The Flash, Ep. 1.03, “Things You Can’t Outrun” puts the spotlight on the supporting cast

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The Flash, Season 1, Episode 3, “Things You Can’t Outrun”
Written by Alison Schapker & Grainne Godfree
Directed by Jesse Warn
Airs Wednesday at 8pm ET on The CW

In the third episode of The Flash, ‘Things You Can’t Outrun’, the focus shifts away from Barry Allen to shine some light on the supporting cast and it surprisingly works. Caitlin and Cisco both have more to do than they have in the previous two episodes combined and for the first time in the series, Eddie Thawne feels like an actual character.

Caitlin still suffers from the lost of her fiancé when the particle accelerator exploded and the fear that incident instilled is brought to Barry’s attention. She has been more frigid than her comrades and now we can see why, thanks to a series of flashbacks to that fateful night. Danielle Panabaker does her best work yet in the show and she feels like a woman in mourning, but there is hope of her moving on in her interactions with Barry. Possibly the most important part of the episode is the introduction of Caitlin’s fiancé, Ronnie Raymond, played by The Tomorrow People star and Stephen Amell’s cousin Robbie Amell. Comic readers will know the character very well and his inclusion is a nice treat. Amell successfully sells the character as noble and intelligent and his heroic “death” is the episode’s dramatic highlight. Caitlin tells Barry that Ronnie was funny and evened her out, saying that they were like “fire and ice” (get it, comic readers?).

Cisco gets a little less focus than Caitlin, but he still has more weighty material to work with this time. He was on the other side of the door when Ronnie died and had to close it in order to contain the explosion. It is nice to see Cisco do something other than simply geek out over the show’s extraordinary situations. Elsewhere in the episode, Iris and Eddie are still scurrying around to hide their relationship from her father and most will probably be pleased that that part of their story is over at the end of the episode. Eddie and Iris both make it clear that they want a real relationship and now they can progress as characters instead of being defined by their fear of Joe finding out.

This week’s villain, the Mist, is a visually cool-looking one, but like the superpowered villains from before, there really is much to him. The best part of that storyline is Barry inhaling some of the poison gas and quickly running back to S.T.A.R. Labs and having the gas extracted without anesthesia via an impromptu medical procedure. It’s ridiculous, but it’s intense, and exciting for that reason. Despite the show’s lackluster villains, The Flash remains one of the best new shows of the season. Barry feels like a good old-fashioned superhero and at several points, the episode actually feels like what some DC comic fans want from a live action version of Superman.

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