The Flash “Dead or Alive” Review

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Posted February 2, 2017 by John Patterson in Nerdy Bits

I love that CW shows are not afraid of being too “comic booky” or “superhero-ey.” The Flash “Dead or Alive” had a fight in multiple dimensions (with a cameo made by Supergirl’s earth) and acted like it was no big deal. That is one of the main things that makes these shows work so well: The writers trust the source material and the audience.

This episode focused mainly on HR and Cisco with a bit of Iris and Wally. We start off with a bit more Flash and Kid Flash action. We get to see Wally really enjoying being a superhero, taking selfies with cheerleaders, and making lightning bolts out of fire on the ground. His enjoyment results in him teaming up with Iris, who has been acting a bit weird after she learned of her fate at the hands of Savitar. Iris becomes extremely adamant on helping take down the arms dealer who sold Plunder his futuristic gun and the two guys Wally and Barry took out at the beginning of the episode.

Joe takes notice in her change of personality and starts asking questions, showing that it’s already hard for them to keep the secret of Iris’ death from him. Everyone continues to tell Iris that she should ease up on investigating this story because it is so dangerous but she keeps on pressing. She talks Wally into teaming up with her a la Flashpoint, and they end up going to find the arms dealer. When they do, Iris confronts him alone and literally stares down the barrel of his gun.

Wally saves her in the end but they both get reprimanded by Joe and Barry. Iris reveals that she’s doing all of this so that she won’t end up like her mother. She says she’s not afraid to die but she is afraid that she will leave nothing behind and have had no impact on the world. She has a very human reaction to death. A lot of people are afraid of dying and not being remembered, so Iris’s actions, while a bit insane, were kind of understandable. Her actions and motivation show she does not have a bunch of faith in Barry’s plan. She’s seemed to accept the future Barry saw and has started to plan for it.

The Iris and Wally storyline was the B storyline, but the A storyline this week was about HR, Cisco, and Gypsy. Gypsy comes to bring HR back to Earth-19 because, apparently on Earth-19, inter-dimensional travel is illegal, making him a fugitive. She arrives at STAR labs to take HR in and right off the bat Cisco is attracted to her. Some of Cisco’s advances were funny, but others just felt out of place. They’d be in the middle of a face off and Cisco would flirt with her and sometimes it felt a bit much.

One thing I did enjoy about the Gypsy storyline was the development of HR and Cisco’s relationship. I criticized last week’s episode because of Cisco’s seemingly random 180 where he decided to help HR, even though he does not like him. This episode explained that Cisco is helping HR because of the previous Wells. He wants to help HR in a similar way that they helped him. While HR can be a bit of an annoying character sometimes, I’ve warmed up to him a bit and it’s nice to see that Cisco is as well. We also get to see Cisco using his powers a bit more, getting closer and closer to fully becoming Vibe.

Gypsy says that she can feel he is holding back because of his fear and insecurities. We know that a big thing that scared Cisco when he was coming into his powers last season was becoming like his doppelganger, Reverb, and it seems to still be a fear to this day. Cisco does get over it long enough to defeat gypsy and maybe that was the win he needed to convince him that he can embrace his powers and not become Reverb. We know he does eventually become Vibe because of that vision he had of him and Caitlin fighting so maybe this is where his journey starts.

This is also Julian’s first week officially on the team, and I was right when I predicted that he would add a different type of comedy. He is very blunt and realistic, which I think the team needs, but he also does not have any social skills so he says what pops into his brain, usually meaning well. But he also adds ideas to the team. He did the math and came up with the graph of Barry’s development and improvement and gave Barry the goal he needed to reach to save Iris. This helped Barry realize that he can’t get to that point by May but Wally can, meaning Wally is the one who will have to save Iris. This does make me a bit nervous because the way the Flash goes is that something is going to happen that will prevent Wally from being there that night and I’m REALLY hoping it’s not that Wally loses his powers.

I do think that, as of now, I can throw out my theory of Barry, Wally, Jay and Jesse teaming up together to steal Savitar’s speed, which is a bit depressing because I was really hoping for that. But I’m sure that’s going to happen sometime in the future so I can be patient.


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John Patterson