“There is a part of you that is good and decent. You just don’t know how to accept it.”
The moment the promo for this week’s The Flash came out, I just knew we were in for a rocking good time. Just think about it: a drunk Barry at a strip club with the fellas, oblivious to the gals—Caitlin, Iris, Felicity, and Cecile—having their own adventures that were a bit more serious than golden tassels and chicken wings.
How wrong I was.
Anytime a bachelor (or bachelorette) party stars off with the idea of keeping things quiet, you know it’s only a matter of time before shiznit hits the fan. As far as Barry’s bachelor party goes, said drama isn’t over the top. Sure, Barry gets hammered (thanks to Cisco’s concoction), telling everyone at the strip club that he’s the Flash while Ralph Dibny takes in the wonders of the ‘Golden Booty’ while, for much of the time, Cisco and Harry are innocent bystanders. With that said, Joe does have a pretty solid emotional arc as he is still trying to muddle through the idea of, at nearly 50, having another child.
Part of that comes into focus when he catches Joanie, Cecile’s daughter, struttin’ her stuff on stage at the strip club. His interaction with his soon-to-be stepdaughter highlight some of those overwhelming circumstances only kids can provide. After the fight that puts them all in the drunk tank, Joe confides in the hungover Barry about all those fears churning inside. Barry’s response is simple yet powerful. He reminds Joe of all the past things he’s done—raising Barry and Iris, accepting Wally into the fold—without anyone by his side. With Cecile there as well as his other kids all grown up, Joe won’t be facing this daunting task alone.
But enough about the guys. If the title “Girls Night Out” wasn’t a big enough hint, then let me spoil things foryou: the major story arc was all about the ladies. Again, wanting nothing more than a peaceful dinner at a nice restaurant, things get turned upside down when Novak tracks Caitlin down at the behest of Amunet Black. We finally see his powers—a Lovecraftian tentacle that pops out of his fake eye—and when Killer Frost shows up to fight him off, we get a bit more of the story that Caitlin’s been hiding.
Amunet Black is the black market dealer Caitlin went to for help in suppressing the Killer side of her persona. Of course, making a deal with someone like Amunet isn’t the best idea. But Killer Frost is ready to play and, not into the prospect of running like her alter ego decides to end things once-and-for-all with Amunet. Their initial face-off is broken up by Iris but not before the latter realizes that Amunet has discovered a new product—an addictive drug taken from the tears of the Weeper, a new meta created by the Thinker (though they don’t know that). Frost takes the reprieve to try and get out of town, despite the words of support by Iris.
Speaking of Iris, she’s both wonderful and terribly stupid in this episode. Her being there for Caitlin/Frost provided for the powerful emotional backbone of the story. She realizes that, while Frost and Caitlin may be two sides of a coin, the share more than just the same body. Both are afraid of the other regaining full control. It’s a dichotomy very much like Bruce Banner and his green alter ego, the Hulk (a comparison awesomely stated by Felicity). Even after Amunet hands Frost a beating a Caitlin regains control, Iris is there, reminding her friend she can be who she chooses to be. Those words lead Caitlin/Frost to save the day where Iris, Cecile, and Felicity get in over their heads.
And herein lies my biggest issue with “Girls Night Out”. As mentioned above, Iris is fantastic in her emotional support of a friend as well as recognizing just how dangerous the Weeper decoction will be for the city. But, to paraphrase a Clint Eastwood line, a woman’s got to know her limitations. And Iris planning a short-handed rescue attempt is both stupid and reckless. Sure, it works out thanks to Caitlin saving the day (with a sweet assist from Cecile) but jumping into the fire is not always brave. She tops off the insanity when, after Frost is ready to end Amunet’s reign once and for all, convinces her friend not to kill Black. It’s the “you do this and you’ll be a prisoner forever” spiel all superheroes are faced with at least once, especially those heroes that toe the line between good and evil. Killer Frost, despite her namesake, may not be a killer anymore but, come on now, don’t just let the villain get away, especially after she promises to ruin something for you in the near future.
And like many futures, our heroes will find that it’s both bright and terrifying.
- Welcome back, Katee Sackhoff! I was extremely excited to hear Sackoff cast as Amunet Black and she did not disappoint. She portrayed the villainous Black with such fun and gusto that I couldn’t help but smile every time she was on screen. While the execution of her powers was a bit on the bland side, that takes a backseat to Sackoff’s joyful performance. Also, she had the best delivered line in the episode: “You know what everyone’s mistake in business is…not realizing who has the power in the room.”
- I’ve been lukewarm towards Iris for some time but I will give credit where it’s due. Despite her ridiculous decision to go into battle with an unknown, her compassion towards Caitlin and the Frost dynamic was excellent. She saw a work friend in trouble and realized her own lack of action at them not becoming true friends as well as offering a support Caitlin desperately needed. Candice Patton and Danielle Panabaker’s emotional chemistry was the primary reason “Girls Night Out”, while lacking, wasn’t a total misfire.
- Finally, there was the Thinker catching up to the fleeing Weeper, highlighting that the new meta has a role to play in his plan. I must say, the Thinker floating around in his chair was downright cheesy…and not in a fun way.