The Flash’s 6th episode (“When Harry Met Harry”) was, for the most part, super delightful. I have a bit of a problem with a plot point, but we’ll get to that in a minute. First, the abundant good: the writing this season has been stellar, but this episode managed to stand out amid the brilliance. From Harry the Grey to Cisco proclaiming, “you’re a wizard, Harry,” the dialogue is sharp, mindful, poignant, and hilarious. I laughed out loud so much. The junk discussion between Wells and Cisco? I cackled; the delivery was excellent. And Caitlin’s, “I haven’t been this tired since Killer Frost decided to go to Burning Man.” was awesome. “Free Willy Harry?” Hilarious. So was Ralph’s, “For the love of Jeff Goldblum, stop.” The Jurassic Park slant was really fun.
Humor aside, the episode had heart. Sure, it started out with Ralph hero-ing pretty poorly (one of my notes literally reads, “Oh my god, Ralph is the WORST.”). A little girl was injured as a result of his catch-the-bad-guy tunnel vision. He gave Barry crap about letting the villain, Mina (Chelsea Kurtz), get away. But his I Know Best veneer shattered when that child got hurt because of his actions/inactions. This lead to Barry, arguably one of the world’s worst decision makers in the past, to give him a pep talk about learning from mistakes and leaning on people while you do. Sure, Barry maybe downplayed the whole Flashpoint thing (“I’ve made bad decisions. And sometimes, people got hurt.”), but his heart was in the right place. And I have to admit, it was a nice scene. There’s an adversarial earnestness in Barry and Ralph’s relationship. It has a lot to do with the chemistry between the actors, but Hartley Sawyer’s delivery and layered emotional work is lovely to watch. He plays comedy well.
Speaking of Wells, the Council of them was very amusing. Watching Harry become annoyed with all the versions of himself was really well done. As much as it was a vehicle for Harry to possibly confront everything he doesn’t like about himself (the gruffness, etc.), it also gave us more Cisco/Wells bonding time. And I love that Cisco has been the one giving Harry advice and pep talks, not the other way around. It’s a different power dynamic, I think, and it’s really very effective.
Now, we have to talk about Mina. I found this plotline to be in poor taste. Taking a Native character and making her a vengeful activist is questionable at best. When there’s so much disrespect and aggression to the Native Americans (Standing Rock, anyone?), this really niggled at me. She wasn’t well developed, beyond having been fired from her teaching job and going a bit off the deep end. While The Flash is a diverse show, I think this could’ve been handled better—even if it was just to flesh out her character a bit more, make her more sympathetic. Stolen items (not just land) are a very real occurrence, and at the very least, in a fictional universe, sometimes we owe it to people to hand that issue with more respect and reverence.
Lastly, we meet DeVoe (Neil Sandilands) and his wife (Kim Engelbrecht), who are totally normal and even have a welcome mat. I really enjoyed that non-metahuman introduction tremendously. Without the Mr. Freezer exterior, I find the DeVoe character curious and compelling. This avid, brilliant chess player has met his match with Team Flash. Unless Ralph loses his tarp, then all bets are off.
Catch you next week, nerds!