The Flash (08×10)- “Reckless”
Written by: Jess Carson
Directed by: Kellie Cyrus
We pick up where we left off, Deon has found out what’s going on with Iris and he’s determined that she’s not being affected by something that’s wrong with her, whatever is wrong with her is affected time around her and it seems to be getting worse. Now, sometimes in the DC/CW verse someone will find out there’s a problem and they try to keep it secret especially from their family or significant other. It’s really a coin flip based on how severe the problem is, Iris thankfully doesn’t do this and she calls in Barry.
Once they catch him up, Deon tells Iris the best thing she can do right now is stay in Coast City in Sue’s super pricy penthouse, eat her billionaire food, watch he no doubt ridiculously expensive TV and try to relax while he works on the problem. What a hardship, am I right?
Barry offers to stay with her, after all he can get to Central City from Coast City in a matter of seconds but Iris wants him to keep working on the fire meta.
Back in Central City, Frost is working on her “art” (Stapling garbage to a canvas is not art. It never will be art and I will die on this hill.) When she is attack out of nowhere by the fire and we’ll come back around to this scene) for now, the worst that happens is she gets a bit burned by the flames.
She heads to STAR Labs to patch herself up but apparently trips an alarm because Barry comes running to stop a break in. Barry helps bandage her up but the pair aren’t sure why the fire would attack her so Barry offers to search her and Caitlin’s apartment for clues while Frost has another idea.
She goes to her and Caitlin’s mother at Tannhauser industry with an idea to use herself as bait. She and Carla (Caitlin and Frost’s mother) believe that the fire came after her since her powers make her something of a fuel source. They present their plan to the rest of the team but Barry is in full Protective Patriarch mode after the news about Iris so he’s really not into any plan where one of the team puts themselves at risk.
What’s worse is they are far closer to trying this than he might hope since Chester thinks he can retune the machine they used to power the Artificial Speed Force last season to help with Frost’s plan. In the end the decision is Barry’s and he says no. Therefore, Frost and Carla decide to do it anyway.
It’s nice that after all this time, insubordination is still a cornerstone of Team Flash.
Frost then follows Barry to try and press for her plan. She points out what Barry already knows, that Iris is no doubt ignoring what she was told by Deon to help Tinya so how is her plan any different? Barry concedes but says he’ll pull the plug if he gets even a bad feeling.
Back down in the Speed Lab, Chester makes quick work of the modifications to the point that Carla offers him a better paying job directly under her… Pardon me. She offers to take him… On as an employee! Pardon the phrasing but come on!
Chester turns her down after seeing Allegra get all angsty and lets the gang know he’s ready to try their plan. But since this is the front half of the episode all this leads to is a promising failure.
Not long afterwards Caitlin shows up and if Barry was a Protective Patriarch, Caitlin is a Steaming Sister cause she’s mad as hell that their mother would risk her daughter’s life so recklessly (Oh I see “Reckless” nudge-nudge wink-wink!)
Back in Coast City, Iris goes to the adoption agency that worked for Tinya’s mother but it seems there’s a no-contact order on the adoption paperwork. The woman from the adoption agency’s hands are tied, it would take the board of directors to help. Now the silliest most TV thing they could’ve done would be for Sue to be on the board, this is a slightly more reasonably version of that. She’s related to the head of the board so I’ll let it slide but not without this comment.
The woman gives them the information to find Tinya’s mother and they leave so the woman from the adoption agency leaves to get a cup of coffee (with a generous shot of whiskey I’d wager) to settle her nerves but when the returns the entire office has been cleared out.
Like they took everything but her desk which was built into the floor.
Now armed with her mother’s address Tinya is seriously spooked because now that they might actually be able to contact her mother she has to face the possibility of rejection. Fortunately for her, Iris is there and she is able to relate to her about her mother because her own mother had abandoned her. She gives Tinya enough nerve to go meet her mother.
We return to STAR Labs just in time for Caitlin to really start laying into her sister and mother about Frost’s kind of crazy plan to be the bait in a trap. Caitlin’s frustrated that she feels like she’s the only one of the three of them that cares about Frost as a person and not as Caitlin’s “Bodyguard.”
Caitlin makes it very clear when Frost wants to keep going with her plan that if this costs Frost her life she will never forgive her mother.
Up in the loft, Joe finds Barry brooding about the situation so he asks what Barry’s problem with the plan. Joe believes that Barry’s perfectly fine with insane plans when he’s the one taking the physical risk but part of being a leader means he can’t always be the one in direct harm’s way.
The Papa Joe speech ladies and gents! Accept no substitutes!
After one more clearing the air scene between Carla and Frost it’s time to try again. This time with an extra trump card. It seems that when Caitlin’s father kidnapped her and exposed her to his powers it altered her genes to make her a latent Meta with the same genetic signature as Frost. So they might be able to use her to sweeten the trap until there’s no resisting Carla… I mean their power.
They try the plan again and this time it comes even closer to working but the strain on Carla is too much and Barry shuts down the machine before she has a heart attack and the flames escape again.
The Team gather one more time to figure out their next step, this time Barry wants to find a way to use the machine without Frost or Carla being plugged into it. Meanwhile, Frost, Caitlin and Carla catch up at Caitlin and Frost’s apartment. All three vow to act a little more like a family going forward.
Back with Iris, Tinya and Sue they finally arrive to meet Tinya’s mother, Renee. Renee explains that she was still in high school when she got pregnant and she was pressured by her parents to give her up for both her and Tinya’s sake. But while they’re talking Iris has another attack, when Renee tries to see if she’s alright she’s enveloped by Still Force Energy and is suddenly gone.
The next morning at Caitlin’s apartment she alone on the couch when the flames show up seemingly to attack her this time but when they instead just seem to look at her she is suddenly struck by memories of the Night of the Accelerator Explosion and she can only say, “Ronnie.”
This felt very much like a part two of last week’s episode not just because of it picking up so directly from last week but it felt like the next chapter of a story instead of the next episode of the series. So in a way this help both episodes since both are a little weak otherwise.
Not a whole lot happens in this episode otherwise, it was mostly just characters recapping for each other and some character development for Caitlin and Frost.
As for the ending, remember how I said that we’d come back to first scene in Frost and Caitlin’s apartment? Also, remember how I go out of my way not to pay attention to anything going on with spoilers for the show or other reviews to make sure I’m not just parroting what everyone else is saying? Well at the end of the scene where the flames attacked Frost I said; “I wonder if this is going to end up being Ronnie Raymond?”
This is probably the most interesting ideas coming out of the episode, not just because bringing back everyone’s favorite matchhead and not just because Deathstorm was one of the cooler looking characters in Blackest Night:
The reason is that is this is so adjacent to Blackest Night that I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re building towards some sort of Blackest Night/Brightest Day event for the CW shows. Blackest Night was such a huge moment in DC and was such an interesting response to how much of a revolving door death became in comics by that point. (Not only had Superman, Hal Jordan and literally thousands of Green Lanterns had returned to life.) It was also such a cap on the long term story of the discovery of the Emotional Spectrum beyond the Green Light of Willpower and Yellow Light of Fear.
It didn’t necessarily explain why death was easier to come back from than a broken back in DC but it did give a reason for it happening. Now I know what you’re saying; “Blackest Night was a culmination to a story the CW/DC shows haven’t done. There’s only been the vaguest hints of a Green Lantern Corps.” True but that doesn’t mean the basic idea of Blackest Night can’t be reworked to help introduce the Green Lanterns or further those concepts.
Now I know what you’re saying this time too: “Jason you hate the Crossovers!” True. Doesn’t mean they don’t get the job done for the larger audience. I know when things aren’t for me and the reasons I stopped reviewing the crossovers was because they weren’t episodes of the Flash. They were parts of miniseries and this probably would be too if they did it. It might even be a good way to give the CW-verse a sendoff if the new Execs at Warner decide that HBO Max is a better home for the DC Universe.
But all that is a discussion for another time. This was an episode that didn’t rise above the level of “Eh! It was fine!”
Things We Learned:
- Iris’ experience in the Timeline has caused her to affect time around her not the other way around.
- Caitlin and Frost’s mother is an emerging Meta.
- Iris may have accidently killed Tinya’s mother.
- Ronnie may be the black flame.
- If Ronnie is the flame how and why did he survive the time paradox from Season One?
- Also, if Ronnie is the flame will Jackson Jefferson be able to help the team with Ronnie?
- Lastly, if that is Ronnie does this mean something beyond his return?
- What happened at the adoption office?
- What happened to Tinya’s mother?