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THE FLASH: Can’t Touch This

The Flash’s 12th episode (“Untouchable”) was all about learning, although it did so in different ways. Sure, we learned that on HR’s Earth, Al Capone was the vice president. And we learned that Barry and Wally have a healthy competitive streak. But there were more serious lessons.

Iris finally cracked and told Joe the truth about her upcoming death. Understandably, he was ticked off no one had told him sooner. But the whole situation with Clive “Death Grip” Yorkin (Matthew Kevin Anderson) served as a catalyst for Iris to talk about her fear of dying. It yielded a touching scene in which Iris bared her heart: “[The Flash] felt separate from you. … I love all of you, and I always will.” It was sweet. But oh my god, it also made me stabby. Why? Let’s discuss.

Iris has no agency. She’s waiting on her boyfriend to save her, again and again. She spends a good chunk on the episode almost dying, because of Yorkin. Granted, that setup gave us a chance to see Caitlin using her powers for good. And it let us, despite their often snarky banter (“You do know it’s possible to not be a jerk all the time.”), see real affection brewing between Caitlin and Julian. I do very much enjoy those two and how the often find a way to bolster each other. He helped her believe in herself and keep Killer Frost in check: “I was weak and I let it win. I did horrible things. … And you’re not going to do that. … You’re one of the strongest people I’ve ever known.” (My dirty shipper heart is hella pleased.)

But back to the point: Iris has turned into a sad, one-dimensional plot point. And it’s not Candice Patton’s fault. I just really want more for her and from her.

That aside, we did get to see Wally and Barry’s relationship blossom in a new way. It was interesting to see Barry fail horribly at imparting Flash wisdom. It was like trying to teach someone to bake by handing them a sack of ingredients without actual instructions. In this instance, one cannot simply Do the Thing. Guidance is required. It pleased me greatly to find shades of Wells in the moment of success: “Run, Wally. Run.” That was nicely done.

I do appreciate the show’s constant emphasis on science. It makes my nerd heart happy. The team always employs it to solve cases, whether it’s using the equipment at Star Labs or Vibe-ing Flashpoint to figure out Yorkin’s next move. Incredible thinkers and innovators, even HR with his apparent Kardashian obsession, working together for the greater good. Pretty amazing, no?

One final note: Joe and Cecile are getting along so well that there’s an awkward coffee shop family gathering. Dear Java, who on earth thought that would be a good idea, especially since Cecile’s daughter (Joanie, played by Riley Jade) thinks coffee causes cancer? Sure, the mood was offset by Barry and Wally trying to get Joe to admit who was the better hero. And it was kind of sweet seeing Joanie crush on Kid Flash, but Joanie seemed a little flat. We know she likes green tea, doesn’t know what she wants to do in school, and has a crush. While the end result is Joe getting more serious with her mom, I feel like we don’t really know much about Joanie or Cecile. I’d like a little more depth.

Of course, next week, it seems like we’re headed back with Jesse to rescue Harrison. Grodd has captured him, which should prove to be interesting. Will he and HR meet? Will they hate each other? Probably. Will it be glorious? Abso-frakkin-lutely.

Now, let’s see if I can phase through this wall and grab a coffee. Catch you later, kittens.

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