Flash: Girls’ Night Out

girlsnight

I think Ive been to this party…

Barry and Iris’ wedding is creeping closer, and on any tv show that means it’s about time for some kind of disastrous and/or humorous bachelor/bachelorette party. The title “Girls’ Night Out” should give you an idea about what they’re going to be focusing on, although we see a bit of both sides. It’s also an excuse for a guest star or two, and a new introductory voiceover.

The show opens at STAR, where Ralph is showing off his new powers, acting like a kid that wants attention, while Barry, Cisco, and Wells are focusing on finding DeVoe, or at least figuring out which one of the many people by that name they should be focusing on. In the midst of this, Felicity Smoak of Arrow fame wanders in, continuing the running joke of there being no security at STAR Labs. Then again, she should talk, with as many people that have wandered into Team Arrow’s bunker as they have. Felicity is there for Iris’ party, which is a bit odd, as I’ve never noticed those two being particularly close.

Iris is rounding up the people for her night out. It’s scenes like this that show how little we see of most of these characters’ lives. You’d think they all have friends of some sort, but Iris’ group is her, Cecile (her future step mother), Felicity (who’s more Barry’s friend), and Caitlin, who is very much a “work friend.” I’m taking this as proof that Iris has quit her reporter job, since she doesn’t seem to have anyone else at all in her life. When she finds Caitlin, Caitlin at first tries to get out of going, but eventually agrees. What Iris didn’t see was that Caitlin had a reservation on a flight out of town that night on Ferris Air (another nod to the Green Lantern).

At the West house, Cecile is talking to daughter Joanie, back for another guest shot. Iris invites Joanie along for the night out, but she declines, saying she’s busy. The guys get there for Barry’s party, which Cisco has put together with a lot of effort and care. Cisco’s plans for a quiet night in of brandy and a “This Is Your Life” kind of movie get derailed, first by Wells not serving the brandy right and then by Ralph arriving and pretty much dragging them all off for a more adventurous night out. Personally, I’d avoid anything this version of Ralph thought was a good idea.

The women are out at dinner, chatting and having fun. They toast Mrs. West-Allen, and tease Felicity about getting married. She reminds them last time she and Oliver tried something like that, she got shot. Caitlin rescues the pregnant Cecile from her champagne dilemma by drinking it for her. The party gets interrupted when a shady looking guy comes up to their table. Felicity thinks it’s a stripper at first, but he proves to be a meta with a really grotesque power. The women don’t do well trying to fight him off until Caitlin gets pushed too far and shifts to Killer Frost. Frost easily blasts the thug out the window, mocks Caitlin’s clothing choices, and leaves, taking the champagne bottle.

To no surprise at all, Ralph has brought the guys to a strip club. Barry makes the joke that this isn’t his speed. All the dancers know Ralph by name, which is also not a surprise. As the guys settle in for drinks, Cisco has a special vial of the concoction they’ve used before to let Barry get drunk. Cisco even volunteers that, if a metahuman emergency comes up, he’ll be the designated superhero, which I think was a nice touch. There’s apparently some weird rule at this club, so the bouncer takes everyone’s phones, just as the women start calling for backup.

Not getting any help from the men, the ladies go back to Caitlin’s place and see more than they expected as Frost changes to an outfit more to her liking. She also tells them about Caitlin’s plan to run off, since she got in over her head with something. There’s some debate about what to do next, but Iris declares she won’t abandon one of her team.

The guys’ night is going downhill fast. While Cisco worries, a drunken Barry tells everyone he’s the Flash, which fortunately no one believes. Ralph, on the other hand, is using his powers to steal from other customers. Again, I hate what they did to this version of Ralph. He’s acting more like Plastic Man at his worst, not Ralph at all. Then a new dancer comes on stage, and that brings a lot more complications.

Frost has decided to handle things her way, i.e. kill the source of her problems. She goes to a nasty looking club, powers her way through some of the staff, and confronts the boss: Amunet Black A.K.A. Blacksmith, a Wally West era minor bad guy played very entertainingly by Katie Sackhoff, of Battlestar Galactica and Longmire fame. They argue, and Iris, who followed Frost along with Felicity, manages to talk them down from a full-scale fight. The club is also where a new, weird, glowing drug is being distributed. The women have a post-club conference, giving some of Blacksmith’s background and revealing what both Caitlin and Frost have been up to without telling the others.

While the guys’ night mostly devolves to babysitting drunk Barry, the women plan what to do next. Frost had a meeting set up with someone who has Cisco-like powers to get her to another Earth, away from Blacksmith. Iris argues that there’s good in Killer Frost, just like there’s some bad in Caitlin. Iris also offers an interesting observation about the villain and scientist.

The guys get into more trouble, mostly from Ralph’s slimy behavior, not helped by drunk Barry. Frost’s meeting doesn’t go as expected, when Blacksmith shows up and they get into a major meta-human fight. Blacksmith shows she’s a formidable foe and beats Killer Frost into the ground. When the police show up, Blacksmith gets out a great line before killing them and promising Frost, “Kill you later, Caitie.”

Back at STAR, Iris helps stitch up the wounded Caitlin, who needs to get filled in on what happened. Caitlin doesn’t remember much of what happens when Killer Frost is driving. Iris offers to help, and Caitlin responds they’re work friends, not friends. Iris looks a bit taken aback but agrees.

The guys’ night ended about where you’d expect, in the holding cells of the CCPD. Joe finally confesses to Barry what he’s been stressing about. Barry, trying to fight through a meta-human level hangover, offers what reassurance he can. Wells, looking both bored and annoyed, shows up and says he’ll take those three (Joe, Barry, Cisco) and then adds Ralph when he protests.

The ladies’ half of the night go back to STAR and start trying to figure out what their next step is. Apparently, Blacksmith’s power revolves around a unique nickle/aluminum alloy which, of course, Felicity can trace with STAR’s satellites. They trace Blacksmith to a steel mill (at least it’s not an abandoned warehouse), where she’s meeting another crime boss to cut a deal regarding the source of the new drug we saw at the club. Felicity and Iris try to intervene with weapons they took from STAR, but they get caught before they can do anything. This is the second time in the last few weeks someone has had Captain Cold’s gun and been stopped before getting off a shot. Iris and Felicity get rescued when Killer Frost unexpectedly shows up to help. Cecile is playing Felicity’s usual role of tech backup, and neutralizes Blacksmith’s powers. The whole thing ends with a ridiculous stalemate when Blacksmith is allowed to escape and Frost is persuaded not to kill her.

Somewhat the worse for wear, the guys get back to STAR just after the girls. A dispirited Cisco moans that the night could not have gone worse, then sees Killer Frost. In what might be the best reaction of the night, he just looks at her and then says, “I’m so tired. Could we do this tomorrow please?” He’s stunned when he learns the icy meta is under control.

The wrap up scenes deal with Joe trying to come to terms with the new complications in his life, Iris and Caitlin making strides towards a real friendship, and the Thinker collecting another meta. The Thinker is great at lurking in the shadows, and being a looming presence.

What I liked: Katie Sackhoff was great as Blacksmith. I always like seeing Felicity, even if her appearance here didn’t make a ton of sense. The new developments in the Killer Frost/Caitlin balance were interesting.

What I didn’t: I really am not liking this version of Ralph at all. Drunk Barry was just low comedy. I don’t get why they decided the best thing to do was let Blacksmith go. Joanie’s subplot seemed to be utterly random and pointless.

It was an odd episode. I’ll go a straight 3 out of 5, mostly for Katie Sackhoff being so damned entertaining. This was one of two of the CW/DC shows this week where the title character never shows up (yes, we see Barry, but never suited up as Flash).

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