Flash: Speed of Thought

CIsco is back and he’s not happy.

Last episode ended with the surprising death of Nash Wells, the latest in a long line of Wells who have worked with, and died for, the Flash. Now the rest of the team comes back to honor the fallen and figure out what to do about Mirror Master and their friends and loved ones that are being held captive. It’s safe to say that nothing goes according to plan as Barry gains a new power and it causes a lot of complications. Thankfully, Cisco and Caitlin are back for the “Speed of Thought.”

Things start off at STAR in a memorial hall that’s a new addition. As they put up Nash’s bandolier, we get to see some other relics of the fallen, including XS’ jacket, Captain Cold’s goggles, the Firestorm splicer, and part of Jesse Quick’s costume, as well as Green Arrow’s mask. That one is fitting, as Barry gave it to him back when. Oddly, I didn’t see, or find any online mention of, anything from either Jay Garrick or the Flash of Earth 90, both of whom played major parts in the show’s history. Cisco talks about some special changes he’s made to this area, so even rewritten timelines won’t make them forget the ones they’ve lost. I don’t see how that’s possible, but it’s a nice thought. No one is happy at this somber gathering, but Cisco seems especially dispirited, and Barry makes some odd and ominous comments about his enemies using his feelings against him.

Allegra is alone in the Central City Citizen, being the sole staff member left standing at present, when her moping over Nash gets interrupted by an unexpected message. Cisco and Barry try and find a way into the Mirror-verse, but the Atlantean tech Cisco managed to get proves to be useless. No one brings this up, but I can’t help but think, that one thing that probably would work would be Cisco’s Vibe powers. Still think giving those up was a good idea? At any rate, as their plotting goes on, Barry suddenly develops a new, and very inconsistently shown, power. Mostly, to start, this seems to be used for comic relief with Cisco. Over at McCulloch Technologies, Eva is obsessively rewatching the footage of her own death. She gets interrupted by the assassin Sunshine, reporting in on what she and the others have been up to. Eva asks some weird questions. You know you’re doing well when you manage to make an ex-soldier turned superpowered assassin look at you funny.

Allegra, Cisco, and Barry try and figure out exactly what’s going on with the Fastest Man Alive, and their answer really doesn’t seem to fit with what we saw earlier. Cisco decides to test things out with a weird new toy he developed. Barry eventually develops some ideas about what to do next, and makes more comments about enemies taking advantage of his emotions. As Barry comes up with increasingly elaborate schemes, the Mirror-verse prisoners start to meet up to try and find a way home.

Apparently being a homicidal crime boss just isn’t enough for some people, so Eva goes into Mirror Master mode to launch her own attack on another Black Hole facility. She seems intent on destroying the tech her former husband, Joe Carver, was selling to the bad guys. Flash and Cisco watch, and don’t do anything. Flash is wearing a special rig to gather particles from Mirror Master in the latest Rube Goldberg “gizmo to save the day” plan. It looks a lot like the device he wore the first time he accidentally met Supergirl. At any rate, Frost shows up, called in by Cisco and recovered from her wounds, and proceeds to distract Eva so Barry can literally run rings around her. The fight takes an odd turn, and Cisco is very unhappy at Barry’s choices. Back at STAR, Barry helps fix what he let happen, but it’s apparent to everyone he’s not acting right. Personally, I think it’s a fallacy that the smarter you are, the less emotion you have, but the writers on this show have bought into that time and again. I think they’re channeling Mr. Spock too much.

Allegra and Cecile have a scene about grief, inspiration, and carrying on the memory of those they’ve lost. Eva gives an interview about her big plans for McCulloch Technologies while Barry shares what he’s learned about their foe. The others are surprised, and then move on to shocked as Barry does something utterly cold-blooded to rattle Mirror Master. As the team argues with Barry over his tactics, Eva has a little breakdown, which is not what you want from a high-powered, already unstable supervillain. Using the mobile Gideon device from last week, Barry does some checking on the latest plan, displays his new power again, and decides to do something ruthless.

Things are not going well in the Mirror-verse, as first Singh then Kamilla develop the dreaded Plot Point Disease, with Manifest as Needed timing. While Iris tries to help her friends, Cisco stages an intervention with the increasingly out of control Flash. It goes about as well as you’d expect on a superhero show, although we do get a good fight scene and Frost does some really cool stuff. Allegra has picked up some new toys, too, but unfortunately Barry has already appropriated a gadget from earlier.

Things go from bad to worse, and Barry moves ahead with his own plan. As Cisco predicted, Barry’s new talent is far from perfect, and he meets unexpected resistance. After a struggle, the episode ends with a sort of victory, but at a price that’s going to have ramifications for a while. Surprised by his own actions, Barry does something rash. I’m sure there were a lot of better ways to go, and I’m very worried my least favorite plot from back just after Flashpoint is going to return. Elsewhere, we see that Eva has really lost it, and she starts a new plan in motion that’s going to turn ugly quickly. The very last scene goes all the way back to before the show actually began, and offered a hint of things to come.

What I liked: The memorial scene was a nice touch, and I’m glad they are honoring their various fallen. Allegra’s way of taking up Nash’s mantle was well done. It was nice seeing Barry without the ongoing power problem, at least briefly. Frost got a great scene that I think they did a fantastic job on. It was nice seeing both Cisco and Frost back.

What I didn’t: The vast majority of the episode left me thinking, “Wait, haven’t I seen this before?” It seemed like a few new tweaks on old ideas, and the team as a whole arguably lost ground. Cisco’s new gizmo made very little sense and seemed to really be a Toy Ex Machina. I don’t think his idea to make sure the fallen are preserved from changing timelines would work, even in comic book science land. We seem to be back on rotating cast plan, as Cisco and Frost’s return have pushed Chester off-screen. Barry’s new talent was shown in a really inconsistent manner. Joe, once again, was in barely half a scene. Maybe he’s off taking care of his and Cecile’s kid that they seem to have forgotten about on screen?

They could have done a lot with this episode, but I think they failed to live up to it for the most part. I’m giving this a 2 out of 5. C’mon, guys, you can do better than this. We’ve seen it.