Previously on The Flash, “The Flash Reborn”
Before Barry Allen took the Speed Force’s hand and walked out of Iris West’s life, he made her promise to keep running, keep living, and be happy. She definitely accomplished two out of the three. Iris may have been motivated by her grief, but that doesn’t make her commitment to protecting The Flash’s legacy and her city any less solid or less admirable. She took charge at S.T.A..R. Labs, and captained that crime-fighting ship like a badass.
Thankfully, now that Barry is home full of vim, vigor, and slightly-annoying enthusiasm, The Flash has seen fit to leave Iris where she was before he got back: in charge. Barry’s new zest for life and joy at being out of the Speed Force causes him to miss the fact that he’s not quite settling into the new world order. As such, as they’re saving a potential victim of a personified computer virus, Barry ends up putting the man’s life in danger because he didn’t listen to Iris.
At first, Iris brushes off Caitlin’s advice to seek couples therapy, but later convinces Barry that it might help. Their sessions continue the show’s new, lighter direction and it’s a welcome one. Watching a patient try to be honest with a therapist while still keeping a major, unbelievable secret is nothing new, but when it’s executed so well — as it is here — I’m not complaining. Iris and Barry attempting to explain all the deaths they’ve dealt with (Barry’s mom, Eddie, Ronnie, Francine, Henry, Laurel, and H.R.) without sounding like they’re into some shady shit was fun. But things turn serious when they get to the root of Iris’ feelings. Barry left her. He didn’t move away, break up with her, or go off to “find himself” and get “some space.” No; he, in a manner of minutes, decided to walk out of her life forever.
Iris understands Barry will do what he has to in order to keep Central City safe, but that doesn’t make the finality and suddenness of his decision any less painful. And she had to live that reality for six whole months while Barry still doesn’t have memories of what he was doing for the six months he was away. In addition to adjusting to their new roles in the workplace, they need to address what caused that shift in their relationship to begin with. Hopefully we’ll get more insight into why the Speed Force only became unstable long after they pulled Jay out of it, and why Barry just instinctively knew that leaving her forever would solve it.
In the end, Barry understands he’s not a solo hero. Being The Flash, the face of protection for an entire city, isn’t just on Barry. It’s on all of them.
Up To Speed
Yaaaaassss to continuing this great trend where Iris finally (and consistently) gives voice to her own feelings.
The same can be said for Caitlin as well. As sorry as I was to see Julian go, a Caitlin whose storylines don’t revolve around loving, losing, finding, forgiving, or being betrayed by a man is a more tolerable Caitlin.
Candice Patton acts her entire, fine ass off.
Iris and Caitlin running to handle an unauthorized breach is the kind of stuff this show needs to do more often. They’ve both proven themselves to be capable and it’s great to see the show acknowledge it.
The metahuman of the week wasn’t as compelling as most others and the story felt like it’s been done to death, but it did lead to the reveal that there are metas around who were not created by the particle accelerator at S.T.A.R. Labs or the creation of Flashpoint.
Grant Gustin and Candice Patton have undeniable chemistry; their scenes in couples therapy were a hoot.
I love Cisco and Gypsy (though I still don’t love her name… can we please call her Cynthia?), and it’s going to be a shame when this relationship ends.
This week’s bad guy was stereotypically bad. In fact, the whole plot line was terrible.
The new suit hijinks pushed the needle a little too close to cheesy/corny than funny. Though it was the impetus for some great lines from Barry and Cisco.
We really gotta figure out a way to have two speedster heroes on the show without injuring Wally every time Barry needs to be the one who saves the day. Last week he got stabbed in the leg and took five hours to heal so that Barry could be the only option when Iris got taken by the samurai, and this week he — a speedster — doesn’t get out of the way in time when Barry loses control of his suit’s functions. He woke up just in time to see everything was under control.
But Wait; There’s More
The bad guy is settled into his new home in the metahuman ward of Iron Heights, which is exactly where The Thinker wants him to be as he prepares to locate the other metahumans who obtained their powers through mysterious means.
What did you think of this episode? Leave your brief thoughts below or on our Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast.
The Flash S4E2 Review Score
Starring: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Keinynan Lonsdale