Well, that was a nice little episode wasn’t it, sure it “terrified” my fiancé but overall it really made for a solid fun villain of the week. “All Doll’d Up”, seriously we really need to work on these titles guys because these are getting lame, introduced us to the newest meta shrapnel powered villain Rag Doll. Sure the story was extremely heavy handed for the A and C plots, but at the end of the day it is about having fun with the episode and enjoying the ride. Watching Iris come to terms with being a better parent to Nora is going to be an ongoing struggle, but we are at the point where growth is necessary fro the characters and not in the hokey overcoming adversity to defeat the villain way. Iris learning to be a better parent, Cisco learning he is not only Vibe, Nora learning to stop judging Iris based on the future that she has already altered. Growth is good and this week showed it.
Let’s start with Rag Doll because I was honestly shocked by how fun he was as a villain. He was suitably creepy and Troy James and Phil LaMarr did an excellent jobs using their natural talents as a contortionist and iconic voice respectively to make Rag Doll feel both suitable imposing and terrifying. Sure his reasoning for going after people, destroying the one thing they love, was pretty god damn stupid, but his presence and overall demeanor more than made up for that. The only aspect of his character that slightly annoyed me was the fact the he was turned into a meta human rather than just being a contortionist. I mean us was already a suitably creepy if D-List villain, he didn’t need to be turned into a meta just because we are watching The Flash. Just have the guy be the contortionist thief we all know and love and things could have worked just fine.
As for Iris, I don’t know what is happening in the writers room this season but someone has finally decided to make her and interesting foil to Barry. This season she has been smart, driven, not taking stupid risks until tonight, she has been really an ideal character. With the exception of her jumping off the building tonight to rescue Barry, stupid plan, Iris has bee rational in all of her choices and explaining why people should trust her and how she is attempting to change. I mean look at how she is now treating Nora as an equal instead of as someone who needs to be coddled and protected. This is a major step forward and now Nora seems to trust her mother on some level even if it is a very small one.
Granted we didn’t get much of Nora this week, but her time with Cecile was both illuminating and gratifying. Firstly it taught Nora that she can’t simply half ass everything because she is a speedster, just because you have powers it doesn’t make you smart. Also she learned there is more to Iris than meets the eye. Yes, it is super cheesy and stupid that Cecile used fake stories about Barry to teach Nora about what her mother is actually like. However, It plays just well enough that I can let it slide, which is basically all I am trying to say, there is actual tangible growth by the characters and these choices are what will help to define them.
Lastly, we have Cisco who is really just getting screwed over left and right this season. First he breaks up with Gypsy, then he almost gets killed by Cicada, and now if he uses his powers he will die it seems. That really sucks for a character who has had so much joy in using his abilities. I did find it odd that Cisco was worried that he will now be useless to the team when he is still Cisco level smart. Carlos Valdes did an excellent job in the scene where he was confronting Caitlin about possibly losing his powers. You could see how much it hurt him, but in the end he realized that his intellect is his greatest weapon and now the team has the satellites DeVoe launched last season back under their control.
Overall I felt it was a great episode, now to see where this Caitlin storyline is actually going.
Final Grade A-
+Rag Doll suitably engaging
+Iris continues to improve as a character
+Nora respecting Iris
+Ralph being Ralph
-Iris jumping off the building
-Not getting to see Rag Doll vs Ralph.
-I love the fact that everyone seemingly forgot about Ralph just so he could make a dramatic entrance
-I know Iris was focused on the picture album but she could have asked about Nora’s journal a little bit.
-Is there no one who can perform surgery for Cisco?
-Honestly, I thought all of DeVoe’s satellites blew up last year, I even went back to check the season finale. Guess the writers had a plan for them after all.
-Next week we get Icicle, really reaching for villains at this point guys.