Episode 304 “Monster”
Written by Zack Stentz
Directed by C. Kim Miles
This week, we get revelations: a new monster that’s not quite what it seems, a new understanding about metahumans, a new danger coming soon from the inside, and someone is not exactly what he seems…
It’s a pretty straight-forward episode this week. Team Flash has to fight the threat of a giant kaiju stomping through the streets of Central City while Caitilin (Danielle Panabaker) goes off to visit her mother, Dr. Carla Tannhauser (Susan Walters), who never seems to have time for her daughter since Mr. Dr. Tannhauser died some time back.
Dr. Tannhauser is caught up with the science of it all, and her assistant Nigel (Thomas Cadrot) is only thinking about how he can profit from the research enough to get out on his own. No one is really thinking about Caitlin at all except Caitlin, and that stress causes her to power up just enough to freeze Nigel’s hand before Mom intervenes. In the end, Caitlin realizes she’s perfectly capable of doing all the science by herself, thank you very much, but the relationship is still sour. An apology from Mom, though, is just enough to warm Caitlin to the point where she’s thinking maybe they might be on the road to recovery.
When Caitlin gets back to S.T.A.R. Labs, she drops right into the middle of the chaotic-level efforts to combat a giant kaiju in the middle of downtown. Chaotic because the new Harrison (H.R.) Wells (Tom Cavanagh) isn’t very helpful in figuring out how to stop the beast. Which has Barry (Grant Gustin) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) trying to pick up the slack. Wells talks a good game, but that’s all he is — talk. He’s a con man, a used car salesman, and he finally admits that he’s just the “idea” guy back on his Earth, with a partner (who shall not be named, apparently) who did all the actual work. Wells has seized an opportunity to jump to a new Earth and start fresh, prove himself, and maybe even get a novel out of the package.
Team Flash, being all about redemption and second chances, gives him a few weeks to get his act together or he goes back to Earth-19.
Meantime, there’s this little kaiju romping around, and it’s giving everyone fits, including Julian (Tom Felton), who takes great umbrage at the way the world has changed overnight with the introduction of metahumans, rendering all of his years becoming a great forensic scientist meaningless. Throwing away the family fortune and his place as heir to the great family business, he left England to pursue his passion, and now he’s back to square one trying to figure out what makes metas tick. It’s incredibly frustrating for him, and it’s our first hint that Julian just might — might — not be on a villain arc.
And it’s here that we get Functional Villain Performing a Story Function again. Gr.
The kaiju is a hologram, and they figure it out just before anyone can really get hurt. Because sniper bullets will pass through the monster, which doesn’t really exist. Got it? And Julian figures that he’s going to be the Good Guy cop and make the bust before anyone else can, making his way to the location where the hologram is sucking up all the power. The Flash gets there barely in time to keep Julian from shooting a 15-year-old kid (Isaiah Lehtinen) with bully issues at school. Picked on, harassed, feeling pretty much like he doesn’t matter, the kid acted out. And Julian almost killed him.
All of this to take us from point A: Barry giving up the lab so he and Julian don’t have to be in the same room, to point B: The Flash saves Julian from doing something absolutely terrible and now Barry and Julian just maybe on the road to recovery. Could they be friends soon?
Or is this just a red herring that sets up a massive left turn close to mid-season? Every season so far, a member on the team has been revealed to be the Bad Guy. In season one, it was Wells. Season two gave us Jay Garrick. I’m starting to think Julian might not be Alchemy, but I’ve been surprised before. It could be a misdirect, but it may just actually be what it seems.
Next week: Wally West starts having dreams about his days as Kid Flash, and (just like I predicted) goes to Alchemy to do something reckless and stupid.
The Flash airs Tuesday nights at 8/7c on The CW.