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The Flash: Enemy at the Gates

“Can I change my mind about helping?”
“Too late.”

The title seems like an obvious allusion to the half dozen Godspeeds storming S.T.A.R. Labs walls. However, it could just as easily refer to Mark and the illusive Adam Creyke. So, why do I feel like it’s a reference to something completely different?

Before we delve into the discussion of Team Flash’s enemies, we should address the undercurrent regarding family. First, we have Barry’s dream fueled belief that he and Iris were pregnant. The impediments to his quest to confirm Nora’s pronouncement provide the through line of the episode. It is my certainty that Iris will be pregnant by the end of the season that caused me to ignore all the warning signs it was not going to happen here. I have a hunch I was not alone. So, good on ya, Powers That Be. That said, while I understand Barry’s initial excitement and eventual disappointment, his behavior throughout the episode had me confused.

I understood his desire to keep Iris’ potential pregnancy under wraps, but why lie to Cecile? Why not say Iris was home and not feeling well? Cecile could have left the files with Barry, and they would have avoided all the awkwardness. Especially since he mentions the fact that Iris is sick later in the day. Or was the awkwardness the point? Was this poor attempt at comedy meant to balance the soon-to-be dread of the Godspeeds’ attack?

And why would the fact Iris isn’t pregnant yet mean they are destined to be childless? Nora is proof that it’s more than possible. Or does Barry think he might have changed their fate à la Chester’s theory of predetermination?

Regardless, he’s not the only one with family issues. Allegra may have rescued Esperanza from Dr. Olsen’s clutches, but she has yet to save her. Given Esperanza’s past, her trust issues are unsurprising. Even before Olsen played Frankenstein with her vocal cords, Esperanza had lived a miserable existence. Her only solace had been her cousin, and Black Hole stole that from her too, until the only thing left was Ultraviolet. Allegra’s attempts to rebuild that relationship are going to take time, but she did convince Esperanza a little faith is preferable to death. Although after witnessing Caitlin’s surgical skills, Esperanza might have had a point.

Side bar: I understand this is not a medical show, but that was just pathetic. From Caitlin’s lack of a mask or head covering, to the fact she has no other surgical tools besides a single scalpel. Then there’s the two non-medical personnel standing there in street clothes giving a running commentary on Caity’s experimental surgery. However, the pièce de résistance is Caitlin specifically saying she needs to close the wound right before the close up on Esperanza’s throat, showing that there is no wound. Oh, please!

OK, I’m back.

Chester seems to think Esperanza’s reintegration into society will be “easy-peasy.” That’s just begging for the Jinx gods to intervene. Esperanza was a criminal before she became Ultraviolet. I don’t think anyone is going to be itching to hire an ex-felon with few marketable skills besides a menu of ways to inflict pain. Or will they offer her a place on Team Flash like they did for Frost? Does Esperanza even have her abilities post-surgery?

The final leg on the family tripod is the relationship between Kristen Kramer and her brother from another mother, Adam Creyke. He bridges our family-enemy divide. Since we have yet to see him in the flesh, we only have Kramer’s description to go by and even she admits what she knows makes little sense.

Adam willingly gave up the future he wanted (going into the Navy) to protect Kramer. He has a knack for killing and broke bad. Yet even then he tried to keep Kramer from getting hurt. I’m willing to bet he was the reason she survived the attack that took out her unit. But if so, why blow up her car? No member of special forces worth their salt would have blown the car up without scoping it out first. What’s going on? And, yes, I know the car blew up, presumably with Kramer and Joe in it, but since they can’t be dead, let’s just move along.

Then we have Mark, who may not be an enemy in the strictest sense but is certainly not a member of Team Flash, no matter how much Frost may want him to be. Just between us, I like Mark. He has a Loki-like aspect that just appeals to me. He’s on board as long as it serves him. That said, I believe Mark’s feelings for Frost are genuine. If he didn’t care, he wouldn’t pump Caitlin for information about his “Snowflake.” Yet, in an unLoki-like fashion, he’s honest with Frost. He tells her straight up he’s never going to be a hero. Then proves it by running away with his cold cuffs. It’s not his fault she didn’t believe him.

I’ll also admit, I have no idea what’s happening with the Godspeeds. Their appearances have been so random that I’ve lost the thread on when they first showed up or why they need Barry’s speed. So, how they intend to get infinite velocity is a mystery. That said, it was enough to know that there were more of them than there was of Barry and they could drain his speed at will. Basically, not good.

And it might have just gotten worse. Whomever has been cloning the Godspeeds has either lost control of a group of them or is up against someone with the same abilities. Either way, Central City appears to be ground zero for their impending civil war. Again, not good.

So, do I have unreasonable expectations when I hope that whatever’s going on with the Godspeeds, Barry and Iris’s (hopefully) growing family, and Adam Creyke are related, thematically, if nothing else? Some Big Bad playing multidimensional chess to Team Flash’s checkers? I know the chances are practically nonexistent, but it would be easier to forgive the many stumbles that occurred this season if they could at least stick the landing.

The episode was solid, but they lose a point for that horrid surgery scene. UGH!

3 out of 5 modem deciphering algorithms

Parting Thoughts:

Derek and Nancy? Is this a comic book reference I’m unaware of? All I found was the mention of a 1985 double murder. I don’t like the implications if that was Mark’s inspiration.

And why was Allegra and her recently upgraded abilities sidelined when six Godspeeds stormed S.T.A.R. Labs? You’d think it’d be an all hands on deck moment. I’d trust her over Mark...

For the briefest moment, I wondered if the reason we hadn’t seen Adam was because he was Kramer’s split personality. But then I remembered people had seen them together.

Quotes:

Barry: “Iris, I know this is going to sound crazy but I think we’re pregnant.”

Chester: “Sounds like you’re going to stalk him or something. Watch his every step. That would be crazy.”
Frost: “Great idea, Chester.”
Joe: “This has to be about justice. If this is gonna be about vengeance, you can do this by yourself.”

Chester: “So, why is the Flash driving a car?... Oh, wait. Do you have a Flashmobile?”

Esperanza: “It’s my life. Not yours.”
Allegra: “Then why am I the only one that gives a damn about it?”

Frost: “I can’t believe I’m about to say this. I will take you to S.T.A.R. Labs and have Caity fix you. But if you step out of line, I will let you bleed out.”
Mark: “I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

Mark: “Life isn’t binary. It’s everything in between.”

Chester: “Oh, frak. It’s a trap.”

Mark: “I’m no hero. I’m never gonna be.”

Barry: “If this isn’t the future for me and Iris... What is?”

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

5 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Absolutely loaded with writing flaws, no doubt about it. The surgery scene was just so unbelievable. But I actually enjoyed this one more than the past few. Was it just because Barry was in it?

Shari said...

Probably but Iris' absence made me wonder if Candise was either sick/injured or actually pregnant.

Billie Doux said...

Yeah, that was weird, too -- the one-sided conversations, the lab work. A lot of stuff they're doing lately seems to indicate that they're working around absences.

Samantha M. Quinn said...

I was cool with Caitlyn doing the surgery at first, but it was strange that she wasn't wearing a mask. Then your right, she had no other instruments or even evidence of any actual surgery including the simple excuse of a wound dressing. Having just gone through minor surgery, a surgical drape would've been such an easy prop to utilize. I mean the show could've even done some kind of sci-fi excuse for the surgery like a sterile field with a single off hand comment. Ah well. The show does have some deficiencies in the writing department.

Thanks for the review!

Shari said...

Normally, I'd be happy to lay the blame at the writers' feet but the Director should have known better. The Producers should have caught it and the Editor could have at least not cut to the shot of her neck after Caitlin said there was a wound. It's one of the reasons I use "The Powers That Be" rather than calling out a single department. UGH!