Airing in the UK on Sky 1, new episodes every Tuesday
Writers: Sam Chalsen & Judalina Neira
Director: Stefan Pleszczynski
Essential Plot Points:
- Cisco and Wells are decorating the tree. And also bickering. They’re joined by Ralph (Also hates Cisco’s tree fu) and Caitlin. It gets awkward when it becomes apparent the guys have been hanging out with Killer Frost and, maybe, like her more…
- Barry and Iris areopening their wedding gifts. There are a LOT of toasters. Iris asks why Barry doesn’t use his powers so much and he explains that he used to run all the time to feel peace. Now, he feels that all the time. AWWWWW!
- Wells finds Caitlin in the coffee shop. She is drinking a coffee named after Killer Frost, who’s become darling of the city after helping fight off Earth-X. Harry gently points out he knows a little about evil doppelgangers. At which point the front of the coffee shop explodes…
- It’s Amunet Black. There for Caitlin. She tries to turn into Killer Frost but gets captured before she can.
- Nearby, DeVoe attacks Barry and Iris and kidnaps Barry. Back at Star Labs, Iris asks Cisco to look for Barry, he tunes in and…
- is thrown sideways across the room. He’s okay but he’s not got a fix on Barry. And he won’t be vibing for a while…
- Barry wakes up in an abstract maze. Invisible force fields box him with a Samuroid.
- Amunet takes Caitlin to a dilapidated lab. She has a meta there she needs Caitlin to operate on. And if she does? She gets to live…The Meta, named Dominic, wakes up, and it turns out he’s both:
- -A really nice guy.
- -A telepath.
- Devoe confronts Barry and explains that he’s brought Barry there to teach him. Barry dares him to explain everything; the Samuroid, pulling Barry from the Speed Force, the Metas. Devoe shuts him down, and tells him that today’s lesson is ‘There are no happy endings’.
- And then DeVoe shows him footage of Joe knocking on his front door.
- Joe and Harry both confront DeVoe. Harry is very armed. There’s no front, no pretense; the three men know exactly what’s going on. They don’t find anything.
- At STAR Labs, Cisco’s still having no luck and, when Dibny keeps prattling on, he and Cisco almost come to blows. Iris shuts them down. Harry points out that as team leader she HAS to choose who to look for; Caitlin or Barry.
- At the hospital, Caitlin persuades Dominic to help them escape, using his ability to sense minds as advanced warning. Suddenly, a wall of metal appears in front of them; Amunet has found them.
- Amunet, surprisingly, bonds with Caitlin over dealing with her powers. Even more amazingly, she’s actually remarkably nice to Caitlin. She believes in her. If she doesn’t come through, Amunet WILL kill her but…still…it’s nice., Weirdly.
- Cisco and Ralph meet up and make up. As they get on the same page, Iris comes in. She’s made the call; Barry can look after himself, they’re going to find Caitlin.
- Caitlin, because she’s amazing, has Maguyvered together an MRI. She removes the shard from Dominic’s neck but he flat lines. Amunet panics as Caitlin frantically tries to resuscitate Dominic and then…
- the guards and Amunet pass out. Caitlin’s been back-feeding the anesthetic into the room, not Dominic.
- Caitlin and Dominic make it out but Amunet pursues them. Having detected Caitlin, Ralph and Cisco make the save.
- Barry tricks Devoe into opening the field by vibrating so fast he becomes invisible. Given this leads to Devoe dragging the pair of them into the sky above the city via his chair, which Barry then partially blows up, that’s not a great plan.
- OR IS IT?!
- The flotation mode Cisco built into the suit keeps Barry alive as they plunge into the river. DeVoe goes down in flames behind him.
- Back at the lab, Barry and the family prepare to celebrate. Iris is traumatised by her choice but Barry reassures her.
- At Joe’s house, Ralph has decorated because he’s realized he’s a terrible human being. He’s actually adorable.
- Dominic arrives, as Caitlin invited him. Cisco christens him Brainstorm. Barry gets an alart from the alarm at the loft and runs off.
- He gets a call. From Dominic.
- Who is now DeVoe.
- We see a flashback, Dominic being recaptured by Amunet and taken to DeVoe. We see DeVoe lock onto him with the chair and transfer his entire consciousness into him. Dominic dies. DeVoe lives.
- DeVoe explains that he too needed to be reborn. And that he left Barry a gift…
- DeVoe’s old body.
- Stabbed by one of the knives Barry and Iris were given for their wedding.
- And then the CPD kick the door in.
- Barry triggers the Speed Force. Barry looks around. He focuses on the photo of Iris and himself and whispers ‘Don’t run.’
- The CCPD find the body. Barry’s arrested.
- ‘Dominic’ leaves and is met by his partner. He kisses her and says ‘Now let’s bring about the enlightenment.’
It seems weirdly appropriate that an episode of The Flash about Barry learning to do things the right way not the fast way should do so much in such a short period of time.
Chalesen and Neira’s script is breezy, funny, smart and very even handed. The DeVoes both get a fair shake, there’s some lovely Amunet Black stuff and the latest version of Team Flash all get moments to shine. Joe is perhaps a little under served but the rest are given some great stuff, especially the newly (sort of) mature Ralph. Plus, he and Harry give Cisco a welcome edge as the three colossally smart guys all struggle to work out who goes where.
But what lies at the heart of this episode is the way Barry and Iris have changed. We talked during Crisis On Earth-X about how mature and grounded they are and that’s doubly true here. Iris making the tough call, Barry realizing he doesn’t have to run anymore and many other moments all place them, finally, as the show’s designated adults. It’s smart, sweet writing and it makes us very excited for the second half of the season. We LIKE these two, a lot, and that’s not always been the case in the past.
Rounded out by a delightful turn from Katee Sackhoff in particular, this is a breezy, funny, dark Christmas episode that sets the show up for a hell of a home stretch. We can’t wait to see what happens next, but like Barry, we know we’ll have to wait.
- Ralph referring to himself in the third person is sweet.
- Sackhoff’s chirpy, relentless Amunet Black is just delightful.
- Poor Dominic. Kendrick Lance was great. But we get the feeling he’ll have way more fun as a bad guy…
- Flotation Mode!
- Badass Caitlin is a delight. Much more of her please.
- More of Caitlin and Amunet together too as well. That was a great scene.
- The shot of Barry almost running off, that we use at the top of this piece, is really good.
- Not much Joe this week.
- The special effects on the closing fight were maybe a touch ropey? But honestly we’re reaching.
And the Random:
- Kendrick Sampson has previously appeared in How To Get Away With Murder, The Vampire Diaries and others.
- Judalina Neira has written for Hit The Floor, Do No Harm and is executive story editor on The Flash.
- Sam Chalsen has written for The Flash and Sleepy Hollow.
- Stefan Pleszczynski has directed for Supernatural, The Worst Witch, Flashpoint and many more.
- ‘This is like a lifetime’s supply of store credit, why would Rory think we needed forty toasters?’
‘He said there was some kind of fire sale?’
‘…He stole them didn’t he?’
‘He definitely stole them.’
- ‘You know, a sprinkle of enthusiasm wouldn’t kill you.’
- ‘I’m going to stop you there because I have absolutely no idea what you’re saying.’
- ‘Oh please, we can squeeze it in. I’m a fast learner.’
- ‘I’ll be in my lab.’
‘And I’ll be in whatever room is… furthest from that.’
- ‘I’ve not stabbed you, shot you or thrown a deadly piece of metal at you once!…Today!’
- ‘Caity do you know what I was doing before I became the successful entrepreneur you see before you today?’
‘…Mean British Nanny?’
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