Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 18 - All-Star Team Up

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


Barry's new partnership with Eddie Thawne and Joe West as The Flash is making fighting crime more efficient. Unfortunately, hiding Barry's secret is taking a toll on Eddie and Iris's relationship. And Barry is having trouble hiding his mistrust of Dr. Wells and his friends at STAR Labs.

It's the worst time for a visit so naturally Felicity Smoak comes to town, with Ray Palmer in tow, to seek STAR Labs advice on how to improve The ATOM suit. But Barry may be thankful for the back-up, as a mysterious menace threatens the scientific community of Central City with a deadly bee weapon.

Bees. My God.


The comics of Gardner Fox, particular his work on The Flash, The Atom and All-Star Comics.


Apart from the connection to The Atom, there's no good reason to call this week's villain The Bug Eyed Bandit.  Queen Bee would make much more sense given that she only uses robot bees. Plus she didn't actually rob anyone.

Ray Palmer builds a multi-million dollar power armor suit... and doesn't make it water proof?


The chemistry between Emily Bett Rickards and Brandon Routh as Felicity and Ray is amazing. What a shame we Arrow-Heads already know the relationship has gone south.

Grant Gustin is cursed to be a straight-man 90% of the time on this show. Yet he gets to showcase his comedic and dramatic skills quite well in this episode. The former comes as he plays the fifth wheel at the dinner date and the later comes in his speech to Iris where he tries to defend Eddie Thawne's odd behavior.


The shot of the bees emerging from the second victim's mouth is truly horrific.

There's a parallel made in this episode between Barry and Ollie, with Barry telling Iris that he just wants her to be happy with Eddie. This is the exact same thing Oliver told Felicity when he found out she was dating Ray, on Arrow.

Flash Facts

The title for this episode comes from All-Star Comics - a 1940's series which was the first comic to team-up the most popular heroes of All-American Publications, which was one of the two companies that joined to form DC Comics.

The first superhero team - The Justice Society of America - first appeared in All-Star Comics #3.

The original Flash and Atom - Jay Garrick and Al Pratt- were among the eight founding members of The Justice Society.

In the episode's opening scene, Barry makes a reference to catching someone committing indecent exposure in Powell Park. This could be a reference to Desmond Powell - a character from the 1990s The Flash TV show, who was the vigilante Nightshade.  Nightshade, in turn, was based on The Sandman - another JSA founder and another Gardner Fox creation.

Indecent exposure is also known as 'flashing'.  So The Flash caught a flasher in this episode.

We see another reference to Hudson University - a college in DC Comics that is nominally located in upstate New York.  Perhaps they have a campus in Central City.

Cisco paraphrases a line from Raiders of the Lost Ark - "Bees. Why did it have to be bees?".  The original line referred to Indiana Jones' fear of snakes.

Cisco and Caitlin make reference to the opening of the 1953 Adventures of Superman show, quoting the introduction to the show "Look, up in the sky - it's a bird!  It's a plane!" This is also a reference to the fact that Brandon Routh, who plays Ray Palmer, also played Clark Kent/Superman in the 2006 movie Superman Returns.

In the comics, the original Bug-Eyed Bandit was an inventor named Bertram Larvan, who invented a robot insect that could be used to eliminate real insects. Unable to secure the financial backing needed to mass produce his robots, he resolved to steal the money he needed with his prototype... then just kept on stealing, as he built more and more robotic insects and arachnids.  He would go on to be a frequent nemesis of The Atom, until he accidentally dosed himself with amnesia gas and forgot all about his evil plans.

The DCTVU version of The Bug Eyed Bandit is similar, except that she is a woman named Brie Larvan. Also, she seems to be less interested in money and more interested in revenge on the people responsible for her losing her job.

Ray Palmer quotes the opening of the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man - "We have the technology."

Ray makes another reference to the solution to his problems with his suit to be "going smaller".  In the comics, Ray Palmer's super-power is shrinking.

Felicity makes a reference to not charging Barry five cents for her advice.  This is a reference to the old Peanuts comic-strip, where Lucy offered advice for five cents.


Anaphylkaxis is the medical term for a severe allergic reaction.

Apitoxin is the technical term for honey bee venom.

When a honey bee stings a target, their stingers are torn from their abdomen. This kills the honey bee.

A honey bee can only deposit .1 milligrams of apitoxin when it stings a target. Dr. Linsay Kang, the first murder victim, had enough apitoxin in her system to kill a herd of elephants.

Bees communicate by releasing pheromones.

Angry bees will wait for a target to surface for air, should they submerge themselves under water.

The ATOM Suit has solid oxide fuel cells in the belt. According to Ray, this was the only way to hide the hardware.

Cisco theorizes the problem may be the operating temperature and that the suit is overheating. He suggests that a ceramic compound might insulate the fuel cells and improve the overall operating efficiency.

Barry's suit has a built in defibrillator capable of generating a shock of 400 joules.

Brie Larvan's robot bees each have a 360 degree vision system, with multiple micro-cameras capable of recording from various angles at the same time.

The mechanical bees were originally developed for agricultural uses.  Brie Larvan weaponized them for military uses.

The bees are controlled wirelessly.  Felicity is able to track them and later hack their signal to shut them down.

Dialogue Triumphs

(looking at the half-full back-seat of his and Eddie's patrol car as they chase a car)
Joe: We're going to run out of room though.
The Flash: I'll take care of it.
(The Flash exits the car at super-speed and grabs Joe West from the passenger's side of the car)
Eddie: (not noticing Joe is gone as he drives)
What do you think he meant by that?
(In the blink of an eye, The Flash deposits Joe in the driver's seat of the fleeing car. A second later, the driver is in handcuffs next to Eddie in the police car)
Oh!  That's what he meant.
(Cut to the crook's car, where the crook in the passenger's seat is looking behind them, not noticing Joe is now driving the car.)
Crook: I think we lost them.
Joe: Uhhh... no, you didn't. And by the way, you're under arrest.

Dr. Wells: Your ATOM suit is quite the technological achievement, Mr. Palmer.  I'm impressed.
Caitlin: And he is never impressed.
Ray: Well, thank you, but I can't quite seem to keep it up.
Felicity: (quickly cutting in) He means the suit!
Ray: Yeah. I mean the suit.
Felicity: Yeah. I can attest that everything else works just fine! There's nothing we need to fix in that area.
Ray: No, no, no...the sex is great!
Caitlin: God, there's two of them.

(Regarding Iris being kept ignorant of Barry's secret identity)
Joe: Keeping her in the dark keeps her safe.
Eddie: I don't agree.
Joe: Well, I'm her father.
Eddie: And I'm her boyfriend. When does my vote outweigh yours?
Joe: When you become her husband.

(Upon finding out Felicity knows Barry's secret identity)
Eddie: So everyone BUT Iris?
Barry: Feels that way.

Dr. McGee: To what do I owe this visit? Did you finally find my tachyon prototype, or are you here to blackmail me for another one?
Dr. Wells: Do you have another one?

Barry: Iris? Remember when we were kids and Joe would come home from work with that blank expression on his face?
Iris: Yeah. The "Earth To Joe" look. How could I forget?
Barry: I never understood that look until I started working for the CCPD. Showing up at crime scenes and seeing someone murdered? It can be... ugly work. I'm lucky. I get to hide behind the science of it and just stay in my lab, but Eddie... he's out there. Every day. In the darkness. I just think that maybe if he doesn't want to talk to you about his work, it's probably because he wants to keep you in the light.

Caitlin: You're so lucky. Ray's so nice and smart and hot.
Felicity: Yeah, it's kind of like I'm dating Barry but in Oliver's body.
(Felicity turns beet red)
Felicity: A sentence you will never repeat to anyone!

Dialogue Disasters

Every damned bee pun that Brie Larvan makes.


Cisco has a fear of bees.

Cisco begins having visions of his death in the alternate timeline in 115.

Dr. Tina McGee is seen for the first time since 109. She refers to the Mercury Labs Tachyon Device, which The Reverse Flash stole in that same episode.

Felicity makes reference to Oliver Queen bringing her a bullet-riddled laptop (A103) and hacking some company's website (A111) before she knew he was The Arrow and coming up with the worst excuses for why he needed her to do these things.

Barry uses his speed powers to generate controlled electrical blasts for the first time, creating a shock that restarts Cisco's heart.

Dr. Tina McGee says that she and Harrison Wells were close friends 15 years earlier but that after Tess Morgan's death it was like he became another person.

Iris dumps Eddie.

Barry tells Cisco and Caitlin his suspicions about Harrison Wells being The Reverse Flash.

Cisco tells Caitlin, Barry and Joe about his visions of Harrison Wells being the Reverse-Flash and killing him.

The Boomerang Factor

There's no reason Barry shouldn't have been able to outrun the bee robots.

The Bottom Line

Mostly dreadful. The show is now openly mocking how contrived it is that Iris is the only person who doesn't know Barry Allen's secret identity at this point and Barry is nerfed so that The Atom can be useful and Felicity can have a nemesis. Never mind that she already had one in The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak.  And yet, the cast manage to make most of this work through sheer charisma, with the exception of Emily Kinney, who portrays the villain of the week with a cheesiness that makes Uma Thurman's performance as Poison Ivy look restrained.

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