How Many Villains Can You Fit Into An Episode Of The Flash

This article contains spoilers for The Flash episode – Shade.







The episode of The Flash called Shade was chock full of stuff the moved the main stories forward, some of which came as a bit of a surprise. But a great DC villain may have gotten short-changed in the process.

The episode starts with Wally West confiding to Joe West that he’s been having more dreams about being a speedster. They know from Magenta that Doctor Alchemy contacts those he is going to restore power to through their dreams. So everyone is on high-alert and worried about Wally. Except Caitlin who, also worried about Wally, is preoccupied by her own abilities… and a new meta human appears.

Shade, who is one of the coolest DC villains thanks in part to James Robinson and Tony Harris’ run on Starman, is turned into more of a villain of the week here. His powers are described as him vibrating fast enough to make him look phased or shadow-like. In the comics he is a channeler of a quasi-sentient, extra-dimensional mass of malleable darkness called the Darklands. Seems like a waste of a great character especially when he is defeated rather easily in the episode.

That aside, the rest of the episode was flying. Caitlin Snow confides in Cisco Ramon about her cold powers and he looks into her future and sees Killer Frost fighting Vibe in the woods. Now he only gets a glimpse of the fight without an context. He assumes the worst and lies to Caitlin at first, but eventually tells her and she asks him not to tell the others. He later forces her to tell everyone and Barry Allen admits to her that she didn’t have these powers until he created Flashpoint.

I point out that there was no context for the battle between Killer Frost and Vibe because it’s possible that they were training together and not really fighting. The Caitlin on this Earth is basically good… she fears becoming evil because of her powers but that may not be the case.

H.R. has a lot going on this episode including giving himself a new face, talking way too much to Joe’s date at the movie and suggesting that they lock Wally in the pipeline to keep him safe from Doctor Alchemy. Which is interesting since they haven’t used the pipeline since Flashpoint and all the metahumans go to Iron Gate. This is the first reference to the pipeline we’ve seen since then. He also mentions there being a lot of sentient gorillas where he comes from… not just Grodd. Perhaps a reminder of Gorilla City.

There are more hints trying to make it look like something suspicious is going on with Julian Albert, but at this point we shouldn’t even assume that Alchemy is a man. Between the robe and the mask, it could be a woman as well.

And that brings us to our big, cliffhanger ending. Wally leads the Flash and a SWAT team lead by Joe into Alchemy’s lair. They get the drop on the villain and his three disciples but a silver blur starts speeding around the room. Enter Savitar, the God of Speed and he looks NOTHING like the comic version. More of a giant creature made of silver or mercury.


The episode ends with Wally having picked up Alchemy’s stone (Philosopher’s Stone maybe) and ending up in a cocoon… explaining the husks they’ve been finding. Barry pinned to the ceiling by Savitar and a bunch of injured or dead cops on the floor. And next week’s episode is directed by Kevin Smith and all about Killer Frost. That’s probably going to be another very busy episode.

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.