Saturday, November 22, 2014

Constantine Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 5 - Danse Vaudou

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.



Plot

The Rising Darkness has come to New Orleans. The restless dead now walk the streets of The Big Easy and are killing random citizens. And John Constantine has put himself on the wrong side of Detective Jim Corrigan - a cop who witnessed one of the strange killings and has little use for supernatural explanations or British con-artists.

Fortunately, Corrigan is quickly made to see the error of his ways. Unfortunately, the trail of accidental resurrections leads to the last magician in the world John Constantine wants to see - Papa Midnite!  But like it or not, the two mages will have to work together in order to fight the shadow that has corrupted Midnite's magic...


Influences

Hellblazer: Original Sins 
(Papa Midnite and John Constantine unite reluctantly to deal with a larger threat), Hellblazer: Damnation's Flame (Expanded background for Papa Midnite, including his sister being given the name Cedella) and various American urban legends about lost hitch-hikers.


Performances

Matt Ryan and Michael James Shaw play off of each other wonderfully as Constantine and Midnite.

Angelica Celaya adds a flirtatious streak to Zed that gives the character a new sense of life. And she does a fine job playing up Zed's competence as she spends most of the episode without John backing her up or instructing her.
  


Pub Trivia


The episode title is French for 'Voodoo Dance'.

Detective Jim Corrigan first appeared in More Fun Comics #52 and was created by Superman co-creator Jerry Seigel and artist Bernard Baily. Corrigan was murdered by gangsters but this was only the beginning of his story. Because of this nature of his death, his anger over how it occurred and his religious upbringing, Jim was offered a chance by the archangel Michael to become an agent of justice against those who had defied the laws of God and escaped punishment. Jim agreed and became the human host of the Angel of Vengeance - The Spectre.

Jim Corrigan wears a green suit throughout the episode.  In the comics, Jim Corrigan is frequently depicted as wearing a green suit when he is not in the form of The Spectre, whose robes are also green.

Papa Midnite speaks to a skull who he addresses as Cedella, whom John refers to as "the hotline to Hell".  In the comics, Papa Midnite sold his own sister's soul to a demon, turning her into "a whore in Hell". His sister slept with various demon lords and, through her skull, told her brother about the events and goings on in Hell.  Apparently this is also the case in the Constantine TV Show universe.

Zed has a vision of Jim Corrigan soaked in blood and surrounded by green mist.  This is probably foreshadowing Corrigan's eventual transformation into The Spectre.


Arcana

John makes use of a zoetrope to put Zed into a hypnotic state.  He claims the one he repaired was used by Queen Victoria's personal medium to put people into trances at seances.

John and Chas both make use of a magical bracelet that can detect spiritual activity.  It glows blue if a spirit was nearby recently and green if one is in the immediate area.  John doesn't say precisely what happens when it glows red, save that "we wouldn't still be standing here".

John has some kind of ability to wipe people's minds after he's talked to them.

We see Chas' "survival skills" in action as he is stabbed to death by the masked ghost woman and is briefly left without a pulse. Later, his wounds seal up. Apparently Chas is truly being resurrected but we get no explanation for how it is happening.

Papa Midnite's ritual to speak with the spirits of the dead makes mention of Papa Legba.  In Vodou, Papa Legba is the spirit (or loa) who oversees crossroads, boundaries and acts as the intermediary between the spirit world and the world of man.  All Vodou ceremonies begin and end with an invocation to Papa Legba, whose permission is needed to speak to the souls of the dead or other loa.

Somehow, The Rising Darkness - using the guilt of living people regarding dead people they felt responsible for killing - manipulated Papa Midnite's spells to allow people to speak to the dead and used them to raise the spirits of the dead


Dialogue Triumphs

(As John & Zed are checking in at a hotel and the clerk says she'll return with the keys to their rooms)
Zed: Two rooms?
John: Oh, I'm flattered, love, but we really out to keep this professional, yeah?
Zed: Does that mean that you respect me?
John: (chuckles) I respect everyone I sleep with. But I usually like to get to know something about them first if you know what I mean?
Zed: You want to know something about me? Just ask.
John: Where do you come from? Why are you running? And how bad is it that risking your life every day with me seems like a pleasant alternative?
Clerk (returning): Can I offer you complementary champagne in your rooms?
Zed: No, thank you. I don't like champagne.  (To John) Now you know something about me.

Jim: How do you live with it? The knowledge that all this can be real? How?
John: It marks you. For life. But it doesn't change who you are.

John: Voodoo's nothing but a magical excuse for a party.

(Papa Midnite takes a seat in the back of his car)
Midnite: Pop the trunk. I need to question him.
John: (spinning around to face him from the driver's seat) Have at it, mate! Ask me anything you like!

Midnite: We have to stop this! We have to put these spirits back down!
John: Right.  So it's, ah... WE now, is it?  I could help you, for sure. But ah... I'm going to need something from you.
Midnite: ... your debt is erased.
John: Ta for that. And ah... I have a question. For your sister.
Midnite: ... only if we are successful.
John: Good enough.

John: You know that old song about the hammer that thinks that everything is a nail?
Midnite: No.
John: You may be Grand Poobah of voodoo, mate, but that's one very specific, very narrow modality.
Midnite: And what do you know? Jackass of all trades?  Master of none?

Midnite: Hear us, gods! This spell is of our own creation! We bow to you united!
John: Well, if it's come to that, mate, these are dark days indeed.

Midnite: You are a magpie of magic! A thief of tradition! You steal from other people's cultures and beliefs to suit your own purposes.
John: Oh yeah? Well.. whatever works, eh?
Midnite: It worked wonders on that little girl you sent to Hell.
John: Well, at least it wasn't my own bloody sister -


Continuity

Zed has a vision of Jim Corrigan as a boy, being taught to shoot a gun by his mother.

Chas prefers staying in chain hotels when he travels, apparently so he can build up reward points. John, by contrast, seems to prefer independently owned hotels and the more expensive they are, the better!

We see that Chas has finally fixed his cab, as he drives it for the first time since The Pilot.

John has impersonated INTERPOL agents in the past.

John is a talented escape artist and is capable of picking the lock on a pair of handcuffs and slipping out of police shackles.

Papa Midnite refers to the events of C103 and how John cost him the record with The Devil's voice.

Jim Corrigan recognizes Zed from a missing person's report, but notes the name Zed is not the one he saw on the report. He says the only other time Zed was spotted was on security camera footage when she stole an apple and a stale cheese sandwich from a gas station.

After consulting with his sister, Papa Midnite declares that John will not be able to stop The Rising Darkness.  More, it will be heralded by someone close to John who will betray him.


Location

New Orleans


John Screws Up

John doesn't consider that the guilt of the living might be responsible for the dead being unable to rest.


The Bottom Line

Probably the strongest episode of the series so far.  Most of the show's on-going mysteries get some exploration (Zed's past, Chas' immortality) and Midnite gets some development revealing that he is not quite as evil as he seemed in his first appearance.  Zed gets to stand on her own apart from John for much of the episode and John and Midnite snarking off each other works wonderfully on both the dramatic and comedic levels.  A must see.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #2 - A Review

The Doctor and Clara's trip to the ice planet of Isen VII has unearthed a lot more than the wedding of the 25th century!  A  distress signal triggered by the terraformers that changed the planet into a lush jungle paradise has revealed the resting place of a Hyperion - one of the last of a race of sentient suns so evil and dangerous that The Time Lords of old broke their usual rules on non-interference to try and put an end to their species for all time!  And now it will fall to The Doctor to finish the job...



Robbie Morrison's script perfectly captures the mad science of a typical Doctor Who story.  More importantly, Morrison has a good feeling for the speech patterns of The Doctor as played by Peter Capaldi and the voice of Clara Oswald.  There is a good deal of snark and sarcasm in the script along with one of the most Doctorish Doctor lines ever - "I like to think of myself as a pacifist but sometimes peace is the thing you have to fight the hardest for."

The artwork by Dave Taylor is decent enough.  Curiously, it seems rushed compared to his turn in the previous issue.  Individual panels look fantastic but the overall quality is quite erratic.  The proportions of Clara's face are noteworthy in this regard, with her eyes at times seeming oddly placed on her face.  Thankfully, these strange moments are few and far between and the final product is quite enjoyable.

PREVIEW: Sally Of The Wasteland #5 - A Review

Sally and Tommy have made it to the forbidden city of New Orleans - the only two members of their little band to survive the trip. But the paradise they were promised proves different than advertised. Can Sally save herself, save her man and save the world? Or is she doomed to speed the rest of her life as breeding stock for a scientist who would really need to get out more even if he weren't sealed up in a giant vault underground?!


In my review of the first two issues of Sally of The Wasteland for Kabooooom.com, I praised the series for its originality.  I likened it to the Fallout series of video games, because of how well it imagined a civilization growing out of The American South and what aspects of that society might survive as legend.  There's also a lot of weird mutants and animals made giant by the radiation.

Alas, the originality that made the first four issues of this series a delight is absent from much of this final issue.  This comic will continue to remind readers of Fallout but this time it will be because the villains live in a gigantic underground vault and are known as The Enclave.  About the only difference is that their form-fitting speed-suits are yellow instead of blue.

I say this not to accuse writer Victor Gischler of plagiarism (post-apocalyptic science-fiction doesn't branch as much as other sub-genres) but merely to voice my shock that the ending - which I will say is a satisfying one - should be so typical of the genre when the earlier issues of the series defied expectations so strongly.  That being said, this final issue is still a laugh riot to read.  And the artwork by Tazio Bettin is still as great as ever.

If you haven't picked up Sally Of The Wasteland yet, you should.  It's a B-movie in comic book form and good fun for anyone who doesn't take their action too seriously.  I give the whole series 4 stars out of 5, with this final issue being 3 out of 5.

Sally Of The Wasteland #5 goes on-sale November 26, 2014.

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 7 - Draw Back Your Bow

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.





Plot

When Issac Stanzler is abducted during his transfer to Iron Heights and turns up dead with an unusual arrow in his chest, it becomes clear that it isn't the work of just another Arrow copycat. Enter Cupid - an ex-cop turned killer, who became obsessed with The Arrow after he saved her during Slade Wilson's night of terror six months earlier. She's convinced that Starling City's favorite hero is her one true love and she'll do anything to get his attention.

Too bad for her that Oliver Queen only has eyes for one woman.  Unfortunately, she's also being romanced by Ray Palmer, whose interest in Ms. Smoak is far from platonic as much as he may insist otherwise. Love is also in the air at Verdant, where a hot-shot new DJ seems to have designs on club-owner Thea Queen... much to Roy Harper's annoyance.

In the flashbacks, Tatsu must put aside her dislike of Oliver Queen when Maseo goes missing during an operation.  The two will work together to investigate the Triad Maseo was staking-out, hoping it is not too late to save him.


Influences

Andrew Kreisberg's run on Green Arrow/Black Canary (introduction of Cupid), Outsiders (elements of Katana's backstory) and Suicide Squad (mentions of Amanda Waller and the squad, as well as the introduction of Captain Boomerang).

Performances

Supernatural alum Amy Gumenick cuts quite the impressive figure as Cupid.  Reportedly, Gumenick auditioned for the part of Laurel Lance when Arrow first started.  Given the way she carries herself in her fight scenes and her chemistry with Stephen Amell, one wonders if perhaps the casting agents for this show made the wrong choice.

Again, it must be said that Ray Palmer would be the creepiest boss this side of Christian Grey were it not for the charisma Brandon Routh brings to the character.  On paper, without inflection, most of Palmer's dialogue to Felicity and actions towards her would come off as unsettling.  But somehow Routh makes it work, playing Palmer as a geek who can't hold back his passion rather than a true creep.

Artistry

The script for this episode - written by Wendy Mericle and Beth Schwartz - does a great job of establishing Cupid as a character and as a credible threat. Indeed, the show's version of Cupid improves upon the comics version, who was something of a villainous Mary Sue figure.

The best shot of the episode?  When Oliver returns to the Arrow Cave after seeing Ray and Felicity kissing in what was his old office, and how his gaze falls on the fern that she put in the cave ... just before he clears the table in frustration.


Trivia

The arrowhead in the show's logo for this episode is changed from the usual green pointed arrowhead to the red, heart-shaped arrowhead used by Cupid.

The episode title - Draw Back Your Bow - comes from the first line of a song by Sam Cooke titled Cupid.  The song is sung by a boy begging Cupid to shoot an arrow into the heart of a girl who doesn't know he exists but who he's sure he can love better than anyone else.

In the comics, Cupid was originally a woman in an abusive marriage who became obsessed with Green Arrow after he saved her from her husband. Determined to prove herself to the man she now saw as her one-true-love, she donned a costume that was basically a sexy ladies Halloween costume based on Green Arrow's costume and set about killing off the super-villains Green Arrow fought most frequently while pushing Oliver Queen into using more lethal force.  She also tried to kill Black Canary, whom she saw as a rival for Green Arrow's affections.

A later ret-con revealed that Cupid was Carrie Cutter - a special-ops soldier who was part of a mysterious government project called COBALT.  It was in while in COBALT that Carrie received a treatment that enhanced her body and made her fearless but also gave her partial amnesia and caused her to experience all other emotions except fear at an extreme level.  It was also revealed that her abusive husband was not really her husband and that what Green Arrow saw as a man beating a woman was actually Carrie's most recent victim struggling with her after being poisoned.

Cupid was co-created by Arrow Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg during his run on the Green Arrow/Black Canary comic.

Cupid's full name on the show is Carrie Hartnell Cutter.  In the comics, she used Carrie Hartnell as an alias.

Cupid's background on the show is quite different from the comics. Here, she's an ex-cop and SWAT team member who quit the SCPD after undergoing psychological evaluation after stalking her partner. She becomes fixated on The Arrow after he saves her from a Mirakuru soldier during Slade Wilson's attack on Starling City.

Cupid is handy enough as a fletcher to construct her own arrows and had some basic training with explosives.  Cupid may be skilled enough with computers to encrypt a SIM card or she may have seduced hacker Kirby Bates into doing the work for her.

The address Cupid puts in the arrowhead for The Arrow to find is 15 Baron Street.  This may be a reference to both Mike Baron (the color artist on Green Arrow/Black Canary when Cupid first appeared) and the comic in which Cupid first appeared -  Green Arrow/Black Canary #15.

Carrie Cutter is part of a gardening group and she holds local mob boss Joe Gravado hostage in the greenhouse of a business called Sherwood Florist.  Classic Green Arrow fans will recognize Sherwood Florist as the name of the shop that Dinah Lance ran in Seattle during the Mike Grell run on Green Arrow.

The hacker Cupid seduces into helping her locate The Arrow's hideout is named Kirby Bates.  This may be a nod to Hannibal Bates - a criminal from DC Comics whom also teamed up with Cupid against Green Arrow in the comics.  The only common link between the two characters - apart from the last names and criminal pasts - is the fact that both were killed by Cupid once they outlived their usefulness.

Another reference is made to Saint Walker's hospital.  Saint Walker is the name of the leader of The Blue Lantern Corps.

Tatsu Yamashio proves to be an excellent sword fighter, capable of fighting several men at once. This is no surprise to fans of the comics, who will recognize Tatsu Yamashio as the superheroine Katana.

Cupid's drink of choice is a Cupid's Kiss.  This is the name of several real-world cocktails but it is unclear which version Cupid ordered.

The deathtrap that Cupid arranges for The Arrow, handcuffing him to a train-track is a direct nod to a trap that Cupid set for Green Arrow in the comics.  Here, Ollie escapes by dislocating his thumb to break free of the handcuffs.  In the original comics, Black Canary rescued him.

Diggle says that Cutter is "even nuttier than the last woman they had in the Suicide Squad".  This is definitely a reference to Harley Quinn, who shares Cupid's penchant for obsessive love.

Mr. Gardner - the man whose mine Ray Palmer is trying to purchase - is named in tribute to Gardner Fox. Gardner Fox was the DC Comics writer who created the Ray Palmer version of The Atom.

It probably isn't a coincidence that the dress that Ray Palmer buys for Felicity is blue - his favorite color

Ray Palmer officially changes Queen Consolidated's name to Palmer Technologies.  The logo for the company is a blue P, circled by a single electron.

It's revealed near the end of the episode that Ray Palmer's main interest in Mr. Gardner's mine was in acquiring the dwarf-star material inside it.  This ties into a project he is working on called The A.T.O.M. ExoSuit, which resembles The Atom's costume in the comics.  Dwarf-Star Material was also the power source for The Atom's shrinking technology in the comics.

The assassin we see in the final scene of the episode is Captain Boomerang, who we will discuss in more detail next time.


Technobabble

Oliver determines that Cupid's arrowheads are hand-soldered out of high carbon steel.

NPP is an abbreviation for Nitrogen Phosphate Potash. It's the technical term for a variety of fertilizer.

Carrie Cutter suffers from an attachment disorder - an inability to form real, lasting relationships which causes the patient to become fixated on one person.


Dialogue Triumphs

Felicity: This dress? Costs more than my apartment.
Ray: Yeah. Couture, which I'm pretty sure is French for expensive. So, dinner? Purely platonic.
Felicity: There is nothing platonic about couture.

Cupid: If I’m out of my mind then that’s only because that’s what love is - our own little slice of insanity.

John:
You and Ray. Doesn't seem that platonic. Actually, it has Oliver twisted up in knots.
Felicity: Oliver made his choice.
John: And we both know that was the wrong choice.
Felicity: And did Oliver say that?
John: Oh yeah.  Because Oliver's just great at expressing his emotions.

Arrow: (to Cupid, with Felicity listening) I understand that you're hurting and I what it's like to want someone but not be able be with them. How you wish things could be different, but they can't. I can't be with you; I can't be with anyone. I have to be alone.

Captain Boomerang: That's the thing about our work.
(Captain Boomerang throws a boomerang which spins around to stab the thug in the back)
Captain Boomerang: It always comes back to haunt you.


Continuity

Issac Stanzler, from the last episode, is discovered dead, dressed like The Arrow, with an arrow in his chest.

Ollie deduces that Cupid was not Sara Lance's killer very quickly.

Tatsu and Maseo left Japan because it was no longer safe after they angered someone very powerful.

Roy is seen researching the police officer he killed on the computers in the Arrow Cave.

Oliver calls Roy by the codename Arsenal in the field for the first time.

The new DJ at Verdant - who Thea hires despite his braggadocios nature - is named Chase.

Ollie is fast enough to dodge arrows at close range.

Oliver hands Cupid over to Amanda Waller rather than the police, saying that at least as part of The Suicide Squad she might do some good.


The Bottom Line

Arrow needed a great episode to rebound after last week and it got it. Really, the only problem with the episode is that the subplot with Thea and the DJ feels tacked on and not enough is done to explore how Roy is coping with the collapse of his relationship.  Apart from that, one can easily say this is the best episode of Season 3 so far.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 6 - The Flash Is Born

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.



Plot

A new metahuman criminal has taken Central City by storm - a man of living metal who Barry finds hard to fight.  Partly because his super-strong skin makes him resistant to even a flurry of blows from The Fastest Man Alive. And partly because he's Tony Woodward - the bully who made Barry's life miserable in middle school!

As Cisco and Caitlin put their minds to work on figuring out how to dent Woodward's metal frame and Woodward goes after The Flash's biggest fangirl, Iris West, Barry receives help from an unlikely source - Eddie Thawne.  And Joe West continues the investigation into Nora Allen's murder, interviewing a most unlikely suspect - Harrison Wells!


Influences

The Flash comics of Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Scriver.


Performances

For the first time, Eddie Thawne is given a chance to interact with the cast in a way that doesn't involve his relationship with Iris.  And Rick Cosnett does a fine job of fleshing Eddie out and turning him into a likable character.  The scene where he bonds with a reluctant Barry while teaching him how to box is a charming one and it's nice to see Eddie being given some definition.

By that same token, it's nice to see Harrison Wells building a friendship of sorts with Joe West after weeks of cryptic remarks and secretiveness.  And Tom Cavanagh brilliantly plays up the cool scientist reluctantly opening up.  We all know Wells is up to something and it's intriguing that we still don't know how honest he's being with Joe... or how far he may have gone to hide his past.


Artistry

The scene in which The Flash starts running to take down Girder is a perfect blend of music and special effects, working in harmony.


Flash Facts

For the first time someone besides Barry does the opening and closing narrations.  This time, it's Iris.

Girder was created by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Scriver during their run on The Flash comic. Girder was originally Anthony "Tony" Woodward - a steel worker who was thrown into a vat of molten steel after he s assaulted a beloved female co-worker and the rest of the workers rioted.  The vat contained melted materials from a STAR Labs experiment and that somehow turned Anthony into a man of living metal.

The origin of the show's version of Girder differs from this only in that his death was an accident and that his struggle with co-workers was based around his attacking the manager who gave him a pink slip.

Unlike the show's version of Girder, the comic book version could not transform back to a normal human form.  Also, the original Girder was taller than a normal human.

Girder was given a visual redesign in the New 52 Flash comics, which looks quite close to the TV show version of Girder.  It is unclear what this new Girder's backstory is or how he got his powers, though he is still presumed to be named Tony Woodward.

Girder's criminal career in the comics was relatively short lived as he began rusting and rotting into nothing.  The kegs in the back of Girder's get-away car - from the Rusty Iron Brewing Company - are a reference to this.

The Rusty Iron Brewing Company is located in Keystone City - the sister city of Central City and home of the third Flash, Wally West, in the comics.

A sign when Barry and Eddie visit the Rusty Iron Brewing Company urges people to visit historic Garrick's Wharf.  This is named in honor of Jay Garrick a.k.a. The first superhero to call himself The Flash.

Dr. Wells describes Girder as "a man of steel".  The Man of Steel is probably the most popular nickname for Superman.

It's worth noting that Barry in the comics is a notoriously bad liar and not that fast-on-his-feet when it comes to improvising - something we see in his scene where he tries (and fails) to explain Girder's bullet-proof nature to Eddie Thawne.

Iris' co-worker at the coffee shop is named Stacy.  This may be a reference to Stacy Conwell - a supporting character from the Flash comics in the 1970s.

Iris describes Girder's power as transforming "like an Iron Fist".  Iron Fist is a Marvel Comics hero - a martial artist who focuses his energy into the super-strong punch from which he takes his name.  This is similar to what Barry does later to defeat Girder.

Iris makes mention of investigating another metahuman at the episode's end - a man who is on fire except he doesn't burn up.  This "Burning Man"may be a foreshadowing of Firestorm, whose head - in the comics - does vent flame.

The Man In Yellow leaves a knife in a picture of Iris in Joe's house.  This could be a reference to how - in the comics - The Reverse-Flash killed Iris West.


Technobabble

The gravel Barry pulled from Woodward's car contained 76.8% hematite which was consistent with the mine at Keystone Iron Works.

Barry has to hit Girder at Mach 1.1 (837 MPH) in order to do any damage.  This requires a running distance of at least 5.3 miles.  This is faster than the speed of sound and Barry does generate a sonic boom before he punches Girder.


Dialogue Triumphs

Iris:
To understand what I'm about to tell you, you need to do something first. Can you do that?  Good. Because all of us, we've forgotten what miracles look like. Maybe because they haven't made much of an appearance lately. Our lives have become ordinary. But there's someone out there who is truly extraordinary. I don't know were you came from. I don't know your name. But I have seen you do the impossible to protect the city I love.  So for those of us who believe in you and what you're doing, I just want to say thank you.

(Harrison enters the room in the middle of an argument betwen Cisco and Caitlin)
Harrison: What exactly are we debating?
Cisco: How many bugs Barry swallows in a day of running.
Harrison: (dryly) I look forward to seeing you accept your Nobel.

Cisco: Supersonic Punch, baby!

Tony: Who the hell do you think you are?
Barry: You know who I am.
Tony: Allen?
Barry: The thing that happened to you, Tony, happened to me too. But it didn't just give us abilities. It made us more of who we are. You got strong, I got fast. Fast enough to beat you. You used your gift to hurt people. Not anymore.

Iris: Today I was saved by the impossible  A mystery man. The Fastest Man Alive. Then a friend gave me an idea for a new name.  And something tells me it's going to catch on.


Continuity

Iris' opening and closing narration speeches are callbacks to Barry's opening and closing speeches in The Pilot.

Joe West taught both Iris and Barry how to fight as children.

Girder is imprisoned in The Pipeline at episode's end.

Harrison Wells opened STAR Labs one month after Nora Allen's murder.  He was married to a woman named Tess Morgan, who was also his research partner in Maryland.  He moved to Central City to start over after she died in a car accident.

It is Barry who suggests the name The Flash to Iris.

Joe West is harassed by a super-fast figure in yellow... just like the one that klled Nora Allen.  It leaves a knife in a picture of Iris on his wall.


The Fridge Factor

Though she spends most of the episode as the damsel in distress, it is Iris who delivers the knock-out punch to Girder while he's stunned and in his normal form after The Flash's super-sonic punch.


The Boomerang Factor

While it is personally satisfying for Barry to reveal to his childhood bully that he is the one who brought him down, it's also phenomenally stupid for him to go revealing his secret identity to Girder.


The Bottom Line

A decent episode though not as great as some of what we've seen so far.  Personal connections to Barry and Iris aside, Girder isn't the most interesting villain and the boy/girl/bully dynamic isn't wholly original.  The best bits of the episode involve fleshing out the two most undeveloped characters in the cast - Eddie and Harrison.  Those scenes, coupled with the teaser at the end, raise new questions about the on-going arc of the show that are far more interesting than Barry facing his childhood bully and proving the power of science.  That said, the scene when Barry delivers his first supersonic punch is a great one and sure to warm the heart of every comic fan who was ever bullied.