Honestly, I feel like I need to pinch myself sometimes because The Flash — my Flash — has returned stronger and better than ever. Because it feels like I’m dreaming sometimes — because this is exactly what I wanted from The Flash.
I wanted The Flash that embraced its light hearted tone, smart sense of humor, and family foundation in a way that made this perfect blend of brilliant television. And that’s what we’ve gotten. For. Three. Straight. Weeks.
Pinch me. Or don’t. But let me shout my love from the rooftops!
One of the things that made The Flash such a sensational all-around show in its freshman season was in the way that everything just seemed to flow so effortlessly. The different aspects that define the show were throttling at full speed. Everything felt natural. There was just this feeling of satisfaction that you left the hour with begging for next Tuesday.
I haven’t experienced that in a season and a half, possibly two seasons. Season 1 was a lot to live up to. And I’ve held The Flash to high standards because of it. When your first season is as amazing as The Flash’s was, how can you not want the same or better than its best?
For me, being the sports fanatic I am, I compare The Flash’s resurgence to my football team going a few seasons where things were bleak, draining, and unrecognizable. Sure, I still loved them. But I’d always enter Sundays expecting the worst and experiencing something worse than worst. But now, the Bears are rounding the corner. They’ve got an exciting, young, talented quarterback; their defense is back to its punishing ways; and there’s just a feeling of optimism that’s been lacking for years.
It’s the same thing I’m feeling with The Flash. I’ve been yearning so long for The Flash that I fell in love with as a whole — because while there have been aspects I’ve been disappointed with, there were also elements that I loved. I feel like a huge part of The Flash’s rebirth, in my eyes, is the rebirth of Barry Allen, who had regressed from hero to selfish hero worthy of being his own villain late Season 2 through Season 3. The fact that the hero of the story was unrecognizable to me, that surely did a number on me and my feelings towards the show.
But ever since Barry’s “rebirth,” he more resembles the hero we met in Season 1 — the hero that wants to save the world, his own happiness be damned; the hero that’ll arrest you with a smile on his face.
So excuse me if it takes me a few more weeks to stop complimenting about how “The Flash is back” because 1) I still feel like I’m dreaming, and 2) It’s true. Let me bathe in the beauty that is The Flash’s rebirth. And the excitement that’s the future unknown.
Let’s break this episode down:
Lady (Bad) Luck
Definitely a defining aspect of The Flash’s resurgence has been the return of its humorous tone in a way that perfectly complements the storylines at hand. “Luck Be A Lady” was the perfect opportunity for The Flash to thrive off of that humorous element. And thrive it did.
The Flash had some fun with some luck — good and bad; well, mostly bad for our team. We met another one of these “new metas,” named “Becky with a Y,” who couldn’t have been the most unlucky person before she became a meta. Anything and everything that could go wrong went wrong. And more. It was like “Becky with a Y” broke an entire warehouse of mirrors or followed a horde of black cats that stretched for 13 miles.
The universe hated “Becky with a Y.” And she knew it. (I feel you, girl. But not as much as you do. Cause that downright sucks.)
We met Becky as she got her latte without soy (which caused some serious intestinal issues), as well as her walking in on her boyfriend sleeping with his secretary, and her losing her job because of her clumsiness. One bad thing after the other continued to happen. And, as we saw from the voiceover from The Thinker, that made her easily manipulated.
Easily manipulated for what, you ask? Well, meet another “new meta” in Becky, aka “Hazard,” whose power is to generate bad luck for those around her as she experiences good luck. Talk about a complete 180.
It seemed as if things were going great for Team Flash right before Becky came into their lives. And then she did. And then all hell broke loose. And then Central City was nearly destroyed.
You see, the more good luck Becky experiences, the more bad luck others experience around her. And that became a problem for Team Flash, as small things gone wrong turned into big things gone wrong. It was something that was hilarious for us, the viewer, but not so funny for those experiencing it. You see, that’s how it always is. You can laugh when it’s not happening to you. But Becky brought us some pretty funny moments.
I loved that Becky wasn’t like the other metas we’ve seen in the past. She didn’t even know she was one. She just thought the universe finally decided to heed mercy on her. She was a good person — minus the whole robbing a bank thing. Not your typical meta, which was refreshing.
Even when Barry confronted her about it, she approached it in a surprising way. Becky has always been dealt a bad hand. She believes that a higher power has finally done her justice. When Barry inserts that her good luck is making others unlucky, she says that perhaps it’s everyone else’s turn to live the bad luck she’s had to live with. Nothing too “diabolical.” She’s just someone that’s had a rough life and wants the good to outweigh the bad. When she eventually found herself being threatened, she let Barry know not to mess with her. And damn, she almost destroyed the city unknowingly.
She was very relatable, which is new. I enjoyed her as a “villain.”
Much like Cat Grant’s presence brings a certain flair to Supergirl, the same can be said of Harry Wells on The Flash. It’s been a long two episodes without Tom Cavanagh, but it was well worth the wait as Harry returned to us…for the long haul.
Harry disguised his return as delivering a “break up cube” from Jesse to Wally, which was hilarious and so sad. But he stuck around to help Team Flash with our “Hazard,” and in the process he proved exactly why this team has been missing him. And exactly why he returned.
One of my absolute favorite dynamics on The Flash has been between Cisco and Harry. They complement each other so well in their dysfunction and their chemistry is insane. Having those two back in the same room — bickering like an old married couple and creating genius in the process — was something I truly missed.
It was later on in the episode when we realized why Harry truly returned to Earth-1 (and it wasn’t just because of my strong and passionate prayers.) Turns out that Jesse didn’t want him on her team. He was, well, Harry, and that was too much for her. She didn’t want to risk the chemistry of the team. So he went back to Earth-1, unsure of what awaited him in the future.
After Harry had helped Team Flash stop Hazard, he readied to leave not really sure where he was headed. It was then that Cisco said what we were all thinking: That there’s no way Harry is going anywhere. He belongs on Earth-1. With Team Flash.
Harry argues that Earth-1 isn’t his world. But, then again, Earth-2 isn’t his home anymore. As Cisco told him, they are his family. He always has a home with Team Flash.
But more importantly, Cisco reminded Harry that it’s time that he finally start living his life. He’s spent most of his life concerned about Jesse and other things that he never really got to live his life. Perhaps this is his chance to do so. He can make a life with them. With Team Flash. With his family.
All I have to say is, Thank God Harry is back. I’ve missed him so. And bring on the Cisco/Harry moments. Forever.
Joe’s New Chapter
Just as Joe was prepared to close one chapter of his life, a new chapter surprisingly popped up.
In “Luck Be A Lady,” we found Joe and Cecile dealing with the pitfalls of living in Joe’s old house, that had plumbing issues among other things. Joe was dead set on remaining in that house because it held so much history, so many memories when it comes to Iris and Barry. There was a part of him that felt comforted in that setting. There was also a part of him that was afraid to let go.
Throughout the episode, we saw that struggle as things continued to go wrong in the house as Hazard wreaked havoc on anything and everything in Central City. Barry, being the old, wonderful Barry I know and love, shed some son-like wisdom when he reminded him: “It doesn’t matter where you live as long as you have people that love you.”
Basically, it’s not the home that defines the family. It’s the family that defines the home. So while it took Joe a little time to open up to the possibility of change, he finally agreed that they should move to a smaller, more modern place.
But Cecile had second thoughts. She looked upon the house with new eyes after Joe discussed what it was like raising Iris and Barry in this house. Because, SHOCKER, CECILE IS PREGNANT.
I’ll just let Joe’s face do the talking here:
What’s The Thinker’s Grand Plan?
There’s something so refreshing about this season’s big bad not being a speedster. Not only was it getting old and cliche, but this new kind of big bad brings a lot of new things to the table. These big bads, all villains really, are supposed to challenge Barry as a hero and help him become a smarter hero. Well, certainly facing a villain named “The Thinker” will certainly help cultivate Barry as a hero intellectually.
Barry’s biggest challenge to date has been “being fast enough.” It’s something that, yes, a speedster can relate to. But since there are no speedsters (as far as I’m concerned), it’s hard for the audience to relate to that obstacle.
So The Thinker’s introduction really allows the audience to experience Barry’s struggles in a way they can relate. We haven’t gotten to Barry’s true struggles yet, but that’s certainly going to include Barry having to out think someone that clearly has the intellectual wit to match pretty much everyone on Team Flash. It’s not about being fast enough, it’s about being strong enough. And not just intellectually. Instinctively. Psychologically.
In “Luck Be A Lady,” we saw that everything that’s happened so far — with Barry emerging from the Speed Force and the creation of the new metas — has all been at the hands of The Thinker.
That’s right. The Thinker is spinning his own story without anyone knowing it.
He clearly knows who he’s up against — knew that he had to get The Flash back in action; knew that sending that Samurai after them would get them to bring Barry back; knew that Barry’s emergence from the Speed Force would create those 12 metahumans. The Thinker is the Puppet Master, and everyone else are the puppets.
It’s so brilliant that it makes me cautiously excited and optimistic. I’ve seen hyped big bads turn out to be disappointments. But if The Thinker’s impact has anything like Reverse Flash’s impact had back on Season 1, we’re in for a real treat.
But it begs the question: What is The Thinker after? Obviously that’s the big question right now — and will likely be the question for a good portion of the season. But it’s something that, while unclear at present, makes you think about the possible motive. It could be something obvious. It could be something we don’t see coming. Hopefully, it’ll be worth the anticipation.
7 Things About “Luck Be A Lady”
- Seriously, The Flash has made watching superhero television fun again! Don’t get me wrong, Supergirl is still my fave (because of the emotions), but The Flash has managed to maintain a consistent balance between humor and seriousness. Sometimes it’s just good to laugh.
- That scene with Barry and Iris in the church as she was trying to force their wedding early (for fear of never getting to marry each other) was simply outstanding. The comedic timing on both Candice Patton and Grant Gustin’s part, combined with the sequence of events and the sheer humor and frustration of the situation. It was hysterical.
- Enough cannot be said about the dynamic between Carlos Valdes and Tom Cavanagh. They breathe life into Cisco and Harry’s relationship — a relationship, while complicated in its emotions, is grounded in heart. They are family. And it’s so damn beautiful.
- This was perhaps one of my favorite metahumans ever on The Flash because she wasn’t a bad guy. She was someone that didn’t really mean any harm. She had a shit ton of bad luck in her life, and she thought the universe was repaying her. Plus, Becky as a character was hysterical. That opening sequence was perfection.
- Seriously, if The Thinker has made everything happen that’s happened so far — forced Team Flash to open the Speed Force, create those metahumans, and put them in Team Flash’s path — this dude’s more dangerous than I thought. He’s becoming more intriguing by the minute.
- While I’m sad to see Wally go, it makes sense. When Wally tells the team: “I’ve been gone and you didn’t even notice,” it was kind of like he was talking to the audience. Honestly, I didn’t notice. Because Wally has been sidelined; his story stalled on The Flash. Perhaps he could find his journey on Legends of Tomorrow?
- [Insert Joe West’s face in that final post-credit scene here]
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.