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Bombs, Love, and Grief on THE FLASH

The Flash’s 15th episode (“Enter Flashtime”) was an interesting way to bring characters together (Jesse! Killer Frost! Jay!), while tackling some issues. Given the circumstances (time slowed down, nuclear bomb etc.), it wasn’t as quippy as usual. I mean, I suppose it’s difficult to be funny and try and get rid of a bomb. Just ask Batman.

But I digress. For me, the weakest link/most frustrating aspect was Barry. He starts the episode by pushing Cisco (and himself) too hard. It’s like he learned nothing from last week’s episode. And yes, I understand that he’s desperate to stop DeVoe. But Barry Allen doesn’t make awesome decisions under normal circumstances. He needs a get-a-grip friend.

Which, apparently, is Iris. She spends the majority of the episode either supporting/encouraging him…or asserting that the key to stopping DeVoe is to have date night. Okay, she phrases it more romantically than that, but it seemed like an oddly timed ask. That’s bookended by Barry apologizing about their date night fail and Iris replying, “Don’t be. Power bars and sweatpants. It’s all I really need.” And we need to talk about this. Because aside from being Captain Team Flash, bossing people around, and being a badass—when is Iris getting her needs met? *stage whisper* Never. Because we don’t really see anything else about Iris. Hell, we don’t even get mentions of her job anymore. Does she have any friends? While I’m glad her character is more front and center this season, I want them to flesh her out more. Give her layers. And lord, give her layers that don’t involve Barry, saving everyone’s asses (again), the Flash, or her dad. Let her be a complicated woman.

This brings us to my favorite part of the episode: Jesse and Harry. Harry’s nonverbal, gruff emotional defense mechanisms regarding his wife’s death really got under my skin. It was a masterful performance at all turns, subtle and sharp, heartwrenching and raw. Tom Cavanagh was wholly believable as someone who had a profound love and lost that love, the baggage both a blessing and a weight. Some say that the price we pay for loving someone and losing them is grief, proportionate to the depth of our feelings. With this brief glimpse into Harry’s love, I daresay there might not be a bottom to that ocean.

And I loved the closing scene he had with Jesse (Violett Beane), even though it made me choke up. I mean, the range of emotions on Harry’s face? How he couldn’t meet her eyes? How he struggled through speaking even though his own words seemed to choke him? Daaaaamn. It was poignant. And I adored how he figured out a way around his own pain to share and connect with her. And the look on Jesse’s face when she heard her mother laugh was priceless. It was a powerful, important moment. One that’s sure to resonate with anyone who has lost someone they love. Because it’s true: you start to forget the sound of their voice, the inflection of words, the echo of a laugh. Having that back for even a moment is a rare gift.

Speaking of gifts, Killer Frost pleading, “Barry? Don’t let Caitie die.” was an excellent moment. It signified something new, a measure of feeling where there was none before. And the fact that Caitlin remembered Killer Frost’s worrying was intriguing as hell. I want more of that. And I want more of the woman at Jitters, who has my full attention. (Harry’s facial expressions and quiet exasperation cracked me up.) I need to know more about her, stat. I mean, why is she almost always at the coffee shop? I love coffee, but I don’t like at Starbucks.

Until next time, nerds.


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