Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Flash - Central City Strong

In an episode about recovering for both the city and for its characters, Abra Kadabra (David Dastmalchian) returns with threats of destroying Central City using an anti-matter bomb. The use of a villain from the future allows the show to offer another tease about a new looming threat coming for our hero, which (of course) it can't wait to awkwardly work into casual conversation. While there's much to praise "Central City Strong" in focusing on the aftermath of recent events, for both those trapped in the mirror dimension and those who unknowingly lived their lives with duplicates, several aspects of the episode are poorly written including the clunky dialogue of giving back to the community, the foreshadoing of the Caitlin / Frost (Danielle Panabaker) reveal, and the anti-climactic finale as the show doubles down on Barry's (Grant Gustin) power of love being a better super-power than his speed.

The late swerve of a super Hulkish monster, which may or not be the threat Abra Kadabra teases earlier in the episode, feels a bit out of nowhere. While one of the hero's goofier villains (a 64th Century not-so-magical magician), Abra Kadabra offered a nice change-of-pace villain for the series. It's hard to argue that the D-list character deserves better than he gets here, but the episode is not one of the show's best nor as strong as his earlier appearance. The idea of the Flash having a more congenial relationship with the Rouges than with other villains has been used before, albeit with a bit more care, so it's sad to see a frenemy with potential like Kadabra be taken off the board as nothing more than a tool to sell the power of a larger brutish monster.

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