Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon The Flash - Dead or Alive & Untouchable - Double Review: "Conflicting Executions"

    Enable Dark Mode!

  • What's HOT
  • Premiere Calendar
  • Ratings News
  • Movies
  • YouTube Channel
  • Submit Scoop
  • Contact Us
  • Search
  • Privacy Policy
Support SpoilerTV is now available ad-free to for all premium subscribers. Thank you for considering becoming a SpoilerTV premium member!

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

The Flash - Dead or Alive & Untouchable - Double Review: "Conflicting Executions"

13 Feb 2017

Share on Reddit

Oh, I wish I had time to write these reviews before, because these are 2 very different episodes of The Flash, but here we are, about to discuss how the show has handled its themes on its return. I have to say, so far so good, but one is certainly better than the other. Can you guess which one? I’ll let you read to find out, but regardless of one being underwhelming, I must say I’m feeling very good about the season so far: it hasn’t been a masterpiece, but it’s been good and enjoyable, and that’s all I need.

Dead or Alive

Dead or Alive is one of those episodes of The Flash that I just love: everything works out perfectly. It’s not really moving the plot forward, it’s not really the most emotional and it doesn’t make you cry, but my god, it is enjoyable. Not just enjoyable, it hits all the beats an episode of The Flash like this should. It has character progression, fun moments dealt magnificently well both by the writers and cast and a lot of potential for future episodes. Now, isn’t that a good time?

I love the addition of Gypsy. Weird name aside, her personality is vibrant and she makes for a great frenemy of The Flash cast. She is one of those faces I wouldn’t mind popping up as much as they want and her chemistry with Cisco is unreal. Both actors bring their A game in terms of having fun: while both are serious about their way of doing things, there is a really great bickering going even when they are supposed to fight to the death. I just love it all.

I also love that Cisco gets to be the star of the episode while Barry takes a back seat: it’s already interesting seeing Barry facing non speedster foes, and he is clearly outmatched by Gypsy, showing us that he is not invincible: he doesn’t have to carry every single episode, sometimes it’ll be the work of the other team Flash members to save the day (and on that note, I’d love if Caitlin can control her powers and have a match up as good as this one).

Making it even better, the episode deals with some real emotional heft in midst of all the fun. Cisco is really scared, but he wants to be able to save HR, not only because that’s what team Flash does (saving people), but because he also feels he owes it to the other Harrison Wells. That was a great moment of character insight and I absolutely adored how he told him that Harrison Wells was always for him and now it was his time to help HR so that he could exploit his potential in the future. It also makes me more optimistic about HR being a permanent addition of The Flash team.

Talking about new additions, I just love Julian: he tries to be nice and you can tell, but also he is incredibly blunt. He doesn’t intend to be mean and yet he can’t help it, it comes out that way and it makes for some incredible moments. He is the one who gives Cisco the key to win (though it is far more simplistic than I’d have liked), but not without the “yep, you are going to die moments”. Having that kind of character on team Flash, the more pessimistic and down to Earth gives a refreshing take to the team. Seriously, I couldn’t have enough of it.

And the fight: I wasn’t the only one who freaked out when they popped up in CatCo, right? Supergirl viewers all around must have simultaneously screamed “yay!” as soon as the sign popped up. If only a cast member could have seen them, but hey, I’d take the background character in this fun cameo while visiting multiple Earths. I’d call this Cisco first real fight, since up until now he had supporting roles in battle, even against Caitlin he wasn’t all on, but here he had to give him his all and managed to take stage center. Round of applauses.

The Iris’ stuff in the episode is something that didn’t make a great impact, but I did like to get explored: in particular the fact that she is trying to leave a mark behind before her potential death, and the emotions rose high when she said she didn’t want to just die like her mom. It was a very powerful moment that took me off guard and delivered with grace by Candice. I didn’t really liked Barry’s reply about the legacy she left: while true, I think it’s human to desire to leave a personal mark on history, not just leave it to your children. I know where Barry was going, but I was still “ummmm” about it, I felt it wouldn’t be enough to convince Iris, and I think that’s exactly what happened: it calmed her down, but it didn’t really reassured her, at least not completely.

I did like her cocky, daredevil attitude: knowing she won’t die yet she was acting fearless and that’s a side of Iris I did like to see on action, but it is reckless nonetheless: it’s not like future can’t be altered, if she were to say “I’m done with this” and shot herself, future is changed. In fact, The Flash has already made the point of changing future with Eddie killing himself to prevent the Reverse Flash existing, so it’s a given that it can happen. But I like the recklessness, Iris has been played so perfectly and so together this season that I appreciate that she can go out a little bit out of control.

This is exactly the kind of episode I like to see on The Flash: not always, but the pleasure kind of episode that is nice switch to get you excited about what’s going on. It brings light to the subject of death and it makes it way better than the doom and gloom air of season 2. I hope they keep it up! The next episode though, wasn’t so great.

Grade: B+

*Note: In terms of enjoyment, this could have been an A, but I’ trying to be a bit more strict with grades so that As are given to really outstanding episodes, to those were I just jump out of my seat and say “No! They did not do that! I need more!” like “Out of Time” or “Fast Enough”. So that’s why grades may seem a bit more harsher, like you’ll see now.

This one is an ok episode of The Flash, but one that hits familiar beats everywhere to the point where it almost feels like a rerun with a few extra new scenes. Now, don’t get me wrong, for all intents and purposes this is a solid outing, the problem being that it feels like an episode that could have aired in any past season besides the connective tissue to Flashpoint, Alchemy and Savatar.

What do I mean by that? Well, the themes of the episode have already been explored before: Caitlin must use her killer frost powers and she has to be brought back from the brink of evil (explored early this season), Wally hits a wall and needs to figure out how to overcome it (like every time Barry did), Joe is endangered, but refuses to stay out of it (like any given episode of The Flash). Everything has a feeling of being so familiar, that it is hard to look the episode past it's explored content.

Julian has a bit of a regression to being a jerk during the episode that feels on line to the first episodes of the season: I liked the last episode approach much better when he was trying to help, but couldn’t help his lack of social skills. He outright was a jerk and had to overcome it by the end, which is a beat very known on any given show. Guy is a douche, things get dire, he redeems himself, everybody gets pizza. The only thing it did was to get him closer with Caitlin, and while I like these 2 together, there were better ways to go about it. I know the show wants to pair them over feeling powerless against the forces trying to control them, but come on, be more subtle about it, be more realistic about it. I would have rather see them having that drink at the end that any interaction they had over the episode.

This episode also felt a lot more CSI-esque which is part of what The Flash is, but it stirs so much to its procedural part that it’s hard to picture it as a brand new episode worth remembering. This episode, for all intents and purposes, is when Wally learnt to phase, because no other ever lasting effect is felt through the episode besides Joe learning the truth and Caitlin and Julian getting closer together (which could have been done much better).

I’m also not a fan of pitting Flash vs Kid Flash: at least the episode wasn’t really too forward about it and left it in what’s something like a comic book debate. Barry has decided to let his ego go in order to save Iris as he bets that Wally can save her by becoming faster than him. That’s something that I like, it makes Barry more mature and we all know he has been in need of maturity for a while. So I don’t want them to be pitched against each other, which is why I’m glad the discussion was mostly for fun.

Not much to say about the meta: made by Julian, and for inexplicable reasons he feel the guys of Flash point also ruined his life in this other timeline. Does he not realize that his life is different here? His motivation is outright stupid because he is targeting people that don’t exist. It’s like Plunger, boring villain dragging down the episode. Could we get Gypsy again? We need villains with true charisma and personality, that’s what elevates standalone episodes.

On the Iris front, this time she is shown to be more scared than being reckless. It’s ok, as I said I like we get a more down to Earth Iris, but the show has to slow down on these things: if it’s going to make the transition from reckless to fear it should give an episode in between to feel a natural flow. What’s next? Depression on tomorrow’s episode? I need a feel of transition here and a more in depth exploration of her. The last episode made it perfectly, this one, not so much.

As I said, the episode is ok. I watched it and I was ok with it, but I was feeling a bit let down from the previous week. The Flash can do much better, and I certainly hope the Gorilla City episode next week provides a lot fun, great visuals and the energy rush the show can give. Maybe this episode wanted to save some budget for next week? We’ll see, but I’m excited to see what comes next.

Grade: C+