Monsters are so in right now. DC Comics recently wrapped up the “Night of the Monster Men” crossover event in the Batman comics. Marvel is starting to unveil its “Monsters Unleashed” event, which sounds interesting. Now, The Flash is taking on monsters in an episode that contains some interesting material, but never quite jelled for me.
When we last left Team Flash, they had just welcomed a new Harrison Wells to Earth-Prime — H.R. Wells from Earth-19 — and this episode finds the team getting used to him. As was teased last week, H.R. is unlike any Wells we’ve met so far. He’s hyper, outgoing, nice, and conscientious; it’s actually kind of off-putting, especially for Cisco, who can’t seem to bring himself to trust this Wells. After Cisco tells him to step back a bit and just watch and learn, H.R. finally gets around to passing on Caitlin’s message that she’s taking a few days off.
After her shower incident in last week’s “The New Rogues,” Caitlin decides to visit her mother Dr. Carla Tannhauser, a very successful biomedical researcher. From the moment Caitlin arrives at her mother’s office, it’s clear there’s some tension between these two women, and all of their resentment comes bubbling to the surface while Carla runs tests on her daughter’s new powers. Her mother is upset Caitlin moved away three years ago and hasn’t spoken to her since, while Caitlin resents the fact her mother became very cold to her after her father died. Carla says Caitlin can’t possibly understand the pain she was going through, but Caitlin says she can, since her husband died nearly a year ago.
Although I didn’t think this particular part of the story had enough time to breathe, I did enjoy how the show put more effort into explaining why Caitlin has always been kind of cold. When the character was first introduced, her coldness was mostly blamed on her losing Ronnie, but the mother/daughter dynamic definitely gives Caitlin some new dimensions. If there’s one thing parents do, it’s screw up their children. However, it feels like Caitlin and her mom kind of rushed to a resolution.
Dr. Tannhauser’s assistant tries to kidnap Caitlin because he wants to use the data to leave her mom. He grabs her and Caitlin instinctively starts to freeze him. Thankfully, her mom bursts into the room and is able to talk her down. “I know I didn’t raise a killer. For what it’s worth, I am so sorry,” her mom says, which actually helps a lot. Carla says she’ll make sure no one finds out what happened.
Caitlin’s relationship with her mother isn’t the only one that thaws tonight. The latest Central City crisis — a giant Godzilla monster that keeps disappearing without any explanation — forces Barry to turn to Julian for information. However, Julian wants nothing to do with Barry because he doesn’t trust him, especially since Barry has surreptitiously accessed his case files. To get the information he needs, Barry tries to appeal to Julian’s ego by asking him to train him. That doesn’t work, so Barry offers to move out of the lab if Julian lets him shadow him for the day, a deal Julian accepts.