Flash: Infantino St.


Hey, Barry, I thought you weren’t supposed to time travel any more?

The penultimate episode of Flash for the season is here with “Infantino Street.” Carmine Infantino is a legendary DC Comics writer. Among his many credits is creating the Silver Age version of the Flash, Barry Allen. So it was a really nice nod to Barry’s own creator, although I’m not sure how he’d feel about the street where Iris is supposed to die being named after him.

The episode start with a countdown: 24 Hours Until Iris West Dies. On that cheery note, we bounce between the different characters who are working on things and watching the clock. Tracy Bond and HR are working on her formula and fueling up on coffee. Cisco is at his computer, and gets a text from Felicity that she hasn’t found anything for him (nice touch there), and Joe and Wally are looking at pictures of Iris. Iris herself is in the loft with Barry. She sends him off to hunt for caviar, which I thought at the time was just a distraction. It was, and she starts recording a video message for him once he’s gone.

Later, Barry and Iris are getting dressed when Barry gets an excited call from Cisco, saying he has good news. Barry and Cisco meet with Lyla Diggle, director of ARGUS. They end up meeting outside, Lyla sighting concerns about the building being bugged. Cisco tells her they have found a unique power source they desperately need, and it’s in the ARGUS building. Lyla is annoyed that they’ve been spying on her, and then tells them the device is from the Dominator invasion back during the big crossover of all the shows. She also tells them that, with Barry’s record of unintentionally changing history and other such mistakes, she’s not giving the device to them. Barry, desperate, tells her about Iris’ impending death. Lyla feels badly, but won’t change her mind and tells them to find another way. Boy, do they take that advice to heart.

Barry tells the STAR team what’s going on, and that Lyla won’t cooperate. I salute both the writers and the characters that they don’t try to get to John Diggle to appeal to her. Barry talks about going in to steal the device, which is when Cisco points out all the security systems, including a series of power dampers that negate all meta-human powers. So, no phasing through the walls and just grabbing the gizmo. They wonder about hiding Iris somewhere, and Barry says there’s nowhere Savitar wouldn’t find her. Desperate, Barry decides on a new course of action.

Cut to, 1892 Siberia. Can’t use powers and need to steal something? In Barry’s world, that means one man: Leonard Snart, A.K.A. Captain Cold. Barry catches up with him away from the other Legends, before his death in their timeline (time travel is confusing). Cold demands to know why Barry needs his particular help, and Barry finally tells him. “True love? That’s your pitch?” asks the ever-sardonic Captain. He tells Barry there’s one condition: work by his rules.

At STAR, HR spins a very outlandish plan based on movies more than possibility. Then Barry comes in, Captain Cold in tow, and surprises everyone. Snart goes down to the lab to get what he needs, while Barry tries to explain what’s going on to everyone. He promises to put Cold back where he got him after all this is over.

Savitar is tinkering with his armor wherever the big hideout is. Killer Frost struts in, impressed with the armor. She questions Savitar’s willingness to kill Iris, since Savitar is a version of Barry, after all. He wonders if she’s having second thoughts, and then Savitar gets memory flashes of Barry and the team’s new plan, then laughs it off.

Snart lays out his four rules for every job. 1) Make the plan, 2) execute the plan, 3) expect it go off the rails, and 4) throw away the plan. He makes a joke about not being put at the singles’ table at Barry and Iris’ reception. When HR brings Tracy up the main room and tries to cover her face, because Barry is once again in costume with no mask, Barry tells him not to worry about it. Yep, the CW heroes suck at the secret identity thing. Barry tells Joe and Wally to take Iris someplace far away and not tell him where. Iris warns Barry to not lose himself in his big “do whatever it takes” push.

They do find a good place to hide Iris: Harrison Wells’ lab on Earth 2. I admit that should throw off even Savitar. While they go there, Barry keeps glancing at his watch. Snart asks what the countdown is, and Barry tells him it’s how long they have until they lose.

At ARGUS, Lyla flies off to a meeting. Just after she leaves, Lyla brings in Captain Cold as a prisoner. The somewhat confused guard walks her through the security check in, which she really should know, and then part of the “go off the rails” kicks in when there’s a password and counter-phrase they didn’t know about. Lyla vaults over the security counter and drops all the guards. Finally, she straightens up and turns off the image projector HR has used in the past, back before they apparently forgot about the issue with him being confused with a murderer. “Lyla” of course was Barry, although I’ve never seen him fight like that before. Inside the building, in theory, Barry isn’t supposed to have his powers, so couldn’t use his speed in the fight. Cold mocks him for being so violent at his age.

There’s a much slower, more emotional scene over on Earth 2. Joe is cleaning his gun (how he knows he isn’t about to need it, I’m not sure) while Iris watches. They talk about her childhood, each confessing a few things they did wrong, then sing and dance sweetly together. Iris brings the mood down by taking off Barry’s grandmother’s ring and asking Joe to return it to him, just in case.

The Cold/Flash caper continues as they pass by various cells, including Grodd, Cheetah, and Cupid. Barry muses this must be where Waller kept her Suicide Squad. With the way DC’s been cracking down on that, I’m surprised they allowed the reference. Eventually, they find the vault with the power source in it. The vault has a really impressive lock on it that Cisco babbles about being uncrackable, while it takes Cold all of 37 seconds to open it. The lock, it turns out, isn’t really the issue. The huge and angry King Shark behind the door is. I’m not sure how this is working. King Shark registered on Cisco’s metahuman ap when he first appeared, but now he’s apparently fine in the middle of a building that has metahuman dampers all over it. Either King Shark should be reverting to human (or a shark, I suppose), or Barry should have his powers.

Cold and The Flash debate what to do next, and end up going off a plan devised by Cold’s love of Shark Week. Sounds like a sound basis to risk your lives on to me. They drop the temperature in King Shark’s vault, creating a lot of fog, dropping King Shark into a coma, and disabling Cold’s gun. They also get a shot of the King Shark’s fin moving through the fog ala Jaws.

While Tracy and HR rhapsodize about coffee and working together, Cold and Flash get into the vault. Although the Dominator tech looks like a huge thing, Barry just pulls the core out of it, which is apparently good enough. King Shark recovers, and Barry makes it out as the door closes. Cold doesn’t. Barry could just take off, but of course stays to save Snart. He gets the good Captain out, after a joke about Snart putting in a good word for Cisco with his sister, but they get surrounded by ARGUS agents, because once again, Barry is powerless even though King Shark just regrew a hand. Snart’s sister, Lisa, is a villainess who has had an on again, off again thing with Cisco.

Lyla berates Barry for breaking in, and then gives him the device. Barry impressed her by staying to save Snart. At that point, I’d be wondering why she hadn’t just given me the damn thing in the first place. Barry returns Snart to the right time, and Snart shows that occasional sentimental side. He has a decent theory about why he and Barry get along, and then tells him that the Flash should remain a hero.

Savitar ends up capturing Iris after some particularly brilliant trickery on his part. He blows through the resistance of Kid Flash, Harrison Wells, and Joe West. They really seem to have a thing for stabbing speedsters in the legs on this show. HR blames himself, and he has some call to, in my opinion.

After reassuring everyone, Barry Flashes off for his date with destiny. HR looks like he’s about to go do something drastic, and Cisco goes off to fight Killer Frost. Hopefully this goes better than what we learned about in the future. Barry waits on Infantino Street, and then Savitar shows up with Iris and does his villain monologue about how she has to die. Flash surprises him with Tracy’s weapon… and it fails. The episode ends on an ugly note as we hear Iris’ earlier video message. It’d be a fine place for a season finale cliffhanger, but there’s one more episode to go.

What I liked: I always applaud any time they bring back Captain Cold. Wentworth Miller does an amazing job with him. He and Flash working together was great. I liked Cold’s parting words to Barry. Bringing Iris to Earth 2 was a great idea that probably should have worked. Tracy and HR amuse me as a couple. I’m glad Cisco got into costume this episode. I hope he fares better than in the future we saw a bit ago. I liked that they used the Dominator tech as the power source, that was a nice callback to an earlier story.

What I didn’t: Joe cleaning his gun was a weird choice. “Someone is going to try and kill my daughter, let me make it so I can’t use my weapon.” I mentioned the issues with Barry and King Shark’s powers above. I’m not sure when we’re supposed to believe Barry became a master fighter. We’ve never seen him train in that. I get Joe’s gun not working on Savitar’s armor, but I expected better of Harrison’s gadgets.

This episode had some great ideas and some odd fails. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5. What are they doing for a finale?