Late episode review today because I had some other things going on. Anyway, this episode seems to have been created to give The Flash a ratings boost by bringing in an Arrow crossover. I don’t think the show really needed it, but Felicity was a nice appearance without feeling too forced. She drew nice parallels, using her own experience to explain how lonely superhero work can be and how teams come to work together. It also helped to wrap up the romantic tension that was established between Barry and Felicity on Arrow last season.
I didn’t always dig her wardrobe choices, though. The sweater baring a slight amount of her stomach when she first walked into STAR Labs was distracting without being flattering. And the dress she wore to trivia night was trying a little too hard with the random cut outs and straps. Emily Bett Rickards is a gorgeous woman who can pull off almost anything, but she still mostly does in this case as long as you don’t look at the back of her dress too much. Still, I think this was a case where simpler would have been better. I also miss the days when Felicity wore simple jeans and panda bear shoes so that seeing her in beautiful formalwear was a treat.
The theme of today’s episode was testing how fast Barry can go and contrasting against with of his most famous villains, Captain Cold. The villain didn’t get much to do in this episode, but the end of the episode does hint that he has begun recruiting for a rogue’s gallery. This is a welcome development for two reasons: 1) For once, this villain survived the episode and will be able to come back and 2) The Flash is widely considered to have one of the best rogue’s galleries in comics. Some believe his rogue’s gallery is only second to Batman. I have a feeling they will come into play during the Arrow/Flash crossover coming up in a few weeks.
To establish Captain Cold and a potential rogue’s gallery coming up, certain other storylines had to take a back seat. Most notably, Barry’s investigation into his mother’s murder was totally absent this time around. And we also didn’t get any more hints as to what Harrison Wells is up to (although he was suitably scary when chastising Cisco, and there was something creepy about the way he revealed his knowledge about Felicity).
I have also noticed that this episode incorporates a lot of long, tracking shots and camera movement even during static conversation scenes. Maybe this has always been going on and I only just now noticed. In any case, it is a clear choice to reinforce Barry’s powers.
Speaking of speed, Barry’s treadmill gives him a top speed of around 300 mph. However, when he was saving passengers from a toppling train, I am fairly certain he had to move faster than that. Some fraction of light speed seems more likely. It’s a nitpick and doesn’t really affect my enjoyment of the episode, but it does point out the rather loose relationship this show has with science (see also the discussion of firing particles at absolute zero).
Some nice crossover continuity nods: Felicity mentions the Salmon Ladder! Which has been sadly absent from Arrow this season. And the dress she wears at the end of this episode is the same as the one she wears when she shows up for the next episode of Arrow.