The Flash: Season 3 Episode 6 review – Shade
After a one week break, The Flash returned with ‘Shade’, an episode that focused on Wally’s visions of being Kid Flash, Caitlin’s Killer Frost secret being revealed to the team and ultimately Barry coming face to face with Dr. Alchemy. Below you’ll find our spoiler-heavy review.
We hate to say it, but the fact that the show is dipping in quality rears its ugly head every now and then and this is one of the episodes that made that sad fact more apparent than usual. The Shade itself served only as yet another dreary GCI monster of the week and once Alchemy come into the mix, he felt rather hammy and rudimentary. A little too Damien Darhk for our liking – in his manner and threats – who was one of the causes of Arrow‘s downfall and we’d hate to see The Flash go the same way.
Alchemy was then quickly followed by the proper introduction of Savitar – the self-proclaimed God of Speed. In the comics Savitar was a pilot for a third-world nation, who was set to test a supersonic fighter jet. As he reached top speed in the jet, his plane was struck by lighting, which caused him to crash and granted him super speed. Savitar holds powers that no other speedster has mastered, such as the ability to lend speed to other people or objects, as well as the ability to heal his injuries instantly. Both of these could be interesting in the context of the show; we like how each new big bad speedster always seems to have spent the time and effort to master speed skills that Barry has no notion of, let alone the know how to use them.
Unfortunately, in the show Savitar looks more like one of Michael Bay’s transformers than the above comic book image, which for us is another example of the show getting visuals adaptation very wrong indeed. We’d much rather have him look closer to the above than the mechanical creation that the visual effects team have concocted. How he plays out as a villain and whether he will be as monumental as The Reverse Flash or Zoom is yet to be seen and we’ll try to reserve judgement for the time being.
Caitlin’s secret was tugged into the foreground by Cisco this week. The team now know about her powers and the pending issue that comes with them. Equally, Wally was highlighted as being in trouble due to having visions of himself as Kid Flash, with the episode’s close showing him give into Dr. Alchemy’s commands and consequently being encased in a lava-like column. Caitlin’s dilemma we’re on board with; Wally’s woes and his encasement less so. We’d much rather have had a full season in which Wally soared as Kid Flash, rather than the forlorn and unsatisfied Wally that we’re currently burdened with.
Romantic trouble seems to be an underlying theme of this season, with Joe attempting to go on a date despite his concerns about Wally and H.R. moving in on said date with unerring rudeness. The facial device that H.R. presented this week was perhaps another instance of the show crossing some lines with science and the added salt in the wound was the device being able to show H.R.’s true face to some, while others see only the ruse (which was just a belaboured device for viewers to be able to keep track of who’s who).
Next week will finally see Kevin Smith return as director and we’re highly excited at that prospect. We’re big fans of Smith and we loved ‘The Runaway Dinosaur’. What’s more, next week’s episode is titled ‘Killer Frost’, which indicates great things for Smith to pull from the Berlanti toolbox. The promo reveals that the episode will see Killer Frost pitted somewhat against Barry himself and for once this season we’re looking forward to next week’s episode eagerly.
Image credits: The CW