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The Flash - A Flash of Lightning - Reviews




"Time to turn things up to 11." That's what Gypsy told Cisco way back in season three, but it sure feels like that's what the creatives are doing at the outset of season six. (Kamilla and Cisco are beyond cute, but I can't lie, I miss his sizzling hot chemistry with Gypsy.) "A Flash of Lightning" put the focus squarely on our hero and the show is all the stronger for it. Let's dive in!

Barry

Barry has begun to grow into a great man, husband and hero, yet still lurking just underneath the surface is the little boy who lost his mom to the yellow lightning. That was so apparent when he came face to face with his mother's doppleganger, Joan. Played so perfectly by Grant Gustin, Barry became childlike again when he saw her. Almost shrinking a little into himself, Barry was unable to vocalize just who Joan was to him on Earth-1. Merely saying that she was someone special didn't begin to explain it. Though Barry didn't completely lose it like he did when he first saw Jay, the look of wonder mixed slightly with the never ending heartache of losing his mom was painted all over his face.

Barry's encounter with his pseudo-parents wasn't rainbows and unicorns sadly. Using their smarts to see the future, Barry learned that the Monitor's fortune telling skills were correct; Barry has to die in order for everyone else to live. The man who has endured the unimaginable over and over again has to sacrifice himself to save the world. Wow. What a raw deal for the Scarlet Speedster, but who better to take up the mantle than The Flash? He has selflessly been willing to give himself up to the Speed Force and been taken away from the ones who love him before. He has also sacrificed copies of himself for those he loved too. But how is this fate fair? How is it fair when Barry is just starting his life with Iris? Just really coming into his own as a full fledged hero?

Who better to explain this complexity than Joe West. We have been sorely missing Joeisms on The Flash. Jesse L. Martin had been sidelined for much of the show with an injury last season, but even before that, as Barry grew up, Joe's presence faded into the background. That's what happens when people grow up, but when Barry is hurting he usually turns to Joe or Iris. A speech about putting your life on the line and not feeling afraid to heed the call is 1000% Joe West territory. It was nice to see him have that talk with Barry and see that Barry could still be his vulnerable self with Joe. Part of what drew me to the show was the closeness of Joe and Barry. The time spent ironing out just what it meant to be a not so conventional family but a family nonetheless is what made this show very special.

I couldn't talk about Barry without talking about Iris. In the grand scheme of what Barry went through this episode, Iris was at the center. Whether it was becoming increasingly anguished at the sight of her demise or his insistence on getting back to her, Barry has
consistently shown us who means the most to him in the world. Iris helps to fuel Barry's heroism-she makes him want to be faster, to make it back home- to find a way. Though the two of them seemed to accept that maybe this crisis is just a little too fast for him to out run, I can't help but think Barry will crisscross the multiverse for an answer before giving up if it means a little more time with Iris.

Cecile

I hate to say this, but Cecile annoys me. There. I said it. I'm hoping there's some long play they're going for with her powers that I just can't see, but for now, I can't understand why I should care about her. She henpecks Joe because of course he can't have a private thought without her being upset by it. But honestly, she is just a really annoying character. When she was paired with Ralph on a sometimes basis, they were kinda cute and played off of one another, but yeah, I could do without it EVERY WEEK. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise if you guys have an argument... Just maybe the defense attorney thing is a better fit, but getting mad at Joe for telling her to do her job was a stretch this week.


Killer Frost

I'm so tired of asking this so, I won't be long, but what are they doing with her? Are they really trying to say that she is basically like an infant straight out of the womb who doesn't know that her words and actions hurt people? I think that's cringey not to mention crazy. She and Caitlin have shared a body and head space for years and at one point were having conversation via talking and sticky notes. It's kinda hard to believe that Caitlin never said to her, "That's pretty harsh" or "Maybe don't say that because..."
I could go on, but what I will say is that she should be a villain-full stop. It would be so great. Why won't they just let her be great?


Villain of the Week

So far, I am loving this set up. It gives Barry the chance to kick some every week ass, introduce some rogues, and tease out the arc of the main villain without boring us to death. This week also gave us Barry giving Ultraviolet a nice supersonic punch or was it an uppercut? I don't know, but it was mighty nice to see Barry throw some hands instead of simply being thrown around.

Other Things I was Thinking as I Watched

*Iris telling Barry to come right back to that moment. She is so afraid for him to travel in time.

*Iris was sitting at her desk like a boss listening to the story pitched by Cecile. You love to see it!

*Iris you better stop fussing at Barry while he is clearly traumatized. Girl!

*If Joe and Cecile don't stop with that baby Jenna mess. And speaking of missing children, what happened to Cecile's daughter? Just stop!

*Joan reading poetry to Barry reminded me of Runaway Dinosaur. Cue the tears. Can Barry have a relationship with Joan and Jay? Pretty please?

*More tears. "I could never make the choice to leave you."

*Candice Patton carried the emotional weight of last week's episode. Grant carried it this week. Since Barry has more or less dealt with the death of his parents, he doesn't have much of that starry-eyed, teary-eyed material anymore. (Season 3 excluded) But with the introduction of Joan and Jay that look of sadness and longing for the past all came back. Bravo Grant Gustin.

*Barry as a tech guy. Who knew?

*Nice commentary about the criminal justice system. Kids being locked up in adult facilities, public defenders being over run with cases etc..

*How much longer will we suffer with the Killer Frost as a toddler story line?

*Barry remembering Joe's words before punching that chick. That's what hero's do!

*I know I praised the villain set up earlier and I'm not taking it back, but I would not be opposed to seeing Ramsey a little more. Just sayin.

I really enjoyed this week's episode. Barry has the world on his shoulders, literally. What did you guys think? Let me know in the comments below. The Flash airs on the CW on Tuesday nights at 7pm Central Time. As always, thanks for reading!



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