Hats off to the writers of The Flash for having a lot more tolerance for the leadership style of Barry Allen than this reviewer is able to muster. It might be an exaggeration to say I end up throwing my pen and notepad in the air at least once a week as Barry pursues some wrongheaded course of action, but it definitely happens more often than not. This fascination with his stubbornness is lost on me, but you can’t say the show isn’t consistent on this point.
So what’s the plan tonight, Barry? You need Fuerza on your side to stop Nora, and therefore you need to teach Alexa how to control the force within. You pay no attention to Alexa’s extreme reluctance to bring forth this power she can’t control, and when she’s not learning fast enough for your liking, you decide to force the issue by, well, literally forcing the force out of her. You proceed with this plan despite Alexa’s firm objection, and, Barry, it’s more than a little disturbing that you haven’t learned “no means no” by now.
All of this goes predictably badly, with Fuerza emerging and Hulk-smashing Cisco. Caitlin manages to get Barry to back off for a minute while she tries the more sensible approach they should have taken in the first place: giving Alexa the mental activity dampener that first allowed her to communicate with Frost back when they were sharing the same body. (Seven years into reviewing this show, I still find myself typing sentences that have never been typed before.) It’s fortunate timing, as the other forces are still at large and wreaking havoc in Central City.
There’s Alexa’s “brother” Psyche, also known as Bashir Malik, a former rich kid who was abandoned by his parents when they fled the country after losing their fortune. Bashir is tracking down his fellow former members of the League of Lions who are all now billionaires he blames for abandoning him as well. When the Flash tries to stop him alone, he learns Psyche has developed a new power Cisco aptly dubs “magenticals.” Team Citizen figures out who Bashir’s final target will be, setting up a showdown between Psyche and Fuerza, now fused with Alexa’s mind. This is notable for being one of the few real super-battles in this stripped-down season, but it ends not with a knockout, but with the voice of reason. Iris’s research has revealed that Bashir’s old pals really did try to help him out after his parents disappeared, and Alexa convinces him to give his new “family” a try.
Their sibling squabbling is a highlight of the episode, but their other brother and sister have teamed up as well, following up on last week’s confrontation between Nora and Dion. Rather than killing him instantly with a vibrating heart-smash, Nora convinces Dion to join her cause against their mutual foe: bad father Barry Allen. When they crash STAR Labs, however, Barry is the only one left standing after Nora zaps the others with multi-colored lightning. The result of that will have to wait for “Family Matters, Part 2.”
Elsewhere in Central City, Kristen Kramer is still hanging around CCPD. Her vendetta against metahuman criminals continues, as Joe discovers a new weapon in the arms locker capable of firing bullets loaded with the cure. This strikes Joe as highly unethical (and again, let’s not let Cisco off the hook here, as all of this should have been foreseeable once he created the stuff), but Kramer assures him that she has the governor’s blessing to proceed with her plan. That leaves Joe no choice but to leave his gun and badge on his desk, which is probably a good thing, since Jesse L. Martin hasn’t had much to do since Joe got his promotion.
Whether this storyline will be resolved in “Part 2” or instead form the basis of the second half of this season remains to be seen, but I do have a suggestion for Joe before he starts searching the want ads. Maybe take over the leadership of Team Flash? Because the guy in charge now rarely seems like the best man for the job.
- Kamilla is moving ahead with her plans to leave town, applying for a job in Miami and encouraging Cisco to do the same. Cisco doesn’t seem so sure about his future plans, however, so his departure from the show may not be as imminent as it seemed last week.
- Cisco gets a message from ARGUS Agent Cooper, but whatever it is will have to wait for next week.