The Flash (7×05)- “Fear Me”
Written by: Lauren Barnett & Christina M Walker
Directed by: David McWhirter
We open on Barry watching last week’s episode to work out a tracking solution for the beast he fought when Iris arrives. She tries to convince Barry to take a break but Barry’s definitely entering into guilt-induced extra effort territory. As though that weren’t enough, Cisco enters revealing the whole Caitlin/Frost no longer time-sharing their body development which causes Barry to reveal his growing addiction to pain killers… Worked so well for Dr. House.
After the title card, we visit Cecile at the West Home and it seems she’s got herself a case of the Nightmare on Elm Streets… And they’re already pretty high on the scale judging by the shattering windows and stigmata. Except, it’s all gone when Joe comes in to check on her.
I don’t see what could possible go wrong here so let’s catch back up with the gang at STAR Labs while Caitlin and Frost are wrapping up their technobabble explanation and Caitlin’s vow to fix it. Next up, Cisco demonstrates his on Spanish by naming our Legally-Distinct She-Hulk from last week “Fuerza.”
It’s a good thing they’ve named her cause according to Cisco’s phone she’s on the move, specifically coming right at them. However, while it’s not Fuerza, they are getting a visitor. It’s the Speed Force in Nora Allen form and she’s looking pretty beat up.
So, Barry’s pretty gung-ho about taking the fight to Fuerza, so surely she must be our villain this week. Right?
Anyway, the next morning Iris is visiting Joe’s office trying to clear the name of a night watchman at a Central City Bank. Apparently at the same time Cecile was having her waking nightmare. Joe and I are on the same page. Time for a BOLO for a man fitting this description:
But first, meet Kristen Kramer. She claims to be working for the Governor but she’s giving off very strong Internal Affairs vibes to me and Iris is suspicious as well.
Back at STAR Labs, Cisco is hard at work whipping up some Cisco-tech to help Caitlin and Frost get back together. In this case, it’s retro-fitting some previously used Cisco-tech; namely the Firestorm Matrix. However, Frost doesn’t seem too high on returning to Caitlin’s body.
Barry’s is in the medical area keeping an eye on “Nora” and scouting Fuerza when Cecile shows up to talk to Caitlin but instead she has another psychic panic attack just before Barry gets an alert about an armored car robbery. Barry heads off to find the armored car crew freaking out about a giant monster that Barry can’t see and apparently Fuerza isn’t out villain this week.
It’s some guy in a pretty spooky mask, they quip about Godzilla before the masked man puts the whammy on Barry despite wearing anti-meta cuffs. Suddenly Barry’s back at STAR Labs and fighting a Thawne/Savitar team up. It doesn’t go well at all and Savitar runs him through. Somewhere Dr. Jonathan Crane is boiling with jealousy.
Despite it being some sort of hallucination Barry is still run through when our villain leaves. This confirms that we’re dealing with Nightmare on Elm Street rules. Die in your dream, die in real life. Cisco also gets to dub his second villain this week. Our monster of the week is now named Psych.
After a quick scene where Iris revealed to Joe that Kristen Kramer was some sort of Air Force officer with a service record that’s redacted to the hilt which make it look like she has shaky qualifications for someone on a Logistics commission but probably not for some sort of high level investigator and an argument between Frost and Caitlin because she found out Frost broke the Firestorm Matrix it’s time to get back on task.
Psych is attacking an investment firm and Cisco has whipped up some techy-headgear to take care of his powers. They work exactly as well as I’ve come to expect from the first try solution. Frost is taken out by a vision of Caitlin turning her in to the cops and Cisco has a somewhat vague vision of doom as well. Barry tries to fight but it’s time for Whammy Two: Electric Boogaloo.
It’s the tried and true Hero stands amongst the broken bodies of those he loves and it’s more than enough to allow Psych to escape. Back at the lab, Caitlin’s giving Barry and Cisco a medical check which tells us the physical reasons for what we already know; Psych’s attack has left Barry and Cisco’s brains over-producing fear hormones and it’s left Barry pretty shaken up.
Caitlin then goes to have a heart-to-heart with her other half. It seems Frost doesn’t want to go back and she’s afraid Caitlin would hate her for it. Meanwhile Caitlin’s just as afraid of losing Frost which was why she was working so hard to go back. Reassured, the pair decide to give a more traditional roommate relationship a try.
Cecile then tries to talk Barry through his fears, it’s a damn fine speech too so when Psych attack again, this time striking the entire City at once Barry has some inspiration. Much like Cisco-repurposed the Firestorm Matrix, Barry wants to use The Thinker’s chair to boost her powers. Their plan works with a little moral support from Cisco. In fact, it worked so well Psych completely disappears.
The next morning, Barry is talking through what happened with the Team from what he saw while fighting Psych and what Cisco saw while Barry was fighting Fuerza last week AND Nora’s arrival Barry suspects it’s all connected. But before they can figure out how, Barry’s powers go haywire and the only thing he can think to do is to go back into cryo-freeze.
At the Police Station, Joe is talking with Kramer and he reveals that he doesn’t buy her cover story after reading the file Iris gave him and talking with some friends on the Gotham City Police Force. Kramer doesn’t try to hide, she’s been brought in to bring Killer Frost to justice.
In the end-episode stinger we check in again on Barry. It seems his cryo-freeze plan has stabilized him but they don’t have a solution and even worse if anyone shows up to attack the city they don’t have Barry to take them on. So, it’s probably pretty convenient for Nora to finally wake up and reveal why the personification of the Speed Force showed up here looking like she walked into the wrong dark alley.
Nora explains that Fuerza and Psych both attacked her and she believes that they’re “Just like her.”
Hmm, this episode was interesting but not in the way you should necessarily want an episode to be interesting. Definitely had the “Halloween Episode” feel that I would imagine them wanting it to have if the season started in the fall instead of the late winter. My big problem is it felt a little scatter shot through most of the episode.
The first fifteen minutes felt like it was all about Fuerza then it took a moment to be an Iris West: Ace Reporter Episode for a minute then about twenty minutes in it was like they decided “No wait! Let’s have a fear monster be the focus on the episode. Even the end of episode revelation only barely pulled it all together.
I’m not saying it was bad but it definitely could have used a little more connective tissue. This was just all over the place and I’m not sure how to take it. So in the end that’s how I judge it. A lot of interesting ideas and plots but they’re kind of held together with saran wrap and bubble gum.
Things We Learned:
- Caitlin and Frost’s split was the result of the mirror gun last season and it seems to be stable.
- The pair have agreed to remain separate, at least for the time being.
- Cecile’s powers are definitely expanding.
- Fuerza and Psych seem to be related in some way to the Speed Force, perhaps as personifications of other Cosmic Forces.
- Kristen Kramer is a government agent looking to arrest Killer Frost, meaning her crimes were not erased by Crisis.
- Or is she? Is it possible Kramer is in Central City for another reason?
- While Fuerza seems to be a personification of a “Strength Force.” Assuming “Nora” is correct, what did Psych represent and is he gone?
- What’s happened to Barry?
- Assuming again that “Nora” is correct, are there metahumans tapping into the “Strength Force” and “Fear Force” (for lack of a better term) and shouldn’t Fear be Yellow?
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