“Life is better when you have faith in the people around you.”
It’s been some time since Barry has been an afterthought in The Flash. As the titular character, that’s par for the course; still, it’s a welcome treat when the headliner is out of town and the show focuses on the unsung heroes: in this week’s case, it our favorite tech wizard/pop culture geek/ex meta-human Cisco Ramon.
When Barry and Iris decide to head to Tahiti (“it’s a magical place”) for a day or so, Cisco’s left in charge of the team, though he’s not on his own. Thanks to a bit of pre-planning, the tech inventor that would make the X-Men’s Forge envious, created the Barry Allen Replicated Intelligence—B.A.R.I.— to make all his decisions. A ‘what would Barry do?’, if you will. Never mind the fact that the entire point of Barry choosing him as the leader was because he believed in Cisco’s ability to lead, not create a very Barry algorithm to provide the answers.
Unfortunately, the ridiculous nature of the B.A.R.I. system is overshadowed when Breacher (the treasure that is Danny Trejo) arrives with the somber news that his daughter (and Cisco’s ex) Gypsy has been killed by Echo, a high-tech hacker she’d been tracking for years. Ignoring the frustration of her dying off-screen (whether for budgetary reasons, Jessica Camacho was unable to reprise her role, or both) the news teams Cisco and Kamilla with Breacher to track down the elusive Echo, only to discover that he’s a version of Cisco from another Earth.
Speaking of team-ups, Nash Wells and Joe have their own forced time together after being trapped in a tunnel cave-in. What should have played for some strong character moments (Cavanagh and Martin are the two best actors on the show) is a forgettable addendum, though Joe’s offhand remark about the Monitor, who Nash is investigating, may pay serious dividends as the episode’s final line is Nash confidently stating that he knows how to save Barry Allen.
There is a tendency for writers to sometimes feel the need to hammer home a theme with the subtlety of tank flattening cars along the side of the road as if us as viewers aren’t savvy enough to pick up what they’re putting down. “Kiss Kiss Breach Breach” takes this approach with its lesson on faith; it’s a poignant message that loses some of its power when seemingly every other character has a remark about “having faith”. Other than Joe’s heartfelt admissions of his “faith in people” to Nash (another positive outcome of their involuntary quality time), each mention of the phrase, or derivation of it, from Caitlin’s failed appeal to Ramsey, or Kamilla’s mushy and obvious confidence booster to Cisco, come across as bumbling and trope-ish. Like is often the case, it’s not the message that’s the problem, rather the delivery methods which turns whaAll Postst could have been an emotionally potent episode into a middling addition to the series with little in the way of memorable. And yet, despite the fumbles, “Kiss Kiss Breach Breach” may be a turning point for Cisco as a character, him and Kamilla as a couple and—most importantly—the suggestion that Barry Allen may not have to die after all.
- The idea of Cisco facing an evil version of himself, one responsible for killing his ex, just screams thrilling. Instead, the entire narrative felt rushed. From Echo’s frame job of Cisco to the two facing off at the end, a confrontation that lacked the fire I was expecting…it was a plot that had all the right ingredients and yet it fizzled when it should have flamed on. But Cisco’s plan to catch his eviler half was pretty freaking cool. At least there’s that…
- If there was any doubt that Ramsey has lost his marbles—if killing a half dozen people at the hospital didn’t already sell that truth—his conversation with Caitlin sealed the deal. Though he never explicitly expressed it, Ramsey believes that he’s a god. The arrogant narcissism that helped him become such a great doctor has been dialed up to 11, to the point where his offended to his core when Caitlin rejects his offer to share in his newfound immortality. It may have only been one scene but, more than any other this season, it perfectly encapsulated Ramsey’s villainous nature to his core as, deep down, he’s always been a bad guy.