The Flash: Think Fast

“In this life the bravest thing you can be is optimistic.”

Best. Cold. Open. EVER!

The penultimate episode finds the Thinker, unleashed from Marlize’s sense of morality, reveling in violence as much as in his proximity to the Enlightenment. He glories in his adversaries' inferiority and believes himself untouchable. Meanwhile, Barry and Iris, the world’s most optimistic couple, are desperately in need of a little hope.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

DeVoe is in A.R.G.U.S.’s aptly named Castle, intending to use Fallout’s death to charge his satellites. Lest Barry has a notion of stopping him, he has suspended hostages above the electrified plates that exist to protect the place. As fast as Barry is he is still left with the quintessential impossible choice – save the hostages or stop DeVoe from “Enlightening” the world. Cisco and Caitlin to the rescue! They discover that Barry can extend his Speedforce aura and thus Flashtime past the point of contact. This would allow Cisco and Caitlin to save the hostages while Barry uses the electricity from the metal plates to gain enough speed to follow DeVoe into his pocket dimension. This would be fine if a training accident hadn’t knocked Caitlin unconscious leaving Barry in the midst of a meltdown. After Ralph’s death, the idea Barry could lead more of his friends to their death paralyzes him with fear.

Cisco stages an intervention. Barry doesn’t hold the patent on guilt. It’s Cisco’s bazooka that led to both the creation and deaths of the 12 bus-metas. It’s true that going up against DeVoe is a risk but it’s one that Cisco and Caitlin are willing to make. Besides, wallowing in guilt won’t save the hostages or the world. Reluctantly, Barry agrees.

Iris isn’t doing much better than Barry. Harry, his empathy increasing in direct proportion to his mental decline, provides Iris with the means to find Marlize. However, despite the validity of Harry’s other theories, Iris can’t wrap her head around seeing Marlize as a potential ally. Granted, if Marlize had stabbed me with a sword, I might have a few issues, too. Iris follows Marlize to England intending to remove an enemy off the chessboard.

If that weren’t enough, Cecile’s powers are expanding. She is inhabiting others’ personalities rather than just hearing their thoughts. This is amusing when she’s a stoned pizza delivery-man with the munchies but not as funny when she holds a Katana, thinks she’s Joe West, and doesn’t recognize the real deal.

Meanwhile, Caitlin is still trying to resurrect Killer Frost. Her untimely introduction to the wall proves Dr. Finkel’s theory correct. Caitlin’s issues stem from her childhood and not from the Thinker. Cecile’s abilities, besides showing us how uptight Caitlin can be, offer Caitlin insight leading her to ask Cisco to vibe her into the past. It shocks them to find a kid-sized Frost staring back at them. Jaw meet floor.

Team Flash accomplish most of their objectives. They save the hostages and destroy a satellite with Amunet’s parting gift. Not only that, but Iris comes to her senses and does what Harry asked her to do – turn Marlize. Unfortunately, the Thinker remains one step ahead and hijacks STAR labs’ satellite as a replacement and ushers in the Enlightenment. Team Flash is running out of time to accomplish the one task that’s eluded them – out-thinking the Thinker. At least this time they’ll have the Mechanic’s help.

I have several nits to pick with this episode. The first being Barry extending Flashtime. Caitlin tells him it’s possible and suddenly he’s an expert? That aside, this ability makes the idea of any villain other than another speedster getting the jump on Team Flash laughable. How does one defeat multiple people who can move at Mach 3? Plus there’s the pesky little problem of Fallout going nuclear the moment Barry agrees to keep training Caitlin and Cisco. And when did Cisco have time to whip up his ice shooter? I can head cannon this by saying he did it while Barry was off sulking but without Barry bringing him and/or Caitlin into Flashtime they never got to test it out.

My other nitpick is a two-parter and they bother me more than the previous issues if only because they apply to the season as a whole instead of the episode. First, removing people’s intelligence will not change human nature. DeVoe may stave off climate change or a nuclear holocaust for a few centuries but it won’t end war. It’ll just limit it for a while. Just as the Enlightenment may cause people to forget their friends and families but it won’t keep them from making connections or building relationships. Humans are social creatures for good and ill. Second, is the Thinker immune to the Enlightenment? Or is he planning on hiding out in a pocket universe until the deed is done?

So what do we know?

As I have long suspected, Marlize is the key. The key to what remains an open question.

Is anyone in doubt that Cecile will go into labor next week? The only question is, will her abilities continue once the baby is born? I lied. The other question is will the baby have abilities of her own.

Caitlin discovers Killer Frost existed long before the particle accelerator explosion. Does this mean she’s not a metahuman? Or have metas existed in the absence of the STAR Labs’ infusion of dark matter? Given that the season finale is next week, it’s doubtful, we’ll get an answer any time soon.

As expected, this episode’s main purpose is to set the stage for the season finale and it does a serviceable job getting us there. But honestly, it’s the cold open that’s worth the price of admission.

3 out of 5 tubular ‘zas Brah

Parting thoughts:

Love that A.R.G.U.S. learned from Barry’s transmogrification last year and required a DNA scan. Not that it helped. On a side note, how does Melting Point’s powers allow DeVoe to fool the DNA scan? Seriously, does anyone have an explanation?

Barry finally made the argument to Iris I was dying for him to make last week. If the DeVoes are so dangerous why would you send ordinary citizens in search of them. She didn’t have a great response.

Team Flash was so cavalier about their inability to save Berman (AKA Fallout) that I didn’t realize he was dead until the third time I watched the episode.

A Kilgore-corrupted Gideon is a scary prospect.

Quotes:

DeVoe: “This evening’s recital will be conducted by your…beloved professor."

Cisco: “I whoosh, you whoosh, she bangs.”

Cisco: “The guy’s a one-man Legion of Doom so send the Super Friends.” (Wait- What? How do either of those exist on this Earth?)

Caitlin: “I’m sorry. I have to go. Do you charge by the hour?”
Dr. Finkel: “For you and your friends, the quarter hour.”

Barry: “I’m sorry.”
Diggle: “I hate you.”

Cisco: “Don’t go storming the Castle just yet.”

Cisco: “Oh, frell me.” (Cisco’s a Farscape fan. I love him more and more each day.)

Cecile: “Joe, we are not going to need a Katana at the hospital.”

Delivery Guy: “This house is..."
Joe: “Bitchin. Yeah, everybody says that.”
Delivery Guy: "No. Hard to find."

Cisco: “Oh Flashtime, how I’ve missed thee.”

Cecile: “She thinks that I’m repressing something. I mean, repressing something. How crazy is that? Oh, my God. This Erlenmeyer flask is covered in water spots."
Caitlin: “Yeah, she’s definitely me."

Cisco: “That’s right, Barry. A baby breach. And in time, she’ll blossom into maturity, but for now, in Flashtime, she’s my little breachling."

Iris: “It’s very big of you to admit that you were wrong, Harry.”
Harry: “I’m not– I don’t know if I was wr– the word you said.”

Joe: (to Cecile) “You’re me? This is a whole new level of weird.”

Barry: “It takes more than 10 hours to learn Super Speed.”

Iris: “Hey, I love you. Go save the world.”

DeVoe: “Think of it. Or rather don’t. You’ll just end up hurting yourself, so let me explain.”

Marlize: “It’s rude to breach into a person’s home uninvited. And dangerous when a person’s holding a grudge and a Katana.”

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

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

It didn't make sense technically, but I also really enjoyed this episode. Terrific review, Shari.

Shari Houtman said...

I loved the first time I watched it but I think the glow of the cold open covered the rest of the episode. When I started to dig into it for the review the story all falls apart just like you said. That said, it still makes me smile.