The Yips | The Flash “Blackout” Review
The latest episode of The Flash, “Blackout,” does what is usually the downfall of many superhero TV shows. But, where many shows fall down that hole of throwing a needless number of characters at you with little to no characterization, “Blackout” did an outstanding job. While the villains are outstanding this episode, we finally get an even deeper look into Dr. Wells’ psyche.
It’s quite absurd that the strangest thing about Dr. Wells isn’t the fact that he rides around in an electric scooter when he can actually walk. Not even close. At the beginning of the episode, Wells is talking to Gideon, his note taking supercomputer, and we constantly see an article from the future. Meanwhile, Wells is ensuring that Barry Allen and The Flash still exist in the future. His fixation is with Barry and the continual drive to keep pushing him and his abilities to the limit. Going on with the assumption that Wells did this all intentionally to craft a certain future, per se, I believe that it’s possible he is going to use The Flash as a weapon of sorts.
As aptly titled, Blackout is our first villain of the episode and while not being entirely unique, makes for a nice villain. Blackout, the meta named for his ability to suck the power out of anything, sucks the, what we suppose is speed force, out of Barry sapping him of his super abilities. Thus, this is the first time we hear about Barry having to take a taxi to get back to STAR Labs. While the duo of Cisco and Caitlin are busy figuring out what is wrong with him, we see Wells talking to Gideon once again, but this time the future is quite different. When he does his query for Barry Allen or The Flash, nothing comes up. Since Barry “lost” his powers for the moment, the future is quite different from the one that Wells wants. Thus, he scolds Barry and tells him to be less reckless and that he has a higher calling than saving humans from their everyday perils.
One scene in particular stood out and that was the short 45-second scene between Barry and Caitlin. The team figures out that in order to get his juice back, they must supercharge him, but of course, they don’t have time to run the correct calculations because Blackout is tearing his way into STAR Labs. Caitlin tries to reason with him that it’s just too dangerous, but Barry says, “my speed has become a part of me.” It’s such a powerful exchange that shows just how much it means to Barry that he can help so many people in need.
As they are still no match for Blackout, Wells walks over to Girder’s cell and makes a deal with him that he can be free if he kills Blackout. The strong foreshadowing that Girder wasn’t going to make it was quite apparent when Wells walked over to him instead of using his motorized scooter. Meanwhile Barry saw Girder die right in front of him, and although he was never nice to Barry, he still didn’t believe that he should die. This scene showed the strong juxtaposition between Wells and Barry. One is willing to let anyone die to elevate Barry to where he needs to be, and Barry Allen, a kid who happens to have super powers who wants to save everyone. While Wells can’t stand Barry’s compassion for people at the moment, he drastically changes his mind on that fact later in the episode.
So, Barry should be charged up, after taking a jolt, but he still doesn’t seem to have his powers. Cisco saves the day once again, and figures that Barry has the yips. And, of course, the conniving Wells knows just how to cure those. He draws Blackout’s attention to him. When Blackout’s lightning is about to hit Wells, Barry speeds in front and grabs him. The special effects were great here, and he showed speed we haven’t seen yet. Then, feeling stronger than ever, Barry faces off with Blackout, and essentially overcharges him until he dies.
As all this is going on, Joe and Iris are being held up by a different villain, William Clockman more commonly known as Clock King (played by Robert Knepper).The casting of Knepper is fantastic because he portrays that creepy, time-consumed character so well. Not to mention it will create quite the event if somehow the three Prison Break Alums make it into an episode together. Speaking almost entirely in famous literary quotes, Clockman has everything timed out exactly. But, Eddie is about to make a brilliant save by putting multiple rounds into the back of Clockman, only to find out he’s wearing a bulletproof vest. After Clockman shoots Eddie, Joe and Iris convince him to tourniquet his arm and, being Clock King, he writes the time the tourniquet was applied with blood onto his forehead. Similar to how T-Bag (Knepper’s character on Prison Break) thought he had everything figured out, he allowed Iris to say goodbye, which lead to Eddie sneaking her a gun. While I didn’t believe she would be able to shoot him, she did get a shot off to his leg that was just enough to get him arrested once again.
The episode ends with Wells taking a sample of blood (we presume) from Blackout in hopes of finding how he was able to take Barry’s powers. We are in for something else if he ever finds out.