What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about The Flash “So Long and Goodnight”! I know it hasn’t been that long since the last episode of The Flash, but somehow it still feels like forever ago. While I was glad to see new episodes airing again. This is still a show I invest in with reservations. There has been some episode they nailed in this sixth season, yet at the same time the direction has been questionable between what isn’t so new for some characters, and what just doesn’t grab your attention.
This week I was looking for them to try using some of these characters to their fullest potential, and somehow they nailed it. From the promos, this was obviously going to be another Joe West episode, and once more they did not disappoint either. Of all the characters who don’t have powers, Joe is the most captivating character for everything he represents in this show. Carver is the kind of villain who has no power, but all the resources to make him untouchable. That would make any regular person tuck their tail between their legs and run, but that’s not Joe. When he sees something isn’t wrong, nothing stops him from jumping into the line of fire to right it. This was probably the only week where it just didn’t pay enough to be that bold. For even someone like Joe, there is limits. Especially when he is not someone who can be everywhere at once.
Nonetheless, again he was the heart and soul of an episode. You cared that he was willing to go toe-to-toe with someone who had his number from the start. And there was no taking away from someone who was challenging his limitations when you have Barry consumed with concern over how much speed he has left.
As far as Rag Doll goes, I was surprised with how they used him this week. I don’t think there has been a time yet where they have misused him, and this time around they took every advantage to put the guy in some cringeworthy positions. They did a lot more with him this time too, and that also helped with keeping us on our toes about what to expect from him. Not only was he popping out of some crazy places, he was also countering some of the meats in unique ways. The atmosphere and lighting they even used for most of his scenes were chilling.
The best takeaway from this episode was finally understanding the endgame for Eva. If there was one week point when it came to the villains, it was that there was too much vague about her actions. Of course it didn’t hurt to have a villain who knew how to move pieces around on a board, but not knowing to what end was hurting our investment in her actions. I would say that they rewarded us well for our patience in her plans. Both Eva and Carver are willing to go far in order to keep what is theirs, and take it back.
Aside from this, I thoroughly enjoyed Ralph’s part in this, along with Cisco. At first, I had my doubts about the way I was going to feel about his ongoing investigation. It hasn’t been bad, but at the same time it was hard to ignore that it felt like we were being pulled from other things which seemed more pressing. However, they shook things up this week in the best of ways. Not only was it fun change of pace taking things from an investigative point of view, it was endearing to understand what truly drives Sue to do what she does. I would not have guessed that everything was leading to a stronger connection to Carver. Even through Ralph’s efforts we came to understand exactly what these guys were up against better than taking the guy on directly.
Now comes the problem with the storywriting. That being this tension between Barry and Mirror-Iris. They just aren’t doing enough to sell us on this subplot. When you have been together as long as these two? You should be able to tell when something is not right? It is downright lazy that Iris could spiral this far out of control and Barry not notice that this isn’t normal. That the Iris he knows would never lash out at anyone in such a way. Not at least without apologizing sometimes after either. They want us to feel some drama from it, and that is not what we need. I care more when Barry was arguing for Joe’s safety, when Allegra was arguing honesty with Nash, when we finally understood the relationship between the Carvers. This? This wasn’t that by a mile and I’m not sure how they are going to remedy this poor choice they have made for the sake of adding to the drama.
Sometimes all you want is a good overall episode, and they struggle to manage that. They had a good thing going until the very last scene, and honestly it could have been removed entirely. Not that we should really have to do much waiting at this point in the series. I should say this isn’t take away from some breathtaking moments we got out of this episode, but there is always this habit of doing a hit-miss these days which takes from what should be an overall satisfying experience.
The Flash “So Long and Goodnight” was an almost perfect episode because they went above and beyond to show us again that not all heroes wear capes. Joe may not be the Flash, but you sure as hell respect him a lot more for his sense of duty. If only they didn’t try to muddle such a beautiful episode with a lackadaisical scene of drama between Barry and Iris.