The latest episode of ‘The Flash’ finally addresses a lingering question that had been bugging me about the show: Why is Barry the only meta-human affected by the dark matter explosion who hasn’t turned out to be a psycho or a criminal?
Fortunately, he isn’t. In episode ‘Plastique’, he meets a girl named Bette Sans Souci whose touch will turn anything into a bomb (except her clothes, oddly). She’s not evil, though an explosion she sets off in an office building does inadvertently endanger the life of a window washer dangling outside. Barry arrives on the scene and, with the help of Cisco on comms, determines that he can run straight up the side of the building so long as he builds up enough speed. Cisco also tells him that he needs to maintain the same speed on the way down to avoid crashing. I’m pretty sure that’s not how physics actually works, but you know, suspension of disbelief…
Barry learns later that Bette was an army EOD specialist (explosive ordnance disposal) who was injured by an IED explosion in Afghanistan and brought to Central City for treatment. The S.T.A.R. Labs meltdown fused the shrapnel to her body at a cellular level, but also gave her the power to make things go boom. Now the army, represented by the scowling General Eiling (Clancy Brown), wants to use her as a weapon.
Barry brings Bette to the lab to meet Dr. Wells and the group. He’s very excited to find another meta-human who isn’t evil and wants her to join the team. The others are skeptical, and Bette herself is disappointed that Wells can’t cure her.
Gen. Eiling tracks Bette to the lab, but Wells stalls him so that the girl can get away. Later, when he gets a moment with her in private, Wells tells Bette that she needs to kill Eiling to prevent him from using any meta-humans as weapons.
Bette sets a trap to lure Eiling out but fails to kill him. Barry zips in to stop her from trying again, but Eiling shoots her. She dies before she can tell Barry about Wells. Her body then starts glowing and Barry realizes that she’s going to explode. Again with help from Cisco on comms, he picks up Bette’s body and runs fast enough to walk on water – then drops her in the ocean a safe distance away from the city and outruns the massive explosion and shockwave. He’s relieved to have saved the city, but saddened that he’s lost a friend.
Gen. Eiling returns to S.T.A.R. Labs to have a secret meeting with Wells, and we find out that they have history together. Wells used to work for the military. In flashback, we see that one of his projects was a genetically modified gorilla named Grodd. This was also teased back in the show’s pilot episode, but now it appears that Gorilla Grodd will really be part of the series at some point.
The dubiousness of some of the science and physics aside, I fully support the addition of Clancy Brown to the show’s cast, even if it has to be in a rather clichéd antagonist role. The prospect of introducing Gorilla Grodd is also very enticing. I hope the show has enough budget to pull that off convincingly. On the other hand, I’m disappointed that Plastique herself had to be written out so quickly without ever giving her much interesting to do.