“Sometimes the ends justify the means.”
With all the seriousness surrounding the Cicada conundrum, it’s past time for Team Flash to partake in a bit of light-hearted fun. Of course, stealing a 3-D printer that would be used to create artificial organs for kiddos or being trapped in a house by Orlin Dwyer, aka Cicada, doesn’t actually sound like the whimsy they deserve but, when trying to maintain focus for the season’s back nine (so to speak), maybe this is the closest we’ll get to a break.
Though once again absent from the show, Cisco’s work on the metahuman cure has been nearly completed. A few more tweaks and they’ll have what they need to permanently shut Cicada down. Well, if they can immobilize him for 60 seconds or so. Considering the beat downs he’s given the crew, they’re going to need an assist if they want to hold him down that long. To do so, they’ll need the Neuro-stasis field generator or bio EMP. With it, they could shut Cicada down long enough to introduce the cure to his system. But things won’t be that easy as the bio EMP has already been stolen from Van Horn Industries by Goldface, the biggest name in the Central City underground weapons market. The solution, then, becomes simple: Barry and Ralph are set to infiltrate Goldface’s operation, make a deal for the bio EMP, and then let the bad guy get away.
For Barry, therein lies a major problem.
Ever the white knight, Barry has trouble with the idea of making a deal with Goldface that will leave the criminal on the streets. Though Ralph isn’t quite a hung up on the particulars, he understands Barry’s dilemma, though reminds his partner that sometimes, “the ends justify the means”. But this is The Flash and we all know that our resident do-gooders are not about to let Goldface continue to roam the streets, especially after realizing the harm they would do by helping the bad guy steal the 3-D printer. It becomes a reminder to viewers that, even in the face of taking down a bigger threat, Team Flash doesn’t compromise. While that hardline forces them to lose out on the bio EMP, not only does the pair take down Goldface and about a dozen of his henchmen, they do so without their powers. It’s a confidence boost to remember that, even when they may be de-powered by Cicada, they still have the ability to get the job done. Sure, it sounds like a message from an after-school special but it’s also the reason that they’ve always succeeded, even when the odds were grim.
This idea of being able to face the bad guy without powers is mirrored by Iris’s own predicament when she tracks down Orlin Dwyer at his home. If there’s one thing the writers have started to do is refocus the Iris character into doing what she’s known for: being good at her job as a reporter. She’s not a scientist or a hero and, despite the direction they tried to create for her last season, she’s not a team leader. But she is brilliant at being a reporter and too much of that gift was lost in the uneven storytelling of the DaVoe saga. With that said, the idea that she’s able to fight off Cicada with a pen—though they do say the pen is mightier than the dark matter-infused dagger—strained the levels of credulity, especially considering how Cicada has wiped the floor with Team Flash on multiple occasions.
So while Barry and Ralph (and Iris, to a lesser extent) are attempting to channel their inner badasses, Nora continues her mission behind everyone’s back. With Thawne’s help, she distracts Sherloque from his investigation into her by using the one thing the detective cannot say no to: Renee Adler. They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result and, in that, Sherloque is the pinnacle of insane. It turns out that this guy has married a version of Renee (from different Earths) seven times. And now that he meets her again, he’s falling back into that trap. Granted, this time there’s a bit of a hiccup to this Earth’s Renee in that she’s a meta human. Already smitten with her, Sherloque knows that she could possibly fall into Cicada’s sights and that’s something he will not allow. It is the perfect motivation for him to put all his faculties towards taking down the big bad and his attention away from Nora’s duplicity.
- Another middle of the road episode, the highlight of “Goldfaced” was, without a doubt, Barry and Ralph’s takedown of Goldface and his gang to the tune of Rob Zombie’s One of my favorite Zombie songs, it acts as the backdrop of an extremely cheesy but fun shootout where the heroes take out at least a dozen henchmen armed with the same weapons (only theirs are set to kill). Ralph’s remark about his experience of playing “Red Dead” helping was a cherry on top. It’s this type of silliness, where the show doesn’t take itself too seriously that helps The Flash shine.
- Though as much fun as the Barry/Ralph team-up was, the show once again throws a villain at the wall only to be squished without too much effort. We probably haven’t seen the end of Goldface but, to keep things a bit more fresh, the writers really need to think about reworking their season formula. Instead of having one-off battles with metas that are wrapped up within an episode, do mini-arcs where they are tested a bit more while the real threat continues to lurk in the background.