Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of The Flash. To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
Let’s be real. Despite quite a lot going down in this week’s episode of The Flash, “The Darkness and the Light”, the clear MVP, even with Tom Cavanagh’s most welcome return, was Cisco. Cisco Ramon has turned into an unlikely fan favorite of the series, and Carlos Valdes one of the shows most reliable performers and despite all the moving pieces of the episode, he is able to get to work in the comedic and dramatic and excel at both. The episode gets to be the official birth of Vibe and so much that happens with his character is some of the most exciting developments of the season so far.
So let’s dance around with some other bits before I gush so more.
I don’t like Patty. Or, to be more specific, I don’t like the idea of Patty. She’s the female Barry and her awkwardness is written in an unnatural manner that the shows never been guilty of before. For a couple to work onscreen, I need to believe it strictly by their chemistry, and Patty and Barry have yet to sell me on it. So while their date is cute (aided by the fact that Barry, blinded by Doctor Light, is relying on Cisco in his ear piece to walk him through it), it’s not enough for me to buy them as a couple.
Similarly, I’m not so sure how I feel about Caitlin and Jay either, as they’re another couple that is being rather forced on us, rather then them being their realtionship grow naturally. Caitlin is finally allowing herself to heal and move past Ronnie, and Jay is alienated from his home world, and the two could reasonably find comfort in one another. However, it seems to have quickly gone from Caitlin eyeing up Jay, to the two of them nearly sharing a kiss.
How nice was it to see that Linda Park hadn’t been written off the show, and that she and Iris had formed a friendship even? More scenes with just these two please. Linda Park getting to be on the side of the good and bad in alternate universes gave the show a lot of leverage to work with, as well as giving Doctor Light of Earth 2 some added depth when Barry had to confront her and being believably side tracked when realizing she shared the face of one of his exes.
Iris doesn’t get as much to do this week as she did in the last episode, but despite her moments being thin she proves again that she is the most level headed character on the show. Her moment where she’s big enough to thank Wells for helping capture Light and save Linda was a great character beat, showing that she is able to separate the Wells who lead to Eddie killing himself and the one in front of her now. Also, her shooting the gun was pretty amazing-did you see how she hit Light’s helmet right between the eyes?
More Iris please.
The Harrison Wells of Earth 2 is not the Harrison Wells (or Eobard Thawne) that we and the characters new in season one. He’s smug, short tempered, and a bit of a dick, but he shares a common mission as the Star Labs crew-to put an end to Zoom. Jay isn’t on board with allowing Wells to help however, causing some tension, especially when Harrison tells everyone in the room that Barry is stronger that Jay will ever be, especially sense Barry runs towards danger and refuses to be a coward like Jay.
He also comes along and outs Cisco is one of the best moments of the night, using his tech he created to show the group that Cisco is a meta human, something I’m glad wasn’t dragged out for a longer portion of the season.
For a moment I think I had missed just how much I loved having Cavanagh on my screen as Wells but I won’t be forgetting again an time soon. Even as the slightly altered version of Wells, he’s immediately captivating and his interactions with that cast are great, Valdes and Grant Gustin in particular. Sure, the reveal that Zoom has his daughter is unsurprising, but it does bring up the question of Wells’s motive. Is he working with the Flash to find and rescue his daughter, or to use him as bait to bring Zoom to him?
Barry’s blindness was used to great effect as Gustin displayed some physical comedy skills as he fumbled around Star Labs trying to get his head on straight. In general the episode had a great time in pushing Barry to his funniest, allowing him to quip at Light and get short tempered with Jay when he didn’t provide him all the answers.
Cisco’s “creeping and peeping” line to Barry while being his eyes on his date with Patty was fantastic, and his line of Wells being a dick and the delivery had me laughing hard enough to miss the following dialogue.
So yes, let’s talk about Cisco. Cisco being dubbed Vibe by Barry and Caitlin is a perfect ending to a great episode, where Cisco had already gotten the number of the new girl, Kendra Saunders (aka Hawkgirl), stood up against Earth 2 Wells, and got to deliver the funniest lines of the hour. Out of all the characters, he is the one I’m happiest to see explore his powers next, especially after his excitement over other meta humans. Now that Star Labs knows his powers, what will they do to utilize it?
It’s an episode about relationships and it works to great effect. While the baddie of the week can be fun (and Doctor Light) certainly is, what keeps the show rooted is the dynamics between characters. With the re-appearance of Wells, it’s hard not to wonder just what the show is going to do to shake up the series next.