I suppose it makes perfect sense that a villain based on time would make an appearance on a show about a speedster (who is nonetheless constantly late). And it’s nice to give fans a little inter-series continuity with Arrow which is where the Clock King originally appeared and was captured. But if you think about it too much, you might wonder why someone who was in a Starling City prison ended up in a Coast City police headquarters.
Given how nicely the Clock King’s gimmick fits in with the Flash, it’s surprising that the two never actually meet in this episode. But that does give the normal humans an opportunity to prove that they don’t need Barry’s help to take down a criminal (albeit an unpowered one). I wonder what Clock King’s plan was going to be if the power didn’t go out.
Blackout was sort of a flipped version of Plastique from two episodes ago. Like her, Blackout was not fond of his powers and viewed them as a curse. But whereas Plastique tried to hide in order to avoid hurting anyone, Blackout went actively searching for the source of his torment: Harrison Wells. In the end, though, Blackout was a victim.
And speaking of victims, it was nice to see Girder return, and his death was surprisingly touching. He may have been a dangerous jerk and a bully, but in the end he tried to protect Barry by telling him to run. However, I knew he was dead as soon as Wells stood up from his wheelchair to release him. There was no way Wells was going to leave anybody alive who knew that he can walk. I do wonder how Wells knew that Blackout would be able to kill Girder, but I guess that’s just comic book logic for you. I’m finding that Wells is getting scarier by the episode. I still think that he believes he is working for the greater good, but I’m not even sure any more that he necessarily wants the best for Barry. And it’s worth noting that the newspapers from the future have been changing as the episodes go on. Somewhere on the internet, there is probably someone documenting how the future has been changing on this show.
Science Lesson of the Week: without his power, we see Barry just barely hitting 10 mph on the treadmill. This is absurdly slow, even if Cisco does lampshade it. 10 mph is really a fast jog which would be impressive to maintain for a long time but is pathetic for an all out sprint. Most of us who aren’t disabled could manage that speed going backwards. Given that Barry is not overweight or obviously disabled, a more realistic top speed for him would have been around 15 mph. Then again, perhaps what we saw in that scene was the aftermath of Barry trying to run for several minutes straight.
This week we got a whole lot of comic book shout-outs in the form of a list of names that Harrison Wells recites to show that he knows everybody who died as a result of his failed experiment. The first two were of course Blackout’s friends who died in the aftermath of the collider explosion, but every other name is a superhero from DC Comics. They are:
- Ralph Dibny — Elongated Man. He can stretch his limbs much like Plastic Man or Mr. Fantastic
- Al (Albert) Rothstein — Nuklon or Atom Smasher (depending on the time period). He has super strength and an grow to enormous size.
- Grant Emerson — Damage. He is a living fusion reactor with super strength and energy blasts
- Will Everett — Amazing Man. He can mimic any substance he touches.
- Bea (Beatriz) Da Costa — Fire. She can light herself on fire and fly, much like the Human Torch.
- Ronnie Raymond — Firestorm. He can transmute inorganic matter by rearranging its atomic structure.
Viewers with sharp memories will also remember that Ronnie Raymond is the name of Caitlin Snow’s fiancé and that he was played by Robbie Amell in flashbacks. We also know from Hollywood reporting that he will appear in the present in his Firestorm guise, thus revealing that he didn’t die after all. This suggests to me that we may see all the other characters on this list at one point or another. I personally would really like to see Elongated Man and Fire, but that’s mostly because I’ve seen them in Justice League Unlimited. I suppose it’s possible that all these people were created by the explosion at STAR Labs, and it will be nice to have some meta-humans appear who aren’t homicidal maniacs.