Top 5: Favorite Shows from Nick Jr.

(My little sister asked me to do some lists covering blocks of children’s shows I grew up, so I said okay but they’re going to be Top 5’s because it keeps me from covering just what I remember to what I remember vividly.)

5.) Muppet Babies

Who doesn’t remember this? A cartoon that references pop culture (of that time period) and encourages using your imagination (it even says so in the theme song), and you never saw above Nanny’s legs. That still makes me wonder to this day.

4.) Gullah Gullah Island

I loved this show as a kid. The music was great (definitely my favorite theme song from the Nick Jr. days), I had such a crush on Vanessa, I thought it was awesome that the parents played themselves and it was their way of teaching about their culture through life lessons, songs and adventures. This show did what My Brother and Me (also an African-American centric show on Nick) failed to do. Binyah Binyah!

3.) Allegra’s Window

The one show on my list that I bet is least remembered if at all by most people. In case you couldn’t tell, I loved shows with musical accompaniment and this show was no different. It was very Sesame Street-esque using animation, live actors and puppets but this show most reminds me of Lamb Chop. (Just wait till I do a KERA block of shows) I will always remember the talking instruments that would sometimes help with the musical numbers. Good little show.

2.) Eureeka’s Castle

Man, this is the one show on the list that I miss the most. Did you know that this show was co-created by…R.L. Stein? Awesome! This puppet show was the most like Sesame Street to me and had just as many memorable characters; Eureeka who was a magician in training, a dragon named Magellan, Batty (guess what he is), The Moat Twins who love peanut butter sandwiches and the Fishtones who basically gave the show an excuse to have random singing in it (not for nothing but next to them, Eureeka had a really good singing voice too!). The one show on my list that I can sit and watch as an adult and feel no shame whatsoever.

(A quick Honorable Mention to Face who handled all the segues and lead-in’s between the shows. He was what started the day for Nick Jr. and he closed it out too!)

1.) Blue’s Clues

I’ll admit, the reason why this is #1 is not because of its replay value and especially not when Steve left the show. The whole idea of playing the game with your younger siblings is a memory that goes way beyond the viability of a television program. Singing, Mail Time, or “we just got a letter” or the goodbye song…I still know clear as a bell because honestly when we were looking for Blue’s Clues…looking back “it was really fun.”

Fury of the Firestorm

It’s funny how this episode of The Flash feels like an after-school special, teaching lessons like: never judging a book by its cover and when life hands you a bad card, what matters is how you play it. Yes, some of the executions of these concepts were a bit hammy but the one lesson that no one on this show seems to get is that LYING LEADS TO NOTHING POSITIVE! There might have been more secrets and lies brought up in this episode than any other thus far…what?!!! Alright, time to speed through this episode.

One thing of note, Jay’s absence in this episode. Hope that’s important for later. Anyway, we flashback to two years ago. We see a young man who has lead his football team to victory. This gentleman is Jackson Jefferson and it looks like this kid has his future waiting for him. “Jax” sees the particle accelerator explosion in the distance…more importantly, the wave emitting from it is heading his way so Jefferson gets everyone to safety. They all enter the tunnel that the football players go through but Jax has to save one of his teammates who was on crutches. Jackson gets him inside and tries to shut the door but the blast (which looks a lot like the firestorm matrix) knocks him against the wall. (We’ll find out that was what ended his promising football career.) Cut to present day, Cisco manages to stabilize Professor Stein using the power source from Harrison’s wheelchair, but he knows it’s only temporary. Caitlin explains that the dark matter that hit him changed his molecular structure so that it could bond with the firestorm matrix. That’s where Ronnie came in. As long as Stein’s particles have nothing to compatibly merge with, his condition will grow more unstable. Furthermore, Caitlin’s research finds two potential candidates who were affected in a similar way, showed signs of gene manipulation and have the same blood type as Stein and Ronnie. We’ve already met Jax, the other is Henry Hewitt. Barry, without asking uses his super speed to get a blood sample from both individuals with them being unaware. We see Iris and Joe looking at old baby pictures, Iris preparing herself to meet her mother. Back at the station, Patty wants Barry to help her with a story; apparently there was a shark walking on land and she has a tooth from the scene of the report. So a very flustered Barry agrees to analyze the teeth when Joe interrupts. Can I just say, rather Joe says it clear as day, Barry obviously has something for Patty. What is it with Joe’s partners and his “kids?” At S.T.A.R. Labs, CIsco creates a “power cane” using the reactor that stabilized Stein so as to keep mobile. There are two big components to this episode, one is obviously going to be the meeting between Iris and her mother Francine and the fallout from that. The one on deck now is that “after-school special” example that I alluded to earlier.

Team Flash looks to decide which candidate to go with. Caitlin enthusiastically starts with Henry. Graduated from the same university as Stein, Summa Cum Laude, double majored in bio-enginerring and…(you see where this is headed, right.) I’m not saying that this was a misstep or that this story was being told poorly, it just seems telegraphed and lacks the depth that usually happens in these episodes. Also, some of the messages being sent…not going to lie (don’t worry there will be plenty of that later) I really frowned upon. Barry notices that more of Jax’s vitals are compatible than Henry’s. Also we find out that besides being the star quarterback and having the obvious physical attributes, he has a 4.0 GPA. Which was practically ignored by Caitlin and her elitist attitude that Henry would be more apt for this sort of thing because he’s a scientist and says “he’s actually trying to make something of himself.” Since these are two characters who are African-America, I’m am going to bring up something that’s prevalent to this situation. One of the biggest arguments I hear in the black community when it comes to black men and music; making commercial music with no real substance or out in the street committing crimes. This notion of rapping or robbing someone, you know some of us do neither. Some people actually make good music and still are horrible people behind the scenes. My point going back to the episode is that you make something of yourself however you can not based on what society or what some individual thinks success really is. I appreciate Barry trying to ground everything in reality. I mean look at him, forensic scientist who is clearly socially awkward with a heart of gold. Maybe everybody shouldn’t be on this Henry Hewitt hype train. I can excuse Professor Stein’s affinities because after all, he’s got to merge with this person and it’s his life that’s on the line. You want to know why people get so offended with outside individuals try to pass of their own ideals into people’s situations? Usually it’s because they lack any empathy to what the background or extending circumstances are. While Team Flash heads out, a familiar face appears in the hallway where the secret room is located, it’s Harrison Wells.

Barry and Stein head off to meet with Jackson who happens to be a car mechanic. When Professor Stein notices the music that is playing in background, Jax quips that he has the Titanic soundtrack in the back and can play some Celine Dion if he’d prefer. Another example of being typecasted and that underlying assumption of “oh this guy listens to rap music, he must not be cultured in anything else.” Me personally, rap is not even in my top five favorite genres of music to listen to. After Jackson lets them know that he’s not really feeling anything having to do what happened to him two years ago, Barry just leaves his number and tells him to think about it. I like Barry’s approach. It shows that he remembers his dealings from before with earlier characters who have lost a great deal and in order for them to come around, one must no be so gung-ho about helping an individual move past those hardships.

Iris finally comes face to face with Francine. So after two decades, Iris could have handled this a multitude of ways but she decides that having a relationship with her mother is something that she does not want right now. As someone who didn’t meet his own father until after I became an adult and having to come to that same crossroad, I don’t blame Iris one bit for her tone, her delivery and ultimately her decision. It does seem awfully convenient the timing of Francine’s desire to reenter the picture; I don’t think that something to ignore. Iris, I don’t believe is angry about her mother leaving, I think that once she finally got to see Francine and put everything together from what she feels on the inside with what Joe has already told her, she just came to a conclusion and made peace with it all at the same time. Acceptance and forgiveness does not always mean a warm, cozy ending.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry and Martin return to see that Henry Hewitt is there chatting it up with Caitlin and that he’s all in with the idea of Project Firestorm. Notice that when Barry introduced himself and offered a handshake, Hewitt completely ignored him and went right for Stein. Also Caitlin’s over enthusiastic attitude with the idea and Cisco saying he’s got an ego the size of Texas. It is cute that he’s like a miniature Professor Stein, but I believe that Barry apprehension is warranted. Sometimes you do pick up things off of people that go beyond what the eye can detect. Cisco places the splicer on Henry’s chest but when he starts to merge with Martin, it’s as if the firestorm matrix cancels itself out. So much so that on the second attempt, nothing happens at all, much to an angry Henry’s disappointment. As he gets on the elevator and leave, something in his molecular structure seems to have been made active after the failed attempted fusion. We cut to Mercury Labs and see that Caitlin’s office has been ransacked and what looks like Harrison making off with something.

You’ve been waiting for it. Detective Joe and Spivot arrive at Mercury Labs and get updated on what we already know. So when Patty wants to call in Barry, Joe will have none of it. He explains to Patty that Harrison is the man who killed Barry’s mother Nora and to protect him, Barry can’t know about the possible return of Harrison Wells. Patty says that she’s not very good at lying to which Joe responds, “You better learn, quick.” Just drop an anvil on me already with the lies. It’s almost as if the characters on the show are so habitual with this that it’s become a meta-joke…but I don’t find it funny at all. Joe you just had a breakdown over something you kept from Iris, now you want to keep another big secret from Barry because you think it’s best for him. Did you confirm that? So Joe and Patty get back to the station and upon seeing Francine, Joe sends Detective Spivot ahead and confronts her in a way that was almost unnerving for Joe’s character. He wants her gone, now as in ‘don’t come back’. Francince says there was something else that brought her back…here we go. She says that basically as former addict, she contracted a condition that basically gives her a few months to live. Look, a lie of omission is still a lie. How does one forget to bring that up? I was going to tell you sooner, but…but what? It’s like you was about to die or something, right? Yes, that comes across a little dark but I am tired of these scenarios where someone uses impending doom as a backdrop for their lack of attention to detail. I mean Martin Stein is basically in that same spot. I am scratching my head. Anyway, Jax decides to come down to S.T.A.R. Labs thinking that when they said “help”, that meant fixing his knee. Team Flash basically explains the Firestorm process to him and like any normal young adult that would hear all of this…I wouldn’t believe it either. Caitlin especially gets fired up (no pun intended) as Jax’s seemingly dismissal of becoming a superhero. And then we get the line of the episode right here…

Line of the Night:I saw your test scores Jax, your grades were good enough to get into college, but you didn’t go. Why? Is this the type of guy you are, one setback and you fold. Well, then maybe you’re not the guy for us anyway.” Caitlin talking to Jax

Right away I see Barry and I see the first real problem with this, why drive off the guy that might be the only hope to save Professor Stein’s life. No Caitlin, Barry is right, it is not as simple as just saying no to being a hero. Jackson, a guy who doesn’t have much, is being asked to give up what he does have to journey into the unknown. That’s a hard step for anybody in any medium. My second problem was with Caitlin did after, she was so adamant about getting Henry back to try again just because he was a willing participant. Now, I’m not ignoring the subtext behind what Dr. Snow said. Everybody does not see opportunity the same way and you can’t bully someone with your words just so you can try and get a person to see your point of view on a subject. Personally though, I don’t have a problem with the “Line of the Night.” Too often we as people allow a tragedy or a misfortune to come into our lives and strip us of our very identity. We can’t prevent bad things from happening sometimes, but we can always control how we deal with it. We get knocked down and sometimes we can’t get back up, but that doesn’t mean that we decide to never want to get up again. I lost my grandfather right after I graduated from high school. I was supposed to go to a big name university. Like Jax, my grades were good enough to where I could go wherever I wanted and I wasn’t even an athlete anymore. Death hit me like a ton a bricks and I stayed down for some time but eventually I knew I had to go on because life was going to with or without me. It wasn’t going to bring my granddad back anymore than it’s going to resurrect Jackson’s football career. Everyday you have to ask yourself, do you fold or do you remain stable? Sometimes the best we can do is hold on and at some point, things will lean toward our advantage and we can make a new opportunity out of that. Those opportunities allow us to do things and go places that we would otherwise never attempt.

This leads right into to Joe letting Barry know how obvious his feelings for Patty. He tells Barry that Iris will always be different because she was the first girl he ever loved but that shouldn’t stop him from pursuing something new. We go to Henry Hewitt’s lab and after having his job threatened because he apparently is a bit of a slacker, ignites literally and seems to be on the verge of a meltdown. Professor Stein deduces that the attempted merger triggered Henry’s dormant abilities and without a grounded mechanism to stabilize him…boom. Cisco, after hacking into some sealed security records discovers that Henry has a history of anger management issues, including battery and assault charges. After feeling weak, Stein is taken back by Cisco to lie down. Caitlin decides to put all of the blame on her self, feeling that she ran off Jax by her words and Hewitt’s situation was brought on by her spearheadedness. Barry comes to a conclusion very similar to the one I did. Caitlin probably had her reservations about Jackson because let’s face it, this is going to be Ronnie’s replacement. Also, the whole hero thing has a different connection with her because Ronnie basically died a hero by what he did to stop the singularity. So, in her mind, she can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to use their life to serve (and in this case, save) others and be a hero. Barry, who hopefully takes his own advice…which he got wholesale from Joe, tells Caitlin that we have to be open to new explorations. Back at home, Joe informs Iris on what Francine told him and Iris is skeptical to say the least. She does make a good point; Francine tells Joe about her dying after the meeting with Iris, after she tells Francine she wants nothing to do with her. Remember that Francine had that opportunity when she found Joe in the first place, not only at the station but at the bar as well. With all the lies that have gone on, especially in the case of people keeping things from Iris in particular…is it really that far-fetched of her to be suspect of her own mother? Something to think about. I’ll get more into this when I show why Iris was tonight’s MVP.

Speaking of which, Caitlin goes to the car shop to apologize to Jax and to also ask him to reconsider his stance on the Firestorm Project. What’s interesting is that Jax saw Ronnie fly into the massive negative space, before the singularity collapsed in on itself. In the midst of their exchange, Hewitt arrives, seeking out Dr. Snow and throws a kinetic blast at Jax knocking him down. But, being a former football player, he quickly recovers and throws a car part right at Henry. While he’s temporarily stunned, Jax and Caitlin jump into the car and head for S.T.A.R. Labs…Hewitt soon to be in hot pursuit. When Jax sees Professor Stein in the shape that he’s in, he decides to go for it. Cisco gives an abridged version to Jax while Barry and Caitlin prepare Martin, whose temperature is rising rapidly. Barry lets Jackson know that there’s no going back after this. So with that, Jax activates the splicer and Firestorm is reborn. Time for some on the job training as Hewitt attacks the high school that Jax once played at…odd. Cisco and Caitlin tell Flash and Firestorm that they need to get him even more riled up so Hewitt will blow his fuse. Stein, acting as co-pilot helps Jax get better accustomed to the powers of Firestorm. We also get to see the Flash antagonize in a way we haven’t before. This gives the opening for Firestorm to put Henry down for the count.

The way this episode wraps up, hold on to something here. First, we get Iris meeting with Francine. Iris, being honest, told her upfront that she didn’t know if her mother was telling the truth. Then, Iris lets it be known that she is an investigative reporter and that her job is to find out what people hide and keep secret. So you know I’m out my seat while I’m watching this play out. Iris says that she ALMOST was willing to give Francine the benefit of the doubt, but in her digging she (as well as the rest of us watching) find out that Francine was not being completely honest, still keeping secrets. The one is question being eight months after leaving Central City, Francine birthed a baby boy. I got nothing. If I really wanted to delve into this…Iris thankfully, gives some implications behind the biggest shocker to date. This gets really hard to watch when you stop and think about it. Iris, questioning about her potential brother and is her dad even the father but she decides that at this point, it could be another lie on top of the one that she uncovered. Showing that she’s daddy’s little girl, demands that Francine stay away from her and her father; not wanting to hear an explanation or rather an excuse, Iris storms off holding back the tears in her eyes. As a man, there’s something to be said about fathers and sons. So, if Joe knew that he had a son that never knew who his father was, imagine how devastating that would be for him; even though it would be no fault of his own. We see Iris at home crying; it is her that now has the big secret that no one else knows but her. Given the history and the fact that’s she’s been on the receiving end of many of these secret and lies (including this one) can we really blame Iris if she decides to keep this to herself for the time being? If you can’t trust family, who can you trust? But I’ve heard it many a time that family will hurt you a lot worse than anyone else close to you will and that’s no lie. Believe that. We unfortunately have to say goodbye to Jax and Professor Stein who tells Cisco to learn from Jax and not be afraid of his own abilities. As Firestorm departs, Joe reiterates the lesson that Jax learned to Barry. The Flash, in the suit, is seen checking out Patty when a hand just snatches him out of frame and we hear, “Zoom wants you dead!” A giant shark has put Barry down. Detective Spivot rushes out and tries her gun to no avail when suddenly a hooded individual uses a weapon that discharges some kind of energy and saves Patty and the Flash. So when Barry confronts him, underneath the hood is revealed to be Harrison Wells? What!?

Flashlines: Love the interplay between Jax and Stein…Jax calling him “Grey.” Could that “man-shark” that attacked Barry be King Shark? The fight between Hewitt, Flash and Firestorm, Barry really shows how insufferable he can be when he starts to provoke his enemies: “Paging Dr. Hewitt.” If you know your comics, who is Barry Allen’s nephew? Considering the New 52 and the ethnicity of Iris and Joe and Francine…who do you think that little boy could be (what is Iris’ last name)?

If the last five minutes of this episode didn’t give enough bite for next week…maybe that shark should’ve picked a different target, just saying. Flashout!

Top 10: Favorite Looney Tunes Characters

10.) Foghorn Leghorn

To this day, he gives one of my all time favorite one-liners in all of cartoons: “Gal reminds of the highway between Fort Worth and Dallas…no curves.” Zing!

9.) Marvin the Martian

Nothing like a character that wants to blow up the earth. Oh, he was my favorite character to draw as a kid.

8.) Speedy Gonzalez

So why not the Road Runner? I always thought Speedy’s love for cheese made him more interesting than bird seed did for the Road Runner. And there’s the song Queso Bandito

7.) Bugs Bunny

Despite my obvious bias (we’ll get to that later) Bugs’ dealings with the mobsters Rocky and Mugsy are enough for him to get on my list. That and he has some of my favorite songs in all of Looney Tunes: “Someone’s Rockin’ My Dreamboat”, “Jimmy Crack Corn”

6.) Yosemite Sam

I Hate Rabbits!

5.) Tweety

Three reasons: 1) Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries  2) Hyde and Go Tweet (watch the episode) 3) “He fall down go BOOM!

4.) Porky Pig

His interactions with a certain little black duck are the stuff of legends. The most underrated Looney Tunes star in my opinion.

3.) Pepe Le Pew

Yes I like the skunk, no don’t judge me for it.

2.) Wile E. Coyote

A lot of people forget that Wile E. Coyote: Super Genius, can not only talk (quite well actually) but he’s had some run ins with Bugs Bunny himself. It’s not fair…Wile E. deserved some compensation for all the abuse he took…

1.) Daffy Duck (and his ego)

If you know me, this comes as no surprise. The real star of the show, the one that makes everybody else look a whole lot better than they have any business being, the gorgeous hunk of duck himself. Daffy Duck’s Quackbusters is resume enough. I ran over a girl trying to see Daffy at Six Flags…I was an adult when this happened. Lastly, Duck Dodgers and “Monsters Lead Such Interesting Lives.”

(drops mic…and hears nothing but crickets.)

Family of Rogues

How do you start off an episode Barry Allen? Talking to the woman you care about most on the phone, normal. Hearing gunshots in the background of said conversation, not normal. Now telling her to jump out of a window, yeah this is episode three of The Flash.

We cut to Jay Garrick, Cisco and Caitlin inside the holding area for the primary “breach” that looks like unstable matter acting as a wormhole. In trying to figure out how Zoom would use the breaches, Barry figures that only a speedster would be able to access them…and of course Barry gets repelled to the other side of the room. Jay explains it quite well actually; “think of the breaches as doors, in between them there is a hallway that is ever-shifting with the doors following suit.” Just when Cisco agrees with Jay’s naming of said explanation as the ‘Speed Cannon”, Professor Stein kicks everyone out telling them to get some rest, for their youth’s sake.

While not the main plot of the episode, there were two components that served as the meat and potatoes of what I wanted to expound upon. The “potatoes” if you will was Francine, Joe’s former wife re-entering the picture wanting to see Iris again. Joseph, as she calls him, says that divorced men take off their wedding rings, widowers don’t. Francine probably appreciated the sentiment behind him wearing the ring, but that was before Joe’s response which was arguably the most coldest moment for him since the pilot when he outright told Barry his father killed his mother. Think about the line for a second. We know what a widow is, which will give some subtext to something else that happens later on, but he is basically telling this woman that she is dead. Do not get that message misconstrued; there is nothing underlying about what Joe said. Then comes the left cross; Joe places an envelope full of money in front of Francine and tells her to leave town. So not only does Joe see Francine as dead but so dead that he is willing to pay money out of his own pocket to keep it that way. If I can be transparent for just a moment, what things in our lives from our pasts would cause us to reach down and sink into desperation that would prevent those memories from coming back to the forefront of our present? It had been twenty years since Francine presumably “left” and her response to Joe’s obvious question with “Now I’m ready”, Joe interrupts with “Now, you’re too late.” Time is funny but not when you are at its mercy. Time plays no favorites, nor does care about our personal issues and happenstances. Time is the great equalizer. Does it heal all wounds? From personal experience, no but time does allow for life to go on after the fact. No one man is more powerful than the hands of time. Time can never truly be up simply because we say so, as long as we have breath, there is always a bit of time left. I get that Iris losing Eddie is a bitter pill and to be fair Joe has to not only see it as that being his daughter’s boyfriend but his partner on the force and his second one lost at that. So when Francine says she knows what it means to lose the love her of life, Joe adamantly questions this and gives her 48 hours to leave Central City and walks out of the bar leaving Francine defiantly proclaiming that she is not going anywhere.

Now we have special coffees that are being called “The Flash.” Anything to get Patty and Barry interaction…I guess. Oh and speaking of potentials bumping into each other, “You can bump into me anytime” says an inviting Lisa Snart to Cisco. (Which by the way Barry’s reaction to this while drinking his coffee was gold!) This leads to Lisa (also known as Golden Glider) explaining to Team Flash that her brother Captain Cold has been kidnapped and needs to be rescued. Lenny (Leonard Snart) has an interesting relationship with The Flash in that he not only knows his secret identity, but he didn’t kill him during the metahuman transport late in the first season (which Cold sabotaged by the way). Lisa is calling out that debt Flash owes to Captain Cold, yes Lisa does not know the Flash is Barry Allen. We also find out that Cisco can always track the Cold Gun by it’s ultraviolet cold signatures. So when the Flash goes off to intervene, we find that Snart is working with his father and promptly blasts Barry freezing him up to his chest. Unlike last season, Flash’s suit has a built in thermal threading that expounds from his insignia thawing out the Scarlet Speedster.

Lewis Snart: Lisa and Lenny’s father is as much the criminal as his kids, but that’s not what’s pressing. The real “meat” of the episode is after being questioned why Lenny would work his dad isn’t so out of the ordinary, Lisa reveals a bruise on her neck explaining that it came from her not being a criminal but a daughter. Child abuse is a very sensitive and hot-button issue, especially with the backdrop of the equally touchy issue of how parent raise their kids. Without going into detail, I can appreciate this show for tackling this in such a way that it gives character development and much needed depth to Lisa and by extension, Lenny. There has always been a certain lightheartedness with the Flash’s Rogues and giving them some empathy makes me not only care about our heroes but wanting to see their antagonists come out from the other side in one piece as well. Without struggle there is no progress, you know. We then see Barry and Lenny talking over dinner, yeah… The Flash and his Rogues. Lenny warning Barry to stay out his family business or else and Barry trying to be the inspiring hero. Then Lenny leaves Barry with the bill…because, you should know.

We go back home to Barry looking at old family pictures and Joe revealing that he had lied to everyone about Iris’ mother being dead. You ever a tell a lie for so long that not only other people start to believe it but you yourself? It gives that earlier bar scene a different spin when you look at it that way. Joe could have been rationalizing this in his own mind, this woman who has been out of my life returns from out of nowhere and I now have to deal with this. In what ultimately makes Joe the MVP of the episode, he goes into what went through his head and his heart in constructing this illusion. To me this doesn’t fall into the category of the long list of lies that are the real driving force behind this show. Joe had not only the burden of becoming a single father to his lone daughter but also to Barry and his circumstances. I think he felt keeping Iris’ stability from the truth that she was basically abandoned by her mother attributed to his own dealings with Francine as his wife not to mention both Joe and Iris being a support system for Barry. I don’t think Joe would have been able to deal with two kids with two different mother issues as a father. To Barry’s advice (for a change) Joe later tells Iris the truth and completely breaks down and my heart broke for him because you could tell that he not only hurt for Iris but for himself because he tried to hold his family together when his very family (Francine) was tearing them apart. Iris wasn’t very good last season with people keeping things from her. (Even though the first of these on the show was Iris keeping her relationship with Eddie from her dad.) Iris consoles her dad and tells him that she understands and it’s okay; she also makes the decision to go see her mother for herself.

After Patty, Joe and Barry discover traces of thermite on Lewis’ headless victim, Joe thinks that maybe Lewis put a bomb in his own son to get him to do these jobs. Barry deduces that Captain Cold does care about one thing and Team Flash make that same discovery when they find traces of thermite in Lisa’s neck. In dire situations desperation leads to either two things; panic or trust. Due to this, as well as the earlier moment of Lisa explaining the plight of being child that wasn’t good enough to Cisco (who understands that all to well himself) Lisa puts her trust in Cisco when he comes up with a way to save her. There is a risk however. Thermite’s explosive properties come from concentrated air, which is going be used in a device that will literally suck the bomb from out of neck, Ghostbusters-style. Barry’s next big idea: go undercover as a tech assistant for Snart to buy Team Flash some time. Nice of the show to give credibility for Barry to Lewis when in doing a favor for Lenny last season he was able to crack the same firewall that is on tap now. Oh and the look Captain Cold gives Barry after convincing his father to let him in on the job, gold! Barry uses his super speed to catch the bullet and play dead after unlocking the security firewall when Lewis shoots him. Lenny uses his Cold Gun to freeze the laser defenses but warns his father that they will go active in just over two minutes. All the while Cisco is preparing to remove the bomb from Lisa’s neck with Captain Cold holding the Flash at gunpoint with his father demanding he ice him over or else his sister, Lewis’ daughter dies. Cisco succeeds which I assume would break Lewis’ heart…then Captain Cold proceeds to do just that, literally, with his cold gun. And next to Joe’s conversation with Iris, the most surreal moment of the episode happens when the Flash asks why, Lenny says, “He broke my sister’s heart, only fair I break his.”

The episode ends when Jay, agreeing to stay in Central City until they stop Zoom, along with Team Flash witness Stein pass out again but not before flaring up like Firestorm. Oh and those breaches…it looks our old friend Harrison Wells just came through one.

Line(s) of the Night:You’re a criminal, but you have a code.” Barry talking to Lenny over dinner.

It’s good to go out on a high note.” Lewis Snart to Barry after he cracks the security code…and then shoots him.

Flashlines: Lewis Snart blows up a henchman’s head…Amanda Waller style. Guess Jay Garrick’s Central City has a Big Belly Burger as well; it’s all relative. Speaking of Jay, it seems that Caitlin has taken a liking to the physicist. We find out Francine was a drug addict…heavy stuff. Captain Cold telling Barry that he’ll be out of jail sooner than he thinks, don’t all villains? Oh and Patty giving Barry her number, score!

Until next week guys, Flame…I mean Flashout!

Top 10: Dragonball Z Attacks!

10.) Tri-Beam

Tien’s attack of choice, one whose power comes from the very life force of the user. Whether it blows up the ring in the World Martial Arts Tournament against Goku or able to slow down Stage 2 Cell from absorbing the Androids, it is definitely one of the most important attacks in DBZ.

9.) Big Bang Attack

Expect a lot of a Vegeta on my personal list. A single handed energy ball attack (one of the few non-beam style attacks by the way) that really comes across well in the video games but in particular when under the influence of the Majin symbol, killed a section of the audience with it during a World Tournament trying to provoke Goku into fighting him. Oh and he bested Android 19 with it upon his newly-achieved Super Saiyan status.

8.) (Super) Dragon Fist

The Only GT attack on my list, I personally prefer the Kid Goku version over his SS4 counterpart because such a big move coming from someone so small. Not for nothing, but the first victim of this move was actually against Super Android 13.

7.) Final Explosion

The defining moment in Vegeta’s Dragonball Z run…Majin Buu was unstoppable. He one-shotted Gohan, took down the Supreme Kai, not even the combined Trunks and Goten were enough. Similar to Tien, Vegeta converted his life force into energy…all of it turning himself into a bomb hoping to blow Majin Buu to bits. And while Vegeta’s sacrifice left him as a lifeless statue, Buu would simply regenerate himself. Goku would also try this in GT against Super Android 17 but he too failed but not at the cost of his life and was talked out of trying it on Omega Shenron by Vegeta himself.

6.) Wolf Fang Fist

One of my favorite aspects of the original Dragon Ball series was not only the importance of “human” characters but the actual martial arts that took place in this series. Yamcha: it’s practitioner introuduced the first ki-based attack in the series. Yes it is a melee-type move but the wolf that is always seen in the background is essentially the embodiment of the ki that powers his strikes. I always thought the move was cool.

5.) Four Witches Technique

Since I just brought up Dragon Ball, the only move on my list that really is not an attack. Tien basically sprouts two extra arms from his shoulders and continues the final round match with Goku. In conjuction with this, I equally like Goku’s answer to this move, which he took from a preliminary match giving him the illusion of eight arms. (For the record, this is my favorite fight in the entire series.)

4.) Kamehameha

What else needs to be said.

3.) Galick Gun

Vegeta’s Kamehameha if you will…not nearly as iconic but I’m partial to the Saiyan Prince.

2.) Special Beam Cannon

People tell me the DBZ character that I remind them of most is Mr. Piccolo. Loved the original build up for this move as a means to defeat Goku (which he basically ended up doing anyway) and it turned into the move that really set the Saiyan Saga in motion. The move may not cover a wide surface area like other beam attacks but I love the design of the move and the piercing effect it gives.

1.) Final Flash

Yes, my favorite move is Vegeta’s trump card against Perfect Cell that blew half of him away…and although later a Cell Jr. made this move look like utter language, the grandiose nature of the move always appealed to me and the fact that Vegeta comes across very well when using it!

Flash of Two Worlds

If there was a central theme (pun not intended) to last season, it would be that lies never lead to anything good. I think a different aspect of these trust issues are going to play itself out through the course of this season. Team Flash goes as our hero goes and considering how distrusting Barry was throughout the entirety of the episode, the opening exchange with Jay Garrick showed the team very reserved. Jay trying to explain himself really made Joe in particular unnerved, clearly he knows all about everyone on the team. More to the point, Jay does not have his speed which really doesn’t help his rapport with Barry Allen. Jay also give us some more background on the singularity that brought both him and Atom Smasher (last week’s villain) to this Earth. I say that because Jay explains that he comes from a parallel Earth and that there other singularity entry points like the one he came through.

Professor Stein once again becoming that marquee member of the team comes up with the “multiverse” theory to provide some substance to Jay’s alternate Earth theory. He and Cisco use the surrounding satellite to take a digital picture of the city to try and find other entry points (later called breaches). And of course there are 52 of them…because. Speaking of nods to the comic, while our heroes basically lock up Jay Garrick since the tests they were running on him were inconclusive, we get our new character of the week: Patty Spivot. She’s a new cop to Central City who has a bit of a chipper streak to her and she is trying (to little success) to get on Joe’s nonexistent metahuman task force. More on this later as she is the MVP of this episode.

The ‘Villain of the Week’ that Zoom sent to “kill the Flash” is Sand Demon. We get a little more on Zoom from Jay Garrick. He explains how Zoom and him were doing battle ever since he became the Flash on his world but Zoom was always one step ahead, to the point that Jay was about to meet his end but the singularity opened a breach and pulled him though before Zoom could deliver the finishing blow. Also while the Reverse Flash’s color of choice was yellow, Zoom’s is apparently blue. Sand Demon got the upper hand on Barry and when Jay tries to offer his expertise…he gets shut down by Barry saying if he was such a “Flash”, he would’ve been able to stop him on his world. The tension between the two Flashes were a bit off and that has more to do with Barry Allen not being over what Harrison Wells did to him. This episode really shows Jay as that mentor who is trying to help and Barry being distrusting due to his own idiosyncrasies…some of which clearly a fallout from last week’s episode. The Flash has to let his team help him gain the advantage before he gets humbled by the VOTW, that’s twice already. Not for nothing, the Sand Demon’s civilian form for a lack of a better term has a counterpart that already exists and whom Patty and Joe apprehended by mistake…because he has no powers. So true to form after they release him, the “powered” Sand Demon shows up and takes Officer Spivot hostage.

Now that everything has more or less unraveled, Barry has no choice but release Jay from containment and allow his assistance. Jay explains that Barry needs to use the lightning that he emits from running as a projectile to in essence shatter the Sand Demon like glass. But they also need to save Patty and figure out where she is being kept. We find out why Patty is so adamant about joining Joe on his strike force. The Martin Brothers (from Season 1) who were a big thorn in the side of Joe West; Martin also shot Patty’s dad in the face and killed him over a few hundred dollars. A lot of us put on a brave face and mask our true and innermost feelings when life devastates us. It makes sense why Patty is so overly nice and spunky. While it reminds you of the cute dog that follows you home and you can’t get it to go away, Joe was able to see the determination and the diligence behind it all. One of the big reasons why I started writing again was the fact that I always knew and everyone one would tell me what a ‘good’ person I was. But everyday I felt like anything but, I hated my life, I hated most of the people I worked with, the way I was treated…I started to hate the guy looking back in the mirror. Just Terry is a way of life for me now; not just through my words but by just being myself with no pressure, no anxiety. In the end Patty was rewarded for her persistence and also the established bond through the classic comic trope of avenging the death of one’s parents.

Flashlines: I like the synergy between Patty and Barry. Why does Barry have great chemistry with every other female but Iris? Cisco was able to figure out where Sand Demon was by touching a sample of his and getting a “Vibe” and reliving the previous memory. He asks Stein not to reveal this to the others as he feels much like Barry that Wells might have unknown reason for basically turning Cisco into a meta. Jay Garrick acts as bait to distract Sand Demon while the Barry Allen Flash saves Patty from a concussive bomb…and we get a comic cover shout out when both Flashes race over to see if Patty is okay. Oh and the episode ends with Stein passing out after discovering the 52 breaches…good cliffhanger.

Line of the Night:Just because it’s a different life, doesn’t mean it’s a worse one.” – Caitlin talking to Jay about the loss of his speed

I don’t need to add anything to that quote, it speaks for itself.

A solid episode for the Scarlet Speedster…looks like a cold front is moving in next week. Bring your jacket and thanks for reading! Flashout!

Top 10: Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies

10.) Iron Man 2

This was the first movie to me that really set up the MCU from referencing Africa (Black Panther), showing footage of the Hulk, Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer (in a post-credits scene) Not to mention Tony Stark outing himself as Iron Man

9.) Thor

Great introduction to the mythos of Asgard and really enjoyed Chris Hemsworth performance in this film. Didn’t think the sequel was anything special though…

8.) Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. was meant to be Tony Stark, this was the movie that demonstrates why? (Sam Jackson shows up at the end…awesome!!!)

7.) Avengers: Age of Ultron

There is some recency bias with this one because while it lacks the stakes of the first film and the action isn’t as hard hitting as I would have hoped for (save for the Hulk/Iron-Man Hulkbuster battle), there was a lot more humanity in the film. Between the relationship between Banner and Natasha, Pietro and Wanda as well as Hawkeye’s pathos with his own family, I did enjoy the story a little bit more. We get vibranium as a central plot device, a Civil War tease, Vision and Thanos with empty infinity gauntlet in hand. Language!

6.) Ant-Man

I have no words…most surprising movie I have seen. A good, solid film. Though it does remind me a bit of the first Iron Man, but that’s a good thing.

5.) Iron Man 3

“Suit or no suit, I am Iron Man.” Pepper Pots and PTSD taken seriously makes this my favorite of the trilogy.

4.) The Avengers

I still remember the feeling of being in the theater day of the movie’s release. It felt like being at a home team’s football game with fellow fans around you. Amazing…oh and “Puny god.”

3.) Captain America: The First Avenger

As a period piece, this movie does what no other movie in this universe does for any of their characters. It gives gravitas and scope to one of the most important and influential characters in our country’s history. It even handles the corniness behind the character as a means to advance Steve Rogers’ character not just as Captain America but as a soldier fighting for credibility and dignity. This is the film that I watch the most just because I appreciate what the filmmakers were trying to accomplish and I think they did.

2.) Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Normally this movie would be my number one…because of bias. The biggest challenge of this movie was putting a period piece character in modern day times. It worked and I think it exposed some unflattering truths that people do not like to admit or talk about and I love this movie for doing so.

1.) Guardians of the Galaxy

This movie is so B.A. and it’s because I knew next to nothing about these guys and this movie made me care. It mage me invested in their story. Don’t get me started on the musical aspect which was not only essential to the plot but we got a good soundtrack out of it too. If there is one sequel I am most excited for…it’s this one!