The sidekicks finally take the spotlight in this episode of The Flash, “Crazy for You,” while the Flash takes on a Bonnie and Clyde couple with an almost fool-proof escape plan.
With Wells’ shadiness sidelined, The Flash finally allows some room for the other S.T.A.R. Labs employees to shine. I’ve never completely been on board with Caitlin and Cisco because they have functioned mostly as sidekicks without personal lives (which they literally address in this episode). They switch roles — Caitlin even gets to name a metahuman “Peekabo” (she should stick to liquor) — and it does a lot to endear them to an audience and giveS them things to do besides science! Caitlin is such an endearing (and embarrassing) drunk and Cisco is given a serious storyline to resolve his guilt in Ronnie’s demise instead of just being in the role as the wise-cracking nerd.
Despite some much needed character work, this episode feels unbalanced. Joe and Iris are barely involved (which is almost unforgivable), Eddie is literally in one scene and even our lead Barry Allen feels adrift, just going along with the plot. Sure, he bonds with a drunk Caitlin over being stuck on their star-crossed lovers and gets hit on (the most believable plot point of the night). But the conflict with his father — who is fishing for information in the case of the week, despite the dangers of prison gangs — almost feel nailed on at the end.
Still, I’m a sucker for those emotional scenes The Flash nails every week. Usually, they are between Joe and Barry, but we can substitute it for that biological bond. It’s the same Flash-ing charm that feels a little lopsided. But that coda scene! More on that in a bit.
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Bonnie and Clyde
The freak of the week is a teleporter, which is possible thanks to “quantum entanglement” or her atoms. Shauna is one part of a criminal duo, determined to bust her boyfriend out of jail and repay his debt to the prison mob. Girl’s a little clueless, since she’s way more interested in her bae than he is in her, but she’s too busy looking through that spyglass she carries around to see that.
Bonnie and Clyde commit some bank robberies — leading to a pretty close call where a bullet grazes the Flash — while the team looks into Shauna’s powers. Her ability is very similar to nearly every teleporter I’ve seen in fiction: she can teleport other people as long as she is touching them and she needs to be able to see where she’s going, hence the spyglass.
Meanwhile, Henry Allen is gathering intel from the inside to help the police and his son with the investigation. Obviously, it goes south because Henry winds up in a hospital bed after one of the prison gang members beats him. The Flash then “jailbreaks” the prisoner to learn where Central City’s own Bonnie and Clyde are fleeing town from. (The Flash even lets the prisoner rot outside for beating up his father, which I think is a nice touch.)
The Flash chases the duo into a tunnel, fighting off Shauna to little avail (because a spyglass is a good weapon apparently; they should add it to Clue!). Finally, he lures them into a dark tunnel, takes out their headlights and captures the villainess, who’s depressed to learn her bae ran out. The team illegally detain and imprison her — breaking countless laws and possible human rights violations — in a two-way mirror prison. It’s a shame because she didn’t really seem that bad. Maybe they should work on rehabilitation more?
Cisco Works with the Pied Piper
There’s room in that super illegal prison that they have too since Cisco decided to play detective and work with the Pied Piper. Yes, one of The Flash‘s most dynamic villains thus far has returned to mostly annoy Cisco and escape, but not with revealing some pertinent info.
Taking Cisco to the site of the blast, Hartley explains the concept of shadow bombs right when the audio on my TV went funky. I’ll presume he’s talking about the giant human-shaped shadow etched into the wall. What we need to know is that this shadow is important enough to look over security footage from the night of the particle accelerator blast. And that, somehow, Ronnie Raymond and Victor Garber (from Alias) merged together and are sharing a body. Whoa. That’s awesome.
While I wrap my head around that, I want to talk about Cisco because we finally get an understanding of what motivates him. Fighting crime is cool and all, but Cisco is in this to build a family, per Hartley’s observations. And it makes sense considering how he looks up to Wells as a father and views Barry and Caitlin as siblings. Which makes me really want to know more about Cisco’s background. It’s a positive step for the character.
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Shippers, Start Your Engines: The Flash is Flirting with “Snowbarry”
This is the most I have ever liked Caitlin: drunk, silly, playing dress-up for a night on the town with Barry. Danielle Panabaker has relaxed enough into the role of Caitlin to feel more relatable and less like a Felicity Smoak knock-off. Because Caitlin is an old lady stuck in a 27-year-old.
Hear me out! Caitlin Snow is supposed to be a buzzkill/wet blanket in the pilot and in subsequent episodes everything about her is mature — wardrobe, degree, demeanor. She’s not icy, just weathered from her fiance being dead and then back from the dead. And as a result, she has no social life. Her best friends are Cisco and Barry, for crying out loud.
So to see Caitlin hit the bar in that ridiculous sequin get-up is great fun. Her getting drunk is hilarious, and singing karaoke with a game Barry is an excuse to hear Grant Gustin‘s beautiful voice. Her encouraging Barry to sneak a peek while he speedily undresses her is marvelous. She’s a hot mess who keeps to herself, and whose hobbies include cooking and eating.
But I’m so worried about Caitlin. Because it appears she’s gonna be crushing on Barry hardcore soon, especially with her drunk flirting and treating Barry like a boyfriend. (Barry, by the way, is the perfect friend to take care of you while you’re drunk.) I’m worried that Caitlin’s gonna be reduced to a girl with a crush instead of a woman who helps fight crime.
She and Barry make up the “Snowbarry” ship that makes up a part of The Flash fandom. I’m sure the show will go there before Iris and Barry’s inevitable union, but I’d rather see Caitlin have a storyline outside of her prospective suitors. Iris has her reporting job, Felicity Smoak was a computer whiz and hacker long before she was in love with Oliver Queen and Caitlin Snow deserves her own work-related storyline.
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— The writers haven’t a clue on what to do with Eddie. He had two lines. They barely give us any scenes of him with Iris to make us believe they’re a couple. Since my Cisco plotline wish came true this week, I give my wish-making powers to Eddie, who needs his own storyline more than any character on TV right now.
— Naturally, the girl Barry scores a date with also works at the same paper as Iris. Though I like this Linda Park — she hit on him first! (Comics fans will know her as the future Wally West’s future wife.)
— That’s not to mean I’m against the Snowbarry fandom or ship, just that I would like some independent growth from Caitlin Snow. Too often, the female characters on comic book shows are relegated to the love interest role.
— Coda Corner: Okay let’s talk about that scene with Grodd. He’s in Central City. Will the show go there this season? I hope so. The 100 had a gorilla CGI thing in an episode and it looked fine. Here’s hoping it won’t look ridiculous on The Flash.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8pm on The CW.
(Image courtesy of The CW)