The Flash’s fifth episode (“All Doll’d Up”) was all kinds of awesome. First of all, Troy James as Ragdoll was fantastic. He did some truly stellar movement work, combined with excellent background music and use of tone of voice (all credit to Phil LaMarr). My only complaint with this storyline was that it ended so quickly. I mean, I would’ve loved to have seen him for half a season, creeping around, stealing things. I think the show could’ve really amped up the subtle terror there, if they wanted.
But one of my favorite moments had to do with Cecille and Nora. I love that Cecille charmingly conned her into building furniture. But what I loved most is how deftly and expertly Cecille got through to Nora about Iris via storytelling. It was utter genius having her tell Nora stories about Iris, pretending they were about Barry. I also loved that Cecille immediately threw down in defense of respect for all the members of the West family. It was such a fiercely loyal moment, stitched together with an unquestionable love. More of that please. (Side note: Is Jesse L. Martin ok? We haven’t seen much of him this season. When we have, he’s been mostly sitting.)
Another thing I’ve been loving is having Barry be more emotionally present and supportive in his relationship with Iris (“You’re not your mom. And you’re not Iris from the future. You don’t have to be, ever.”). We’re really getting a sense of them as a team, a partnership. Iris isn’t always taking care of Barry. They’re talking care of each other. Granted, she threw herself off a building to save him, which was…A Risk. But in all seriousness, it’s great to see Iris lean on Barry.
Obviously, we have to talk about Cisco, who is the best, most precious cinnamon roll. Putting himself through pain to help Caitlin was super sweet and touching. I mean, it was batshit, but full of love. When he confessed his insecurities and fears (“I could bring my value to the team. If I can’t take the mean, that means Cicada wins.”) and Caitlin gave him a pep talk? It was magic. They’re my favorite platonic ship ever, a true example of goodhearted ride-or-die.
Lastly, I want to note the excellent pacing and tension this season. I’m super invested in Caitlin finding her dad, for instance. Each episode moves that plot line along just far enough that I’m incredibly hooked. It’s excellently done, and I think the slow reveal/pursuit is aces. And if we get more of Sherloque referring to Ralph as a giraffe, that’s fine by me.
Race you to next week!