Airing Tuesdays at 8pm on Sky 1
Writers: Sam Chalsen & Kristen Kim
Director: Viet Nguyen
Essential Plot Points:
- At an Argus Black Ops Site, John Diggle arrives to make an inspection. Until his eyes flash purple. Clifford DeVoe is in the building. And we watch as he uses every one of the powers at his disposal to wipe out all the staff and gain access to Fallout…
- Barry checks every airfield (Including Blackhawk Island and Ferris Air!) and there’s no sign of DeVoe. Cisco is convinced he’s on the way anyway and has an idea; they split up and stake out every airfield.
- Harry is in bad shape, forgetting Iris asked him to proofread the blog that morning. Barry is impressed they’ve got so many hits but is uncomfortable they’re using citizens like this. Then, a new lead comes in…
- Iris is in therapy, talking about Killer Frost.
- Iris gets a scrambled message about DeVoe, sent by the last scientist standing in the attack. They unscramble it and discover it’s a warning DeVoe is making a play for fall out. Barry rushes off to get Diggle, in the hopes he’ll know where Fallout is being held. The others grab a receptacle for Dig to throw up in when he arrives.
- He arrives. He pukes. He gets to work. We love you, Dig. Dig discovers ‘he’ checked in at the facility six hours ago. Then the radiation count at the facility goes off the scale. DeVoe is hyper-charging Fallout. In 12 hours he’ll reach nuclear fusion. All DeVoe has to do then is shrink him and he has all the power he could need.
- It gets worse. Argus have anti-speedster defenses. Pressure plates rigged to fatal electric shocks whose position changes randomly every 12 hours and which explodes when activated. DeVoe is basically in the safest place on Earth. And Argus are inadvertently helping defend him while he charges the battery that will end the world.
- Barry has an idea; instead of avoiding the plates hit every single one and use the electricity to boost himself to a speed where he can jump through DeVoe’s portals. It’s a good plan but there’s a problem; DeVoe has hostages above each plate.
- Elsewhere Cecile and Joe are prepping for the baby’s arrival. And Cecile is starting to pick up thoughts from everyone. Including the surfbro pizza delivery guy…
- At the Labs, Harry steers Iris onto focusing on DeVoe’s feelings and suggests she look for Marlize. He’s desperate to help and Iris, realizing this, brings him along.
- Meanwhile, Cisco and Caitlin have figured out how to save the hostages and stop DeVoe. Barry brings them into Flashtime with him. They realize that Barry generates an aura of Speed Force around him and that by bringing them into Flashtime, he can extend that aura and give them the time they need to save the hostages while he takes down DeVoe.
- The training doesn’t go well. And when Joe and Cecile come in and ask Caitlin to check Cecile over, they welcome the break. The good news is that Cecile’s powers are spiking because of the pre-pregnancy hormones. Caitlin gives her something to calm down and it works. But Cecile warns her that, when she imprinted on Caitlin, she saw that she was hiding something big…
- Harry and Iris profile Marlize, trying to get inside her head. Harry has an idea; they should turn Marlize. She could help them take down Clifford. Iris is furious, citing both the Savitar incident and Marlize stabbing her as reasons not to bother with trying to turn Marlize.
- Downstairs, training goes well until Caitlin blacks out. She has a flashback to being run over as a child and is hurled sideways out of Flashtime.
- When Caitlin comes round, Barry tells them he can’t train them anymore. Caitlin is haunted by her childhood, while Barry is haunted by the loss of Ralph.
- Harry follows Iris home and apologizes to her. In doing so, he helps her crack the case. Iris feels safe in her home. Marlize is hiding somewhere safe. Somewhere that feels like home…
- Cecile imprints on Joe and Joe, because Joe rocks, talks her down.
- At the Lab, Cisco confronts Barry and brings everything out. Cisco tells him that everything that happened is their fault. Barry retorts that everyone he’s tried to teach has ended up worse. Cisco asks if Ralph ended up worse. Barry’s got nothing. They’re on.
- Iris and Harry find Marlize. She’s hiding in England. Using their last extrapolator, they go there.
- Caitlin, Barry and Cisco breach to the Argus Facility. Caitlin is now dressed in a great riff on Captain Cold’s outfit and has a wrist-mounted ice shooter.
- DeVoe shrinks Fallout and they’re on. Barry absorbs the shock from each panel, Cisco and Caitlin save the hostages, Barry sprints for the Breach and…
- DeVoe launches his satellites. Only for Barry to punch through the Breach, sprint up a building, deploy Amunet’s weapon and destroys a satellite! Yaaaay!
- DeVoe is remarkably unbothered. He talks to Barry about the Enlightenment, arguing it will make people curious again. When Barry points out that people won’t remember each other, it hits DeVoe HARD. He retorts that that’s the point and breaches away.
- At the Argus Facility, Cisco and Caitlin are helping the survivors. Caitlin asks Cisco for help, admitting she saw something when they were training. She asks Cisco to vibe with her to find out what it is and they do.
- They see Caitlin, knocked down and the car nearby. They see her looking in her bike mirror. And young Killer Frost looking back. KF was part of her even then. But how?
- In England, Harry and Iris arrive at the first home Marlize and DeVoe shared and confront her. Harry tries to talk to her and when he fails, she realizes he’s experiencing the penultimate stage of the ‘Enlightenment’.
- It horrifies her.
- Iris throws Marlize’s words ‘The bravest thing you can be is optimistic’ back at her. The two hearts of their respective teams go toe to toe and Iris DARES her to help. It seems to work…
- At the Lab, Cisco, Barry and iris discover DeVoe is using a STAR Labs satellite to replace the one Barry destroyed. DeVoe arrives, locks himself in with Gideon and triggers the Enlightenment…
A curiously measured pace this week but a lot of that is down to this episode putting the pieces in place for the finale. And what pieces they are.
The central heist/rescue is a really smartly done piece of action and is book-ended by DeVoe’s offhand savagery in the opening scenes. It’s a subtle, effective way of re-positioning Team Flash from the (slightly) Murder Happy stance they had in in the early years. DeVoe threshes a couple of dozen Argus agents. Barry and the others risk their lives to save some complete strangers. It’s nicely handled.
It’s not alone either. Cecile and Joe’s plot is a welcome piece of grounding and counterpoint to the massively dysfunctional DeVoes. Better still, it and Cisco’s confrontation with Barry bring the vital heart of the show to the fore. These are people driven by the very thing DeVoe has the utmost contempt for; love. Here that love almost shuts them down when Barry is terrified of leading his friends to their death. The fact he trusts them, even after the horrible things the team have been through this year, just makes him more of a hero.
That emotional connection is really key here, in every way. It’s what leads Iris to reach out to Marlize, what Harry uses to shore up his failing brain and even what the heroic Argus scientist who raises the alarm at the start relies on. We believe in other people. We trust other people to be heroes when we can’t be. And by the looks of the final scenes here, that belief is something that is going to be sorely tested next week. Measured, certainly, but every step here lands and every step accelerates the show into its season finale.
- This scene.
- DeVoe’s murder by classical music is almost Legion-esque in his cheerful willingness to do horrible things to people in uniform.
- Cisco making wooshy motions the first time he enters Flashtime is adorable.
- Joe kept the katana from his fight with the Samuroid. Joe talks Cecile down from imprinting on him. Joe is amazing.
- Caitlin’s amazing new threads! Leo Snart would approve.
- The rescue/Breach scene is fantastic. And made even better by how little DeVoe cares.
- The Killer Frost reveal. We’re betting that’s leading to either a last second Killer Frost return in the finale or a deep dive into Caitlin’s past next year.
- Diggle deserved so much better than his brief cameo here.
- Harry’s empathy/failing cognitive functions are maybe played a little too much for laughs this week.
And the Random:
- Viet Nguyen has directed fir iZombie, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and others.
- Sam Chalsen has written for The Flash and Sleepy Hollow.
- Kristen Kim has written for Code Black and The Flash.
- ‘Elvis Banana’
- ‘I woosh, you woosh, she bangs.’
- ‘I HATE YOU. What is this about?’
- ‘Joe, we are not going to need a KATANA at the hospital.’
- ‘This Erlenmeyer Flash is COVERED in water spots!’
‘Yeah she’s definitely me.’
- ‘Babe, trust me. There are far worse heads I could have been stuck in.’
- ‘You really wanna do this?’
‘It’s not a burden if we carry it together.’-OUR FEELINGS, CAITLIN
- ‘Do I have to call it an iceshooter?’
‘I thought frostbite sounded good…’
- ‘I forget what Nietsche said about wiping minds.’
- ‘Think of it, or rather don’t. You’ll just end up hurting yourself.’
- It’s rude to break into a person’s home uninvited. And dangerous when that person is holding a grudge and a katana.’
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