FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 3×11 – “Dead or Alive”

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The Flash (3×11) – “Dead
or Alive”
Written by:         Zack Stentz
Story by:              Benjamin Raab & Deric A Hughes
Directed by:       Harry
right in this week. After a pretty meaningless dream sequence from HR Wells we
open with Barry and Wally chasing down some gun runners.  It looks like the speedsters are working well
together and Barry even lets Wally take a bow (and a selfie) with the high
school cheerleaders they save before he leaves behind a flaming lightning bolt.  Bad call Barry, the flaming logo is a
DareDevil thing that’s gimmick infringement and he’s a lawyer.
Back at STAR
Labs, new teammate Julian has been watching and he’s not all that impressed and
once Iris finds out she too is less than impressed but she sets it aside for
her story.  She was hoping Barry’s gun
runners were connected to an arms merchant she’s been tracking down for a
story.  Barry doesn’t have answers for
her so she heads off.
This just
reminds him that Iris is on the clock and he needs to figure out a way to
re-write the future.  Cisco and Caitlin
have been playing with legos reconstructing the scene and have determined
that Barry has to be fast enough to cover the distance between him and Savitar
in less than a quarter of a second and Julian has some bad news on that since
it would not only faster than he’s ever been but it would also blow his
improvement curve out of the water to get there.  Barry’s not only not fast enough now, he’s
not going to be fast enough in the future.
I kinda get
the feeling they’re overlooking something…
Meanwhile at
Jitters after closing (Did you notice how Jitters is never open anymore?) and a
breach opens up and spits out… Someone evil no doubt, oh it’s the woman from
last week!  She tears up the place and
finds a coin that HR left behind before the cops shop and she beats their asses
before leaving through a breach.
Joe and
Barry check out the scene in the morning and take the time to worry about
Iris.  Between Joe’s worrying about Iris
chasing down an arms dealer and Barry (secret) worry about Iris dying they have
a lot of worrying to do.
Back at STAR
Labs, Cisco, Caitlin and HR are trying to research our interdimensional
traveling lady when she shows up and reveals that she’s a bounty hunter…  (Hang on, I have to take time out to address
my allergic reaction to any time a bounty hunter is in a story.)
(Leave me
alone! It’s a medical condition!) called Gypsy and she’s after HR.  Cisco is smitten and it causes her to get the
jump on him.  Wally tries to make the
save Gypsy has a plan for that too.  She
explains that she’s after HR for jumping dimensions illegal and he has an hour
to pack up his things and come with her to face the headsman’s axe.
The rest of
the team debates what they can do and what they should do considering the last
time Barry saw the future HR was there and Barry decides to go see Iris to
clear his head.  That doesn’t help since
Barry wants Iris to stop chasing down her story.  Seriously, Barry? You thought that was ever
going to work?  You need to go talk to
Not that

Not him
There we go.
Iris immediately
heads to STAR Labs and enlists Wally’s help. 
Meanwhile, Barry, Cisco and HR have what could be their last
discussion.  Cisco asks the question
everyone’s been asking themselves.  Why
would risk death to come to Earth One? 
Well, much like anyone that was profoundly unhappy with their life, he
came to reinvent himself.  We’ll come
back to this later.
Anyway, the
hour is up and it’s time for HR to meet his maker but Cisco isn’t having it and
challenges Gypsy to trial by combat. 
Which, as if you couldn’t guess, is to the death.  Not a good plan, Cisco.  So, now they have twenty-four hours to
prepare for Cisco to meet the Lord fight Gypsy.  It’s time for some classic Team-Flash powers
training with montages and cool eighties music and motivation revealing pep-talks…
At the
Police Station, Iris has convinced Wally to help her investigation by stealing
evidence from Joe… Boy the things Big Sisters do to haze their baby brothers,
huh?  I can relate because my little
sister used to make our baby brother eat playdough. This is basically the same.
Back at STAR
Labs, the training isn’t going well so HR enlists Barry to go with him to stop
Gypsy themselves.  That works as well as
any plan does late in Act Two and Gypsy takes HR as a hostage to make sure
Cisco comes to die.  So Cisco and Barry
have a heart to heart but instead of a Dr. House moment we have a Julian
moment.  Julian has a helpful tip, see
Gypsy has to leave her feet to do her power move which gives Cisco an opening.
Across town,
Iris and Wally breaking into the arms dealer’s hideout and Iris shows that she
has something of a death wish.  She’s
decided since she knows she’s going to make it at least to May that she’s going
to take advantage of her plot armor and get leave behind a legacy.  She and Wally save the day but it’ll be fine;
Joe’s totally understanding and is Wally’s biggest cheerleader.  Except he’s pretty much not and they not only
wrecked a major police investigation but worse could have gotten themselves a
bad case of dead.
When Wally
reveals that Iris was basically trying to get herself shot Barry recognizes
what’s going on and tries to talk Iris out of suicide by proxy because Iris
already has a legacy to the people that love her including him.  There you go, B-plot resolved time for Vibe
vs Gypsy.  They have a really cool flirt/fight
scene across the multi-verse (featuring a micro-crossover with Supergirl)
before she pulls her power move and Cisco gets to take her down.
So, what
happens now?  Well, Gypsy goes home and
tells her bosses that HR is dead, which means HR can never go back.  Cisco and Gypsy have one last flirty moment
before she goes home and Barry goes back to the apartment to read Iris’ big
It’s also
time for the Dr. House moment of the week since Barry finally realized what was
missing from the night Iris dies.  Wally
is Barry’s ace in the hole.
episode, the plot didn’t move but the characters did.  Iris is teetering on some sort of destructive
spiral, Julian’s trying to find his place on the team and Barry’s frustrated
with his seeming helplessness.  More
importantly, this gave us a good look at HR which was welcome.  Tom Cavanagh continues to impress with his
ability to recreate Harrison Wells for the third time (Eobard Wells,
E1-Harrison Wells, E2-Harry Wells and now HR) and make each of them charming and enjoyable. 
Still, he
risked death to come to Earth One because he was unhappy with his life?  I wouldn’t be so sure about that.  I still think there’s a bigger reason HR came
to Earth One and I still think it’s linked to helping Barry to defeat
Savitar.  If for no other reason that
this show has shown two defining characteristics about any Harrison Wells:
hiding some big secret and has a link to that season’s villain.
As for
Gypsy, the only other thing I have to say about her beyond “pretty good for a one-shot
antagonist” is “We all know the punchline, right?”  Gypsy is going to end up being the gender-bent
Cisco from Earth-19.
This week
was good for what it was for, to let the characters catch their breath.  I’ll be interested to see what happens next
time with “Untouchable.”
Things We Learned
This Week:
Interdimensional travel is forbidden on Earth-19.
Wally looks to be overtaking Barry with his
HR is forbidden to return to Earth-19.
Three Questions:
Will there be any importance to the humans that
tried to conquer Earth-19?
How’s Joe going to react when (we all know it’s
when) he learns what’s going to happen to Iris?
Can Wally get enough speed to outrun Savitar and
if so, what would that mean?
Just another guy on the internet.