Hey, Barry almost killed a guy tonight. That was pretty cool if I do say so myself. Oh yeah, we are here to talk about an episode, my bad. “Seeing Red” is definitely an improvement over whatever the hell happened last week, even if it does have some flaws. When it does shine it proves itself as one of the better episodes of this season. I mean it is easy to get wrapped up in the logic of the dirty cop plot, Cicada once again being left alone just long enough to flee, or Nora whining about being paralyzed for all of a day. However, there are some legitimately great parts like Barry trying to get the metas to trust him or the entire Killer Frost and Caitlin plot. It’s just become an issue of the touch and go nature of The Flash and this type of bipolar production is beginning to make me question how it is all going to end.
I am going to start with what I thought was the strongest aspect of this whole episode, Killer Frost being an amazing dick to Caitlin in order to protect her. Frost has a particularly compelling reason that for once didn’t go the predictable route of self-preservation over all else. By having Frost really be genuinely worried about Caitlin and her well being was a solid twist in her characters normal motivation of just being Caitlin without impulse control. Sure, there are plenty of ways this could turn out and not having Cisco there this week made for some bizarre interplay, the end of the plot was great in the long run. Although most of the plot was boosted by the sheer fact Hartley Sawyer has been killing it this year as Ralph. He has just been great at being the hero when no one else expects him to be and having him have mutual respect with Frost is a solid evolution to their relationship. Not everything needs to be romantic and that helps to make Frost and Ralph an ideal pair to play off of each other.
On the same note after being pipelined all last week, Barry does manage to have a fairly solid arc this week as he cares for Nora and the other metas. It would be simple enough to just have the plot be how does Barry go about getting his former adversaries to trust him. The added element of Barry wanting to kill Cicada, however, was merely icing on the cake in terms of Grant Gustin’s performance. Despite how solid the plot was they could have leaned a little harder into Barry wanting revenge as the fight in the bar really didn’t show any of that edge and neither did any of his conversations up to that point. I mean he was about to Reverse-Flash all of his problems away, which would have made for a very interesting rest of the season. To have him cave because Nora could walk again was predictable, but it fits his character. Barry isn’t Ollie and he never will be, so having him kill Cicada just wouldn’t have sat right.
As for Cicada, we really need to find another gear with this character because the motivation of simply stabbing every meta he sees is kind of weak. I mean sure he is mostly imposing until Killer Frost mostly nerfed him and there are some hints of the cult leader aspect of his character being dropped here and there. However, he needs to have a bigger plan or be scarier to actually mean something as we move towards the end of the season. I mean we get hints that people are sympathetic to his meta hating cause and I guess that the show isn’t willing to go full cult because of what Supergirl is doing this year. Still, something has to be done either by making Cicada a much bigger threat or by having someone else become the big bad. I mean Thawne is just chilling in a cell and he is infinitely more interesting than Cicada. I’m sure something is coming or maybe I’m just being overly optimistic.
With Cecile’s plot, on the other hand, it actually managed to play out to a solid conclusion. I know they are giving her character all the stuff Joe would do if he wasn’t injured, but it does manage to work for the most part. I liked how they tied it back to the mind control case and though the misdirection with Singh could be seen from a mile away, the actual capture of the dirty cop was a strong bit. I am worried that Cecile’s development will be shelved once Joe returns but until then all the more power to her.
Overall it was an incredibly solid episode, all they have to do now is make Cicada compelling once again.
Final Grade B
+Barry being angry
+Killer Frost and Ralph plot
-Nora complaining about being paralyzed
-Cicada is becoming very boring.
-Nora is paralyzed for all of a day. Like we came back from commercials and she was fine or I missed something major.
-No Cisco this week and it really felt like nothing was missing. That is never a good sign.
-Barry’s big plan is to cure Cicada’s niece. You know the thing he probably should have done as soon as he found out Cicada had a niece.
-There is an entire D plot where Sherloque finds out there are two sets of handwriting in Nora’s journal. For a master detective, he sure is taking a long time to solve this one.
-Next week we learn more about Nora. I really hope it is good.