Review: ‘The Flash’ – ‘All Star Team Up’: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s my boyfriend!

Senior Television Writer
04.15.15 28 Comments

A review of last night's “The Flash” coming up just as soon as I can outrun bees…

Boy, that was fun, wasn't it?

As you might expect from a “Flash”/”Arrow”/”Spin-Off To Be Named Later” crossover episode, “All Star Team Up” accomplished a bunch of things at once.

It allowed Emily Bett Rickards to smile and be funny and act much more like vintage Felicity (giddy to be behind a keyboard, dropping the mic, revealing Too Much Information all the time) rather than the character who's been forced to mope so often by this season's “Arrow” plotlines – and, in turn, made me okay with the possibility that she'll be joining Brandon Routh and company in the spin-off.

Felicity's arrival also gave Barry another sounding board about the Harrison Wells problem, and encouraged him to finally bring Cisco and Caitlin into the circle of trust. The idea that Cisco can somehow remember his death from the original timeline is a classic comic book trope, and it renders that scene from “Out of Time” as something much more than a What If? or dream sequence. Cisco is alive, but on some level, this did happen to him, and he knows it, and that's going to fuel a lot of the conflict everyone has with Wells over the remaining episodes.

And though Iris wasn't brought into the other circle of trust, the whole episode gave voice to how ridiculous her exclusion has become, with Eddie again pointing out that this is not keeping her safer, and Iris being persistent enough to demand answers from her boyfriend. The show has done the character no favors by keeping her in the dark for so long, but it feels like we're approaching the moment of truth, and not just in a scene that can be erased via another trip back in time.

Yeah, this one was “The Flash,” like Felicity, dropping the mic. Excellent stuff.

Some other thoughts:

* Emily Kinney's Bug-Eyed Bandit was there mainly to provide a mission in the midst of all the angst about secret-keeping, and the episode made good use of her without overdoing it. (Though the bees bursting out of the dead man's body was less creepy to me, since I had just seen a similar effect on “Fortitude.”) I also smiled at Cisco and kindred spirit Ray coming up with her villain name at the same time (and after Cisco had previously not loved the name Atom).

* Meta: when a superhero played by a man who was once Superman is flying towards STAR Labs, Caitlin asks, “Is that a bird?” while Cisco suggests, “It's a plane,” followed by Felicity explaining, “It's my boyfriend.” (Also, Ray is obviously a “Six Million Dollar Man” fan, based on his line about how “We have the technology.”)

* So far, “Arrow” and “Flash” have been treating Atom as an Iron Man knock-off. Do you think Ray's comment about going smaller in the wake of observing the robotic bees means that he's going to add shrinking to his repertoire, or was it just a wink to the character's powers from the comics?

What did everybody else think?

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