It says something in the confidence a show has in their ensemble when the main character takes off for an episode and lets the various supporting characters take center stage. This has happened a few times on Flash now, and they pull it off pretty well. In “Rayo de Luz” we get to see a follow-up on an old storyline, a character gaining better control of their gifts, and some work on a mystery. We also get some screen time for a support character who I’m enjoying more and more.
The episode starts with Ultraviolet, the light-powered assassin we’ve seen several times, beating on Allegra, who is really not doing well in the fight. Allegra begs, Ultraviolet looks like she’s about to finish her cousin off, and then we get the title for “12 Hours Earlier.” Seeing the fight, I had guessed 48 hours, so I was off by a bit. At STAR, Barry and Iris are taking off for a holiday someplace secluded with no cell reception, removing the titular character and most powerful hero from the lineup. After an awkward flashback, Chester encourages them to go, and we see that Frost seems to be the one in charge now. Odd choice, but I guess she has the most time on the team. Chester makes a suggestion on what to do with the evening, but Frost begs off for shopping and Allegra gets a hit about where her missing cousin/meta-assassin might be.
Joe is continuing his digging into Kramer’s background, and plays a recording he’s obtained for Cecile. They discuss what to do next, and the writers show they have no idea how a major city’s police department actually works. Allegra and Chester meet at Jitters, and, after an awkward nerd joke that really didn’t need to happen, Allegra shows Chester how she’s been working on tracking Ultraviolet. We get a few shoutouts for various DC Comics cities and then their planning is interrupted by Ultraviolet herself showing up. The assassin wrecks the place, makes some threats, injures Chester, and then gets fought off by the unexpected arrival of Sue Dearbon. Sue, despite having no powers, does amazingly well against the assassin, who flees via what seems to be a new teleportation power.
As Chester gets tended to by Caitlin, who seems to have been demoted to medic lately, Sue questions Allegra’s choice in going after someone so dangerous. Allegra points out they were planning on bringing in the team but Ultraviolet found them first, then outlines what she wants to do. Again, Sue thinks Allegra is nuts for even considering this plan, but, as is pointed out, it’s very much in keeping with the spirit of Team Flash. Sue reluctantly agrees to go along, but gives some dire warnings. They plot out their next moves, Sue shows off a toy that sounds like it has some interesting history, and Allegra gives Chester some advice, citing something about him I’m not sure we knew. Frost, the notional leader in Barry and Iris’ absence, is nowhere to be seen.
Sue and Allegra (we need some codenames here) find Ultraviolet and confront her as she is apparently randomly attacking a clinic. Their plan goes off flawlessly, which pretty much always means something is wrong. Sure enough, Ultraviolet makes some interesting claims that leave Allegra in doubt about capturing her. Secured in the Pipeline (which we haven’t seen for a while), Ultraviolet explains her actions, leaving Allegra wondering and Sue doubtful. Finally, Allegra decides she’s going to help Ultraviolet, and Sue is clearly wondering when this will all go to hell. Exactly why they are believing this story, I’m not sure, as there doesn’t seem to be much proof to go along with it. Joe drops in on Kramer at CCPD and tries to discuss what he’s found with her. she responds to his mature and rational approach with shouts and yelling at him to get out of her office. Have I mentioned I don’t much like her?
Down in one of STAR’s basements workshop areas, Ultraviolet is training Allegra in the use of her power, because it’s very important to have as much firepower as possible when hunting down a guy with no meta-abilities, high-tech weapons… I’m not even sure he has a gun. The training goes badly, and Ultraviolet gets more and more annoyed at Allegra. This boils over into an argument, Sue tosses off a few caustic comments, and things upgrade to an actual fight. Once again, Chester manages to wander into the line of fire and get blasted. The man’s having a bad night. Unimpressed with the team, Ultraviolet teleports away again. Caitlin patches up Chester again, Allegra feels like it’s all her fault, rambles on a bit, and leaves. But her rambling gives Chester an idea how to track Ultraviolet, and they pull it off. Joe talks out what he’s going to do about Kramer with Cecile, and they try and figure out if they can trust the woman or not. Cecile puts her faith in Joe’s instincts and tells him to trust his heart after he gets a text from Kramer asking for a meet. Both of them seem to have forgotten that Cecile is an empath and could have read Kramer for Joe. Also, the incredible vanishing baby is once again never mentioned, seen, or referred to. I’m not convinced young children have object permanence in the Arrowverse.
Allegra fumes in the STAR lounge, which is where Sue finds her. They argue about family, and then Sue opens up and reveals a few things about her parents and what Black Hole did to them. Allegra comes out of this more determined than ever to try and save Ultraviolet, and gets talked into allowing Chester to help. Ultraviolet, meanwhile, has tracked down her prey, is all set to kill him, and then… doesn’t. For reasons. Allegra gets to the same place later on, and gets past the first wave of guards with some help from Chester. The next wave is tougher, but Sue makes a dramatic (if unlikely) entrance and offers to fight the thugs. As Sue does her dance-fighting, Allegra finds her cousin, but gets another surprise, and the two end up fighting again. In the middle of the fight, Allegra suddenly unlocks new powers and easily beats her cousin, who was always more powerful before this.
In a scene with hints of déjà vu, Caitlin is in the medbay with Ultraviolet. Caitlin and Allegra talk about her new power up, and Caitlin even uses gamer terms for it. Allegra then goes to her cousin and brings some good news about a persistent problem the assassin has had. Joe meets Kramer, and they talk a lot. Joe’s instincts were dead on, and Kramer’s story isn’t quite what it sounded like. By the end of the talk, the two of them agree to work together on yet another off the books project. Sue announces her intent to stick around for a while, then leaves, setting up Allegra and Chester for a really awkward scene. Barry returns, asks some questions, gets obviously lied to, and is fine with it. Iris never makes it on screen this episode barring the earlier flashback. The last scene reveals where Frost has been in all this (honestly, I thought the writers forgot about her). Her mission gets a bit strange, someone we’ve seen before has gone through some changes, and Frost doesn’t know what to make of some news.
What I liked: It’s nice that the showrunners had the confidence to let the secondary (and lower) characters have the spotlight. Barry and Iris’ absence actually made sense instead of being a random lame excuse. Allegra has a lot more heart than it seemed when we first met her. I’m glad the offscreen chaos that led to Hartley Sawyer’s firing didn’t mean we also lost Natalie Dreyfuss/Sue Dearbon, which is what I was expecting. Frost’s scene at the end leaves me wondering what’s coming next there.
What I didn’t: They seem to have forgotten Cecile’s powers, and their baby goes unaccounted for a lot. I really don’t like Kramer, and the new reveals about her haven’t changed that. I’m not sure what the point was of Allegra’s big training session to go after a non-combatant target, aside from a reason for Chester to get hurt again. They really don’t seem to know what to do with Caitlin at this point.
It was an uneven episode. I’m giving it a low 3 out of 5. Hopefully they get back on track next week.