‘The Flash’ Post-Show Analysis, Season 3 Episode 11, ‘Untouchable’
Welcome back to Up To Speed, in which Flash TV show recappers Dylan Todd and Ziah Grace break down the latest episode of The Flash and talk about what works, what doesn’t, and where the series might be headed.
This week, Barry tutors Wally in how to "phase" his fears, Joe goes on an awkward coffee date, and Caitlin and Julian bond over their former selves. “Untouchable” was directed by Rob Hardy, and written by Brooke Roberts & Judalina Neira.
Dylan: Ziah! We’re back at it again in the Krispy Kreme that is Flash recaps. This week, we got a brand new villain, a dip in the villain pool, and some good, old-fashioned sibling rivalry. How’d you like the episode?
Ziah: Hey Dylan, it’s good to be back with two good episodes in a row! I was into this episode, TBH. Wally and Barry continue to have a good chemistry, Caitlin’s ongoing Killer Frost narrative beats her usual boyfriend troubles, and I am loving Julian filling that Twells-shaped hole in my heart.
Dylan: So our A-plot revolves around a revived Silver age villain Clive Yorkin, who has ashy hands, but not like, he needs lotion; anything he touches turns to ash. Man, do I empathise with this dude. Turns out, he’s an Alchemy-created meta who’s out to kill the non-Flashpoint versions of the rude cops who locked him up.
Ziah: Does he even get a fun Cisco-name? Deadly hands? The Bad Touch Man? Anyway, Flashpoint continues to be a thing, which is fine. We talked about how terrible the original story is to death, but I can’t pretend like I don’t cringe anytime I hear that dumb name though.
Dylan: Ash-Man. And his hideout could be the Ash-Hole.
Ziah: Dylan! Well, as long as he keeps it clean.
Dylan: Ash-Man! Ash-Man! Turns people ashy with his ash-hands! Is he gross? Listen bud, he’s got hands that ash-ify your blood. Look out! Here’s comes the Ash-Man!
Anyway, our B-plot centers on Barry continuing to mentor Wally on the finer points of Speedsterism, but mostly just he just made Wally run into a wall over and over. How’d you like the brotherly rivalry these two had on display this episode?
Ziah: I loved it! Mostly because it showed that Barry sucks real bad like usual, but this time as a teacher. Wally’s a good Flash, and his enthusiasm bounces off nicely against Barry being a dick. Also, LOLs forever at Barry talking about all the great teachers he’s had, and having to clarify “Sure, but two of them were evil.”
Also: did you feel like there was something metaphorical about us two guys watching a dude run into a wall over and over again for a few minutes?
Dylan: Too real, Ziah. Too real.
Ziah: Aaaaanyway, high point of their whole rivalry was definitely the Coffee Jitters scene, where Cecile’s terrible daughter creates such a quantum loop of awful that Joe has to choose between his Two Beautiful Flash Sons and name his favorite.
Dylan: Oh man, I loved that scene. Imagine me kissing my fingers like a cartoon Italian chef as Joe grimaced through having to say that both of his run-run sons were equally special boys.
Ziah: Hopefully not Luigi, the Italian chef who gets Ashed right before his grand restaurant opening!
Dylan: RIP Luigi. He’s making baked ziti with the angels now. C U at the Crossroadz. I’m pouring out some extra virgin olive oil out in remembrance of him and his nasty, desiccated old banana of a corpse.
Ziah: Hahaha, nice one. Can we talk about Joe’s new romance this episode? Not with Cecile, but with his new hat. Do you think we’ve seen the last of the Business Beanie?
Dylan: Man I hope not. I’m hoping that once the weather gets colder we’ll be reunited (and it feels so good) with our good friend BB, but in the meantime, we got this new guy who’s okay, I guess.
Hey, I was gonna ask you what you thought of Joe West, the man who kept Barry’s powers from his daughter for the better part of a season and a half, playing the betrayal card when he found out his kids were keeping Iris’ impending doom from him. It was a classic, “I learned it from watching you!” moment if ever there was one.
Ziah: Hey man, secrets are like spider webs. We weave them into different shapes, but they get wrecked by stumbling, cursing giants that always eventually crash through them, you know? Like Aesop said.
Dylan: Speaking of rotten things: in order to save Iris’ arm, Caitlin had to unleash Killer Frost on her, which led to Julian --- fresh off of his stint as Alchemy and therefore knowing a little bit about guilt over things done by psycho alter-egos --- having to reign her in. I kind of really liked their subplot this time around, both of them taking responsibility for their past evilness while also moving past it. How’d you like this stuff, Z?
Ziah: I’m actually really into their dynamic! It gives Caitlin something new to do and someone new to interact with, which we’ve complained about for years now, and Julian gets some good punchlines. Although… It sure seems like Julian and Caitlin are gonna hook up huh? She’ll be two for two for her boyfriends going evil, I bet. Speaking of, Julian’s fake Canadian girlfriend from episodes ago sure disappeared quickly, huh?
Dylan: Well, being as his fake girlfriend saw him dressing up in a plague doctor mask and leading weirdos in a chant for a magic rock, I can completely understand. We’ve all been there.
Ziah: Hey man, when the chants are a-rocking, don’t come a-knocking, you know?
Dylan: BRB, making that into a bumper sticker.
Ziah: Overall, it feels like Julian’s punched up the dynamic of the whole STARios gang. I loved when he tells Barry that stealing the body to deposit it in STAR labs is against protocol, while Joe just shrugs. Joe’s got no time for Corpse Miranda rights, he’s seeing the DA!
Dylan: So I had a thought, Ziah. Last week or the week before (they all sort of blur together), HR opened STAR LAbs up as a museum in an effort to raise some dough. Why didn’t they rent out STAR Labs to the CCPD Meta Division? Then Julian has a legal way to look at disintegrating corpses while also getting a little bit of that government money? Or was his supposedly limitless imagination not powerful enough to think of that one?
Ziah: Man, I have no idea. I also have no idea why Ash-Man went after Detective West and only hurt Iris to go after him, when in Flashpoint he was a lounge singer, and Iris was the detective. Or why the cops still have regular ol’ guns when dudes’ skin care regimens are so bad they literally stop bullets. There’s some plot holes in the show, is what I’m saying.
Dylan: Also, dang were those Flashpoint cops ruuude to that guy. No wonder he wanted revenge. That perp walk was just plain mean. “Here comes Clive Yorkin, who is a real turd-muncher. Look at him, munching these turds like they were candy! Well, they’re not candy! They’re turds! Hahahaha what a jerk!”
Ziah: He might’ve killed one of the FP cops just because he’d become a lounge singer. “Jazz kills!” yells Ash-Man.
Dylan: Fun Flash Fact --- the singer Yorkin kills early in the episode is Alex Désert, who played Barry’s lab assistant Julio Mendez (Which was also his name in this episode) in the '90s Flash series, and who you might also recognize from the Ted Danson sitcom Becker, as well as a recurring role on Boy Meets World.
Ziah: Hey, that’s fun! You think we’ll ever get Ted Danson on here? He could play that magician guy they haven’t used yet. Help, I’m a Puppet and all that.
Dylan: Well, Danson’s been busy killing it on The Good Place (which is great) and Bored To Death.
Ziah: More like the Great Place, am I right?
And speaking of great things… I think it’s time for another Ziah Defends Thrells moment, and Dylan. Dylan! Come on. He’s great. Thrells betting on Wally with his dumb fake money is amaaaazing. Plus, that stinger sure seems to suggest we’ll be seeing Twells again soon… You think we’ll get some Cavanagh-on-Cavanagh action?
Dylan: Anything’s possible. Except for me liking Thrells. He’s awful and I hate him. Those Earth-Douchebag facts tho. Vice President Al Capone. Lincoln on the hundo. God Emperor Bieber.
Ziah: We’ll see Dylan. And we’ll see you Flashers back in two weeks with some Gorilla City action, cause this is real life now? We just live in this world?
Dylan: But, I mean, it’s a world where there’s a TV show where Kid Flash has to vibrate his blood into a bad guy and Flash has to vibrate a train through rubble (Wouldn’t it be easier to vibrate the rubble?), so it’s not all bad.
Ziah: I feel like Barry’s the type of person who builds Model Trains, and buddy, this is gonna rock his world that he can do this.
Dylan: Well, we’ll be back here with more Barry “Train Brain” Allen action in two weeks. Gorillas! See you then, Ziah!