it is a huge possibility that it might be done posthumously. Moreover, Savitar has already told Barry that there will be a death in the future, but the team is focused on thinking it will be Iris.

Obviously, the show will not be so predictable and it is likely that Joe might take the fall for his daughter. As far as Iris’s role in this episode is concerned, she apprised her role of damsel in distress again, which has become irritatingly common in the past few episodes. But, her near brush with death gave the writers the opportunity to explore Caitlyn’s dilemma about Killer Frost and also brought to light her growing connection with Julian. If they are planning to make Julian a permanent member of the team, it would be a good idea for him to form a bond with someone other than Barry and Caitlyn seems like a good choice.

The two characters have found a nice connective tissue as Julian is still feeling guilty over being used by Savitar and Caitlyn is struggling to control her growing powers. However, one area where the show can improve is to gradually develop Caitlyn’s powers. They have thrown out all subtlety in this regard and Killer Frost surfaces after a mental switch that turns Caitlyn spontaneously evil. It would be better if they allow her feelings of frustration and anger to bubble to the surface. She can prove to be a better villain than Savitar.

Regardless, the show is relying heavily on the reveal of Savitar’s identity. Wally’s final scene also substantiated the theory that it is his fate to become Savitar by the end of the season. Reverse Flash’s killing move was echoed in the last scene where Wally phased his hand through the wall. Moreover, there have also been references about Joe having to make a choice between his two speedster sons and it is a possibility that he may have to let go of one to save another. Wally might turn into Savitar if Joe betrays him and may end up killing him. But, these are questions for the future. As far as the next episode is concerned, there is Gorilla Grodd to deal with.

While the villain of the week was just a tool again this week and Iris didn’t have much to do, the show did move forward with Wally and Barry’s arc and Joe had his moments.

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