ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 11.7.17
This was the least Flash-like episode I’ve ever seen and it was clearly written by a twelve year old. It’s actually a Caitlin adventure disguised as an Iris one, and it definitively proves how much more interesting Killer Caitlin is than anyone else. But then it gets preachy about #Feminism, #GirlPower, #StrongWomen, while every single man is made to look like an idiot, and I left halfway through the ep.
Those of you that read me regularly know I make every effort to be clear. So let me state it now, in no uncertain terms:
I have much better things to do with my time then ingest blatant tripe like tonight’s episode. Believe me when I tell you that. I didn’t sign up to see one of my favorite heroes of all time get emasculated, humiliated, marginalized, and minimized at every turn. Especially for the sake of a hollow character that they think everyone is supposed to love, but no one actually loves.
Now, a friend on Twitter already suggested the idea of a #GiftedChat. If I drop The Flash, maybe I’ll start reviewing The Gifted and start that chat.
I can tell you exactly what the problem is. It’s Lana Lang Syndrome. Smallville established it and it has corrupted everything it’s touched. And I’m going to keep saying that until it sinks in. A character does not have more storytelling value just because an attractive actor plays them. (They even had an edict on that set that “no one could be prettier than Lana.” That’s why when you see other actresses that appeared on Smallville in different contexts they look so much better. I kid you not, look it up, I’m not making that up.) Click here to read one of the best articles I’ve ever read about The Fetishization of Lana Lang. You’ll see what I mean.
We have seen this over and over and over again. It never works, and they keep trying it. A character that is nothing more than “hero’s girlfriend” runs their arc, and then they don’t know what to do with them narratively. So they have to keep increasing their screen time to keep the actress front and center. Then the character proceeds to master every single discipline available in small amounts of time. Disciplines that it took the other characters years and many TV seasons to develop. That is exactly what they did with Felicity and exactly what ruined Arrow.
This episode tonight ends all debate about the ladies of The Flash. And about who the leading lady actually should be. Because they had to take what was supposed to be Iris’ bachelor party episode, and make it be about Caitlin. There’s no story without it. In addition, there’s not one single thing that Iris did that couldn’t have been swapped out by another character. That’s what lets you know she’s poorly written. You could take her out of her scenes and replace her with Harry, Barry, or Cisco, and the scene still works, and in fact works better.
So in trying to shoehorn a character into every area of the show and make her be the leader, the “boss,” tech support, research, trainer, strategist, fiance, journalist, and friend, they have accomplished the opposite. They have shown how little she brings to the table and how forced everything she does really is. And how, just like this pathetic version of Wally West, you could pop her out of the mix and no one would notice or care. Because no one that is actually important has to keep saying “Oh look, I’m important! I’M IMPORTANT AND I CAN DO EVERYTHING!! BECAUSE WE’RE THE FLASH!!”
Fail. And end of that argument.
Why are we Here?
The intro says “My name is Barry Allen. And I am thee fastest man alive. Blah blah blah and I am the only one fast enough to stop them. I am….the Flash!” Yeah that’s actually the show I wanted to see. So FeFe comes to Central City for Iris’ birthday party, and right away I’m like…why? I never got the sense that Iris and Felicity were that close. Barry and Felicity, Cisco and Felicity, but Iris and Felicity? Cisco had to go behind Iris’ back and work with Felicity to develop the tech that brought Barry back. But anyway. “Stretch Ralph, stretch” activates because he’s in training. Fefe herself comments on the still, STILL glaring lack of security at I.D.I.O.T. Labs. I highly suggest you check out the excellent Justice League Action or Young Justice if you want to see what actual superhero writing should look like.
Caitlin’s booking a flight out of town. (On Ferris Air, did you catch that part?) Iris and her suddenly BFF Felicity are all pumped about their girls night out. Caitlin says she can’t make it, she’s tired. Then in less than thirty seconds, Iris and Felicity talk her into attending this event. We know what’s going to happen.
The first use of “Hashtag Feminism” happens at the West home, as the boys come over for Barry’s ultra low-key bachelor party. Cecile and her daughter go to meet up with the other women. And I’ll say it one more time: Cisco is a better girlfriend to Barry than Iris ever will be. So Dibny shows up, rightly calls these dudes out for being Knights of the Loser Brigade, and talks them into moving the Weinerfest festivities elsewhere. (The show also conveniently again ignores the incest angle pairing of Barry and Iris.)
Now do you see how even Ralph is written a little more realistically than Iris? (Just by a little, because just last week, Dibny and Barry hated each other.) But he’s still the guy we met, and we actually see his relationship with Barry begin to develop. When have we seen Iris and Felicity hang out? Talk? Skype? Phone conference? All Iris ever does onscreen is lust after FeFe’s man.
The girls are toasting, with their boas, to the future Mrs. West-Allen. Caitlin is chugging that champagne when she sees Mr. Medusa coming. Snake Eye approaches and calls Caitlin out. And holy cow, Killer Frost returns. With a vengeance. And we finally get it established that they are two different personalities sharing the same body, like Banner and the Hulk. Danielle does such a great acting job in distinguishing between the two.
Strippers, Strippers Everywhere
Yeah so this used to be a more family-friendly show. But we at The Golden Booty now! We’re not gonna get Season 1 back, so stop hoping. Turns out that this is one of Dibny’s regular joints. Cisco has some magic Make Barry Drunk potion.
Back at S.T.U.P.I.D. Labs Killer Frost wants to rid herself of her Little Pink Riding Hood Caitlin clothes and strips right in front of the girls. They strangely react just like that too, like girls. Not women. Girls that weren’t used to seeing girl parts (which makes no sense) or had never been in a public gym or fitness center. It was pure shock value/tease fair, and the writing on this show needs to be above that. All that just to have a scene where Iris defends her. And then Iris rallies the Birds of Prey to follow Frost. KF has the best line in the whole scene. “It’s been real, ladies.”
*sigh* Barry is telling everyone at the bar that he’s the Flash. Good thing he doesn’t actually do any super speed tricks. Which is what would’ve actually happened. And surprise! Cecile’s daughter is a stripper! But she’s not one of those dirty strippers, no. Joe’s got it all wrong, see. She’s doing research because womenz should feel empowered and not ashamed to wear anything they want. Strike back against that male gaze based society. So she had to create that experience for herself by stripping. Excuse me for a second.
So we follow Caitlin to Amunet‘s evil villain lair. Which once again proves this is a Caitlin episode, not an Iris one. Caitlin tries to quit, but once again, this thing is written all stupid.
Katee Sackhoff is playing Amunet so over the top, I can’t tell if we’re supposed to take her seriously or not. She honestly feels more like a 1966 Batman villain here than anything else. All that’s missing is the tilted angle in the club. And I can’t tell why Frost keeps taking orders. She’s powerful yet seems to not always realize her own agency. I don’t get it. So stupid Iris shows up and follows them. Amunet has some drug tears from a chained dude and yeah that’s just nasty. Amunet and Frost face off, and what’s not clear is Frost’s true motivation. She said she was bored, but also done. So she said her piece, why not leave right then and there? She had stated that she wanted to kill Amunet, so I didn’t understand her hesitation. She didn’t even frost up to strike first.
And then GUESS WHAT HAPPENS? Iris jumps out from the sidelines and stops the whole thing. “Who’s this chick?” is right. And just like when Felicity confronted Ra’s al Ghul, having Iris Sue confront Amunet and not get dead completely destroys any credibility Amunet had as a villain. Then Iris literally barks an order at KF and she obeys and leaves. I was just done at that point. Killer Frost would never take that off anybody except Barry or Savitar.
This is another clear example of Lana Lang Syndrome. Clark (and Lois and Chloe) had to be weakened to exalt Lana. Lana Lana Lana at the expense of all the other characters. Same with every man that came into Smallville and instantly fell in love with her. So here TWO METAS that individually have enough power to bring that whole club down around them let a non-powered Iris give orders? No. No no no no no no. That’s why anyone that tells me that this character isn’t a pitiful Mary Sue Feminist Hear-Me-Woar SJW excuse for the actual Iris West is delusional.
Who was that?
It is absolutely ridiculous for Cecile the cop to say that they’ve been chasing Amunet but couldn’t nail her down. Amunet just let two eye witnesses to her operation walk right out. An actual cop would’ve stopped both Iris and Frost then and there and taken them in for testimony and questioning and intel. And Cecile herself now knows what club Amunet is based in. But Cecile lets the drama play out. I can’t with this lack of plot logic.
So we find out what Caitlin’s been doing all this time, and the backstory makes sense. It’s literally the only thing in this episode that does. But it at last gives us clarity. KF is always pushing against Caitlin’s consciousness, and Caitlin wanted a way to keep her in check. But she had to agree to let Frost out to be Amunet’s muscle so that Caitlin could have a day life. The struggle is real in other words. And KF said that her personality was getting stronger. So Iris again rallies the #FeministFormation and they want to go after the criminals. Sure they do. That shot is then juxtaposed against a pitiful chicken wing loving Barry. With barbecue smears all over his mouth. Followed by a testosterone fueled bar fight to show how men are just a bunch of drunken, lusty, swarthy neanderthals and that’s what boys do. I’m done with this misandry, I kid you not.
Iris gives an impassioned plea to the Caitlin inside of Killer Frost. It was just awful. Just a few notches above pregnant Padme’s plea to Anakin. There is absolutely no basis for an intimate friendship connection between Iris and Caitlin. Don’t believe it? Go back and review the first three seasons and tell me how many times they talked, hung out, or generally just interacted? ….right. At least Killer Frost tells her to move that hand or lose it. At least that was in character.
Amunet then shows up and literally beats the Frost out of Caitlin. I really didn’t know what to do with that scene. Because Killer Frost could’ve won easily. She’s already been shown to be faster than the Speedster of Death, Black Flash himself, remember? And Amunet is still kind of…goofy.
Back at the Ranch
Caitlin goes back to the lab. She and Iris have more intimate moments. Caitlin explains that just like Bruce Banner and Hulk, when Killer Frost is in charge she’s not aware of what’s going on, and subsequently doesn’t remember what happened. So Caitlin rightly corrects Iris and says that they never became besties.
The boys are in the drunk tank being pitiful. Harry bails them out.
So the Feminist Four get busy tracking Amunet so they can save the day. But Caitlin says she can’t go. I call chicken crap. Neither Caitlin nor Killer Frost has ever been afraid to face danger, even wounded. Once again, one of the strongest characters on the show is reduced to make sure that Iris is exalted.
Symbolism of Flash Feminism
It’s not an accident that the Weeper is male, emasculated, chained, dominated by a female, broken, bruised, silent, and that his power is crying. So, so lame. No one that’s strong has to be so at the expense of others. Only people with real strength know that.
Iris Bourne and FeFe 00Blonde are captured. Notice Barry’s lack of screen time. But as I predicted, Caitlin Frost shows up. That is also in character. Proving once again what the pattern of the show has always been: Caitlin has to save them. Not the other way around. And Barry is always the only one that saves Caitlin. They tried to give that role to Julian last year, remember? That was such a fail until Danielle herself acknowledged that Caitlin wasn’t into him.
And Caitlin…..holy cow Caitlin does a frost scream and takes the henchmen out. She walks out fully Killer Frosted up, and finally realizes that she’s more than a match for Amunet. So Iris’ Angels work together to figure out how to stop Amunet, but they’d all be dead if it wasn’t for Caitlin. And then once again Iris gives another speech and stops Caitlin Frost in her tracks. So stupid in letting Amunet go. True she didn’t have to kill her, but Cecile would’ve told them TO CAPTURE HER, not just let a known criminal walk away for the sake of Caitlin’s moral moment. *sigh* They made Killer Frost seem like a bit of petulant girl-child in front of Iris and I hated it. But. Lana Lang Syndrome.
How was your Night?
Team Drunk Flash comes back to find Killer Frost front and center. Iris somehow gives Caitlin the nod to “explain everything.” I assume that was a rehash of everything that Caitlin told Iris earlier. But the scene cuts away. I would’ve rather seen Caitlin explain it all again than The Continuing Adventures of Joe n’ Cecile and their sidekick Feminist Empowered Stripper Daughter. Somehow now Iris and Caitlin are thee best of friends, so guess what happens? Iris asks Caitlin to be her Maid of Honor. Now wait just a minute. They went from never hanging out and acknowledging that they are at BEST ‘work friends,’ to, would you stand for me at my wedding??? That was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen. It also shows that Iris doesn’t have anything going on outside of Team Flash. Like, no life at all. No cousins, friends from college, journalism colleagues, nothing. And let me ask another question:
Who exactly had Iris planned to ask to be her Maid of Honor?
Think about it. She’s been planning the wedding for a while, and that decision is not something a bride-to-be would put on the back burner. I can’t with this show. They have forged a forced friendship in one episode between Iris and Caitlin and just no. All in a blatant, heavy-handed attempt to make Iris more relevant than she is. To keep her front and center.
Yeah “we’re the Flash” and by “we’re” they meant Iris.🙄
So the Weeper is trying to get away, and The Thinker catches up with him and tells him he’s not done. Okay then. Time to pay the piper, Weepy.
This episode was just lame. Lame, stupid, offensive, misandrist and again forcing Iris into a friendship with Caitlin that never existed before. They get into one adventure with the girls and now all of a sudden she’s standing up at her wedding. This was just godawful times Jupiter.
If this is what the rest of the season is going to be like, I am OUT. 😐