The Flash: Don't Run

"There are no happy endings."

This episode was like the season in microcosm – what started out light and frothy took a definite turn towards darker territory. That ending was one hell of a game changer!

We begin with the normal inter-family squabbling. Cisco and Harry fight over the correct tinsel to surface ratio for a very blue Christmas tree. Caitlin discovers that Frost has been spending some quality time with the rest of the team that seems to prefer her to Caitlin (her opinion, not mine). Iris gripes that most of their wedding gifts, which included an espresso machine, 40 toasters, and a knife set with only one knife, were not on the registry. Barry, finally at peace with his life, is not so concerned. This was all well and good (if not a very boring episode) if it didn't lead directly to both Caitlin and Barry being captured.

Barry and Iris return their unwanted gifts for a lifetime supply of store credit only to have The Thinker make his first overt attack. Barry succeeds in getting Iris to safety but is taken to The Thinker's Lair. This provides DeVoe with another opportunity to explain how infinitely smarter he is than Barry. It's not that I don't believe him but listening to DeVoe extol his own virtues gets tiresome after a while.

Marlize gives Barry the secret to escaping. Regardless of his intellect, DeVoe is still human, and his body has all the limitations that entail. Barry vibrates at a rate that makes him appear invisible to the naked eye and simply waits for DeVoe to take down the barrier that's holding him. If not for the doozy of an ending I would have chalked this up to a mistake on her part. However, as annoying as DeVoe's self-aggrandizing may be, I highly doubt that was not all part of his plan.

Then we have Caitlin escaping S.T.A.R Labs to drown her sorrows at CC Jitters only to find that Frost's popularity extends there as well. I find it interesting that Harry, who is not particularly known for his people skills, is the one to seek her out, rather than Cisco. It doesn't matter. Despite her smile and thanks, it's obvious that Caitlin remains unconvinced. But Amunet arrives and assures Caitlin that she wants her and not her colder half.  She needs to Caitlin to save Dominic; a bus-meta Amunet "found" and accidentally injured.  

Amunet succeeds where Caitlin's friends do not. It's Amunet that convinces Caitlin she is just as worthy as Frost is. It was a moving speech from an unexpected source. Amunet was right too – Caitlin did save Dominic and figured out a way to free both Dominic and herself from Amunet. She anesthetizes everyone else while keeping herself and Dominic awake. I'm going to just skip over the fact that they just walk through the room full of anesthetic two seconds later. Nope, nothing to see here.

The disappearance of both Barry and Caitlin tests Iris's abilities as a leader. She must choose how to use S.T.A.R Labs limited resources to find Caitlin or her husband. At first, she refuses to make a choice and the stress of fruitlessly searching for both their missing friends has its effects on the team. Ralph appears to relieve stress by talking. A lot. Cisco takes out his frustration by blaming Dibney for driving Caitlin away which left her vulnerable to Amunet in the first place. Harry makes it clear to Iris that by refusing to choose she risks losing them both. She chooses to find Caitlin, rightly, believing that Barry could find a way to save himself. I don't know if I could have made that choice.

Our stories collide when we discover that the reason why Dominic is Amunet's golden goose is because Marlize is her buyer. The Thinker created him to be his new vessel. I love the way everything came back to that missing knife. It’s only as the police are breaking down his door that Barry truly understands The Thinker’s machinations. When faced with the opportunity to escape at the risk of spending a lifetime on the run he chooses to stay.

What do we know?

There was no new information other than framing Barry for murder is part of the plan. That and The Thinker's transition into Dominic blows my speculation that he needed Barry's body to save him from the ALS out of the water. However, if Barry goes to prison, he'll be in in Iron Heights with the rest of the metas. Food for thought.

I can’t end this review without talking about the women in this episode. We have Iris who has grown into such a powerful woman that even her father calls her the boss. What an amazing transformation from the barista of the first season. Caitlin has questioned her self-worth and her place on Team Flash since Frost’s incarnation but, it appears she might finally be on the path of rediscovering how kind, resourceful, and utterly brilliant she can be. Amunet, who is my absolute favorite addition this season, is the epitome of the self-made woman. She has an excellent head for business, is a great judge of character and talent, and is funny as all get out. And finally, we have Marlize, A.K.A. The Mechanic, who is her husband’s partner and equal in all ways. I really do love her. Why, oh, why does she have to be on the side of evil. This episode is everything that Girls Night Out should have been.

I have no idea where they are going, but I'm certainly enjoying the ride.

4.5 out of 5 Killer Frosts (the drink not the meta)

Parting Thoughts:

I'd really love to know where DeVoe's lair is. Considering how quickly he and his wife transform into their non-villainous selves I assumed it was in the basement of their home. If so, their house must be huge.

Joe asked where his son was and DeVoe correctly assumed he meant Barry. How would he know if he was the innocent he claims?

How can I love the relationship between the DeVoes so much despite the fact that I despise Clifford?

The flotation suit makes a comeback!

Before becoming a meta, Amunet was not a mean British nanny but an airline stewardess. I did not have that in the office pool.

Dibney continues his slow crawl towards a decent human being. At least he recognizes when he's a dick now. Also, it looked like Christmas exploded at the West Family Home.

Christmas and no Wally. God, I wish The Powers That Be would make up their minds.

This house is bitchin'. (Once more with feeling.)

Quotes:

Harry: "Your tinsel to surface ratio is terrible."

Iris: "Okay, not on the registry but I guess getting married during our wedding wasn't on the registry either. So, yeah, sure. I'm not bitter. (apparently, half the internet agrees with you, Iris.)

Barry: "I don't have to run when I'm with you."

DeVoe: "The words are still mine. Even if the voice isn't."

Harry: "What are you having? The self-pity roast?"

Iris: "Why would Rory think that we needed 40 toasters?"
Barry: "He said that there was some kind of fire sale."
Iris: "He stole them."

Amunet: "I blocked your Glock."

Amunet: "You know, a sprinkle of enthusiasm would not kill you."

DeVoe: "You're about as capable of seeing the breadth of my machinations as an infant mastering multivariable physics."

Harry: "A smarter man would understand that this gun has no safety and my finger is still on the trigger."

Joe: "If something happened to Barry, there ain't a restraining order on Earth that would keep me from getting you."

Dibney: "There was this other case once, a woman couldn't find her husband. Turns out she just had amnesia. He was home. She just didn't recognize him. And I still got paid. Twice."
Cisco: "Ralph. Please. Shut. Up."

Caitlin: "I don't think you understand the meaning of the word nice."
Amunet: "Now, now. It's not about words. It's about actions. And I have not stabbed you or punched you or shot a deadly piece of metal at you once...Today."

Dibney: "You weren't a dick. I'm the dick. Private and public."

Amunet: "You know, I knew you were the right doctor to kidnap."

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, and anything with a cape.

4 comments:

Patryk said...

So DeVoe now also has telepathic powers. That's going to be a tough fight probably spread over too thinly over the next 22 episodes.

Barry won't go to the metahuman wing of Iron Heights unless his identity is an open secret now. He just won't attempt to escape.

Shari Houtman said...

Yes, because DeVoe needed telepathy on top of unlimited intellect. My only problem is that they learned the secret to defeating DeVoe last season. Not only that, they played it in the flashbacks earlier this season. So why aren't they working on how to create the cerebral inhibitor.

As for Iron Heights, 1) I meant that it may be part of DeVoe's plan that Barry and the bus-metas are all in one place and 2) do you really think that Barry is going to stay in his cell if the city needs saving? My only question is if he'll get caught.

Deborah Gallegos said...

I think Barry will vibrate through the prison wall when the city really needs saving. Not sure what he'll come up with to fool the guards while he's gone, though.

The Thinker is concerning me. Unfathomable intellect + telepathy = hard combo to beat. But I'm really enjoying it so far, too.

P.S. it's Dibny ;)

Shari Houtman said...

Wow, you're right. Dibny it is.