blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Flash (2014) s06e03 – Dead Man Running

Congratulations, show, I’m less interested in Indiana Jones Wells than I was Sherlock Holmes Wells. Make better choices with Tom Cavanagh; he’s the show’s second secret weapon (first is Jesse L. Martin, even now); don’t make us wait until halfway through the season to actually like whatever asshole variation of Wells he’s playing. Also don’t make us wait because Cavanagh’s best doing things with the cast, not on his own. This episode teases Indiana Jones Wells—“Nash” Wells; the characters are way too polite about the dumb names—but doesn’t give him anything to do opposite the regular cast. They could get away with it second season. They’re sixth.

I’m already dreading getting through the Arrowverse (sans “Arrow”) to Crisis. Last “Flash” reassured me I could, this “Flash” suggests I can’t. Or at least I’m not going to be enthusiastic about it. Ironically, it’s because of Crisis. They’re doing the right things but not well. Grant Gustin freaking out about the dying instead of vanishing (and six years early), Danielle Panabaker doing Frost full-time and freaking about the dying when she’s only lived in the world for a week, Candice Patton all conflicted but strong. None of it comes off. It feels forced for the upcoming event, which is a bummer. But is it a bummer because they rushed Crisis or because last season was a bummer? Not to mention last crossover.

There’s good stuff for Hartley Sawyer and (to a lesser extent) Danielle Nicolet; supporting secret weapons four and three, respectively. “Flash” relies way too heavily on the non-original cast members these days, but they’re also much livelier. You forget Carlos Valdez is even in the show. He doesn’t even get a C plot this episode. And Jesse L. Martin’s reduced to a cameo… and, just from a lazy writing perspective, it’s unclear if Nicolet has gone into meta-human defense yet or if she’s still a D.A.

Also… the show seems way too unaware of the Barry lying to everyone about something superhero-related trope from… the show. “The Flash” has been running out of steam so long now, the show can’t even realize when it’s worked up momentum again.

Oh, and the whole thing where Barry talks about his impending doom with season villain Sendhil Ramamurthy? Ramamurthy’s performance doesn’t cut it. The writing’s not there, but Gustin can make it work, but Ramamurthy’s a miscast. Yet again. Why can’t they hire season villains who can act?

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