Welcome to another episode of The Flash! Barry and company are still looking for ways to prevent Iris’ future death at the hands of Savitar. But more immediate concerns appear when an enforcer from Earth-19 shows up to collect H.R.
Unlike the last two versions of Harrison Wells, H.R. is a bit of an odd man out. So far, he hasn’t proven to be essential to the season-arc, he’s not a genius and he’s not a supervillain. His role so far is comic relief. Often, it feels like the crew wonders why they keep him around. But when Gypsy, a fellow viber, arrives to arrest H.R. for the crime of interdimensional travel, the Flash team rushes to his defense. Interdimensional travel is punishable by death on Earth-19. While everyone may not have as strong a connection with H.R. as the other two Wells, he’s still a member of the team.
So Cisco challenges Gypsy to a trial by combat, while also asking her out on a date. Cisco seems to have a thing for the superpowered female adversaries of the The Flash. It brings out a hilarious mix of cocky and awkward Cisco. Since trial by combat is to the death, there’s a healthy dose of panic in there too.
While the battle prep and conclusion (shocker: Cisco wins but spares Gypsy) isn’t anything unexpected, the role reversal with this Wells is something new. In this case, H.R. is the student, both in science and in heroics. He has a heart-to-heart with Cisco that lets both actors have a good, serious scene that isn’t based in drama.
No, instead, we have the Iris subplot for that. Since Iris knows that she dies in May, she recklessly charges into danger to expose an illegal gun ring. Dragging Wally into the mess, she almost gets herself killed and causes Joe to demand answers. While Iris makes a point about wanting to make a mark on the world as a journalist, this reasoning isn’t supported by the show’s own history. Her reporter interests were nearly non-existent after she discovered Barry’s identity. When the job only comes up rarely, it’s hard to hang a plot point on it.
But there is one upside. Barry discovers that Wally is getting faster over a shorter period of time than Barry did when he got his powers. Barry’s conclusion? Wally can become fast enough to stop Savitar.
– H.R.’s imagined version of events in the opening sequence is ridiculous, of course. Did he misquote Die Hard by saying, “Guess who has a vortex cannon? Ho, ho, ho.”
– I do like that Barry is happy with Wally getting praise and attention for his work. Having these two heroes work together with no jealousy or other fabricated drama is really nice and helps The Flash stand out.
– Jitters’ insurance must be through the roof with the amount of times it gets wrecked. Villains must really hate coffee!
– While Julian’s knowledge is already proving useful to the team, his social skills need work. A lot of work.