Sometimes you gotta work with the enemy in order to reach your personal goal
This week’s episode of The Flash finally returned to the show’s heart of conflict, and we think it may have to do with Ralph’s (Hartley Sawyer) “departure.” As suggested by Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), Team Flash enlisted the help of a familiar face a.k.a. Amunet Black (Katee Sackhoff) to defeat Devoe, in hopes that her tech-less powers would come in handy. As the episode progresses, and even noted by Joe (Jesse L. Martin), Caitlin had an ulterior motive in reaching out to her former human-trafficker pal Amunet. Turns out, Caitlin is clearly willing to do anything to get her alter-ego back, and that includes doing a favor for Amunet if she succeeds in getting Killer Frost back.
We learned Iris’ (Candice Patton) passion for journalism re-ignited in “Run, Iris, Run,” and this episode she took it to another level! Not only did she revamp her previous blog “Saved by The Flash,” but this week she had the idea to write an article about Devoe’s (Neil Sandilands) ‘plan of enlightenment.’ The plan is smart, we totally have to admit. She would be able to warn the people about his plan which could spring them to safety. Barry (Grant Gustin), on the other hand, grows hesitant as he’s worried it’s too risky.
Meanwhile in S.T.A.R. Labs, the Council of Wells learned that Harry’s (Tom Cavanagh) intelligence is deteriorating and they dumped him. But have no fear! Cisco (Carlos Valdes) is here! Cisco calls upon Harry and the Harrisons, which is a neat callback to a Bigfoot movie titled “Harry and the Hendersons.”
Here to discuss alter-egos, articles, and more is our The Flash roundtable!
Tatiana (@myrcellasear) – Entertainment journalism wannabe and avid pursuer of comics.
Cami (@tarcamwat) – Love sci-fiction, superheroes, strong female characters and sensitive male characters.
Alexis (@alexiswaverider) – Hope we are less screwed in 2018.
Vanessa (@westallenallure) – Rambling and Flash extraordinaire.
Tay (@candicekps) – High School Senior, Iris West superfan, and TV show enthusiast.
1. Did you agree with Iris’ plan to release the article to the city to warn them?
Cami (@tarcamwat): Absolutely! The citizens of Central City deserve to know that they are in danger. I loved that Iris realizes this. Accurate information is powerful and the best defense against crazy nefarious people. It also fits in with the times that we are living in.
Tatiana (@myrcellasear): Definitely. Access to information is precisely what Devoe is trying to prevent, so what better way to combat his plan than to inform everyone? I think that not only was Iris on the right track, but it’s a move that’s very on-brand for her given how adamant she was about knowing the truth to better protect herself in season one. And how she advocated for Linda making an informed decision about helping the team in season two, as well.
Vanessa (@westallenallure): Of course! I think it made total sense to clue people in and it’s respectful to warn people about them possibly being in danger – especially if it’s a worldwide thing. I enjoy that Iris’ character remains consistent in that she is always trying to do the best for people and that she uses the means she has to do so. Also, it was great to finally see more of the journalism arc that should’ve been a thing that was the norm in the show for a while ago. Moreover, I feel like the show lacks in incorporating the city and it’s people’s thoughts – which dwindles the stakes and realism, so I love that this was a thing that brought a little bit of that.
Alexis (@alexiswaverider): Definitely, not just because crowdsourcing will help them track down Devoe faster but also because it’s the ethically right thing to do. Like Iris said, it gives the citizens an opportunity to save themselves. I’m also a firm believer in “knowledge is power.” I would hope that if there was such a threat to U.S. citizens, the government we entrusted to protect and serve us would make its citizens aware so that we can at the very least protect ourselves, but that’s unlikely given the current administration.
Tay (@candicekps): I completely agree with Iris’ plan to release the article to the city to warn them. The citizens of Central City deserve to know any impending disasters — especially if it concerns stripping away their sense of the thought.
2. Amunet returned this week. Did you like her semi-helping Team Flash?
Cami: Amunet was cool, insightful, and funny this week. Her accent still leaves much to be desired though. She’s a villain so we know she couldn’t be all-in helping Team Flash so I was glad she kept her selfish ways with a touch of kindness.
Tatiana: Not particularly, mostly because I don’t see how Barry and Joe can talk about her being a metahuman slave trader with a straight face and then not arrest her for her crimes. But I will admit I enjoyed her more this week than I have in the past, especially since she was fighting against her uppity minion. I actually cheered when she cut his snake off. I love metaphors.
Vanessa: I’m going to be honest, Amunet is not my favorite character or villain at all. I really don’t feel on edge about anything she does or is involved in. Initially, I loved that she was going to be a female narc, essentially, but that fell through when they made her questionably “nice.” I don’t know, I wish they would’ve let her be full-on evil and not neutral – something they didn’t do again in this episode. I wish the show stuck to making people bad instead of trying to change them all the time.
Alexis: I haven’t cared for the character since her introduction but it was nice seeing her play for the good side at least once. I’m just happy that the show held her semi-accountable for her crimes unlike they’ve done with Caitlin/Frost. Overall though, I’m glad this is the last we’re seeing of this character which in my opinion, has added nothing of value.
Tay: Absolutely not. It also irritates me that Caitlin brought her back for ulterior motives.
3. Barry was hesitant in terms of Iris releasing her article. Did you understand his POV?
Cami: I understood that Barry was scared that people would panic, but Central City citizens should be hardcore by now after everything that has happened. It’s like living in a hurricane zone; after a while one gets use to it and just learns to prepare. Or it’s like living in London during the blitzkrieg of WWII. Central City has a stiff upper lip.
Tatiana: I did understand his POV, and I thought it was interesting that they both made good points and had their hearts in the right place when it came to the discussion. Barry is very reluctant to try new things after his way seems to be working, but he is also amenable to it once Iris puts things in perspective.
Vanessa: I did understand his POV and I want to say that it was partially correct. Letting the citizens know about DeVoe when he no longer cares who he has to destroy to in order to reach his goal, makes them a liability if they become more proactive. Also, letting them know about his nefarious plans and the team not having a definite plan yet doesn’t help. Ultimately, ignorance isn’t bliss and like it was shown in the end-credit scene, they were willing to help take him down. Again, I love how that unites the city and the heroes that protect it.
Alexis: I did. While knowledge is power, sometimes knowing too much can be dangerous depending on the person and the situation. In this case, one could argue that ignorance is bliss because citizens knowing about Devoe’s plan would create a state of unrest and a sense of helplessness. But I think the benefits of Central City citizens being informed outweigh the risks. I just wanted to say that I’m happy the show is finally letting Central City citizens be its own character. They have been a key missing aspect on the show.
Tay: Yes, I definitely do. Some citizens may become hysterical out of fear.
4. Caitlin is willing to do anything to get Killer Frost. What are your thoughts on her actions in this week’s episode?
Cami: Caitlin is terribly selfish and is far more concerned about getting Killer Frost back than she is about the team and defeating Devoe. It’s sad that she hasn’t shown any growth.
Tatiana: I’m glad she displayed an iron will and did what it took to achieve her goal, but I wish the show would acknowledge her goals are often inherently selfish and her methods are amoral at best. They would have a genuinely interesting character on their hands if they let Caitlin be the antihero she’s clearly meant to be, instead of a blurry mess because they won’t commit.
Vanessa: Again, I’m uninterested at this point with Caitlin. There’s no development to her wanting her so badly, and now, I’m a little vexed at how selfish is. Caitlin’s story-path over the years has been unclear and inconsistent but one thing that remains consistent is how she puts herself before everyone else. Whether it be keeping a piece Savitar’s stone for herself or striking a deal with a woman who she knows is unstable with her affiliation, she has managed to acquire a character trait that rivals everyone else’s on the team. Not to mention, she really doesn’t consider the team for anything and is constantly going behind their back. But something the show does in order to “remedy” that is have everyone “understand” or immediately forgive what she does instead of giving her substance and inflicting the consequences she really needs to face.
Alexis: Well, I thought her actions were consistent with who she’s always been. While others are making decisions and acting for the benefit of everyone, she’s acting solely for her own benefit. It’s not any different than the time she kept the philosopher’s stone for herself in season 3. Manipulation and selfishness is at the core of who Caitlin is — the only problem is that the writers refuse to hold her accountable for anything and that negates any potential character growth.
Tay: Selfish. It frustrates me that the team never holds her accountable as this isn’t the first time she deceived the team.
5. Harry realized that Devoe’s weak spot is Marlize. Do you agree getting to Marlize is how they will defeat him?
Cami: Marlize is definitely one piece of the puzzle, but I think it will take more than her to defeat Devoe.
Tatiana: Absolutely. Like Marlize herself said, Clifford is nothing without her. She may not be the only weapon they need in their arsenal, but she’ll definitely be a crucial one.
Vanessa: I think DeVoe had calculated various outcomes, like what would happen if Marlize left him. I mean, he was prepared to drug her because he said he knew she’d want to back out at some point. However, the way things left off with them, I figure he didn’t expect her to abandon him and the plan then, so that slight alteration can give the team some leverage. Having her on the team also gives the team insight on the nuances of his plan, the equipment he has in his possession, and weaknesses that can be used against him.
Alexis: Absolutely. Marlize being a key piece of the puzzle was always a no-brainer and I’m in fact more surprised that it took someone without a scientific intelligence to get a room full of so-called scientific geniuses to see that obvious fact. It seems as if the writers are slowly branching away from their misguided notion that science is the only form of intelligence. At least that’s the theme I noticed this episode with the return of Iris’s journalism literally saving the world, Harry’s contribution and Caitlin’s realization about Frost. If that is indeed the case, then I’m glad because that line of thinking is erroneous and has done it’s equally smart but non-scientific characters like Iris, Joe, Cecile, a disservice.
Tay: In the beginning of his journey: yes, but now, I think that he lost himself and he’s no longer the same individual that he was at first. Power has compelled him, so I don’t think Marlize will be the most efficient method to defeat Devoe.
6. Iris can be a team leader and journalist all at once! Which role do you prefer her in?
Cami: I love Iris and everything that she stands for and does for her team, man, family, and city. She can do anything she sets her mind to. With that said, I love her journalism the most because that comes from her soul. It’s her very special contribution and something that the other team members really don’t fully grasp.
Tatiana: Both? Both. Both is good! Obviously Ace Reporter Iris West-Allen is near and dear to my heart from a lifetime of reading comics, but seeing as the show will never part from S.T.A.R. Labs, I love seeing her keeping the team on track and employing her high emotional IQ to help them through the tough times. That being said, this week is the first time since 1.06 that The Flash really highlighted how her journalism can be the bridge between the city and its heroes, which is what I’ve wanted to see this entire time.
Vanessa: Although I grew up with Flash comics and seeing her being a journalist was what I was used to, there’s no reason why we should limit her to either or. She does phenomenally well doing both and her personality traits suits each position very nicely. She has sensibility, vigor, passion, decisiveness, altruism, and authority – things that mesh well for either and help her do both at the same time.
Alexis: Why do we have to choose? It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It’s called multitasking and people have been doing it since time immemorial so why should it be different for Iris. Contrary to some belief, leadership is a title and responsibility; it doesn’t preclude one from doing other things especially not in journalism where we seem to moving towards freelancing. Iris is more than equal to the task as we’ve seen so I say let this brilliant woman wear her many hats.
Tay: Both! I can’t choose. She’s such a flexible and fluid individual. Her skills are transferable! I think that the attributes in both roles complement each other.
7. We learned that Caitlin and Killer Frost are essentially the same person. What do you think about this conclusion to her origin story?
Cami: Killer Frost’s origin story remains a mess. It’s all psychological as many of us suspected for awhile. It’s always been Caitlin doing these things. I am interested in how Dr. Finkle will sort her out. I think there is more story to come.
Tatiana: I’m glad we’re finally admitting what’s been obvious since day one, I just wish it hadn’t taken two seasons to reach this resolution.
Vanessa: I think that it was always should have been as such and that the writers got lost in trying to not hold Caitlin responsible for things; so they tried saying she wasn’t at fault for the ‘bad’ Killer Frost did. The same way they wanted to have Killer Frost but not completely eradicate the Caitlin the audience knew so they created that split personality. I wouldn’t call it an origin, rather than a final quick deduction to how she operates. I wonder if it is indeed a conclusion to how Killer Frost works or if they’ll go back to the split personality thing whenever else they need to excuse Caitlin for something. Or even when it’s convenient.
Alexis: Well one can argue that it’s consistent with Caitlin’s theme of selfishness, manipulation, and betrayal. It means she is literally responsible for HR’s death, trying to get Iris and Cecile killed, and metahuman trafficking. The only issue is the writers never have her held accountable or have her suffer consequences of her actions and that takes me out of the story. Overall her origin story is still a mess.
Tay: Absolutely confused. I have so MANY questions!
Team Flash may work well together, but they sure do keep a lot of secrets
Caitlin’s Killer Frost storyline has been the weakest of the show, as her origin story and abilities have changed almost every season. In “Lose Yourself,” we mentioned how Caitlin’s embracement of her icy alter-ego was a step in the right direction, until her powers were taken away by Devoe. Now, the most consistent thing about Caitlin’s character is her ability to worry only about herself, even at the cost of her own teammates.
To be completely fair, almost every member on Team Flash has had moments of selfishness. However, what makes her tendencies more glaring, and even alarming, is the lack of accountability for her actions. Time and time again, her actions are brushed off the shoulder, especially now when she’s desperate in getting Killer Frost back.
We really want to root for Caitlin, we truly do. However, it becomes difficult when she’s not even rooting for anyone but herself. Luckily for us, Caitlin finds out that her and Killer Frost are essentially the same person, and hopefully she will take less-drastic measures to get Frosty to surface in the future.
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Iris continues to be the voice of reason, and once again, the voice for Central City! Not only did she shine as team leader, but also as a journalist — which makes the multifaceted character so interesting. After her and Barry discussed the pros and cons of warning the citizens of Central City, Iris wanted them to be on the same page and decided that it was Barry’s decision to release the article. After completing the final version of her article, Barry agreed that it was the right thing to do and not “shield [the people] of information,” as Iris happily put.
The show’s ability to showcase what a healthy kind of relationship Barry and Iris are never falters, as this episode proved how much communication is important within in a relationship. “We are always strong, better together,” Barry put, and he’s right. Unlike the Devoes, who are the worst when with one another, Barry and Iris lean on each other for advice and support.
Bravo, Flash writers, bravo!
Lastly, Harry is still trying to put his brain to the test when he came to the conclusion that Devoe’s weak spot is his wife, Marlize (Kim Engelbrecht) and she is the key in defeating him once and for all. Team Flash’s next mission will be to track down Marlize!
Next week, time is ticking as there is only 12 hours until Devoe’s ‘plan of enlightenment’ sparks, and we are sticking around to see how Team Flash stops this one!