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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Flash S3E22: Infantino Street

The Flash
Series 3, Episode 22
Infantino Street.

We're here at last, at the fridging episode. That's always been something of a key problem with this storyline: It's always been a very long, very drawn out fridging of Iris, and unless they use time travel or reveal that it was a trick or something to reverse that next episode, it will be sealed in my mind as 'that time a television show spent a whole series trying to justify fridging a main character,' and that'll leave a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.

There is one more episode left, though, so it's always possible that Iris could return before the series is done. We'll see what happens there.

With Cisco having located a suitable power source for the Speed Bazooka in the form of a piece of Dominator tech, held by ARGUS, Barry grabs Leonard Snart from the past to help him steal it. As Barry and Snart infiltrate ARGUS and try to find their way past King Shark, Wally and Joe take Iris to hide on Earth-2. But when Savitar tricks the team into revealing Iris' location, and events start to head inexorably towards the events Barry saw in his vision of the future.

Barry and his Speed Bazooka, which is not a euphemism.

Incidentally, it is entirely plausible that there was some plan to keep Iris safe that we don't know about. Barry tells the others to come up with a plan, but not to tell him, and when Cisco leaves, we see HR looking meaningfully at Savitar's snapped off blade, indicating that something is going to happen with that blade. Whether that means HR figured out a way to keep Iris safe, either using or inspired by the blade, or if it's going to be key to defeating Savitar, I don't know -- but we'll doubtless find out next episode.

Taken as it is, though, this episode is firmly divided into two sections: The first section focusing on Barry and Snart's heist, and the second focusing on Barry's confrontation with Savitar.

The section with Barry and Snart is oddly fun. Wentworth Miller clearly has a whale of a time chewing the scenery in literally all his appearances as Snart, and for his brief appearance here he is in full-on-large-ham mode, chomping down on scenery left, right and centre -- and in turn, encouraging Grant Gustin to be a slightly more over-the-top actor just to keep up with him. I do really wish that Snart showed up more, but since his character is, as of right now, very much dead and only able to show up through time travel shenanigans, that doesn't seem like it's going to happen.


Not much time is spent on any actual heist shenanigans -- mostly it's just Barry and Snart avoiding King Shark while playing off each other, and in the end they're not even successful, and Lila has to give Barry the power source after realising that the only reason she was keeping it away from him was because this episode needed some conflict for its first thirty minutes.

The remainder of the episode, with Savitar kidnapping Iris, was suitably dramatic. It starts with an absolutely brutal fight between Savitar and Wally, involving leg snapping and no end of Wally being tossed around (I actually did think for a moment that Savitar was going to end up breaking Wally's spine), and culminates in both a battle between Cisco and Caitlin, and Barry using the Speed Bazooka on Savitar -- only for it, predictably, not to work.

It also gives us a lovely moment with Cisco and HR, where their arc comes full circle with Cisco encouraging HR and allaying his fears about himself. That would seem to cap off HR's character arc, so it wouldn't surprise me if HR was gone in series four, and we got a new Wells in his place. Honestly, I hope we do, because I suspect the other option would be Tom Cavanagh leaving the show.

Our battle between Cisco and Caitlin -- which is seemingly meant to be the battle where Cisco loses his hands -- doesn't get an end point, but I'm guessing it's going to turn out differently from how it did in the original future, with Cisco either winning or with Caitlin backing off. This episode even set us up more for a redemption arc, with Caitlin accidentally slipping up and using her name instead of 'Killer Frost.'

Also festive!

Iris' death, meanwhile, somewhat lacked impact. I do really like Iris as a character, and I don't want to see her go, but more than anything, her death just leaves me irritated at the writers. Maybe I'll have time to be sad if it turns out she genuinely is dead next episode, but mostly, right now, I'm just vexed at what seems on the surface to be the fridging of one of the show's best characters.

Anyway, the preview for next week very deliberately tells us almost nothing about what's coming, focusing mostly on Barry and Joe's reaction to Iris' death, with a few brief shots of Savitar opening a breach (for time travel purposes?) and remarking that he is a god, and suchlike. So it's really anyone's guess what's going to happen. There is, as they say, everything to play for, and approximately one week to play it in.

(Also, the show's been renewed for a fourth series, so that's good. If we follow the Arrow pattern, the villain next year will be a somewhat ineffectual man who is oddly jarring with the rest of the series, which in this instance might mean that we get somebody who isn't a speedster.)

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