Catching Up: The Flash, Episode 306, "Shade"

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The Flash Episode 306, "Shade"

While there was certainly a bad guy to be caught in THE FLASH last night, there wasn't much focus put on him. In fact, once apprehended, Shade (MIKE MCLEOD) didn't even get a speaking part, let alone an origin story.

The story instead focused more on the changing dynamics within Team Flash, such as the secret Caitlin (DANIELLE PANABAKER) is keeping regarding her developing cold powers, and the dreams Wally (KEIYNAN LONSDALE) is having about being Kid Flash.

Yes, Wally tells Joe (JESSE L. MARTIN) he's been having dreams of being a speedster named Kid Flash, and when Joe tells Barry (GRANT GUSTIN), Barry confirms that Wally was Kid Flash in the Flashpoint timeline. It's apparent that Doctor Alchemy (voiced by TOBIN BELL) is now reaching out to Wally's mind to force him to remember his Flashpoint experience, so Team Flash decide that the safest thing to do is lock Wally up in the Pipeline -- S.T.A.R. Labs special underground prison for metahumans -- for his own protection.

Meanwhile, Cisco (CARLOS VALDES) has been working on some power-dampening cuffs designed for metahumans. When they later go missing, Caitlin confesses that she took them to dampen her own emerging powers, which she demonstrates to him. She then asks him to use his Vibe powers to look into her future, where Cisco sees her in her full Killer Frost form, fighting with a costumed Vibe and The Flash. However, he tells her he didn't see anything indicating that she would turn evil, to keep her from running away and going into seclusion. He urges her to tell the group, and later forces her hand that way, earning some bitter scorn from her that it wasn't his secret to tell.

With Shade captured, the team turns their full attention to Alchemy, determining that the pain Wally is enduring being kept locked up is too much, and decide instead to use Wally as bait to draw Alchemy out. This plan doesn't work out, although they do get cuffs on Alchemy, who we see has something of a cult of followers with him when Wally arrives. As Alchemy is taken down, he drops the stone that houses his powers. Wally picks it up and is suddenly encapsulated in a sort of chrysalis. We can only assume he will emerge with speed powers.

Also of note during this altercation is the arrival of another speedster -- on so fast that only The Flash can see him, even when he's standing still. Yes, the closing credits give us our first look at Savitar the Godspeed. I love THE FLASH, I truly do, but can't we go one season where the overarching villain is not another speedster? It's starting to get old, this whole, "I am the fastest man alive -- except for the man in the yellow suit, or Zoom, or Savitar. Other than that, I'm the fastest man alive."

Other things to pick up on in this episode include:

  • Julian Albert (TOM FELTON) doesn't answer the police call to join the team closing in on Alchemy. The obvious MacGuffin here is to make the viewers assume that Julian is Alchemy. However, "Tom Felton and the Sorcerer's Stone" is just a little too perfect.
  • H.R. Wells (TOM CAVANAGH) reveals facial transmogrification technology so that he can look like anyone and walk around Central City without the face of a confessed killer. As a side benefit, the device can also modify a person's retinas so that they can see the true face beneath it. This seems to be just to solve the writers' dilemma of how to get Wells out of the labs and into the action.
  • Gorilla Grodd. Are there intelligent talking gorillas on Earth-19? It might be that there's a whole city of them, and that perhaps this is where Grodd was transported last season when sent through one of the rifts. Although one would have to ask how Earth-2 Harrison Wells would have known about it.
3.5 / 5.0