The Flash, S3 Ep05 – Monster

Following the events of last week’s episode, an alternate version of Harrison Wells from Earth-19 has joined Team Flash. That being said, the title of this week’s episode, “Monster”, fortunately does not refer to the new Wells, but to a literal monster attacking Central City. “Monster” attempts to establish the new Wells’ place in the series, as the team attempts to take down a threat larger than anything they’ve dealt with before. Additionally, a subplot sees Caitlyn go to her mother, a cryogenics expert, in order to find a solution to her meta-human abilities.

The Flash -- "Monster" -- Image FLA305b_0180b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Susan Walters as Dr. Tannhauser and Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Mother-daughter reunion

Teen Wolf‘s Susan Walters guest stars as Caitlyn’s mother, Dr. Carla Tannhauser. The two seemingly have a somewhat estranged relationship that runs through beats we’ve seen in similar onscreen relationships. Although, when push comes to shove, at this subplot’s conclusion we see that Dr. Tannhauser does indeed care for her daughter, saving Caitlyn from her mad scientist assistant.

While this relationship doesn’t add much to the overall scope of the show, it is nice to see another aspect of Caitlyn’s life we haven’t seen before. As far as her powers are concerned, it doesn’t seem like things will be getting better for Caitlyn anytime soon.

The episode’s main plot could have been a lot more fun than it was if it hadn’t been for the conclusion. As far as CW CGI standards go, the monster looked cool and seeing The Flash use his speed to figure out a way to destroy a threat of that magnitude would have been very enjoyable. Unfortunately, by the end of the episode we find out that the monster was nothing more than a giant hologram developed by a bullied teenager

The plot did allow for some compelling moments between certain characters. Barry and Julian shared a lot of screen time together and we were able to learn more about what drives Julian. Julian is a bit inconsistent with his feelings on meta-humans. On the one hand he despises them because the majority of them he deals with are all villains, and he dislikes The Flash because he believes he makes the CCPD complacent. On the other hand Julian also states that if he had abilities he would use his power for good, which somewhat contradicts his statements about The Flash. I liked seeing Julian open up to Barry about how he feels, and finding out what drives him adds another layer to the character.

A major aspect of “Monster” dealt with establishing the new Wells. As the episode progresses we realize that there is something up with the new Wells, and Cisco spends much of his screen time being suspicious of his new partner. I would like to reiterate what I said last week about the new Wells, which is that attempting to bring another Wells into the fold without knowing him is a downright dumb idea. Team Flash knew nothing about Earth-19 Wells before taking him in, so for all they knew he could have been evil. “Monster” touches on Cisco’s mistrust of Wells and his mistrust is ultimately proved right by the episode’s conclusion.


Barry and Iris save a bus

Fortunately, by the end of the episode we realize that the Wells of Earth-19 is not a bad person, but kind of just a useless one. On his Earth he is more the face of S.T.A.R. Labs and not the brains. I appreciate that this is the only twist we are getting regarding this character, and he’s not just another bad Wells the team has to get rid of. Still, other than adding some additional comic relief to the series, I don’t yet see how Team Flash will benefit from having this new Wells. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Overall, what should have been this episode’s highlight – the spectacle of this monster attacking Central City – was ultimately disappointing, Still, “Monster” was an enjoyable episode that provided some interesting character moments. In addition to shaping out both Julian and Earth-19 Wells, we even got more into Joe’s possible budding romance with Cecile Horton.

Next week it seems we’ll learn a bit more about Dr. Alchemy, as Wally begins having dreams about his life in the alternate Flashpoint universe. Check out The CW’s official trailer for “Shade” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Monster” in the comments.