FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 4×02 “Mixed Signals”

The Flash (4×02) – “Mixed
Written by:         Jonathan Butler & Gabriel Garza
Directed by:       Alexandra
La Roche
We open this
week on some idiot buying the most expensive apartment in Central City… because
he can.  You won’t stay rich too long
playing that way guy.  In fact, he’s not
going to stay living much longer either because when he gets in the elevator to
leave it goes all wacky with purple matrix code and he plummets to his
death.  I tried to warn you.
After the
title card, Barry recreates one of the most cliché “iconic” scenes from
the overrated “classic” Tom Cruise film, Risky Business before he makes
breakfast for him and Iris while catching up with the last six month thanks to
some help from Cisco.  After Iris comes
down the two share some small talk and Barry reveals that he’s finished up the
wedding plans before he leaves for the crime scene.
That crime
scene being the death of the idiot from the cold open.  Barry may be a forensic guy but he’s not a
tech guy, so he invited Cisco along to consult. 
Cisco plugs into the elevator and quickly determines that the elevator
was hacked.
Cisco takes
Barry and the code back to STAR Labs to crack the hacker’s code and also, show
off the shiny new Flash suit to Barry and Iris. 
(Wally’s even taken some time from watching the latest episode of Great Teacher Onizuka on Crunchyroll to
check it out.) 

A suit which
he’s apparently Ironman-ed up because now it’s full of the Cisco-tech that
would take a PhD in Star Trek Techno-babble to explain… You know, because when
Barry can run so fast he can do anything he might also need a blaster.
(Here, have
a sarcastically raised eyebrow from Mr. Spock.)
handing Barry the instruction manual 
Cisco leaves. Barry follows suit and sets up a nice tension filled false
premise argument with Iris later because he canceled the training session she
had planned for that evening.  Caitlin
and Iris have some girl talk and she suggests that they get some couple’s therapy.  And speaking of therapy, Gypsy
come to see her gender-bent-doppleganer-boyfriend for some next level
incest.  Unfortunately for her Cisco is
still working on the case so no date.
Across town,
some dude is driving around when his car stereo goes from pop to
deathmetal.  Is someone messing with his
Sirius XM subscription? Nope, he’s got the purple matrix code.  The car comes to a stop in front of our
villain of the week so he can leer menacingly. 
It is a nice leer, but it’s not so much a “I’m going to murder you” look
as a “in connection to an Amber Alert” look, the hoodie was a bad choice.
Not to
worry, Team Flash is on the job!  Make
that just Flash is on the job because it’s one car so he doesn’t really need
Wally’s help for this.  When Barry gets
on the scene Iris suggests he shunts the car down an alley used for runaway
trucks but Barry instead shunts him the opposite way down an equally unused
street, wrong move Barry that street wasn’t in use because it’s under
construction.   (Oh! Central City’s in Michigan!)  So time to think fast Scarlet Speedster!  Barry does what any of us would do, take the
car apart at super speed and put it in the win column.
Back at the
lab they take a look at the purple matrix code and Caitlin thinks it looks more
like DNA than computer code which means our creepy guy is a meta.  The names of our victims reminds Cisco of the
tech magazines he read in high school and he goes off to research.  Meanwhile, Iris thinks they should try couple’s
therapy, in fact she thinks it so strongly she booked them an appointment
without telling Barry.  (Doing all this
stuff behind the other’s back makes me think that my wedding gift for Barry and Iris
will be a printout of all the divorce lawyers in Central City.)
The couple’s
therapy is about what you’d expect. A chance to mock all the drama that’s happened
to Barry and Iris and kind of remind you that them not being complete basket
cases in the first place is a feat all on its own.  Over at the Lab, Cisco and Caitlin are going
through Cisco’s tech magazine (mostly for a second masturbation joke) when they
find a picture of Tim Kwon (the driver) with Kurt Weaver, (elevator guy) Sheila
Agnani (no doubt our next victim) and Creepy McCreep posing for something
called the “Kilg%re” project.
Meanwhile at
the Police Station, Joe is question Tim when in comes the cutest little robot
with the cutest little frag grenade. Adorable! 
Barry arrives on the scene and is able to keep all the shrapnel from
killing anyone (which really goes to show how far Barry’s speed has come.)  Afterwards the team gathers up and put a name
to our creeper, Ramsey Deacon.
But Joe and
Wally can handle that. Everyone else has relationship subplots to resolve!  Time for me to skip ahead because the
Barry/Iris and Cisco/Gypsy stuff is really standard stuff. So, Joe! Wait up!
Joe and
Wally are outside Sheila’s house while she plays video games, (cause that’s
what computer nerds do, I guess) when in comes Tim and he’s really spooked
because of the two murder attempts and thinks that Ramsey is out to get
them.  Tim’s pretty on the ball because
Ramsey is out to kill them and since he has the purple matrix code of death and
Sheila has a high tech insulin monitor he uses that to kill her before
abducting Tim.
Wally’s able
to save her but the damage is done.
So, now Tim’s
running out of time running out of time so it’s the perfect time for Cisco,
Barry and Iris to be completely preoccupied with their own bullshit.  Cisco confront Gypsy and it turns out he was
blowing off Gypsy on some sort of Earth-19’s Valentine’s day called One-One-One
Day and this gives him his Doctor House moment to solve the Kilg%re virus.  Meanwhile, Barry and Iris talk about the
night he entered the Speed Force but before they can settle this Cisco calls
them to action.
Ramsey’s got
Tim on a livestream confessing to his sins in an automated factory after hours
before he decides that with a new Saw movie coming it’s “time to play a game”
and tear Time in half with two robot arms. 
Barry and Wally arrive on the scene and save Tim but Ramsey’s got a hold
of the tech in Barry’s suit and uses it to knock out Wally. 
So the suit
attacks Barry in comedic fashion until it gets serious when the self-destruct
arms.  Barry’s got sixty seconds to live
and Cisco and Caitlin are out of ideas. 
Lucky for them Iris has a plan, Barry’s got to fry suit with a lightning
bolt so he’s got to be fast enough to hit himself and that means we need this
season’s “Run, Barry. Run!” moment. 
Which works,
of course.  “Run, Barry. Run!” is the
Flash’s version of the Konami Code after all and the day is saved.  Joe and Barry go to talk to Ramsey later at
Iron Heights and we learn that Ramsey wasn’t in Central City the night of the
Particle Accelerator Explosion so that’s a problem.  Especially when he says that he wasn’t the
only one that got his powers the way he did so they’ve got that to look forward
But it’ll be
fine, it’s not like the warden of Iron Heights is Evil or anything…  So, the warden talks to Barry, Joe and Iris
but after they leave he looks in on Ramsey and gives an evil grin… 
I have to learn
to keep my big mouth shut!
We check in
on the Thinker again and that’s it.
I think you
can probably tell I wasn’t really into this week’s episode.
They played
a little too much for comedic effect, particularly the relationship drama.  I don’t think playing Barry and Iris’ very
serious communication and trust issue involvement his being gone for six months
against Cisco and Gypsy’s contrived sitcom stuff was the right move, nor was
the paint-by-numbers couple’s therapy bit. 
The better choice was probably to let the Barry and Iris subplot stand
on its own to let the characters and the audience settle the lingering issues
of Season 3 and allow them to have the proper importance.
I get they’re
going for a lighter tone but there’s a lighter tone and then there’s Ironman 3,
where all tension and drama is immediately cut off at the knees because there’s
got to be joke. (Get ready cause if it’s going the way I think it is this is a
preview of my thoughts on Justice League
in a few weeks.)
But it’s
only episode of the season and they’re making an effort to change up the tone,
an early over-correction or two was to be expected.  But the end result’s the same.
Three Things We
Learned This Week:
Someone is giving powers to people.
Shaq is a Saint on Earth-19.
Wally likes punk. (Probably stuff like this)
Unanswered Questions:
1)      Where
did Ramsey get his powers?
2)      Considering
the scene where Gypsy arrived and Caitlin’s control slipped, is her control
over her powers slipping or just incredibly flimsy?
3)      Is
the Warden of the Iron Heights one of the Thinker’s lackeys or is he a threat
all on his own?

Just another guy on the internet.

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