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The Flash: Lockdown

"Stop thinking about what it is you have to lose and start thinking about what it is you might gain."

This week’s episode was brought to you by the letter R, as in risk and relationships. Everyone was pushed out of their comfort zones this week. Well, except for Frost and Mark. They live outside of all comfort zones.

We’ll start with the relationships since there were just so many of them. First up – Frost and Caitlyn, both with the men in their lives and each other. After a few betrayals and a teensy stabbing, Frost and Mark’s relationship is going swimmingly. Caitlyn can’t believe Frost would give him the time of day after all the murder and mayhem he’s caused. However, if she’s being honest with herself, Caitlyn’s real problem is that Frost can risk her heart on anyone at all. Who could blame Caitlyn? She lost the love of her life... twice? And the only other person she thought about seriously turned evil. I’d be a little gun shy, too.

What’s interesting is it is Mark who recognizes Caitlyn’s fears and not the woman who shared her body for decades. His little heart-to-heart gave depth to what had been a one-note character and showed why Frost was willing to give him a second chance. It also gave us the theme of the episode. Avoiding risks also means closing yourself off to all the good stuff, too. Now we just need to find out if Dr. Ficus is worth the risk.

Allegra and Chester continue to tip-toe their way towards coupledom. We’ve passed ad hoc coffee at Jitters and weekly D&D games to achieve lunch-date status. Up till now, they’ve been able to coast on their friendship, but can either of them doubt the attraction is mutual at this point? Regardless, for all Chester’s talk about Caitlyn and Marcus’ future, neither he nor Allegra are ready to jump into bed with each other. Figuratively or literally.

Finally, there’s Goldface and Amunet. I know she was offscreen, but there were his conversations with Barry about her reinforced the theme of risk vs. reward. According to the illustrious Dr. Finkle (I kinda miss her), it was Goldface and Amunet’s lack of commitment to each other that held them back. Once they were “all in,” both their relationship and their criminal careers flourished. I wonder if that was Dr. Finkle had in mind...

In Barry’s case, the risk had nothing to do with his relationship with Iris and everything to do with his relationship with Kramer. Once upon a time, the CCPD was a family affair. Both Joe and Cecile had open lines of communication with The Flash regarding any suspect he brought in. He neither has nor wants such a relationship with Kramer. Although I fail to see why not. Plenty of other people know of his identity, including Amunet. Besides, his reluctance didn’t seem to be based on fear, but out of the belief that his increased abilities made that relationship unnecessary. Again, huh?

While Barry may not be afraid, Kramer sure is. Her frustration with The Flash is legitimate. The inability to communicate with him compounds the difficulty in building cases against the criminals he apprehends. However, her desire for communication has just as much to do with her personal fears. The potential for disaster in her ability to mimic the nearest meta is dawning on her. The Flash would be the ideal person to guide her if only she had a way to talk to him.

All of which is brought to a head in the actual meat of the episode, which revolved around Goldface’s plot to steal CCPD’s meta-bullets for Amunet to sell. A plot that could have been avoided by Barry speeding everyone out of the police station before the gas took effect, but then we wouldn’t have had an episode. So, moving on...

Facing off against Goldface and his crew gave Barry and Kramer exactly what they needed. Barry got a reminder that it’s not all about him. It’s about what the people of his city need, including Kramer. It was also a reminder for viewers that Barry can be a hero without his speed. Barry’s intelligence gave him and Kramer the means to escape, and it was his advice that gave Kramer the confidence she needed to confront Goldface. Opening a dialogue with the CCPD has the potential to convict more of the criminals The Flash brings in as well as to assist Kramer while she masters her meta-abilities.

In what I can only assume is more temporal hijinks, we have Iris. Is this part of the time illness she’s been suffering from for the past two seasons or something new? Whatever it is, it’s clear that she is not the only one in control of her body. The question is whether she realizes it.

It seems The Powers That Be are dipping into the Rogues Gallery for our villains of the week even as they setup a mysterious larger arc. I enjoy seeing the familiar faces and the mystery has me hooked. I guess I’m all in.

4 out of 5 self-flying drones

Parting Thoughts:

It’s clear these episodes were originally intended to air in January. I wonder what caused the delay.

Chester's latest contribution to my expanding knowledge of African American scientists is Alice H. Parker.

This is actually the fifth appearance of our criminal with a conscience. Sterling Brooks, who nearly shot Joe in last week's episode, is now hitting up Jitters for soy lattes along with their cash. Where will he turn up next...?

Amunet’s ringtone (Love is a Battlefield) was also the name of the episode that pitted her against Goldface. How à propos!

You gotta love a guy who can quote Moby Dick and Star Trek. Even if he is a criminal.

Quotes:

Chester: “Guess I’m lunch-date-worthy now, huh?”
Allegra: “Chuck, you are date-worthy in all the major categories.”

Caitlyn: “WookieLover77 says ‘Who’s the girl? Her sister seems cooler.’”

Goldface: “And if anyone tries anything.”
Barry: “We get the belt.”

Frost: “Caity? What a coinky-dink!”

Goldface: “We’re not just partners in love. We’re partners in crime.”

Caitlyn: “So you disappear when people want you to stick around, but you stick around when people want you to disappear?”
Mark: “I’m all kinds of complicated, Caitlyn.”

Kramer: “Let’s take back our house.”

Carver: “Boss, you could just skip the counting and kill her, you know.”
Goldface: “You have no sense of drama.”

Goldface: “Why isn’t your bracelet working?”
Kramer: “Didn’t match my outfit.”

Barry: “I want to share something else with you. My true identity.”
Kramer: “Allen, I know it’s you.”

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

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