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The Flash: Resurrection

“We can’t resurrect the past.”

Wow. After floating on the surface of a number of weighty topics for weeks, this episode delved into the heart of them. Who counts as family? Do we owe them our unending support or our honest opinion? Should knowledge be shared as freely and widely as possible or protected from those who might use it for evil ends? And the question lurking at the heart of the episode. Should death be final?

What made this one of the stronger episodes this season is that all the arguments were valid. Barry understands how grief can color one's ability to make decisions. Just as he knows the flame manipulates people’s grief by impersonating loved ones. Anyone would have doubts in those circumstances.

Anyone but Caitlyn. If I thought my husband was desperately trying to contact me after suffering for years, I’d do just about anything to save him. And I can’t imagine an argument that would change my mind.

Besides, Caitlyn’s not being unreasonable to expect the person claiming to be family to support her decision. She was there for all of Barry’s questionable choices when Iris’ life was on the line (given the final moments of the episode, he may make more of them). After all, Caitlyn’s not trying to rewrite time, just end one man’s suffering.

They did a good job of subverting the hierarchy of trust I spoke of last week. Normally we’re primed to believe Barry over the rest of Team Flash. However, Barry’s opinion was suspect before and seemed to be here as well. Right up to the end of the episode, I was wondering if Barry’s judgment was going to be a major theme for the rest of the season. It may be, but not because he was wrong.

The standoff between Barry and Caitlyn left the rest of Team Flash in an awkward position. Neither Allegra nor Chester had ever met Ronnie. Their only interest was in stopping the murders. Frost was so utterly Frost I had to laugh. Despite her doubts, she was always going to support her sister. She told Barry as much. Yet, she let everyone assume she’d been persuaded.

Frost wasn’t the only one with doubts. As she said, it all felt too good to be true. Yet, there were plenty of contextual clues and foreshadowing for us to know this would not end well. From Marcus quoting Plato to Ronnie, telling Caitlyn to stop trying to recreate the past. Plus, whoever reached out to Cecile. Who was that? Was it an aspect of Ronnie trying to warn her? Or was Cecile feeling the pain of one or more of Death Storm’s other victims? Whether or not we get those answers, The Powers That Be weren’t exactly subtle about their position on the “whether death should be final” debate.

Buried within the how Ronnie should be saved argument was the discussion about the availability of knowledge. I was as shocked as Allegra to see Chester sharing quantum splicer technology online, just as he had shared his drone upgrades. And, like Allegra, it had nothing to do with copyright laws.

Chester’s belief freely shared knowledge fosters innovation is admirable. The ability to test and build upon the knowledge of others is the foundation of scientific inquiry. However, as history keeps reminding us, knowledge can be used for good or ill and even if supervillains aren’t watching Chester’s feed, that doesn’t mean they can’t find it later. Or that someone watching today won’t become tomorrow’s supervillain. Most people are good at heart. The operative word being “most.”

Finally, there are the repercussions of Iris’ time sickness. Bouncing between foster homes and living on the street made Tinya volatile to begin with. Watching her mother dissolve the moment she got her back, then being kept in the dark, doesn’t exactly engender trust. Tinya doesn’t have the detachment nor the perspective to realize Sue and Iris are just as clueless as she is. Tinya’s hurt and angry and more than willing to share her pain. Unfortunately, I’m more confident Tinya’s actions are reversible than Iris’.

Now, we’re left with a nightmare scenario. Death Storm’s powers have been augmented, and Caitlyn has unleashed him on an unsuspecting population. Team Flash has no idea what the extent of his powers are, and they could barely contain him before. Unfortunately, their leader’s focus is now split between saving his city and rescuing the woman he loves.

I’m giddy with anticipation. Does that make me a horrible person?

4 out of 5 blackest nights

Parting Thoughts:

If you want a little context, you can find out more about Death Storm here.

Marcus seemed like a nice enough guy. Still won’t miss him.

Quotes:

Ronnie: “What do you think, am I gonna live?”

Iris: “Oh my God, what did I do?”

Barry: “Maybe we should just slow down and make sure we’re doing the right thing.”
Caitlyn: “Saving my husband is the right thing.”

Marcus: “I’ve been broken up with before. Just never due to a resurrection. Yeah, that’s a new one.”

Chester: “What good is knowledge if you don’t share it?”

Cecile: “You were... you are the most important thing in Ronnie’s life. Caitlyn, maybe it’s time that you consider how he feels.”

Caitlyn: “I had big plans, you know. Plans that did not involve us getting pneumonia.”

Frost: “Barry’s family, but you’re blood, and I will always have your back.”

Sue: “Iris is gone.”

Death Storm: “No. I’m not going anywhere.”

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

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