Season One, Episode Twelve – “Crazy For You”

The-Flash-season-1-episode-12-The-Flash-talks-to-ShawnaBy Molly Jane Kremer and Jarrod Jones. The phrase “Freak of the Week” gets thrown around a lot here at TUBE ROCKET, but with The Flash‘s twelfth episode, not only are we introduced to yet another baddie in Peek-a-Boo, but apparently Cisco just can’t let the Pied Piper stay in his damn cell. (And let’s not forget that pre-credits sewer tunnel sequence. No, no, let’s not forget about that.) We get to witness how well the show can juggle two disparate Rogues at once, and the answer is: not well. There’s no bad guy team-ups here, folks, just a whole bunch of dischord. “Crazy For You” just can’t keep its narrative plates spinning. It sacrifices so much (Henry Allen’s prison subplot; Pied Piper’s escape) for so little (karaoke and Barry’s love life, which, blech).

WHAT WORKED: As always, the special effects on The Flash amaze, especially on the budget the CW has decided to give the show in its first season. From the opening scene, featuring the Flash racing to saving a couple from a nasty car wreck, to Peek-a-Boo’s smoky teleportations, to when Barry has to (in bullet-time, of course) stop a bullet from piercing his neck, the episode is never not an eye-grabbing one.

WHAT DIDN’T: With so many characters requiring the series’ attention, “Crazy For You” might be the first episode that focused more on fan service than on narrative common sense. Cisco lets the Pied Piper free, but everything’s cool, because there’s the rest of the episode to worry about? Naw. And Barry’s father is beaten and stabbed in Iron Heights Prison offscreen, but the episode’s most dramatic moment is jettisoned so Barry (Grant Gustin) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) can hog more screentime in order to sing “Summer Lovin'”? Nope, nope, nope.

Cisco: How can you speak six different languages and still sound like a dick in all of them?

(A very hungover) Dr. Caitlin Snow: I’d like to yell and wave my arms, but I’m afraid I’d throw up.

BEST MOMENT: Cisco vs. Hartley. Even in the face of Barry’s first hand-caught bullet, watching Hartley (Andy Mientus) play mind games with the quite-brilliant but still-naïve Cisco (Carlos Valdes) elicited the most “oohs” and “aahs” from DoomRocket HQ’s cat-infested couch. And that was before they started throwing punches.

EPISODE’S MVP: Barry Allen. With this episode focusing on everyone’s personal lives and less on their day-jobs, it was nice to see Barry put a couple in the Win column this week. He gets a lot of face time with Jail-Dad (John Wesley Shipp), although Cop-Dad (Jesse L. Martin) has sadly seen less and less screentime in the past couple episodes. And not only does he rock the socks off everyone at that “divey” karaoke bar, he gets the attention of a lady who might actually return his affections. (Linda Park, as played by Malese Jow.) Even with an episodic fumble like this running about, we can always rely on our leading man to always outpace the more glaring flaws.

The-Flash-season-1-episode-12-Iris-Barry-LindaFLASH FACTS:

– It’s 2015. Nobody likes “Summer Lovin'”, not even ironically.

– Jarrod’s a bartender, and it is his professional opinion that Barry and Caitlin have no business being in a bar. Their bar etiquette leaves much to be desired. (They probably tip like shit too: Caitlin – “(after downing a ridiculous amount of liquor) Waitress! I would like to start a ‘tab’.“)

– Waitresses? Tables? We seriously wonder whether the writers or set designers have ever actually been to an actual dive bar. We’d like them to take us to the L&L or the Whirlaway, because they owe us drinks for that particular gaffe.

– Peek-a-Boo made her pre-New52 DC Universe debut in Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins The Flash (vol. 2) #180, in January 2002. (Though her name, and her motives, have been changed: Lashawn Baez is now known as Shawna Baez, and instead of attempting to use her powers to save her father, she’s here to enable her criminal scumbag boyfriend.)

– While the bullet catch was an impressive effect, that doesn’t excuse Barry’s smirky “faster than a speeding bullet” crack. Y’know. Like there’s a Superman flying around.

– Look, we know the show’s writers probably really, really want Barry to get a girlfriend (most likely just to romantically confuse Iris further), but Linda Park is Wally West (or: Iris’ nephew)’s wife. Our inner-devoted comic book readers are barfing into a paper bag right now. Gross.

– “You’re not the only one who understands vibrations.” Once Cisco gets his inevitable Vibe spin-off, we hope hope hope that he takes Hartley along with him. These two are perfect nemeses.

– Let’s talk spoilers for a sec. *LAST CHANCE: PEACE OUT OR BE INFORMED* K. So that was definitely Grodd down there, but those “GRODDs” scrawled all over the sewer tunnels are probably meant to imply that our favorite evil gorilla has yet to achieve the mental powers necessary to take down the Flash. But if they build him the way they’re building Reverse-Flash, it will most definitely be worth the wait.