The Flash Midseason Finale Zooms Into Some Familiar Territory & Reveals A Few …

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Enter Wally West: ‘The Flash’s Keiynan Lonsdale isn’t kidding around.

It’s safe to say that Wally West is one of the most beloved characters in the DC universe, where he’s been a mainstay since his comic book introduction as Kid Flash in 1959.Earlier this season, Iris (Candice Patton) uncovered the real reason why her mother Francine (Vanessa Williams) returned to town: She’s dying… oh, and she has a kid she never told Joe (Jesse L.

After the density of the narrative work needed to set up Hawkgirl, Hawkman, and Vandal Savage (to say nothing of the overall Legends of Tomorrow legwork the show was doing), I was pleased that The Flash shifted gears into a Christmas carol about revenge this week. There just happens to also be some life-or-death drama surrounding it during “Running to Stand Still.” It’s the dichotomy between the two that demonstrates just how strong The Flash’s character work can be when it isn’t about the heightened stakes of a world full of metahumans.

Ever since the producers of “The Flash” announced that the speedster would be joining the show in Season 2, fans have been clamoring for a look at Barry Allen’s (Grant Gustin) comic book sidekick-turned-successor, who will be portrayed in live-action by Nigerian-Australian actor Keiynan Lonsdale. Only when he shows up on The Flash Tuesday night, his Wally will be power-less, instead bringing in a powerful dose of family drama for Iris and Joe West. There was plenty of stuff going on, all of which was devoted to setting up or wrapping up other plotlines, but the spine of the episode was solid in its simplicity and its fun.

Basically, The Flash got to be The Flash this week, complete with big family moments, zany villains, and gobbledygook science stuff that probably made zero sense in the actual field of science. The temptation is always great to rely on the biggest, baddest threats early on which leaves the rogues’ galleries somewhat depleted as you get into sequels or later seasons. Barry is, knowingly in some cases and completely oblivious in others, wrapped up in all of them, but the emotional struggles of those around him make his actual battle with the returning Weather Wizard and the Trickster look like any average brawl.

Variety spoke to Lonsdale ahead of Wally’s debut to learn more about his iteration of the character, who was Iris West’s (Candice Patton) nephew in the comics but will be her brother — and Joe West’s (Jesse L. His mind goes directly to that: Will I be able to have a relationship with this kid, and if so what kind of relationship am I going to have if I haven’t been in his life since he grew up?” Joe is even able to forgive Francine rather quickly, which leads to their relationship being in an “awesome” place, says Martin. “He could be really upset that she didn’t tell him, but this news comes up, and for whatever reason, Joe feels like he needs to forgive as opposed to being angry about it.” But how will Wally feel about Joe trying to be his father? Arrow is a great example of this; the first and second seasons had the strength of Malcolm Merlyn and Deathstroke behind them, but Ra’s al-Ghul wasn’t as strong of a choice in season three for a variety of reasons. Wally is making his debut in the ninth episode of the second season, “Running to Stand Still,” in which he will interrupt some early holiday celebrations to reunite with his family. Lonsdale spoke with USA TODAY about how he came to be Wally West and why he found himself drawn to the role — and it wasn’t just because he would get to wear a super suit.

The Scarlet Speedster had yet to run through any of his sizable villain roster and so the use of characters like Captain Cold, Grodd and (of course) Reverse Flash stacked up to the point that Oliver Queen’s show just couldn’t compare. Obviously, for Wally, and for the family themselves, it’s a shock, and it’s a completely new thing … none of them have had to deal with this kind of change up in their lives before, at this late an age. James Jesse is in, of course, because if the multitude of Flash drawings on his cell are any indication, he hasn’t thought of much else since his last battle with Barry. When they told me at the audition that I was going for a really iconic character, and they said it was Kid Flash, I was like ‘That’s crazy.’ Because I’d looked it up and I’d kind of done my research. Then maybe about a week later, my team called me, “You’re not going forward for Legends, but they want you to come in and audition for this show called The Flash.

But how much can I really complain when Mark Hamill gets to say things like “Deck the halls with the body parts of a girl named Holly,” and “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made you out of C4,” and “What says togetherness more than mass graves?” Or Barry and Mardon trading quips on a rooftop and then Barry being all, “He can fly?!” Despite the obvious seriousness of a bunch of families potentially going boom, there was such a looseness to it all—especially after the show felt constricted by the franchise-building—that I’m willing to overlook little gaps like planning the scheme, Patty seeing the Mr. The better comes in the trifecta (however brief) of Weather Wizard, Trickster and Captain Cold, the latter two of whom are broken out of Iron Heights by the former in order to take down the Flash once and for all. Jiggle Wiggle reflection all on her own, or the fact that all those bombs seemed to be on the same street (so maybe Barry could’ve gotten them all?), in favor of just enjoying the show stretching its legs and getting down to its particular brand of business. Wally — who would eventually become the main Flash, and even join the Justice League — is known for his pasty skin, fiery red hair and a personality to match. Iris has revealed to him the secret of her previously unknown brother, sitting alongside Iris as she finally breaks the news to Joe. (Cue the first of many times Jesse L.

One thing I can say is Wally’s really into drag racing, which is not the ideal thing when your father is a detective and your sister’s a reporter. [Laughs.] So that’s going to cause some tension, and Iris, especially … she’s a fierce character so she’s pretty concerned over that, which kind of shows that she’s accepting him as a brother, really. Wentworth Miller’s Snart has a nice rhythm with Mark Hamill’s Trickster and Liam McIntyre, while a bit of a third wheel in comparison, has the narrative means in which to facilitate the whole thing.

I had pretty much completely forgotten about Patty’s grudge with Weather Wizard—in my defense, there’s been a lot going on in the show and I feel like it hasn’t been mentioned in a while—but I was glad to see it not only brought up here (as it should be) but also resolved in a way that propelled Barry and Patty’s relationship forward a bit once the show returns in late January. Trying to go into its month-long break on a high is important and putting this trio together allows for that to happen, while also letting Snart get a last hurrah (for now) before gallivanting off with White Canary, Rip Hunter and company to save the multiverse.

That man knows how to do a “fighting back the tears” face like few others.) The name is what really gets Joe — Wally is short for Wallace, which is what they would have named Iris had she been a boy. Apart from that mention about Mardon early in the season’s run, Patty’s been mostly defined by being fairly dogged and determined, geeky, and adorable. Given that the show hasn’t focused too much on just how much her Weather Wizard-related woes were driving her, it’s good that Patty’s moved on and is ready to share this part of her with Barry.

Knowing that Mardon killed her father, Barry tries to be there for her, not wanting her to be reckless, but she believes zeroing in on Mardon isn’t being reckless. We know, of course, that Flash won’t be in any real trouble here but seeing the antics play out is fun and it gives the episode to explore an overarching theme of guilt via Patty. Barry is going to try to do his job, too, even if Patty thinks he’s so far behind on the Central City gossip that he doesn’t even know about Harrison Wells. Lonsdale got to step into a well-established franchise with his character of Uriah Insurgent, but his research going into The Flash was on a whole other level.

Patty’s storyline isn’t here to give us a whole new type of origin story though, and Shantel VanSanten does some decent work in making us feel Patty’s shame and guilt over her father’s death. Whereas he could read two books to prepare as Uriah, Wally West has a rich, 50-year comic history (the character debuted in Flash #110 in 1959) that would make it difficult for Lonsdale to even scratch the surface. It’s a bit jarring to see the usually-upbeat Patty so suddenly driven by revenge, and while the exposition-heavy scene between her and Barry-as-Flash is a bit clunky, VanSanten sells the emotion well.

Well, Barry’s a good guy, and they’re all good people, but I think that that can sometimes be frustrating for Wally, because he’s trying to find his place in this family, but his place is almost already filled by this other son that Joe has. It’s a lot more to think about with ‘The Flash’ because it’s a part of the comic book world and there are so many different versions to research, and so many different versions of Wally West, then there’s the show, then there’s the original show. Oh dear lord the thirst is real,” as Cisco puts it, sums up that flirtmance perfectly), so it seems feasible that another wand can be built as an early Christmas present for Barry. Indeed, Candice Patton came ready to play and, as if we had been living with Iris and this secret for a few weeks, let it all out to Barry in a nicely-played emotional scene. I’m sure like a lot of other kids, I spent a lot of hours creating superhero powers for myself in the laundry room, and running and jumping all over the place.

No big tears or breakdowns, which played nicely into the range of conflicted emotions Joe felt, ranging from shame to guilt to regret for not being there for Wally while he was growing up (though I balked at the line about a father being the one necessary to teach a son how to be a man). I also appreciated how the show flipped the dynamics in the Barry and Joe talk by having Joe be the one who needed to talk and have a sympathetic ear in Barry. That’s the kind of tone that makes it believable when Patty lets go of her pain at Flash’s urging, at least enough to not shoot Mardon after the S.T.A.R. Unfortunately, it also sends Patty into the line of fire. (ASIDE: It’s tough not to have the iconic Batman: The Animated Series episode “Christmas With the Joker” in mind throughout the episode, from the Trickster mentioning “Harley” to him singing “Flashy the Red-Nosed Speedster”: “Flashy the red-nosed speedster had a very shiny suit.

And if you ever saw him, you might even want to puke.” It may not go down in history as iconic as “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells,” but it’s nice to see Hamill delighting in the chance to once again bring a devilish character to life. It’s cool, it’ll definitely be interesting to watch their relationship, and Wally’s relationship with everyone kind of grows, because he’s being introduced and he doesn’t know these people, so that’s always kind of a tough thing.

It’ll likely be a little less mature, especially since Henry is still away for reasons that are still pretty amorphous (I liked it in the premiere, but I’ve sort of soured on how it’s being hand-waved). END ASIDE) The two separately follow a reflection in the video to an abandoned factory — here’s your weekly reminder that half of both Central and Star cities is just neglected real estate that a realtor could clean up with the right buyers — only to fall into the Trickster’s first trap.

Lonsdale said that growing up with half of his siblings (of which he can boast 11 total), and meeting the other half later in life has helped him achieve an appreciation for family. While there are things I like about this such as the way Patty refuses to let Barry treat her as someone who needs to be protected and the great couplet of “I don’t have time to bring you up to speed”/”That’s ironic,” it does seem like the show is just going through the motions to force a little conflict into the relationship. He has the two surrounded by spinning dreidels ready to explode. (James Jesse doesn’t let something like religion get in the way of a good, deadly trick.) But Barry uses his windmill arms to propel him and Patty out of the facility, missing the ensuing explosion but leaving Patty only more enraged.

I grew up with my mom and my mom had 6 kids and I was the youngest, but I had a different father than my brothers and sisters, and I only met him when I was 10 years old, then he introduced me to his other children. Every other part of their relationship works, but the forced ignorance rings false and the show could have found that dramatic weight without having them suddenly fight just so Patty can rant to The Flash about how her relationship with Barry doesn’t feel real because she’s so angry. We saw Barry being reckless with his desire to take care of Zoom quickly and probably one or two other instances of Barry sort of struggling with himself, but I don’t know that it really ever had any weight to it. Because deep down, especially when you’re growing up, you have your personality, and you are who you are, but usually it’s covered up by something else.

Comments can be made about how Barry hides his hurt behind a goofy grin, but it never really felt like he was hiding or grappling with too much that wasn’t just Barry and his run-of-the-mill crisis of confidences. I suspected Patty would maybe catch on at that point, but it seems the secret-identity revelation is meant for another episode.) But she can’t give up the chase just yet. And on top of meeting these new family members, which would be overwhelming enough after all these years, his mom is sick too, which must be its own unique kind of burden. But irony without a greater purpose is still frustrating as hell, and while this may bear fruit later it feels like retreading old water to have Harrison as a secret enemy of the team and the writing fumbles the set-up here. It turned out he’s been trying to make Barry go faster with all the Earth Two metahumans so Barry can tap more and more into the Speed Force, that way there’s more for Zoom to steal.

If your mom is ill and you don’t know the rest of your family and now, all of a sudden, you are in a position where you have to get to know them… But he’s also old enough to make that choice himself: if he doesn’t want to , he doesn’t have to. Of course, Harrison can just tell everyone about this and they can figure out a solution, but we all know that’s not going to happen. – Cisco as audience surrogate about Caitlin and Jay this week was really appreciated. The magnetic pull causes all of the other bombs to fly into the portal as well (I missed the science class on interdimensional magnetism, so I can’t speak to the veracity of this plan), just as Barry has taken quite the beating.

I’d also like Caitlin to have more things to do. – “Every Earth has The Godfather, Vito.” All right, so Big Belly Burger and The Godfather are constants on all Earths so far. I mean, he is serious and he is reserved and defensive and he has an attitude, but at the same time, he can switch things up with his humor, which is sometimes kind of dry. [Laughs.] I think that’s a big part of Wally, his humor, and obviously, more so in other versions where it’s more of a lighthearted kind of thing. The environment on set is super positive and happy and everyone chatting together, everyone joking, or rapping, or a couple of people dancing, you know what I mean?

I think all the actors are amazing — I think Grant, as Barry, you’re really rooting for him, and that’s such an important thing for a superhero, for your lead guy. I was just telling friends of mine, it’s weird now because before, when I got on set, I still saw them as the characters, but now I see everyone as who they are, just as people, because I’ve gotten to know them. [Laughs.] So I’m not sure which I prefer better, because I love getting to know everyone, but I got to have an illusion of everything, so it’s pretty funny being on a show that you’re a fan of.

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