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The Flash: Hear No Evil

“That’s not Caitlin.”

Many superhero shows suffer from the fact the hero always does the right thing. It makes them aspirational, but it also makes for boring TV. This show may have issues, but the infallibility of Team Flash isn’t one of them.

Before we get into all that, let’s discuss Hartley’s return and the villain of the week. When last we saw Hartley, he’d given up his life of crime for true love. Now we find him and Roderick living out their happily ever after, at least until The Fiddler’s untimely appearance.

The reason it’s important is that the moment The Fiddler threatened Roderick, Hartley’s go to move was to “kill the punk witch.” Why? Was it because he’s inherently bad and has been covering it up for Roderick’s sake? I think not. Hartley believes a life without the one he loves isn’t worth living. Saving Roderick or if need be, avenging him is more important than saving his soul. In essence, it is the same calculation both Mark and Caitlin made.

Frost’s influence on Mark is what made him appeal to his better angels. Before her, Mark had no problem using his intellect and skills to rob, maim, and kill. Or to leave Frost to take the blame. However, attraction and a mutual love of near-death experiences eventually led to love and Mark was converted.

Wanting to be good for the sake of someone you love is not the same as choosing to be good. Now that Frost is gone, Mark has to decide on which side he’s going to fall. I hoped Barry’s acknowledgment of Mark's place on Team Flash signaled that Mark’s decision was made. Unfortunately, Mark’s threat to “end” Hartley makes Barry’s offer seem premature.

My belief that Barry would take the blame for Caitlin’s death was on the money. Was destroying her lab a mistake? Yes. However, there’s no guarantee she would have found any other way to bring Frost back or that she wouldn’t have attempted the CRC somewhere down the line. Like Hartley and Mark, Caitlin weighed the risks and chose the person she loved over her own well-being.

There were so many things to like about this episode. The return of Hartley and his personal brand of snarkiness. Our introduction to the latest of the Snow sisters. And the reminder that while good people may do the wrong thing, it’s the desire to be better that makes them heroes.

The problem with the episode is structural. The main conflict is the choice between Caitlin and Frost, which obviously can’t be resolved until the end of the episode. This means a room full of heroes must acknowledge Khione's existence while ignoring the fact that their choice of which Snow sister to save doesn’t include her. Accident or not, Khione is the sister that’s alive and she has as much right to that life as any of the others.

And I like Khione. Her empathic abilities allow her to cut to the heart of a problem and reframe it so that an informed decision can be made. And Khione does so without judgment. That said, I’m curious about why Cecile’s abilities don’t work with her.

Barry’s comment regarding Frost choice to face Deathstorm, Caitlin choice to enter the CRC, and it now being Khione’s time to choose is true. However, that doesn’t absolve Team Flash’s complacency after losing an OG member of their team. There’s no memorial service, no nod to informing Cisco, and barely even a mention of Caitlin’s mother. Even Nash got a better send off, and they spent most of his tenure pissed at him.

I also have to say that while Allegra and Chester’s non-romance was initially cute, it has rapidly progressed to annoying. There’s an indelicate saying that comes to mind involving a pot and whether one should remain on it. Here’s hoping that particular decision is made sooner rather than later.

Finally, there’s Joe and Cecile’s pending move from Central City. In theory, I understand Joe’s fears. But how is the danger Cecile is in different from the threats facing Barry and Iris? Or is the cumulative effect of all three being in danger the problem?

The reason Cecile meshes so well with the rest of the family is because she has the same values they do. Having the ability to help means you have an obligation to help. As a former police officer, Joe should respect that, even if it scares him.

Given his speed and glowing eyes and my lack of DC comics lore, I assumed that this season’s Big Bad was yet another variation of the Reverse Flash. Not a bad guess as guesses go. Why not end the series where it began? However, I failed to understand the import of last week’s final image. It appears our Big Bad is none other than The Red Death. I’m not sure how Barry has disgraced him, considering Barry doesn’t know he exists, but I’m actually excited to find out.

Khione’s introduction and the reveal of our Big Bad can’t make up for the significant structural issues that weigh this episode down. But at least they can cushion the landing.

2.5 out of 5 recently destroyed CRCs

Parting Thoughts:

This is the show’s second bite at The Fiddler apple. And once again they’ve made the character female.

Last week I forgot to mention that Captain Boomerang is also from the comics. Owen Mercer was the Captain’s second iteration. Owen was known to flirt with being both a hero and a villain. Could this be a hint of things to come?

As far as I can tell, Khione is not from the comics. She is, however, a nymph in Greek mythology, though she was better known as the goddess of snow.


Fiddler: “You can call me The Fiddler and I’m here to ruin your night.”

Mark: “Just because you all gave up on Frost doesn’t mean that I can.”

Barry: “If you let us in, we work together, we can do the impossible.”

Hartley: “Some musical psycho attacked me with her murder violin.”

Barry: “Sometimes when we love someone like that, we do the wrong things for the right reasons.”

Iris: “Worst day ever.”

Fiddler: “I knew if I put the squeeze on your squeeze you’d show up sooner or later.”

Khione: “We can mourn the flowers that have fallen from the vine, but we can’t ask a new bloom to give up its place in exchange.”

Allegra: “Wanna dance?”

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

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