An epic Barry vs. Wally race, Killer Frost and Clive Yorkin in the latest Flash

Contributed by
Feb 8, 2017

Spoilers ahead for "Untouchable," the latest episode of The CW's Flash!

The short version: Clive Yorkin can turn anything to ash and is hunting down former Flashpoint cops. Barry is training Wally, and superhero-ing gets very real for Wally when Iris almost dies because he couldn't save her. Caitlin almost goes Killer Frost, but Julian walks her back from the edge.

The good: Flash vs. Kid Flash race, Wally, Joe knows

This episode was a fairly heavy one, but the opening provided some much-needed levity — plus the race fans have been wanting to see all season. It turns out Wally is almost as fast as Barry and can already hold his own in a foot race. You know, at least until Barry pulls out his nifty tricks that Wally hasn't quite figured out yet. It was a great action set piece, and considering this is a show about people who can run really fast, it's high time we got a race. The race set up a larger story where Barry realizes that he actually needs to show — not just tell — when it comes to teaching Wally how to be a hero and master the powers of the Speed Force.

Barry might've been tutored by his fair share of supervillains in disguise, but he still learned a lot from those guys. Barry needs to be that kind of teacher for Wally and to see him come to that realization really felt earned. It also sets up an interesting counterpoint to the way Barry interacts with the Speed Force. Barry seems to tap into it in a more nuanced, thoughtful way while Wally comes at it like a race car driver, reveling in the raw power and (well) speed. Seeing those two styles clash has been a surprising dynamic this season.

Speaking of Wally, he did a whole lot of growing up this episode. Team Flash plans to take full advantage of the young hero in the burgeoning plan to save Iris in the future, and he learned the consequences of being a millisecond too slow this week. Wally has been treating this gig like a game, but having the stakes upped this week was a much-needed dose of reality. They've managed to do a great job of making sure Wally's hero’s journey is very different from the one we've already seen with Barry. Keep it up.

Finally, Iris tells Joe about her pending death in the future. And it's about time. Her excuse was that it would distract Joe too much, but after his initial shock of being left out of the loop, Joe found his balance and pitched in to help work the problem. Keeping him in the dark this long was dumb and seemed like the kind of subplot you'd expect in Season 1, not Season 3.

The bad: The mechanics of Clive Yorkin's abilities, Julian and Caitlin

 

First off, the use of classic, B-list Flash baddie Cline Yorkin in this episode was solid, and his powers brought a fresh visual approach and unique challenge for Team Flash. However, seeing his abilities in action left some dangling plot holes. So, he can disintegrate anything he touches, but only the stuff he chooses to destroy, apparently (since his clothes are on him, and don’t turn to ash)? But, when Joe tries to shoot him, the bullets dissolve when they hit his shirt — not his skin. So, he can transfer his power through intimate objects? If that's the case, couldn't he just use his ability through anything and, like, turn the whole planet to ash? Okay, maybe I'm thinking too hard about this ...

Also, the big plan to neutralize his powers was a silly McGuffin of massive proportions. Phasing through him and essentially doing a blood transfusion on the fly? Because Flash blood makes his powers not work, or something? Blah blah, science jargon? C'mon, guys. That's weak sauce even by made-up science standards.

Lastly: Are they setting up a possible love connection between Julian and Caitlin, or just a blossoming friendship? It was hard to read the vibe, but if they're looking romantic? Umm, no. The chemistry is just not there. At all. Yes, Caitlin deserves to be happy, but this dude doesn't look to be the answer ... though he did provide a sweet pep talk to talk her back from going full-on Killer Frost. But still. No.

Line of the night:

"That's a Sophie's choice I'm not gonna make." -Joe

Lingering questions:

Holy crap, Jesse Quick is back! And Grodd has Harry, apparently? In Gorilla City on Earth-2? Yeah, that sounds like it'll be one crazy fun story. Plus, thanks to the future news ticker, we know at least some of that gorilla insanity should spill over into Earth 1 at some point.

Up next: GRODD. Umm, again. But you'll have to wait until February 21 because The Flash is taking a night off next week.