The Flash “Monster” Review (Season 3 Episode 5)

Tonight’s episode of The Flash was an odd one. It wasn’t what I’d call a bad episode, but a lot of the choices in “Monster” made this a bit of a head-turner. It’s overall an entertaining enough hour, though, giving us a fun conflict for the Scarlet Speedster and a bit more characterization for newcomers HR and Julian.

The most successful element of this episode was our new Wells, HR. Tom Cavanaugh has shown an insane amount of range playing the show’s many different versions of Wells, and it’s clear he’s having more fun than ever as the Earth-19 version of the character. Nowhere near as sinister or serious as previous versions, this Wells’ worst crime is that he’s a bit of a con man, a novelist instead of a scientist looking to benefit creatively from a trip across the multiverse. The team deciding to keep him around is questionable, but I look forward to seeing more of the doofy HR going forward.

We also got more of an idea of what drives Julian this week, and I was sadly left a bit wanting. He hates the metas because he sees the majority of them as selfish for wasting their powers on crime, while frustrated that all of his studying and schooling left him unprepared to understand this new threat. It’s a bit of a muddled explanation, and it’s weirder still that he starts to rethink his views in an event that doesn’t even relate to a meta. Still, Felton is enjoyable in the role, and I’m glad to see where his relationship with Barry goes.

The giant monster, meanwhile, was a fun change of pace for the show for the most part, but the ending sapped a lot of the energy from it. I have no problem with the monster being a hologram, but that it was all done by a random kid having issues at school? It came out of nowhere, and Joe’s talk with the kid at the end was just bizarre. Good idea for an episode, but a miss of an ending.

I do have to wonder what exactly the show is playing at with Caitlin this season. Obviously, her larger arc is her transformation into Killer Frost, but the show is going about it in an odd way. Up until this point, she’s been severely underutilized, and this episode, while giving her a bit more of a spotlight, has her completely isolated from the rest of the team. It’s good to see the show introduce Caitlin’s distant mother, but we’ve yet to get an idea as to why she’s keeping everything secret from the team; they’ve dealt with this before, and they’re clearly the best people to help her.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!