Friday, May 19, 2017

THE FLASH Season 3 Episode 22 Review: One Last Heist

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As per the tradition for the series, THE FLASH spent the penultimate episode of the season distracting us with one last fun side story to give us time to breathe before the main plot kicks into high gear next week. Lately the show has struggled to maintain the balance between doing cool one-offs while still paying attention to the overall storyline, but this episode proved these tangential adventures can still be done and done well, giving us great humor and character insight. 

And it certainly helps when you’ve got a set-up as cool as this episode had: Captain Cold not only made his return, he teamed up with Barry to pull off a heist on a top secret government base. Add in King Shark acting as a rabid pseudo bodyguard and you’ve got a recipe for a truly enjoyable hour of television. We’ve had a few flashbacks and hallucinations, but this is the first time Snart has had a proper appearance all season — with the added twist that the Leonard Snart we see in this episode is actual extracted via time travel from the middle of the first LEGENDS OF TOMORROW season. As fans of that show know, Captain Cold was able to thaw his heart bit by bit through his time with the Legends, so that when he and Barry team up this time they do so as fellow heroes rather than adversaries. The classic Barry and Snart banter is there, but it’s softer and more light-hearted than before. 

It’s unclear at this point if Snart will have much of a role on the show going forward given his character’s ultimate fate and the demand of other DC shows, but it was nice to see Barry at least get closure on his relationship with Snart, who showed he was the hero Barry always thought he could be. Their status as tentative frenemies was sadly never really explored that much before Captain Cold was shipped to his spinoff, and even now you can see the seeds of a dynamic that could have been explored for seasons. Alas. 

The episode predictably ended with a major cliffhanger, as it looks like Barry’s terrible vision has finally come to pass. While Iris’s is almost certainly not actually dead (there are several scenes with her from the other week’s trailer that we haven’t seen yet, for one thing), seeing her get stabbed to death was still an emotional gut-punch. Having a video of Iris reciting her wedding vows to Barry play over her murder could have easily felt cheesy or overblown, but Candice Patton really sold it with her genuine delivery; the same must be said for Joe singing to Iris in their final moments together; Jesse L Martin sang for all of twenty seconds, and it was still enough to make you grab for the tissues. 

There’s quite a few loose ends to wrap up before the end of the season, with the most pressing one being how exactly the team will find a way to take down Savitar. I’m actually guessing that HR, despite mostly sticking to the sidelines for the majority of this season, will end up being playing a key role in the finale. The show really hammered home this week his fervent desire to redeem himself for putting Iris in danger, and it certainly seems a little convenient that they reintroduced the idea of HR having the technology to switch faces with someone in this episode. I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out that HR ended up taking Iris’s place using his disguise before Savitar struck his fatal blow. 

But considering Barry specially requested that his teammates not fill him in on the plan, lest Savitar get those memories as well, it seems almost guaranteed that there’s some form of purposeful misdirection going on in that final scene. The question now is how long it will take Barry (and by extension, Savitar) to realize that, and whether his ignorance will be helpful or hurtful in the long run.

Written by Kaitlin Roberts, THE FLASH Beat Writer -- Click to read Kaitlin's posts


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