The Flash S4 Ep.2: ‘Mixed Signals’ Review (Spoilers)
This week, The Flash’s promised change in tone became really apparent with the show’s writing taking on a more balanced tone in terms of comedy and serious moments. While this episode opens to the tech-based villain Kilg%re brutally, yet creatively murdering a man using an elevator the episode is still full of laughs.
One of the episodes most fun, yet important moments come when we see Barry recreating Tom Cruise’s famous underwear dance scene from Risky Business. We see him dancing and racing around the apartment multitasking. Barry is getting dressed for the day and attempting to make breakfast when he realizes that he and Iris don’t have any coffee in the house. In this scene, we begin to potentially see the effects of post-Speedforce Barry because his speed is on full display. While it’s not directly mentioned during the episode, Barry’s newfound speed definitely seems to be playing a part in his day to day life. It’s like Barry is trying to rush and do everything even to the point that he even completes the plans for his and Iris’s wedding…..without her help or opinion. Barry’s speed and new feelings of invigoration inspire a HUGE lack of communication between Barry and Iris which I believe has been there since the very beginning.
The lack of communication between Barry and Iris shows the most during a scene when the episode’s villain Kilg%re takes over one of his target’s vehicle. Iris, now the defacto leader of Team Flash, tries to direct Barry into a solution, but Barry and his know-it-all attitude decide to do something else which almost results in the death of the person he’s meant to save. The lack of communication between the two sets the stage for Barry and Iris going to couples therapy which was a suggestion of Caitlyn’s. It’s in couples therapy that one of my biggest issues with the entire series is made apparent. During therapy, it becomes extremely clear that Barry makes a lot of assumptions about his relationship with Iris and rarely does he ever listen or actually ask her how she feels. Over the course of the series, I’ve watched Barry make decisions for the both of them without ever actually consulting with Iris or acknowledging her right to feel…..anything. A prime example is Barry returning from the speed force, but at no point do we see him ask Iris how him being back or most importantly him leaving her makes her feel.
One of my biggest issues with the newest season so far is the complete and utter disregard and disrespect for Wally West. In the comics, it’s a known fact that Wally is the faster of the two Flash’s, and there for a while the show even recognized it. When last season ended with Barry stepping into the speed force, many of us thought we would be getting a Wally-centric season that put him in the spotlight. We were dupped. So far this season Wally has been pushed to the sidelines, almost like the writers have literally no idea what to do with him. Given how smart we know Wally is, its weird to see the writing make him seem so incompetent and lacking in common sense. The show is doing a disservice to the character and Keiynan with the writing of Wally.
Despite the episode featuring a villain that had immense potential in true CW fashion, the characterization and execution were pretty boring and bland. The character lacked any distinguishing or fun characteristics in terms of design and backstory. The Kilg%re character seemed wasted and makes me believe the show should get away from the procedural formula and try something different.
Overall episode 2 of season 4 of The Flash was nothing special. It entertained with its character moments but was overall…..bland. I’m hoping the show starts to go for more interesting villain portrayals and designs. It did, however, give me hope that we will get to see more of Iris finally being flashed out like a real character.