The Ties That Bind

Ya know, I love writing these things but I never know how to start them. I wrote speeches for years in high school and college and I could always think of snappy intros but doing that seems out of place here. So I’m always kinda just..”dur dur here’s another one.”

Anyway, dur dur here’s another one.

After being gone all of third season(or first or what the fuck ever), Flash makes his triumphant return in The Ties That Bind. The teleplay was by J.M. DeMatteis. It’s kinda cheesy, kinda funny, and overall wonderful, and a perfect fit for Flash.

On your DVD set, you might notice that it says the episode is also known as “Miracles Happen” since that was the original title. Amazing that WHV can figure stuff like that out, but not know what episodes were what season and oh, they mess the order up too. Good job, guys. Way to bring your A game!

So Flash gets an episode finally and it’s alongside Mr. Miracle and Big Barda. I love Barda. I think she might be my favourite female character in DC, honestly. Especially how she’s portrayed here. She’s strong and forward and hotheaded but she lacks the things that bug me about Wonder Woman (ie Hera, what would my mother think, man’s world).

Mr. Miracle is an escape artist, and Oberon is a short guy that hangs around. There’s more to him. He was “like a father to Scott.” Seriously though, we hardly learn anything about Oberon in this episode, which is fine, since we don’t really need to. He just needs to be short and have huge eyebrows.

We see one of Mr. Miracle’s famed stunts at the beginning of the episode has he practices his latest addition to the show. This is the most elaborate thing I have ever seen. And it’s pretty much right on par with Mr. Miracle’s schtick. First he is bound in a big chain/handcuff/whatever thingy. Then big mechanical arms come up to place him in a big metal..uh..thingy, I guess I’ll say thingy again. Then he’s frozen in a block of ice. THEN HE HAS TO ESCAPE BEFORE A TRAIN IS DROPPED ON HIM FROM A HELICOPTER WHAT THE HELL.

And let me take a moment to comment that the big mechanical arms used to put him in that…thingy…were so ridiculously unneccessary. You have Barda right there, I’m pretty sure she can lift your little metal tomb just fine.

I mean, she lifts Mr. Miracle up by the arms:

which, I have to admit, I really wish I could lift someone up like that. I used to be able to do that to my little brother, but when you pick kids up like that they just giggle or something, not like good ol’ Scott who just looks at Barda like “hey I’m up high, everything’s cool.”

The premise of this episode is that Granny Goodness has kidnapped Oberon because she wants to use Mr. Miracle to get Kalibak out of the X-pit and away from Virmin Vunderbarr so that she can have control of Apokolips. Mr. Miracle and Barda ask the league for help, J’onn says no (it would establish someone as ruler of Apokolips which would free up their schedule for attacking Earth), but Flash objects and goes behind J’onn’s back to help them anyway.

This, at first, made me kinda nervous. I mean, I love Flash, and he’s always been the “nice guy” of the League. Then the first episode back, he’s fighting with J’onn? The more I think I about it though, the more I actually like it. A Better World stated that Flash was basically the conscience of the group, and a good way to establish that the League was starting to change this season was to show Flash pulling away from them, and doing what he thought was right. And in the end they’re all playing robots and shit, so it’s totally cool.

Speaking of robots, Flash is initially playing it with Elongated Man

Who objects because “the green guy’s arms are longer.” I think it’s pretty great that in playing against the stretchy guy and then later against the green Martian, Flash has the robot with more similarities to his opponent. I have no idea if what I just wrote makes any sense.

Kalibak is voiced by Michael Dorn, who you might remember as Worf from Star Trek: TNG. He voiced him in earlier episodes and back on Superman, but man, he is in full on Worf in this episode. All of his lines are just so…Worf (The Littlest Klingon). I mean I expect him to start awkwardly trying to have a conversation with his son who is somehow even pussier than he is.

Did you guys know Granny Goodness is the creepiest fucking character ever? Goddamnit. She is so fucking creepy. And she’s voiced by Ed Asner. AND EVERYTHING SHE SAYS IS SO GODDAMN CREEPY. I wish that there was a clip of her talking I could link you to, because aaaauuuughgh. SO CREEPY.


Her nemesis is the delightfully sunny, Virmin who thankfully is less creepy. After Flash and the team get Kalibak out, Vermin starts trying all kinds of stuff. Oh and at one point while he was still torturing Kalibak, he pushed down his little medal thing because it’s a button!

And I just thought, “man, there are not enough things in my life that are actually buttons.”

So the good guys are escaping and Virmin’s like “ach!” because he’s kinda German or something, and then he says the only way to stop them is to “BLOW UP ZE ENTIRE COMPLEX!” which is hilarious. The countdown starts at 10 and then the computer starts blowing up, so there’s no backing out of this, and Virmin escapes in his magical flying Cadillac (what?).

In the end everything turns out pretty great, and Flash knows he did the right thing. I might do a whole post about the whole “Flash as the conscience” thing because it’s ridiculously interesting to me and you guys have to put up with everything I write, ha ha ha.

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