Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Flashy One Trick Pony: "Luck Be A Lady"

The Good: Most of the performances are adequate
The Bad: Tom Cavanaugh's character has no recognizable traits to his prior character, Very repetitive plot, No real character development
The Basics: The Flash continues its repetition of Buffy The Vampire Slayer with "Luck Be A Lady."

One of the best aspects of the way that the fourth season of The Flash began was the fact that there are no villainous speedsters in sight. After three seasons of The Flash taking on Speedsters, the show is moving back into a Metahuman Of The Week formula where the new Metahumans are coming from somewhere other than the reactor accident four years prior. "Luck Be A Lady" is another Metahuman Of The Week story that introduces another villain and teases The Thinker.

"Luck Be A Lady" follows on "Mixed Signals" (reviewed here!), which allowed fans of the comic book The Flash the long-awaited geek out moment with the introduction of Warden Wolf to the television show. But, with "Luck Be A Lady," the focus shifts more to The thinker and how he is manipulating circumstances to create metahumans.

The Thinker observes Rebecca Sharpe and her streak of bad luck and believes that she can easily be manipulated. He maneuvers Sharpe to a bus with Ramsey Deacon and others. In the present, Ramon and Barry Allen leave Laser Tag after learning their ideal wedding venue has opened up and there is an unauthorized breach at S.T.A.R. Labs. Harrison Wells from Earth-2 comes through the breach with a break-up cube for Wally West. The team is called into the field when Becky Sharpe walks into a bank to rob it. She manages to evade The Flash by using a vat of marbles.

Scanning for evidence of Sharpe leads Wells to find a place where the metahumans were created; an intersection where Barry came out of the Speed Force and unwittingly unleashed a dark matter wave over a busload of people. As Joe West's house falls apart, he considers Cecile's idea of selling his house and buying a house with her. Iris attempts to marry Barry, but the priest has an allergic reaction. When Sharpe, now named Hazard by Ramon, starts winning big at the casino, her quantum field begins to expand, creating massive negative improbable events around her.

"Luck Be A Lady" is an episode that hinges entirely on the unscientific notion of luck and that one person's ability could be to manipulate luck. The reappearance of Harry Wells provides a moderately scientific explanation for Sharpe's ability; Sharpe inadvertently changes the laws of probability around her as a manipulation of quantum entanglement theory. In many ways, Sharpe is played out in "Luck Be A Lady" like a second-rate Kilgrave.

Harry Wells in "Luck Be A Lady" bears almost no resemblance to the confident, smart character who spent the second season as part of the S.T.A.R. Labs team. Tom Cavanaugh mumbles his way through the role without much distinctiveness or charisma. Even though Wells explains what happened between him and Jessie on Earth-2, the explanation does not explain why he has had such a radical shift in his speech patterns or apparent intelligence.

All that said, "Luck Be A Lady" continues the trend of The Flash Season 4 mimicking Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 6 (reviewed here!). Following Buffy's friends resurrecting the fallen Slayer, there are massive consequences in the world; in a similar fashion, once Ramon frees Barry from the Speed Force, there are unintended consequences. "Luck Be A Lady" is painfully unsophisticated episode of The Flash and it leads to the sensible conclusion of what The Thinker has done so far in the prior episodes and gives the show an easy direction for the foreseeable future.

The thing is, after the opening premise is established, "Luck Be A Lady" just beats that to death, making for an easy adversary and a series of events that play out as more obvious than interesting or even clever.

For other works with Sugar Lyn Beard, please check out my reviews of:
Weeds - Season 6


For other television reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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