The Flash, S1 Ep18 – All Star Team Up

Arrow‘s Brandon Routh and Emily Bett Rickards guest star on this week’s episode of The Flash, “All Star Team Up”. Ray Palmer (Routh) and Felicity Smoak (Rickards) make their way to Central City in need of assistance from S.T.A.R. Labs to improve Ray’s A.T.O.M. suit. Unfortunately, they arrive at an inappropriate time as Barry has become increasingly suspicious of Dr. Harrison Wells and doesn’t want anyone else involved in this ordeal. On top of that a new villain arrives in the form of Brie Larvan, a.k.a. Bug-Eyed Bandit, played by The Walking Dead‘s Emily Kinney.

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Just tell her, Eddie!

While “All Star Team Up” remained very upbeat throughout, pitting The Flash and The Atom against a villain who uses mechanized bees to do her bidding all while spewing bee-puns as if inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s take on Mr. Freeze, one of the episode’s more dramatic and interesting aspects was the relationship between Iris and Eddie. Although Barry is now steadily teaming up with Detective West and Eddie in order to capture criminals around Central City, Eddie isn’t keen on continuously lying to Iris about what he has recently been privy to. Unlike Barry and Joe, Eddie doesn’t agree with keeping Iris in the dark and even feels guilty about it.

I have to say I completely agree with Eddie on this one. There is absolutely no reason everybody else can know about Barry’s heroic identity and Iris can’t. This ongoing lie is just going to make things worse when Iris eventually does find out the truth. Things are already starting to go bad in “All Star Team Up” as Eddie’s dishonesty leads to some very awkward dinner conversation and ultimately dooms Eddie and Iris’ romantic relationship.

The meat of “All Star Team Up” focuses on the partnering up of The Flash and The Atom. Brandon Routh’s portrayal of Ray Palmer in this episode is much more animated than his portrayal on the dark and gritty Arrow. Recently at WonderCon 2015, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg stated that due to The Flash having a larger budget than Arrow we would see some “full on Atom action” in “All Star Team Up”. This week’s episode did not fail in that department as we got to see plenty of shots of The Atom flying about in Central City, shocking Brie Larvan’s bees with his repulsor blasts. Additionally, we get to see some great, laugh-out-loud moments between Ray and Cisco as the two bro out over science. Seeing the two of them simultaneously come up with the name “Bug-Eyed Bandit” was a real treat. Fun fact: The original Bug-Eyed Bandit made his first appearance in 1966 in The Atom #26.

Those who enjoyed seeing Emily Kinney on The Walking Dead should be pleased to see her take as Brie Larvan on The Flash, although Kinney’s Larvan is huge departure from her role as Beth on AMC’s horror series. Throughout the episode Kinney seems to be having fun playing a role so different, chewing the scenery with clichéd villain speak and bee puns. Brie’s motivations aren’t fleshed out too much. We find out she has a vendetta against a few science professors who fired her and stopped her from completing her work. One of those professors is returning character Dr. Tina McGee, who later sheds some light on past developments of Dr. Wells.

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The Atom arrives in Central City

Throughout “All Star Team Up” Barry’s distrust of Wells is heavily apparent. His recent realization that Wells may be the man who murdered his mother has now started leading him to be distrustful of those who have worked with Wells. Cisco heroically taking the sting of one of Larvan’s robotic killer bees to save Ray aides in convincing Barry that Cisco is on the good side, leading Barry to informing him and Caitlin of what he knows about Wells.

One of the weirdest and most surprising elements of this episode are Cisco’s visions of the timeline thought lost. He somehow remembers when Dr. Wells revealed his true identity and remembers being killed by him. How this is possible is not clear, but it helps convince Cisco that Barry may be in the right when Barry explains that Dr. Wells is the Reverse-Flash. Usually in time travel themed stories, if you go back in time and change the present then that former present timeline should no longer exist, even in a character’s memories, unless they were the ones doing the time traveling. The idea that Cisco could remember events from a lost timeline is a unique and interesting twist on the time travel genre. Now I’m just wondering who else will star remember things.

“All Star Team Up” gave us exactly what the title implies it would – a fun team up episode between The Flash and The Atom. It was nice to see The Atom really strut his stuff on The Flash, as the character hasn’t been able to do too much on Arrow. The episode had an even blend of action, drama, and plenty of humor. Emily Kinney’s campy take on Brie Larvan was fun to watch and her mechanized killer bees made her a formidable opponent for The Flash. Overall, this episode was very entertaining. My only complaint story-wise would be the fact that Iris still doesn’t know The Flash’s secret identity, yet everyone else does. I know I’ve said it repeatedly in past reviews, but it still bugs me. It was nice to see that Eddie agrees.

In next week’s episode Barry and the rest of the team will delve deeper into uncovering the truth behind Harrison Wells. Check out the promo for “Who Is Harrison Wells?” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “All Star Team Up” in the comments.

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