Iris risks her life to get a story, but Barry realizes it has a lot less to do with her mortality and a lot more to do with her legacy.
This episode of The Flash is strangely juxtaposed by multiple characters facing imminent death, hut handling it in entirely different ways. But, before we get into the more morose side of things, let’s first focus on the most adorable moment The Flash may have ever produced.
Kid Flash Is Making A Name For Himself
After a strange daydream where H.R. Wells hypes himself up, the show truly opens with a Barry and Wally team up. The duo sets out to fight off the Electric Gang, a group of mobster-esque villains-of-the-week, and it turns out that they’re actually extremely effective. In a more adorable turn of events, the proud newbie hero ends up saving a group of cheerleaders who he is instantly smitten with. They ask his name and he turn to Barry, bashfully, looking for the silent approval to dub himself “Kid Flash” and the older speedster gives it to him. It’s turning out that Kid Flash is good. He’s really, really good.
Mortality On The Brain
In this episode, Iris is in rare form. Firstly, she’s more proactive than ever about her journalism career, prying for more information on the Electric Gang who has ties to an arms dealer.
Barry, who also seems to be off his A-game, goes over Lego model of Iris’s death scene with Cisco in order to figure out how to stop the inevitable from happening. Julian then swiftly rains on Barry’s parade and tells him that saving Iris, with the speed he’s at and at his current rate of improvement, is mathematically impossible. Despite the disheartening prognosis, Barry insists that he refuses to let Iris die. Which, like, duh.
Something’s Up With Iris
Joe and Barry both grow concerned over Iris’s erratic behavior and their fears aren’t unfounded. Iris wants to team up with Wally to be a crime fighting team. And, to top it off, she wants to keep it from Barry. Actually, scratch that. That isn’t the worst part. In a not-so-responsible big sister move, she enlists Wally to do her dirty work at the police station in order to get more dirt on the arms dealer for the story she’s working on.
Wally isn’t too keen on the idea, but ends up being convinced by Iris’s epic yet heartbreakingly desperate speech to Wally where she tells him she wants her life to mean something– as a reporter. She doesn’t only want to be defined as a girlfriend, or sister, or daughter or friend. She wants to know that in the end she, “mattered.”
Following through on his brotherly promise, Wally zooms around CCPD stealing valuable information, as Iris tries to distract Joe. And she does, but she almost gives her poor dad a heart attack because he thinks she’s about to tell him she’s pregnant. But hey, whatever works, right?
After, Iris and Wally go to find the arms dealer. Somewhat underhandedly, Iris has Wally first check the area so she can be left alone. The second he runs away, she breaks into the warehouse on her own. She stumbles upon a crate of guns but is caught by a decidedly bad guy almost instantaneously. Aiming a machine gun at her, the creep threatens to kill her, but Iris isn’t scared. In fact, she walks closer to the barrel of the gun, even making the perp slightly weary. Before she can go any further down her dangerous path, Wally zooms in to save her. Not before chastising her, though, asking if she’s trying to get herself killed.
Joe finds out and is furious not only did Iris almost compromise a sting operation, but that she and Wally could’ve gotten hurt. Wally capitalizes on the moment, ratting his sister out, telling Joe that she almost got shot to boot. It’s then that Joe insists on knowing what’s going on with her and her recklessness.
Before the situation escalates and she’s forced to reveal her fate to Joe, Barry takes Iris aside. She tells Barry that she’s, “not afraid to die.” She explains that she’s afraid she’s going to end up like her mother, who didn’t get the chance to leave anything of herself behind. Barry comforts Iris, telling Iris that her mom did leave something behind– Iris and Wally. In a sentimental yet slightly melodramatic moment, Barry tells Iris they’ll face the future together.
Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Iris ends up writing her big article about Kid Flash and Barry tells her it’s the beginning of her amazing legacy. Iris seems excited and re-energized by getting her article published and she and Barry share a moment of hope (and smooches) as he proclaims that The Flash is going to save her.
Gypsy v. Cisco
Elsewhere in Central City, a villain wreaks havoc at Jitters. So, it’s just another Tuesday. But, this villain ends up being hell-bent on getting H.R.
It’s revealed that her name is Gypsy and she’s from HR’s earth. She’s a collector and she’s come to collect him. The team learns that H.R. is subject to death on his Earth for intergalactic travel which is strictly outlawed. Won’t tell the team why he came to Earth 1.
Cisco implores H.R. to tell him why he came to this Earth after avoiding the question earlier. He explains that on his Earth, where he had all the fame and glory, he looked in the mirror and he knew the truth that he, “didn’t matter.” Ahem, *Insert parallel between Iris and H.R. here*
H.R. nonchalantly brings up that other than getting arrested and sentenced to death, there is another convenient loophole, in which he can be freed after a trial by combat. Cisco decides that’s a good idea as any and challenges Gypsy to the trial by combat. Luckily for him, another wild loophole appears, and she gives him a “customary 24 hrs” to prepare.
The team meets up in order to help Cisco, but it’s looking pretty grim considering no one’s ever beat Gypsy. Which means that Cisco’s pretty sure he’s going to die. *Insert another Iris parallel here* That fact prompts H.R. to ask Cisco why he wants to save him when he doesn’t even like him. Cisco confesses that Harrison Wells was always there for him, and he wants to be there for H.R. because of that.
In a not-so-shocking turn of events, Julian helps Cisco figure out that beating Gypsy is not impossible, and they come up with a strategy that ends up working. Cisco defeats Gypsy but they both agree that flirting is way more fun than killing each other, and no one can really argue that point.
It All Comes Full Circle
To backtrack for a second, it’s in Cisco’s talk with Barry, who is rattled over not being able to get faster, that he has a great epiphany. Cisco was able to do the impossible because Julian had an out of the box strategy. In the last scene of the episode, it appears that Barry has actually, for once, learned a thing or two. He tells Wally that he’s going to save Iris, because while Barry might not be fast enough, the impressive novice hero can be.
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of this week’s episode?