Two weeks ago on The Flash, Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) revealed why she is angry with her mother…Iris (Candice Patton). When Nora was a child, Iris put a power dampening chip in her chest to keep Nora’s powers from manifesting. When Nora found out, she had the chip removed and sped to the past. Since arriving, Nora has been cold and condescending towards Iris for something she hasn’t even done yet. Barry (Grant Gustin) sided with Iris, saying he trust Iris and all of her decisions, now and in the future. So Nora moved out of the West-Allen loft and in with Papa Joe (Jesse L. Martin).
Since then Iris has been trying to get in touch with Nora. Nora is ignoring both of her parents and hasn’t shown up for training. Barry gets a call about a robbery in progress. The thief is on a motorcycle, causing some dangerous situations. XS jumps in on the action, but turns off her communicator with Iris. Needless to say, XS messes up and almost kills an elderly man. Luckily the Flash is there to save him.
Despite the fact that Nora stopped the thief, Iris yells at Nora for cutting communication off and not talking to them. Nora yells back saying she’s tired of the way Iris talks to her. Iris storms off and Barry tells Nora to try and get to know the present Iris instead of treating her like future Iris.
So that leads Nora to sit and complain to Mama Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) about everything she doesn’t like about Iris. Cecile isn’t having it though. In the West house, everyone deserves respect…especially your mother. To take Nora’s mind off of family drama, Cecile gives her some chores. To motivate Nora, Cecile says she will tell Nora a story about her dad for every chore she finishes. Stories that didn’t end up in the Flash museum. No big deal right? Nora is not very good at following instructions so this could take all day.
Meanwhile Sherloque (Tom Cavanagh), Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) and a returning, yet still injured Cisco (Carlos Valdes) are helping Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) to track down her father. Cisco can still vibe, but just enough to see the past. He discovers that Thomas Snow, Caitlin’s father knew Professor Martin Stein (RIP). That leads them to the university where the Professor worked.
At the university, Cisco sees Thomas writing a formula, indicating that he knew Caitlin was a meta. Sherloque sketches a picture of Kion, a greek goddess of the north in a realm of ice. Thomas knew the truth about Killer Frost. Caitlin questions if that is the reason he left, but Cisco assures her it wasn’t. He vibes again, and that leads them to a chemical company. Cisco gets dizzy and his hands start to bleed, but he doesn’t tell anyone.
The CSI and the Reporter
Barry finds out that he and Iris are investigating the same crime scene. A couple reports a robbery at a hotel, but the culprit is unlike anything they’ve encountered before. The couple saw the thief jump out of a window. He had orange hair and a creepy doll mask on. Barry finds traces of human hair inside of a box and takes it in for testing. The couple shares a meal while they wait for the results. Barry mentions how great it is to see Iris back in the field. When it comes back, they can’t pull any DNA from the test. Iris asks where he got the sample. He admits it was from a box that was opened from the inside.
They get a call about a bomb threat at an architecture office. When the Flash arrives, he finds the architect tied to a chair. The masked culprit is sliding through a vent in the wall. The bomb explodes, leveling the building. Flash is able to save the architect, but the slinky villain is in the rubble. He is okay though because he slowly gets up, twisting and turning in unnatural ways…like a demon in a horror movie.
Stretchy Clown Meta
At the lab, Barry describes the meta…a stretchy clown meta. Barry starts thinking…if the clown meta can contort, his fingerprints can too. He adjusts the print reader and finds Peter Merkel (Troy James). Merkel is the son a billionaire, so why does he need to steal and blow up buildings? Whatever the reason, his mom is having a fundraiser gala so Barry and Iris decide to attend.
At the Merkel gala, Iris and Barry find out that Merkel and his mother don’t exactly get along. She hasn’t seen her son in two years. She doesn’t know where he is and she doesn’t care. Ms. Merkel says she gave him the world and he didn’t appreciate it. They feel bad for Merkel now. His mom is so cold.
Barry takes the opportunity to dance with Iris. They never really had a first dance because their wedding was crashed by invaders from Earth X. While they are dancing Iris gets sad and goes outside for air. Barry follows her to ask what happened. Iris started thinking she’s not enough for Nora, like Ms. Merkel wasn’t enough for her son. She says in the future, she turned her back on Nora and prevented her from the life that she deserves. Barry says she will never be the person that Nora knows in the future. To Nora, Iris is already that person and she didn’t even have a choice.
Ralph finds a story about a warehouse fire. The fire destroyed his work. Could he have started the fire to cover his tracks? Cisco vibes the story. His nose starts bleeding and he collapses. Caitlin examines Cisco and find that his hands are still affected by the injury from Cicada’s dagger. Cisco says he just needs to rest, but Caitlin says rest won’t help. Every time Cisco vibes, the dark matter affects his central nervous system. She gets worried that he didn’t say anything about the pain he was in.
Cisco thinks he has to help and vibing is the only way he can help Caitlin. His powers give him value to the team. Caitlin understands better than anyone. She felt the same way when Killer Frost disappeared. But she’s still here and so is Cisco. They can both do so much more. She needs her friend more than she needs his powers.
Merkel is actually at the party, but Iris and Barry are still on the lookout for him. Iris says she doesn’t know what to do about Nora. Barry is on Iris’ side. If she dampened Nora’s powers it had to be to protect her. Iris says that doesn’t make her a good mom though. Barry realizes that Iris is comparing her relationship with Nora to her relationship with her own other. Iris’s mother left them. And when she came back, Iris pushed her away. Nora is pushing Iris away now. Barry says she can chose a different route and become a different person. He tells her to stop worrying about who she might become and reconnect with who she is.
Cecile tells Nora a story about how Barry befriended a kid at school who’s parents died. The boy wouldn’t smile and the other kids started making fun of him. Barry ate lunch with that kid every day. And at the end of the school year, Barry gave the boy an entire page with photos of his science project. The kid was voted Most Likely to Succeed in his class and that made him smile.
Nora likes the story, but it’s not about Barry. The story is about Iris, and so are all of the stories that Cecile told her. Cecile says Nora is projecting all of her feelings about the Iris in 30 years. And she’s missing out on getting to know the Iris of today. Cecile gives Nora a photo album about Iris and all of her accomplishments.
All Doll’d Up
Barry goes home, but Iris continues to work. Later that night, Barry hears strange noises in the apartment. he starts to look around, but then Iris calls. She says Peter wants to deliver a painful blow to his victims by destroying something that means some emotional meaning to them. Barry disappears in the middle of the call and Merkel tells Iris to come and get him.
Iris alerts the lab about Barry’s kidnapping. Merkel put Barry’s meta cuffs on him to keep Barry from running away. Iris calls Nora, but she’s not answering. No Flash, no XS, no Vibe, and no Killer Frost. That just leaves the Elongated Man. Caitlin gives Iris the meta cuff key before they leave. In the most hilarious Spiderman impression ever, Ralph stretches his arms between building with Iris on his back.
Barry wakes up tied to a chair on top of a building. Barry tries to talk him out of…whatever he’s about to do. Merkel reveals that he was crushed by a part of the satellite and that’s how he got his powers. Barry says he knows people who can help Merkel, but Merkel isn’t interested in help. Merkel wants Iris to suffer.
Iris and Ralph arrive and Merkel threatens to kill Barry. Iris puts down her gun. At the same time, Nora gets home and finds her phone ringing. Caitlin tells her about Barry’s kidnapping. Back at the rooftop, Ralph uses a poor choice of words and tells Merkel to let Barry go. Merkel pushes the chair off the building. Iris runs to the edge and jumps off of the rooftop. She catches up with Barry and uncuffs his hands, activating his speed. Barry is able to save Iris and himself at the same time that Nora arrives. Nora is amazed that Iris jumped off a building for Barry. Ralph jumped too. He also swallowed Merkel to keep him from getting away.
Cisco and Caitlin praise Iris’ heroic gesture. Nora asks if she was afraid. Iris says she wasn’t’ because Barry is a speedster. Ralph reminds them that he helped capture…Rag Doll. An appropriate nickname courtesy of Cisco Ramon. Everyone leaves the control room, but Nora says she will be back. Barry points out that Nora looks happy.
Iris follows Nora into the pipeline and finds her writing in her journal. She sees the photo album that Joe kept, calling the album silly. Nora says Iris never talked about her childhood. The topic was off limits. Iris says she is not that person in the future and nothing is off limits. She wants Nora to live her life and be a part of her life too. She wants them to be who they are right now. Nora starts asking her about the stories that Cecile told her and they finally bond. Barry overhears them talking, but doesn’t interrupt.
Ralph and Sherloque figure out that Thomas Snow has to be hiding in a super secret safe house. Caitlin’s mom’s company has such safe houses that have been shut down for years. There’s only one problem. They have not fixed Sally the satellite. The lab still doesn’t have eyes and ears. Cisco figures out that they can use the satellites that DeVoe launched into space. He hacks into the operating system and four satellites come online. He names them Hal, Robby, Data, and Colossus. Caitlin gets scared, so Cisco says they will wait until she’s ready.
- Ragdoll was super creepy!!!
- Thank you for giving us an Iris-centric episode. And for finding a way for Nora to realize that this Iris is not her mother Iris. Life is so much simpler when we actually communicate.
- Loved the dance between Iris and Barry. We rarely get those tender moments between people who love each other. Their love is obvious in everything they do. That’s why they are my favorite Arrowverse couple. And their support and communication is impeccable. But it is nice to see them take moments away from the superhero action and focus on their romance.
- I feel like Cisco may have lost himself a little in Vibe. So now that he has to be Cisco again, he has to rediscover his non-meta abilities that he has been good at for five seasons. Welcome back Cisco!
- Cecile is this week’s MVP!! She put Nora in her place and told her to respect her momma! And she told Nora all of those stories that made Nora see that Iris isn’t the shrew that Nora thinks she is. Cecile is an amazing Mom!