The Flash recap: 'Girls Night Out'

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The Flash

type:
TV Show
run date:
10/15/14
performer:
Grant Gustin, Danielle Panabaker, Candice Patton
broadcaster:
The CW
seasons:
3
Current Status:
In Season

We gave it a B+

One of my favorite Batman: The Animated Series episodes is “Girl’s Night Out,” the season 4 half hour that saw Batgirl and Supergirl team up to take on Livewire, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy. It was a fun episode of television that gave the women of the DCAU the spotlight they deserved and did a good bit of fleshing out of the universe, too. Tonight’s episode of The Flash, which boasts a mini-crossover with Arrow as Felicity drops by, does something similar. While The Flash couldn’t sideline the men completely like Batman: The Animated Series, it does put them in an equally fun side plot while Felicity, Iris, Cecile, and Caitlin save the day from the meta-of-the-week: Underground metahuman trafficker Amunet Black (Katee Sackhoff).

This week, Iris and Barry are, to borrow Harry’s words, “getting inebriated with the same gender to celebrate an archaic institution.” In other words, it’s time for their bachelor and bachelorette parties, and the latter is what brings Felicity to town. Caitlin, who is in flight mode after the threatening message she received last week, has decided to sit this one out and is preparing to hop on a plane to escape Amunet Black, but a crowned Iris and balloon-carrying Felicity convince her to join them and Cecile in the fun.

Unfortunately, that fun quickly goes south when Amunet’s glass-eyed goon shows up at the restaurant and interrupts the women’s champagne toast. Felicity hilarious assumes he’s a bad stripper, but she’s quickly corrected when he demands that Caitlin come with him. When Caitlin refuses, his eye falls out (instead of his pants falling down, much to Felicity’s dismay) and a weird tentacle emerges from the hole and starts attacking them. But the women fight back. This little brawl awakens Killer Frost, who sends the goon flying through the restaurant’s window. “Ugh, I hate pink,” says Killer Frost in one of her many great line readings.

As Felicity’s cheeky reference makes clear, The Flash is steering into Killer Frost being the Hulk to Caitlin’s Bruce Banner. Whenever Killer Frost emerges, icy hair and all, Caitlin takes a backseat in their brain. Iris repeatedly calls the guys for help with the situation, but they can’t pick up because the bouncer at the skeezy strip club Ralph took them to makes them turn over their phones. Killer Frost takes some pleasure in pointing out to the women that Caitlin was keeping secrets from them and was planning on fleeing. Despite Cecile’s understandable concerns about working with Killer Frost, Iris opts to stand by their teammate, so the women follow Killer Frost as she goes to meet with Amunet Black.

Obviously, Killer Frost finds Amunet Black chilling in a nightclub. Following the tradition of other high-profile guest stars on The Flash, Sackhoff gives a deliciously hammy performance as the metahuman trafficker; she’s threateningly perky, like hearing that you’re her favorite henchwoman doesn’t sound like a good thing. Killer Frost demands her freedom, but Amunet refuses to give it to her because she wants Killer Frost to help protect her latest acquisition: the Weeper, a metahuman whose tears contain an addictive love drug that Amunet wants to sell, a.k.a Amunet wants to give Central City its own Vertigo. Before the two can begin fighting, Iris interrupts the chat and pulls Killer Frost away.

When they return to S.T.A.R., Killer Frost explains that Caitlin got tangled up with Amunet Black when she went looking for something that would help her keep her icier alter-ego in check. In return for this technology, Amunet made Caitlin become her muscle. Upon learning this, Iris decides they have a responsibility to stop Amunet and save the Weeper, and she believes they’re more than capable of handling this on their own (#Feminism is something that’s said many times throughout the episode). (NEXT: The boys have a rough night)

What elevates this episode above just being a fun change of pace is that the show uses the opportunity to address something it’s struggled with for most its run: the relationships between its female characters. It’s been clear for a while that the show hasn’t always known what to do with Iris and Caitlin (turning the latter into Killer Frost last season helped), and when Supergirl premiered, filled with multiple forms of female friendships, it shined a light on something else The Flash was missing. In tonight’s episode, Caitlin — after narrowly surviving another encounter with Amunet, who showed off her ability to control a specific type of metal that forced her to revert back to Caitlin — points out how she and Iris are really just work friends. “It’s not like you and I have become besties over the past year,” says Caitlin, making a very accurate point. That explains why Caitlin didn’t feel like she could talk to Iris about what was going with her powers and with Amunet.

With Felicity’s help, the Team Flash women are able to track down Amunet, because satellites can find anything in the Arrow-verse. They show up at one of Central City’s many warehouses, where Amunet is meeting with someone interested in buying the Weeper. Iris and Felicity, who shows up with Captain Cold’s gun, think they’ll be able to take Amunet and her men on their own, but they’re wrong. Thankfully, Caitlin, who initially decided to hang back because she was afraid she’d lose control, shows up and uses her Killer Frost powers to protect Iris and Felicity, and Cecile uses a magnet to separate Amunet from the special metal she carries around in a bucket for battles like this one. Killer Frost has an opportunity to kill her but doesn’t. Obviously, Caitlin is still in there.

Meanwhile, Ralph crashes Barry’s bachelor party and drags Barry, Joe, Harry, and Cisco, who planned a chill night of cigars, brandy, and home videos, to dirty strip club where Ralph’s photo hangs on the wall because he’s the No. 1 customer. There, Cisco supplies Barry with a concentrated alcohol that gets him hammered. No surprise, drunk Barry is a bloody delight! From yelling “I’m the Flash!” to crying over the ending of Titanic and how much he loves chicken wings, I couldn’t stop laughing.

Joe isn’t having nearly as much fun, however, because he’s freaking out about becoming a father again — and, more pressingly, it turns out Cecile’s daughter Joanie is a stripper at said establishment. According to Joanie, she’s writing a book about the female experience and wants to show that a powerful woman be anything she wants. Joe suggests she think about the reason she hasn’t told her mother about this new side gig yet.

Joe’s night goes from bad to worse when Ralph causes a bar fight after stealing a $20 from stripper, which lands them all behind bars. There, Joe opens up to Barry, who is barfing in the cell’s toilet, about his fears about becoming a father again. Pointing out that Joe raised two children as a single father, Barry vows that he, Iris, and everyone else will be there to help him out, which calms Joe a bit. Thankfully, Harry springs them from jail, and when they all return to S.T.A.R. Labs, they find Caitlin waiting in the Cortex to come clean to them about everything.

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