It’s here. The moment that we’ve been building towards all year. It’s 24 hours before Iris’ death at the hands of Savitar. Team Flash needs to find something, anything, to give them an advantage. They have a weapon but need to steal a power source. And who better than an expert thief?
That’s right, everyone’s favorite rogue, Captain Cold, makes a return for the penultimate episode of the season. For those of you watching Legends of Tomorrow, you may wonder how that’s possible. Well….Barry….goes back in time and picks Leonard Snart up in-between missions aboard the waverider. Yes, he’s once again messing with the timeline a bit. But actually, for once, it makes sense. Maybe that comes from the tense opening sequence, set to the appropriately titled “Murder Song (5 4 3 2 1)” by Aurora. It finds our heroes hard at work to find a power source for the anti-speedster weapon they created. With the clock counting down, the sense of desperation they’ve struggled to capture for this arc finally connects.
While Cisco does discover a power source in the Dominator alien tech, it’s locked up in A.R.G.U.S. But Lyla doesn’t trust Barry enough to hand it over. Considering that his messing with time turned their daughter into a son, it’s understandable. Even worse, the building has anti-meta security. So instead, Barry recruits Snart from the past for the mission. He tells the team to hide Iris without his knowledge too. The Wests head to Earth-2 for protection with Harry Wells.
From there, the episode splits into two equally-engrossing paths. The heist is thrilling as Snart and Flash reach the bottom level, only to confront King Shark. Luckily, Snart loves Shark Week and knows that Great White are susceptible to the cold. The coat the room in fog with the cold gun, weakening King Shark. But he’s still awake enough for his fin to poke out of the fog. It’s pretty great. Plus, removing Barry’s powers in a way that isn’t contrived makes the robbery much more fascinating to watch. It’s brains, not powers, that get them through this. While they do get caught by Lyla, she gives Barry the tech after she sees him save Snart’s life.
On Earth-2, Iris and Joe have a lovely, heartfelt scene where they reveal little secrets they hid from each other throughout their lives. It’s a fantastic, character-driven showcase for both Candice Patton and Jesse L. Martin. We even get to hear him sing a little! It’s these type of quiet, endearing pieces that The Flash should pursue more often. Relationships don’t need manufactured drama to be interesting or moving.
Unfortunately, all these efforts are for naught. In a heart-pounding sequence, Savitar fools H.R. into revealing Iris’ location. He breaks Wally’s leg and grabs her. The team charges the Speedster Bazooka and heads to “Infantino Street.” But Savitar is prepared for the speedster weapon and it has no effect. Despite everything Team Flash tried for the entire season, Savitar succeeds and kills Iris. That’s where the episode ends.
It’s a honestly shocking conclusion. It’s rare that we get to see our heroes completely fail like they do here. Savitar has won. It’s a brave, unexpected move for this show. I don’t see how the team can move forward after such a loss, either through the finale or for future seasons. Sure, maybe there’s some trickery going on, but even if there is, it’s not something I saw coming. The Flash is set for a stunning conclusion to the season next week. I have no idea where they’ll go from here.
– Another tense moment left on a cliffhanger: the face-off between Cisco and Killer Frost. I’m really curious where her story goes next.
– Snart said King Shark reminds him of Jaws. “They didn’t show the shark because they couldn’t make it look good.” Some nice meta-commentary on the limited budget of The Flash!
– I also love that Snart broke into the super-secure vault lock in 37 seconds.
– Nice Grodd and Suicide Squad cameos in A.R.G.U.S.!
– I recommend checking out Aurora’s music. She’s an excellent Norwegian singer-songwriter who released her great debut album last year.