Last episode, Team Flash got dealt a few surprises. In Central City, Team Flash clashed with a new and deadly meta whose power they were having trouble figuring out, let alone containing or combating. Out in Coast City, Sue Dearbon and Iris had a new meta to find and try and make contact with, as well as dealing with the complications of Iris’ “time sickness.” Now both plots move forward and we get a few new surprising discoveries in “Reckless.” That seems like more of a Legends title than a Flash one, but I get where it’s coming from.
Deon stopped by to close last episode, and that’s where we pick up, as he delivers some bad news to Iris. For whatever reason, she decides the best way to tell Barry there’s something wrong is to use the emergency alarm. You know, the one that says “Hey, I’m in danger, help me!” Also bizarrely, Barry shows up to the emergency summons in civilian clothes. You’d think he’d have worn his costume, but he seems to avoid that the entire episode. Maybe it’s at the cleaners? For reasons that didn’t make a lot of sense to me, Deon, Iris, and Barry decide it’s best if Iris stays in Coast City, and Deon leaves to do some more research, promising updates as he finds out more. After a bit more conversation, Barry goes back to Central City, again making my point from last episode that the video call wasn’t necessary with his speed.
Back in Central, Frost continues her artistic endeavors. I’m glad they’ve had her keep up with that; it’s a nice bit of character development, although I do miss the sort of Janis Joplin look she was rocking at one point. Her art gets interrupted by an unwelcome intruder, leaving her bewildered and lightly injured. The rest of the Central City group meets at the Central City Citizen and tries to figure out the victim pattern, if there is one. They come up with a lot of theories that don’t manage to cover all the victims. While Joe and Cecile go off to review case files, Barry responds to an alarm at STAR.
Two questions about that scene: 1st, why are a retired captain and a defense attorney being given access to police files? I know Kramer’s part of the team now, but even she is going to need a reason for allowing these two access. 2nd, we keep seeing all these exterior shots of STAR Labs. This small handful of people are all that work there? The place is huge. They must have janitors or something. And who keep stocking the lounge with drinks and such?
The alarm was set off by Frost, who is scrounging around in the medlab looking for bandages for her wound from earlier. She tells Barry what happened as he treats her, and he seems a lot more worried about it than she is. The two definitely have different takeaways from the attack. While Barry goes off to search for clues, Frost drops in on Carla Tannhauser, cryogenic expert and Caitlin’s mother. Frost’s too, depending on how you look at it. Tannhauser is intrigued by the new meta and worried for Frost, and then gets completely surprised by Frost’s next request.
Returning to STAR Labs, Frost explains her plan, and Barry instantly objects. One thing Barry has been consistently bad about is, while he’s more than willing to risk his own life time and again to save the city and the people, he’s not happy about others doing in, and Frost’s plan does have an element of risk to it. After a lot of discussion about risk, and a roughly equal amount of techno-babble, the plan gets fleshed out, although Barry is still not happy about it. Frost, on the other hand, is thrilled. During the setup, Carla is impressed by Chester and makes an interesting offer. They put all the pieces in place and try to attract and capture the black flame meta. They get half of it right, things go off the rails, and Frost gets pretty banged up. Also, oddly, despite the fact that they are summoning what they’ve all agreed is some kind of deadly bad guy, Barry is still wearing his sweater and khakis. Wouldn’t the Flash costume be more appropriate for any number of reasons?
In the aftermath of the plan gone wrong, Caitlin has returned from her trip with boyfriend Mark, and is not happy about the risks Frost is taking. Caitlin clears the room and lectures both Frost and her mother about what they’re doing, and no one is happy about the situation. While tempers flare at STAR, Iris, Sue, and Tinya go to the orphanage that handled Tinya’s adoption. Initially they run into a lot of red tape, but Sue uses her “I’m rich!” power to get them what they need. The receptionist, rattled, gets a drink, and then comes back to a big surprise that shows us there is clearly something weird going on here. Tinya is having a lot of doubts about actually finding her mother, and Iris gives her a reassuring talk, drawing on her own odd background with her mother.
Joe stops looking at files for long enough to give Barry another fatherly talk full of wisdom, calling Barry on some of his behavior this episode. From father and son to mother and daughter, we go to Carla having a chat with Frost. It seems to be one of the first times Carla and Frost have really talked, which sort of makes sense when you remember Frost used to be an alternate personality of Caitlin’s, and their separating was never really well explained. Eventually there’s a weird reveal that’s just a step up from deus ex machina, and then Caitlin joins the conversation and they agree on a new plan. Treadling lightly because of spoilers, I’ll say that one of the things they decide they need could have been handled by Mark Blaine, Frost’s boyfriend who is inexplicably not only absent but never even mentioned this episode.
The team sets up for another run at capturing Black Flame Dude, this time upping the ante. It almost works, but not quite. Things get risky and Frost actually comes down on the side of caution this time. There are some touching sentiments, but the end result is Black Flame Dude gets away yet again. They’re really not doing well with this. Later, Frost, Caitlin, and Carla go back to Caitlin and Frost’s place and have a nice chat.
The few wrap-up scenes are full of surprises. Tinya’s reunion with her mother goes more or less all right, and then things get weird. Iris’ condition flares up again, and has a very unexpected result. I really wonder if my initial theory about Tinya is right, given what happened. That big emotional scene is followed by Caitlin getting a surprise visitor. She’s shocked by what she hears, and we may finally know who Black Flame Dude really is. It’s a big twist that certainly no one on Team Flash saw coming and it’s going to make things even more complicated next episode.
What I liked: It was nice seeing some focus on Frost, and her odd situation with Carla. Frost’s commitment to saving people really isn’t that different from Barry, it’s just not her show. Joe provides warmth and wisdom without being overbearing or condescending, which is a hard line to walk but he does it well. Sue steals about every scene she’s in, and I’d like to see more of her. I’m intrigued by the story with Tinya, knowing what I do of the character she’s based on.
What I didn’t: Where’s Mark in all this? Not that we need “Frost’s boyfriend” for that purpose, but he could have actually helped with what’s going on. Why does Barry seem to be averse to putting on his costume suddenly, especially at the times when he really should have been wearing it? Why, exactly, did Iris need to stay in Coast City? Carla’s reveal was awfully conveniently timed. Barry needs to get over his attitude about other people taking risks.
It was a decent episode, but had a few weak points. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5. It’ll be interesting to see how they deal with the two big developments at the end of the episode.