REVIEW: ‘The Flash,’ Season 6, Episode 10 – “Marathon”

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Marathon - Iris West (Candice Patton)

The Flash, CW’s series about the ‘scarlet speedster’, is back for the second half of its sixth season with the episode “Marathon” and a brand new title sequence! After surviving the Crisis on Infinite Earths event, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and the rest of Team Flash find themselves back where we left off – defending Central City, while a mysterious organization pulls the strings in the background.

After the emotional whirlwind that was the first half of this season of The Flash, it’s nice to see Barry enjoy himself while saving the day for once. Gustin does a great job of balancing Barry’s joy of life here while showing Barry’s struggle of coming to terms with his friend’s death. It’s here that John Diggle (David Ramsey) shows up with a mystery for Barry to solve. Oliver Queen’s original mask has traces of Mirakuru.

Production-wise, it appears as though Grant Gustin was still filming parts of the crossover while this episode was filmed. With that in mind, the team did a great job of using the minimal time they had and giving the audience a look into the subtle emotional effects that Crisis has had on our hero.

Driving the main story forward in “Marathon” is Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton) and the Central City Citizen’s ongoing investigation into the mysterious organization that has been behind multiple meta-trafficking and arms deals, as seen in the first half of the season. According to showrunner Eric Wallace, this back half of the season will be heavily focused on Iris and her journalistic endeavors and based on what we see in this episode, the audience is in for a treat. Candice is at her best here, relishing the investigatory part of her character in a way that feels true to the comic-book origins and doesn’t make Iris a crutch for Barry’s escapades. The mysterious organization is finally revealed as ‘Black Hole’ and has ties to McCulloch industries, a technology company that was behind the ‘mirror-gun’ from last season.

Marathon - Diggle (David Ramsey) and Barry (Grant Gustin)

Meanwhile, Cisco Ramone (Carlos Valdes), Frost/Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Nash Wells (Tom Cavanagh) are still coming to grips with the wider ramifications of Crisis and the state of Earth-Prime. Creating rather handy displays for the audience, Cisco explains how the results of the Earths’ merging has changed both the timeline and geography of Earth, with places like Gorilla City now being present on Earth-Prime. Not only that, but villains that the team has previously fought now have altered or different backstories entirely and a ‘fresh coat of paint’ which becomes more apparent as the episode progresses. This is a really handy tool from the writers, who have in the past wasted some significant members of the Rogues Gallery such as Turtle or Mirror Master, allowing them to present a more interesting depiction and threat on the show for years to come.

The writers also give Carlos and Tom some great material as both Cisco and Nash deal with their roles within the Crisis and how they were unable to save thousands of lives, including that of our previous beloved Harry Wells (who returns in a cameo appearance via multiverse-cube). It’s also revealed that Allegra (Kayla Compton) and Nash’s connection may be more familial than previously expected, with the latter holding a picture of the both of them dressed as explorers. While this Wells/Daughter angle has been explored before, it’ll be interesting to see where this storyline goes.

While this is just the first episode back after Crisis and there are many to come that will surely delve a bit deeper, it’s a bit of a shame that there was no mention to The Flash of Earth 90’s noble sacrifice, especially when the first half of the season was emotionally hinged on ‘The Death of the Flash’. Hopefully, the show will delve into this when Jay Garrick next makes his return to the show.

Overall, “Marathon” is a great return to form for The Flash. The writers, cast, and crew seem rejuvenated this year thanks to the clever system of splitting up the season into ‘two graphic novels’ and it shows in these episodes. The crisis has also acted as a fun way of further improving mistakes made in earlier seasons, making the future of The Flash even more exciting.

“Life’s a marathon, not a sprint.”


‘The Flash,’ Season 8, Episode 10 – "Marathon"
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Overall, “Marathon” is a great return to form for The Flash. The writers, cast, and crew seem rejuvenated this year thanks to the clever system of splitting up the season into ‘two graphic novels’ and it shows in these episodes. The crisis has also acted as a fun way of further improving mistakes made in earlier seasons, making the future of The Flash even more exciting.