Barry and the team at S.T.A.R. Labs work together to bring down Clive Yorkin, a criminal meta-human who is methodically killing people by causing them to decompose at an accelerated rate. Joe becomes his next target but it’s Iris who is caught in the crossfire.
The Flash Season 3 Episode 12, “Untouchable,” delved further into the partnership between Barry and Wally by focusing on Barry’s ability as a mentor to the young speedster. It had some good moments in it that built off the characters, but was somewhat hampered by a couple spotty story choices.
To start with the positives, Grant Gustin and Keiynan Lonsdale continue to have really good chemistry with each other. Their teacher/student relationship is playful and friendly, exuding a lot of fun in this episode. Their relationship this season has often been conflicting since Wally wants to learn at a faster rate (no pun intended) than Barry has been willing to teach him, so it’s nice to see that lessened here.
Lonsdale particularly stood out this episode as Wally had to deal with the consequences of not being fast enough. He may be learning at a fast rate, but he’s still got to learn and has to keep that ego in check, something that has become a strong theme for him and Barry this season.
The villain-of-the-week was, however, underutilized, and didn’t quite live up to the potential he could have. Yorkin had a cool power we hadn’t seen on The Flash before: the ability to make people decay, but he only used it on a straight up revenge mission.
The most interesting takeaway from Yorkin was actually that he was one of two meta-humans created by Julian during his time as Alchemy. Given everything that’s developed over the last few episodes, I had actually forgotten they all weren’t rounded up, leaving room for another mysterious (and hopefully satisfying) villain. It was also neat to see the return to the Flashpoint world. Being a fan of the comics, I was slightly disappointed earlier this season when we only spent the premiere in the Flashpoint universe.
Getting to see it again, and also knowing it exists somewhere in the multiverse now, was a great reveal. Hopefully the show will return to it again in a more in-depth manner than they did here.
The story choices that dragged it down actually have to do with Iris and Caitlin. It has long become tiresome to see Iris relegated as a damsel in distress, especially when there’s already a ticking clock hanging over her mortality as Season 3 progresses.
Her team-up with Wally in the previous episode gave her some solid material, but it sucked to see her stuck in a gurney as Team Flash tried to stop her from decaying for the majority of the episode. Candice Patton has done good work on the show, but hasn’t been given a lot of varying material often. Likewise, Danielle Panabaker has been another strong actress and character on the show, but I’m slightly disappointed that changing into Killer Frost seems to just flip a switch mentally. I suppose her powers amplify her feelings of anger and resentment, but I wish there was a bit more development to her becoming Killer Frost than simply removing that necklace.
“Untouchable” was still a good episode of The Flash, but some of the story choices could have been stronger by giving Iris a more prominent role, or making the villain a bit more interesting. With the return of Gorilla Grodd and a trip to Earth-2 next week though, it looks like we’ll get a solid episode.
The Flash continues Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW!