ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 5.1.18
Decisions are made about the future by everyone in the mix. It’s genuinely a pivotal episode, but all the things that happen aren’t necessarily connected causally. Just thematically.
The Way We Were
The Flash as a TV show consistently makes Barry Allen the least interesting character. He is also the character that shows the least amount of growth. That’s a shame. This episode serves us up more backstory for Clifford and Marlize, and they are as charming as ever. We see the events that led to Clifford’s belief that technology was corrupting us, and how Marlize initially rejected that view. Clifford however believes in his quest for the enlightenment. He is convinced that that is the only way to get mankind on the proper track. Marlize eventually changes her mind. And she changes her mind again by episode’s end. Their banter in every flashback is completely endearing.
Which highlights the fact that Barry and Iris never feel that way, do they? Do they even banter?
One mark of every healthy couple is the laughs that they share. When do Barry and Iris ever laugh together? Just an observation.
Also, Alfred Nobel created the Nobel Prize so he wouldn’t be remembered as the man that invented dynamite. Wow. I learned something tonight.
Francesca is feeling the pressure about making his decision. It will completely change his life one way or the other. If he takes Breacher’s old job, he has to leave Team Flash. If he doesn’t he’s afraid staying on Earth One will cost him his relationship with Gypsy. So she sends him a message cube that’s full of “It’s fine/no pressure” language which everyone in a relationship knows means [OH MY GAH THE PRESSURE DIS TEW MUCH].
Meanwhile Caitlin and Mindwipe Harry are making another attempt to bring back Caitlin’s…..sister? Alter ego? Hidden persona? Cisco tries to vibe her enough to rile her up and make her change, but to no avail. This reminds me of our recent developments with Bruce Banner. All we know now is that Dr. Caitlin Snow, a once confident and fully contributing member of Team Flash has been reduced. She now feels like she’s not whole without Killer Frost/her powers and she NEVER felt that way before.
Part of the change happened when they decided to low key make Frost a good guy, or an anti-hero, or kind of like Catwoman. Still a bad, bad girl but working with the good guys instead of against them. Unfortunately this is now the only thing that occupies Caitlin’s mind these days. It’s as if she’s forgotten every other positive quality that she herself has as a person, and that’s just not the Caitlin Snow that we knew. But be that as it may, I too will be happy to have Frost back. I’m sure however that this will be yet another version of her. They will probably reveal childhood abuse, genetic tampering by her mother, and latent rage activated by the Dark Matter.
Know who would never let Caitlin forget who she is and what she’s worth? Barry. Too bad he doesn’t talk to her any more.
I never thought I’d miss Season Three. I kid you not.
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There would be Casualties
Let me take a moment to mention, as we watch Devoe continue to degenerate into a closed-minded tyrant, that this is why Superman is the greatest hero of all. What sets Kal-El apart from the other Kryptonians that come to this planet is the fact that Kal never lets his powers turn him into a dictator (except in Elseworlds type of tales).
Devoe is proving as he executes his plan that power corrupts, and he can’t handle it any better than any other person could. I kind of can’t believe that Marlize has been this naive for this long tho. How could she just now be seeing him for who he is? Maybe her love for Clifford has blinded her, but those days are coming to a close.
So Many Favors
Barry wants Cisco to do him a favor and vibe the crime scene. That’s bad news for him, but they suggest bringing Gypsy in the mix. We already know that means Cisco’s decision is going to have to be faced. And most likely forced. Joe wants Harry to distract Cecile, but without knowing why. That’s still faulty, because Cecile would’ve read that Harry was purposely trying to distract her, even if he didn’t know what Joe was up to, but whatever. I still think these random mind reading abilities of Cecile’s are just bizarre beyond belief.
Team Flash is fourteen steps behind again as usual. Gypsco got the wrong container, Barry CHARGED RIGHT AT DEVOE because YEAH THAT’S WORKED SO MANY TIMES IN THE PAST. He gets bamfed to the Aurora Borealis and has to run back (WHICH STILL SHOULD’VE HAPPENED IN SECONDS BECAUSE CHINA BUT WHATEVER). Devoe is like “later” and I laughed out loud. Team Flash can’t win, and this fool Devoe is crushing them at every turn. He’s gonna self-defeat. That’s so painfully obvious.
The one thing that Barry Allen should NOT be doing is giving relationship advice. The man has been in love with his sister since childhood, has ignored the actual best woman for him (CAITLIN), and stepped past the fact that Iris would be married to Eddie had he not committed suicide. No I’m never going to let that go. Because any woman that said “screw the future” that included me would get exactly what she confessed. A future without me in it.
Blah blah blah the Devoes are extremists. Shocker.
My mental activity dampener needs adjusting. For some reason that felt….weird. Anyway Harry and Jean Grey Cecile figure out that she can catch his thoughts before they fully disappear, and finish his sentences out loud. She’s now officially his….Brain Catcher? Thought Whisperer? I don’t know, maybe I’m being cynical, but….whatever.
Does anybody else notice that Barry doesn’t even try to not use his powers in public and out of costume any more? And where is the Flash ring please?
Slow Down, Cowboy
Know what they prove every week? Barry Allen is impulsive. He doesn’t learn anything. He’s racked with guilt. He’s impatient. We get it. We GET it. WE. GET. IT. And do we really need an Iris lecture scene EVERY SINGLE WEEK. Great Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
So in any event, the new team of Cecile the PregnantPath and Harry the MindDrain figure out that Bel Biv Devoe is gonna wipe every mind on Earth. To save them from their own destruction by tech. I feel that such a goal for a villain this unbelievably powerful is quite anti-climactic.
Cisco asks Gypsy the ultimate question and it’s the end for them. Does she want more? Is what they have enough? Cisco says no. She says yes. And you can feel the air break between them. That sound is what happens when your heart snaps like frozen glass and you know it’s not going to work. The hardest breakups in the world? Are the ones where, you didn’t break up because you stopped loving each other. You broke up because you saw different futures.
Polynomial Time Computing
I’m really getting now what I did not get before. The sheer genius of Devoe housing all of those meta powers. It not only makes him unstoppable, but it makes him impervious to the very armageddon he’s trying to cause. He’s thought of everything. Except that the woman that once loved him will not continue to love the genocidal monster she sees before her. Being a visionary is one thing. Casually ending uncountable lives is something else.
So he of course is STILL ahead of Team Flash even though this time they have a coordinated attack plan. But it’s coordinated so poorly I can’t EVEN with the stupidity. Iris shouldn’t have to tell Barry anything. He should know to subdue Devoe and get some power dampening cuffs on him. HE HAS SUPER SPEED FOR GRABTHAR’S SAKE. Vibe should’ve gotten Marlize OUT of the lab and IN to the pipeline. That gives them leverage with Devoe without having anyone else get hurt. Plus Marlize turns into Jason Bourne and I thought Cisco knew a little martial arts himself? Caitlin totally risks her life to try and activate Killer Frost again; Devoe could’ve easily killed her. And Gypsy comes within two seconds of choking, although if Devoe really wanted to kill her he could’ve just snapped her neck. And did I mention that they all attacked him one at a time? And Devoe so EASILY stops Barry it hurts me to watch it. Barry can’t outrun anything.
Anyway Marlize talks him out of killing Gypsy. By seconds. If he hadn’t listened, Team Flash was totally defeated and Gypsy would’ve been dead.
The Valley of Decision
The episode’s greatest moments happen here.
- Every human brain rebooted back to a simplified state. Still anti-climactic, but wicked.
- Cisco and Gypsy say goodbye. They packed more feels into that one scene than four years of what Barry and his sister have brought us. Plus we see a purple lightning speedster zoom by. The plot thickens. I also have to believe that this isn’t it for Gypsy and Cisco. I think she’s going to realize that she loves him more than she thought she did.
- I knew it! Mystery Girl shows up at Cecile’s baby shower, and drops huge hints that she is indeed the child that Cecile is carrying. Birthday 21 days from tonight. However. She gets super nervous when she sees Iris, and then…..she SUPER SPEEDS AWAY. WITH PURPLE LIGHTING. So, it’s possible that this is indeed Dawn or Jenni. Or maybe a version of Dawn that’s now Iris’ sister instead of her daughter. She’s family no doubt, we’ve known that since she met Barry at the wedding and gushed over him. And Iris’ line about how they “have to be there for family” was heavy foreshadowing. How she’s connected is going to be the big payoff in the finale.
- Caitlin finally, FINALLY stands up to Bossy Woman Iris and says that she’s going to get Killer Frost back. She has to. And she’s going to do it on her own. Unfortunately that means Amunet’s return and ugh, she’s just so over the top it’s nauseating. But whatever. Caitlin showed backbone, so I’ll take it.
- Marlize leaves Clifford. Well THAT escalated quickly. I certainly didn’t think she was going to leave him in this episode, but she did. And she said that he’s nothing without her. So the stage is set for the final battle which will not involve Barry or Team Flash solving anything. Marlize is going to take Clifford down, one way or the other. So I kind of don’t see the point of the season if the Flash himself doesn’t defeat the villain.
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Barry is consistently the character that’s the slowest to learn. I also want you to notice that there is no development with his powers. Harry’s struggling with his mind, Caitlin wants Frost back, Devoe is nigh all-powerful, and Barry? Nothing. No Flash Facts, no Flash ring, no stealing speed, no nothing. I sure would like to see the hero I signed up for show some growth ON HIS OWN SHOW.
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