Episode 112 “Crazy for You”
[Photos: The CW]
One more step closer to the appearance of Vibe. Grant Gustin gets to use his Glee chops. Martin Stein makes an appearance. And a new villain Peek-A-Boo gets to bounce around a bit.
The Peek-a-Boo plot — Shawna Baez with teleportation powers — serves more of a functionary piece of the hour, giving Barry something to do when he’s not pining away after Iris, or singing karaoke with Caitlin (who’s pulling a Felicity and overdressing a bit?), or having a couple of really nice bits with his dad (get to that in a minute).
Ultimately, this is a second part to last week’s episode, with Pied Piper convincing Cisco to let him out in the hopes of finding Ronnie Raymond. Cisco’s goal, of course, is to help Ronnie and by extension help Caitlin. In the course of Rathaway’s escape, we get clues about Martin Stein’s project and where he was the night of the explosion.
The bomb shadow on the wall is Cisco’s first clue, and looking at the security camera footage, he sees what’s left of Ronnie merge with Stein in a flow of particle accelerator backwash. Now the two are some new kind of being — with Stein controlling Ronnie’s body? That’s what Cisco figures, except that’s not exactly how it’s always worked in the comics. I expect we’ll get more in next week’s episode.
This week also gives us some of Cisco’s progression into his Vibe persona, as he’s come up with some tech to counter Pied Piper’s sound blaster. It’s a decent fight scene outside S.T.A.R. Labs, and it shows us Cisco’s made of sterner stuff than he demonstrates in the lab. He can hold his own, and he can come up with innovative ways to deal with super-villains. Too bad he’s just getting started at it, and Rathaway manages to escape.
Not so for Peek-a-Boo, who starts the hour breaking her boyfriend out of Iron Heights, which gives Henry Allen a way to feel like he matters. Poking his nose around inside, he finds out that the boyfriend — Clay Parker — owed a lot of money to Marcus Stockheimer from an armored car heist gone bad. Parker and Peek-a-Boo are using her new power to steal enough to pay off the debt. Only Stockheimer figures he’s got a new tool in his bag, and doesn’t want to let them go.
Fortunately, that’s when Central City PD arrive for a shootout, from which our erstwhile Bonnie & Clyde manage to escape.
Ultimately, Team Flash figures out that Peek-a-Boo’s powers only work when there’s enough light for her to see where she’s going, so the capture is a bit anticlimactic, even though it is inevitable.
This episode mainly serves to move us forward into next week’s Firestorm reveal. Caitlin will be emotionally vulnerable after deciding this week to put her loss behind her and move on with her life, only to have Ronnie back. Cisco’s motivation for releasing Rathaway — only to have him escape — also comes back to Ronnie, and while it may not be a sticking point with Caitlin, it will give Cisco another opportunity to over-correct for his error, and that should take us one step further to the arrival of Vibe.
Bonus bits: Caitlin and Barry singing karaoke, followed by Caitlin’s massive hangover, gives us the comedy relief this week. Plus, there’s the re-introduction of Linda Park, who’s been recast and rewritten as one of Iris’ co-workers instead of the news reporter we saw at the beginning of the season. The love triangle is now complete. Only I’m a bit irritated that the show has introduced Park as a love interest for Barry, because in the comics she’s Wally West’s girlfriend, and eventually the two marry and have kids.
Speaking of Wally, I’m wondering if the show’s ever going to get around to introducing Iris’ brother. She’s got to have one, if Wally is to be Barry’s nephew. He can’t just pop up out of nowhere. Or be adopted. Or something.
And Grodd. Looks. Fantastic. Done just right — CG hidden by shadows. Savage. Clearly intelligent enough, but no hint as to how far he’s progressed toward full genius level intelligence. This is going to be so much fun.
And the best scene of the night: John Wesley Shipp passing the torch to Grant Gustin. The bit in the prison infirmary, where Henry basically tells Barry he knows without coming out and saying it, is a great scene between these two. Not only does it have a little meta meaning because it’s between two actors who have played The Flash, but it’s also emotionally rendered so well. It really feels like these two have a connection, and it plays well on several levels.
Henry’s snooping inside the prison will probably also serve as the entry point for an encounter with the Trickster, thus giving us one more alumni from the original show in Mark Hamill. Now, if we can only get that scene revealing that “Henry Allen” is really a cover name for Jay Garrick, the original Flash, then we’ll have come full circle to The Flash of 1990…