The Flash 4×02 proved that comic book television is at its best when it’s, well, comical
The Flash returned to form this Tuesday with an hour of delightful fun. Sure, people died, but that’s not what matters here. We got Barry (Grant Gustin) dancing in his underwear Risky Business style, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) dealing with your run of the mill interdimensional relationship woes, WestAllen (Barry Allen and Iris West) heading to couples therapy, and a whole lot of fun to go along with it. In a perfect example of what it means to “return to form,” The Flash yanked us back to its season one roots – fun, entertaining, ‘comic-booky’ TV.
And what would classic comic book television be without a villain of the week? This week, Barry and the gang dealt with a metahuman seemingly targeting millionaires. Turns out, it’s comic book villain Kilgore (spelled ‘Kilg%re in the books) killing his former business partners. Kilgore controls technology, which leads to a series of wacky attacks. His first victim dies in the elevator ride from hell, his second survives a meta-induced car crash, he also attacks a diabetic by upping her automatic insulin device. Normally, such powers would be no problem for The Flash, but with his newly enhanced suit (thanks, Cisco) Kilgore finds all kinds of hilarious ways to mess with Barry.
Here to discuss this week’s hijinks is our panel of passionate fans – our The Flash roundtable!
Holly (@hollyanderson30) – Social Media Addict who runs two fan pages and loves everything CW, especially The Flash
Medina (@BisexualAllen) – Fan of all things Barry and Iris
Ket (@ketfb) – Artist, lover of shows with superheroes and movies, sports lover
Fowsia (@iriswestallens) – Lover of all things Iris West and Westallen
Jay (@jayruymann) – Editor-in-Chief of The TV Type
1. How adorable was Barry Allen this episode?! He was all smiles – and that Risky Business dance was everything, right? Are you loving seeing Barry happy?
Holly (@hollyanderson30): I just couldn’t stop smiling during this episode. Barry grabbed my attention and held it from the start, it was so nice to see him full of smiles and in such a good mood that he held my attention.Tho I have to admit that his “Risky Business” dance was absolutely everything, he can cook me breakfast any day!I love seeing this new happy Barry and I am hoping it continues.
Medina (@bisexualallen): It was the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen I’m really loving the new Barry. The last few seasons have been really dark so it’s nice to finally see Barry being this happy again and able to enjoy his powers. Barry dancing in his boxers was honestly one of the highlights of the entire series for me though so I’m gonna rewatch that scene for the rest of my life
Ket (@ketfb): Yes, Barry is always very lovely! I enjoyed watching him dance like that, and see him in a light tone. But I wonder what he saw in the Speed Force. Was this subject left behind? Or will he ever touch the subject again? I’d like to see a little of what he saw or did while he was there, I hope we can see that later.
Fowsia (@iriswestallens): I LOVED seeing happy Barry again! The Flash is truly living to the hype of bringing back the lightheartedness fans desperately wanted. It was so nice seeing Barry not carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. I think it may be The Flash’s funniest sequence yet. Not only did we get to see Grant’s mad dancing skills, but we also got to see Barry save CCPD officers, including his father-in-law Joe, when grabbing the grenade shrapnel. I’ve always wanted Barry to be great in the sense that he does things on his own, and in tonight’s episode we got to see a little bit of that. Happy Barry for the win!
Jay (@jayruymann): I love it. I missed a lighter Barry and a lighter tone to The Flash in general, and it looks like he’s really enjoying being the Flash again, but it’s disappointing because no one else’s attitude changed in the same way Barry’s did, so it’s going to be awhile of them bringing him down.
2. How are we liking the new suit? Do you prefer the look of this one over the old one? How about the functionality? Awesome or a bit of an iron-man knockoff?
Holly: I absolutely love the new Flash suit and it looks great on him.The brighter color and the gold highlights look amazing, even if I was personally hoping they went for yellow/gold boot. Tho some of the extras we witnessed in this episode can be used against him more than for him and I am glad they are removing to make it just a regular suit. Though I have to admit I loved seeing the raft go off but self-destroy the suit? Once the tech extra tech like that is out of the suit it will be perfect because when he target locked on Kid Flash it reminded me a little of Iron Man from Barry’s point of view but I don’t think the suit is a knock-off of Iron Man. But I am definitely lovin’ that it looks more close to the comics and looking forward to seeing what it is like next week
Medina: I definitely prefer the new suit. I like that they brightened up the red and added the gold accents so its a lot closer to the comic suit than the old suit. The functionality was hilariously bad with Kilg%re taking control over all the tech in the suit but I loved the comedy we got out of it and Barry trusting Iris enough to throw a lightning bolt at himself. One of the tech upgrades I actually really loved was the one that locked Barry in his suit which was definitely inconvenient at the time but could be useful in the future if Barry was incapacitated in any way and someone tried to take his mask off….. It’s actually something I worry about all the time so I’m happy someone thought about it
Ket: The first time I saw the new suit I didn’t like it very much but seeing it now, I really liked it. And all that tech he’s got now is incredible, we should thank Cisco, right? But the way it was shown, the suit being used against Barry, I kind of didn’t like it very much.
Fowsia: I actually love the new suit, especially because it’s a bit more like the one from the comics. We don’t have the gold boots yet, but I do like the little gold accents and tiny lightning bolts on the suit (which you may not have seen in the episode, but they are there). We’ve been told by Andrew Kreisberg at Paleyfest this year that Barry isn’t who he needs to be yet. In other words, he isn’t the Barry we see in the comics. In the show, he’s still learning to bear the weight of the city on his shoulders and having a team such as the STAR Labs crew to help him fight crime. I think we will slowly see Barry do things on his own, although he will still need support from his team. Since he’s been officially “reborn,” I think it’s fitting and symbolic that the suit is starting to match the one in the comics! As for tech, there was a lot going on for me. Though I know Cisco’s intentions were not ill, this episode just proved how much of a tech-powered suit can have its downfalls, even almost causing Barry his life. Nonetheless, I am ready to see each new advancement in the suit come to life!
Jay: I like the brighter red to match the free attitude he has this season.
3. How do we feel about Barry and Iris going to couples therapy? That scene was hilarious, right? Until the end, of course.
Holly: I loved the couples therapy scenes and think it’s great that the writers went there showing that it is an option. It was so funny seeing them try to avoid what they do and who Barry really is. I don’t think they ever even thought of that beforehand.Tho I don’t think I ever realized how many people they had actually lost between the two of them.Barry seemed so nervous while they were at the therapist it was so cute how he would jump forward and supply answers to questions not asked but I think that was out of nervousness.My favorite moment was when she mentioned that Iris told her about them getting married and they get two identical grins on their faces and you can tell, all things aside this is what they both want. It almost killed me to see Iris break down about Barry leaving her, you can tell she suffered just kept quiet about it.
Medina: I thought it was a great idea. Iris doesn’t always get to express her emotions so I was 100% here for her telling Barry how she felt about him leaving out of nowhere at the end of last season. Westallen has always been a ship rooted in mutual love and trust so I love that they showed them working through their issues and communicating in a healthy way proving exactly why Barry and Iris is the Gold Standard of ships. The entire scene was hilarious up until Iris exploded about Barry’s disappearance in the season 3 finale and then I went from laughing to crying in less than a second once again showing just how amazing Grant and Candice are at their jobs they deserve all the awards
Ket: I agree with Iris when she said they did not need therapy, because they grew up together, right? I believe that if they stopped to talk normally to each other before, they could solve their differences, after all, they know each other well, do they not?
Well, not for me, I think therapy, whatever it is, has a more serious tone, because that means there’s a problem there. I do not think it’s cool to approach this subject as a comic tone, but they knew how to give a slight tone and certainly had people who liked that in this episode.
Fowsia: When I first read the description, I jumped for joy when I read that Barry and Iris would be going to couples’ therapy. Why? Because I knew that it would give The Flash some of their funniest scenes yet, and it delivered. Not only that, but I have always been a huge advocate for Iris, especially in terms of getting to express herself. Additionally, Barry and Iris going to therapy deviates from harmful stereotypes (Iris i.e. strong black woman stereotype), and t also left room for conversations that needed to be had. Yes, Barry left to protect Central City and Iris understood that. Barry even admitted himself that if Iris asked him to stay, he most likely would’ve. But she didn’t ask him in the final because she knew the consequences. However, Iris was abandoned and humiliated when he was gone, having to explain to family and friends of his absence. Again, she understood Barry leaving was for the city and that was shown in the season 4 premiere with her hesitation in getting him out. So yeah, I was very happy that they decided to go to therapy. When Iris actually expressed what was on her mind, it was some of the best acting by Candice Patton. On top of that, but by going to therapy and actually working out their problems in STAR Labs, it showed how mature they are in their love for one another. In the end, they actually listened to each other and communicated, which was the premise of the problem to begin with. This to me proves that they really do have a “golden standard” compared to other couples.
Jay: It’s necessary. Barry and Iris need to communicate more, as do most couples, so I hope this is more of a regular thing than a one-off. Iris and Barry need to be depicted as a realistic relationship.
4. There was a brief reference to what’s happening on Arrow right now – Barry and Iris spotted the headline “Mayor Queen is the Green Arrow” on a newspaper. How do you think Barry and Team Flash would handle it if the headline instead read “Barry Allen is The Flash”?
Holly: As much as it kills me to say it, if it was any other season since Barry learned to run back in time if that article was outing him as the Flash I think he would have tried to fix it himself by going back in time. BUT I think this season would be different. I think he has learned from past mistakes and his time in the speed force. I think they would have discussed it as a group decision or at least with Iris. I mean Cisco could vibe into the future and see what is going to happen there is no need to run into the past.
Medina: I have absolutely no idea how they’d handle that shit so hopefully Barry stops taking off his mask everywhere so we never have to deal with it
Ket: I enjoyed seeing this reference, I really enjoyed it! I don’t know how they would handle it if it were Barry, but I know it would be a problem if all the meta-humans he’s ever faced knew who he really is. But in regards to the tone of each show, I think Oliver would certainly have more problems because of how he dealt with the criminals until some time ago.
Fowsia: That’s a great question! I imagine there would be a lot of consequences, especially with Barry being a CSI and the intel that he had as The Flash didn’t report to Singh. So I imagine he would lose his job, or even face jail time? Joe even would be a conflict of interest because he knows Barry’s The Flash, so he would probably lose his job too. This is such a difficult question to answer because I couldn’t even imagine how the team would be handling it!
Jay: The same way Oliver is going to be: blaming it on someone else and doing everything to refute the accusations.
5. How cute are Cisco and Gypsy? Do you think an inter-dimensional relationship can make it the long haul?
Holly: Cisco and Gypsy are the cutest…but I have to say Cisco had me from the start of the episode when his excuse for being late was his “Curls weren’t co-operating”. Tho he did have to cancel his date with Gypsy he came thru for her in a big way, making sure she knew what is important to her is important to him. Tho they will have a harder time than most since they live on different Earths I think it is entirely possible for it to work for them.It’s not like either of them need someone else to open a breach for them. Besides, they are just too cute together and Cisco deserves some happiness…though I have to admit I am looking forward to him meeting Gypsy’s father!
Medina: They’re the cutest. I seriously loved the parallels between them and westallen during the episode and I’m really interested in seeing more of that dynamic going forward. Their date at the end of the episode was so cute and as long as they keep doing what they’re doing I have complete faith in their relationship moving forward they’re soulmates just like westallen
Ket: Yes, they are really cute, I love them! I believe they can take this to last, and I really hope it lasts. Cisco is one of the most adorable guys I’ve ever seen. Gypsy is lucky for having him!
Fowsia: I love the relationship between Cisco and Cynthia. It makes for really cute banter, and Cisco was in desperate need of a love life. I also love the fact that it makes Cynthia as a character more soft and vulnerable, almost like she opened herself to love someone and to be loved after he ex died. I’m always here for women getting to express their point of view, so it was really nice seeing Cynthia discuss how important Cisco was to her and even admitting that she felt embarrassed for the reasons she mentioned in the episode. I definitely see their relationship lasting and I’m super excited to see more of them!
Jay: If anyone can make it work, it’s these two. It just seems unlikely to last because both Earths are so different, and are they ever going to be able to move one way or another to the other person’s Earth and adapt to their customs?
6. This episode was absolutely hilarious. Are you hoping the show keeps up a more light-hearted tone this season? Or do you prefer more serious episodes, similar to the end of last season?
Holly: This episode was hilarious and it did bring me back to season 1 all over again while keeping the storyline moving forward. While I would love a “Risky Business” dance every episode, once in awhile I know it needs to get a little darker to tell the story. That doesn’t bother me as long as long as in the episodes that do go a little darker still have some fun and don’t go too dark.
Medina: I haven’t laughed this much at a flash episode in forever so I’m definitely hoping they keep up the light tone especially considering how dark last season was having to watch Iris get murdered every episode for half a season. Serious episodes are good but I don’t want a whole season of depressing episodes again I just want all my favorite characters to be happy and Barry and Iris to have more than a minute alone without being interrupted they and I deserve it
Ket: The “flotation mode” of the suit was kind of weird but funny, I’ll admit. I don’t think it was such a light tone in relation to this episode because what Kilgore did to Kurt Weaver in the elevator at the beginning of the episode was a bit heavy, of course they didn’t show how he stayed, but anyway. As for the lightness of Barry, yes, he’s in a lighter tone. I particularly prefer more serious episodes but not necessarily like last season.
In my opinion, Cisco is one of the characters that most brings this light tone to the show, he’s really cute and funny, and his friendship with Caitlin and Barry is so beautiful.
Fowsia: I definitely hope The Flash keeps it going with the lightheartedness. Last season was pretty dark due to Iris’ impending doom and the identity behind Savitar. These first two episodes have been a joy to watch and I love being able to laugh and see these characters not burdened by hardships. It’s definitely nice to not see them cry! I do think we will see darker episodes this season dealing with the big bad which is always inevitable, but not as dark as it got last year. I really think this season has the potential to be the show’s greatest yet.
Jay: The more serious episodes don’t work for The Flash. Barry is a goof, and as such, his show needs to reflect that. Grant Gustin also just seems to have much more fun when Barry is having fun, and it reflects in his work.
7. Any theories on where Kilgore got his powers? It seems like that plot point will become important, right? And what’s with the creepy characters at the end? Thoughts?
Holly: I’m kinda lost on this one, but could it be possible that when Cisco forced Barry out of the speed force it caused some type of power surge? The screen the mechanic was looking at showed 12 spots and this guy only filled one. What if The Thinker needs The Flash to catch all of the guys created from the power surge?Like I said I am lost on an answer.
Medina: I’ve seen a theory that the thinker somehow gave him and other metas powers and I think it’s either that or the speedforce storm either way I know it’s gonna bite everyone in the ass later in the season.
Ket: I believe Kilgore got his powers with our newest villain, The Thinker. Perhaps through experiences, and as we have seen, there are more meta-humans who have got their powers in the same way as Kilgore and that means that we will see them later, so it is something important. Maybe they have escaped or been let loose by the villain so they can be used for the purpose of causing problems for The Flash. What I do know is that he certainly has plans for them, and probably not good ones.
Fowsia: I definitely think The Thinker granted him his powers. Kilgore mentioned that there are many more like him out there, and the Thinker at the end of the episode mentioned that him and the Mechanic needed to rally all of them up so there’s definitely a connection there. I don’t have any theories yet but I am impatient to see what The Thinker’s intention with The Flash is!
Jay: From whoever the guy is at the end of the episode. The Thinker, I believe. I think he gave powers to a lot of people, and we’re just getting started.
Final Verdict: As close to perfection as TV can get, The Flash 4×02 hit it out of the park with the perfect balance of fun and sincerity
To put it mildly, we love this episode. It was exactly what television should be – entertaining. It also managed to place building blocks for this season’s villain arc, as well as address some more serious issues between Barry and Iris (Candice Patton). The Flash’s handling of Barry and Iris has been superb. Rarely do you see such a healthy relationship represented on television. These two are teammates in every sense of the word, and Iris hit the nail on the head by explaining that they are both The Flash. We just hope the rest of the DCTV universe takes notes – this is how a mature superhero relationship should function. Bravo, The Flash. We can’t wait to see what comes next.