Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

The Flash: Rayo de Luz

“You just leveled up, Allegra.”

Last week was Chester’s opportunity to show his worth. This week it’s Allegra’s turn to shine, as we delve into themes of trust and betrayal in families both born and found. Luckily, there’s also redemption.

Iris and Barry should have known better, but they had their minds on… other things. They create the ultimate jinx by deciding to go on a mini vacation since “Central City’s been so quiet.” Of course a Big Bad had to show up. This time in the shape of Allegra’s evil alter-ego. Her cousin Esperanza, AKA Ultraviolet.

Allegra wants to redeem Esperanza or at least give her the same opportunity for redemption Team Flash gave her. However, before she could loop the rest of the team in on her plans, Ultraviolet attempts to kill Allegra… again.

Sue may be willing to save the day, but she’s not too keen on going after Ultraviolet without a certain speedster. Regardless of their lack of firepower, this iteration of Team Flash must face off with Ultraviolet since the alternative is to let her kill someone. Is it just me or is The Flash’s black and white world getting greyer? Ultraviolet does want to kill someone. The man that tortured her.

That revelation does little to change Sue’s mind. She is adamant Ultraviolet is so damaged by Black Hole she can’t be redeemed. At first I thought Sue’s certainty was based on her past relationship with Ultraviolet, but it was more personal than that. When Allegra asks why Sue could save her parents and Allegra can’t save her cousin, we discover the truth. Sue may have rescued them, but she didn’t save them. They are still as damaged as she believes Ultraviolet to be.

Meanwhile, Joe has discovered more evidence of Kramer's involvement in the failure of her last military mission. His belief that she is a good cop leads him to her office door instead of her superiors'. Her initial defensiveness (and threats of arrest) pits his faith in Kramer’s inherent decency against his need to protect the men and women who once served under him. Before he decides a visit to the Governor’s office is in order, Kramer reaches out to him and tells him the truth. I wasn't that surprised. Her hatred of metas stemming from betrayal wasn’t a secret. She said as much in The People v. Killer Frost. That her relationship to the meta was so personal was the shock.

The crux of this episode isn’t based on rationality. Our love for our family is unconditional and our trust in them is unshakeable until it is shattered. Even then, the line between love and hate is infinitesimal. For Kramer, Sue, and Esperanza, the knowledge that someone so beloved could betray them is proof that no one can be trusted. Metas are fundamentally dangerous, every Black Hole member is irredeemable, and all betrayers must be punished.

Allegra argues you can’t give up on the people you care about and Sue counters that a person can’t be saved unless they want to be. The problem is Sue believes those arguments are mutually exclusive and Allegra knows they’re not. Allegra understands Esperanza’s hatred of her isn’t unfounded, it’s just mistaken. Allegra never abandoned Esperanza. She thought her cousin was dead. Allegra just needs an opportunity to convince Esperanza of that truth. After all, it’s what Barry would do.

Allegra’s not wrong. If there is a theme to this woefully inconsistent season, it’s that love is the answer. As this episode’s iteration of Team Flash can attest. Each member left to patrol in Barry’s absence is a former Flash adversary in one form or another, even Chester. If Barry and the other members of Team Flash didn’t give up on them, how can Allegra give up on her own flesh and blood?

That said, that level of faith has a price. Allegra frees Esperanza and offers to help her capture the butcher that turned her into Ultraviolet. Esperanza repays Allegra by injuring Chester and attempting to kill her and the rest of Team Flash at Dr. Olsen’s behest. It’s only when Olsen claims hate fuels their power that Allegra realizes the reason she couldn’t use her powers for destruction is because it’s fueled by love.

Allegra’s unceasing love for her cousin finally breaks through Esperanza’s armor. Although Allegra’s light show didn’t hurt. It also convinces Sue that her parents may deserve another shot. As for Kramer, the only question is whether her newfound trust in Joe outweighs her brother’s betrayal. Will Joe’s influence extend to not using the cure on any meta implicated in a crime?

Finally, Frost’s absence during the above shenanigans had to do with a certain bartender / scientist / criminal. Mark may have turned state’s evidence, but that doesn’t make him repentant. We’re about to find out if Frost will offer him the same opportunity Allegra offered Esperanza and if that trust is well founded.

The departure of series mainstays will hopefully allow the junior members of Team Flash to flourish. They'll never replace Cisco or Wells but we might grow to love them just as much. Another solid episode.

4 out of 5 photonic stun grenades

Parting thoughts:

For the non-Spanish speakers among us, the title literally means “ray of light.”

Props to Danielle Panabaker, who directed the episode.

Allegra’s respect for Chester’s pacifism is great. Chester needing to prove his usefulness to the team despite said pacifism... priceless.

I never got into D&D, mostly because no one else in my circle of friends wanted to. Therefore, I can relate to Chester. His ears and argument with Marco put a big ole’ smile on my face.

Is there anyone in the multiverse still wondering if this season will end with a particular announcement from Barry and Iris?

Quotes:

Sue: [in Spanish] “Hey, Lone Rangerette.”

Chester: “Side note. Prayer hands emoji for the save.”

Allegra: “For the rest of today, this is Team Flash.”
Sue: “Well, that’s reassuring.”

Chester: “Allegra said Ultraviolet is here to kill somebody. That means there’s a life in danger. Isn’t saving people Team Flash 101?”

Esperanza: “You just saved the man that turned me into a monster.”

Sue: “She’s got this crazy idea that you’re not a total lost cause. Noble, but dumb.”

Allegra: “You could’ve killed him.”
Esperanza: “So, he’s useless. As are you.”

Joe: “I put my badge down. Kramer picked it up. It’s all on me.”
Chester: “Get your shine on.”

Olsen: “Hate fuels your light power.”
Allegra: “Not for me.”

Barry: “What happened today?”
Chester & Allegra: “Nothing.”

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

3 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Yeah, we're clearly working up to a baby announcement. :)

I've been wondering about their strategy of (1) writing out Wells and Cisco while (2) disappearing Barry and Iris. I know shows are dealing with COVID issues, and I don't dislike the new characters, but I'm having trouble with it.

Shari said...

Do you think it's a COVID thing? I just read it as a reason to give a characters that have been on the bench their chance to take center stage.

Billie Doux said...

No idea. I think they could give the new characters time without backbenching the leads, though.