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The Flash: Partners in Time

“All right, what in the H-E-double hockey sticks is going on here?”

Now that Team Flash has defeated the Red Death and traipsed down memory lane with Becky Sharpe and Nia Nal, we’ve reverted to an old-fashioned villain of the week episode. This one is couched in a mystery.

The Flash is at its best when the themes of our heroes’ personal issues ties and the solution for saving the day coincide. This episode attempts to do that. And it works to a degree. Luckily, the villain of the week episodes are rarely about the villain.

On the personal side, the themes for this week focused more on the Partners than the time. The premise being that loving someone doesn’t mean you’re on the same page. In this respect, they were remarkably consistent across all three storylines.

At least Barry and Iris’ issues tangentially had to do with time. As much as Iris wants Nora, she is still trying to hang on to her life as it was. A life that revolved around her career and her husband. Not dealing with pregnancy brain or feeding a future speedster every hour. Side note: Given the calories Barry has to consume to sustain himself, it’s no wonder Iris is hungry all the time. How are they ever going to afford to feed three speedsters?

Meanwhile, Barry is rushing to meet the new normal to come. He’s painted the crib they won’t need for months and stocked the fridge with food Nora won’t be able to eat for years. But Barry has always been prone to leaping first with little thought of the consequences. As proven by yet another attempt to travel to the future, which even he admits has never worked. Someone needs to remind him of the definition of insanity.

However, Iris and Barry’s discussion about their future was the highlight of the episode. I don’t believe a situation has to be plausible for the moment to feel realistic, but they didn’t even try. Once they realized they were trapped in the Speed Lab, it was clear they were in danger. But even after Inspector Howard’s untimely demise, most of the Speed Lab scenes were played for laughs. That’s a stark contrast with the weight of Iris’s fears and Barry’s desire to support his wife and not quite knowing what to say. Though the conversation did give Barry the answer to the mystery.

To be fair, it wasn’t much of a mystery. An electrician that doesn’t know the name for a breaker box is an enormous tell. The show spent as much time proving it couldn’t be Tao, a.k.a. Lady Chronos, as it did on the mystery itself.

There was even less time spent on the resolution, seeing as how there was no real conflict. Speed couldn’t save anyone from the effects of the time magnet and it was as much a threat to Lady Chronos as anyone else. Returning it was the only option. The only thing Barry did was give her the means to do so.

Our B story revolved around Allegra and Chester. Their relationship has moved from a standstill to warp speed and back again. At least they gave a reason this time. I suspect it was the same as the reason we saw Allegra dragging her feet during the first go-round. After losing or being abandoned by the people she loves, Allegra was bound to have trust issues. I’m amazed she acknowledged it and made amends so quickly. Oh wait, this is The Flash and not This Is Us.

All kidding aside, I loved Cecile’s advice, and that Allegra was mature enough to take it (though for an all powerful empath, it took her long enough to read the room). Tomorrow isn’t promised. Allegra and Chester are in love and they should enjoy the time they’re together and let the future take care of itself.

It seemed like a throwaway line, but I think it may be a setup for things to come. It appears Allegra finally been outed as the latest light meta. I don’t blame her for being concerned. No one thinks about how important privacy is until they lose it.

Poor Khione always seems to be last and least. I have no idea where they are going with this character, but so far she’s gotten the short end of the narrative stick. Despite last week’s acknowledgment that she and Mark barely know each other, his departure is treated like a break-up. Then her meeting with Mama Tannhauser, what was most likely an emotionally fraught experience, occurs offscreen and was reduced to a one liner. I am pleased that regardless of her new found ice abilities, they haven’t dropped the mystery of her empathy or her affinity with nature. Maybe there’s still hope.

There were no glaring problems with the episode and it included several moments that I loved. However, it wasn’t a particularly well-crafted hour of television either.

3 out of 5 D.O.E. Inspections

Parting Thoughts:

Lady Chronos is another deep cut from the comics.

S.T.A.R. Labs has security? I mean, they need it, but...

Iris, Iris, Iris. You have no one to blame when the Trekkies start coming for you.

Speaking of which, is this confirmation that Star Trek is canon? It is a DC Comics property...

I know I keep harping on this, but they’ve never even held a memorial service for Caitlin. How is Mama Tannhauser okay with this?


Howard: “I’m sorry. And you are?”
Iris: “Hungry.”

Barry: “You gotta be killing me.”

Chester: “You are my favorite human.”

Iris: “Can we hurry because our future speedster needs a snack.”

Jane: “I know we’re in a situation here, but if we get out of this, I would love to study some of your quantum biochemistry some time.”

Rogen: “Flash, you gotta save us. I don’t want to become a creepy nude dude made of stone!”

Cecile: “I knew it! You guys have been making the ‘I’m about to say it eyes’ at each other for so long and you finally did it.”

Khione: “You know, as someone who is only eight weeks old, I really could use a strong female mentor... and dinner.”

Barry: “Just so you know, you have a freezer full of your favorite ice cream.”
Iris: “Best husband ever!”

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

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