The Flash’s 21st episode (“The Girl with The Red Lightning”) had a lot going on and a lot of great moments. The main plot revolves around finding Cicada II to stop her from killing all metas. But that was used to introduce an interesting real-world concern: vaccines. While the show is a lot less heavy-handed about its social commentary, the point about vaccines and their importance was both well done and well taken. Granted, it’s not a straight comparison (not taking the vaccine would only hurt the meta, not make other people sick – which is a very real consequence of failing to vaccinate your kids), but it was a decent parallel. (Spoiler alert: vaccinate your kids.)
It also allowed us to show Joe panic (because responsibility), which…okay, that felt a little bit out of character. Because Joe doesn’t really freak out, but having him be a vague bumbling idiot for a hot minute allowed Cecille to shine. And man, those two are relationship goals, supporting each other and lifting each other up at every turn.
The opposite of that is probably how everyone treated Ralph, this episode. He kept trying to help and contribute (he used the whiteboard!), but kept getting low-key brushed aside by everyone. No one really seemed to take his musing seriously, and clearly they should’ve! Loved the “timey-wimey” Doctor Whoreference, though. He’s such a sweet character, though – full of heart and humor. Definitely an asset to the show.
Speaking of assets, Nora kinda rocked it. Not only did she take on Cicada II, but she stood up for herself with her folks, when they were being overprotective: “But I am not that person anymore. Because of you. …You taught me how to make the right choices.” That was a powerful moment and an honest one. Although, I do question the wisdom of learning how to make the right choices from Barry (No, Barry, No) Allen. The scene where Nora confronts Cicada II about her anger was quite well done.
I was fascinated, too, by Sherloque and Renee. First, that he kept assuming she wanted to be rid of her powers. For an observant guy, he pretty much misread everything in that department. But I find the relationship between them to be super sweet. The amount of affection and emotion Tom Cavanagh conveys with a look, or even a lack of eye contact, is impressive. And I’ve had a crush on him since Ed, so.
Next week, we’ll have to see the fallout from Thawne’s master plan. Is the lesson of this episode always listen to Ralph? Maybe.