Team Flash joins forces with Amunet Black in the entertaining yet uneven 'Harry and the Harrisons'
On the one hand, “Harry and the Harrisons” makes a strong case for The Flash having a short episode count next season because it’s the definition of a filler episode and stalls the drama right when the show should start building toward its climax in earnest. On the other hand, I kind of enjoyed it. Not only did it feature the return of Kattee Sackhoff as Amunet Black, but it also continued the show’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2-esque concern with empathy and the importance of being in touch with your emotions, which is a theme I’m very much into even if the execution is a bit uneven (I’m looking at you, Council of Harrisons, which we’ll get to in a moment).
This week, Team Flash is primarily concerned with A) figuring out why DeVoe hasn’t activated his satellites yet, and B) finding an organic and non-tech way of destroying them since DeVoe has Kilg%re’s powers. Thankfully, Caitlin, who is also still trying to bring Killer Frost back, has a solution that’ll hopefully help both her and the team: Amunet Black. Cailtin wants to use Amunet’s dark matter-created metal shards to destroy the satellites because they’re organic and can’t be hacked. Also, Amunet has a splicer-thing that helped Caitlin control Killer Frost before and she thinks it can help her again. I love me a “Team Flash teams up with a supervillain” episode!
Flash, Caitlin, and Joe find Amunet hiding out in an underground poker club behind a supermarket, and ask her to help them out with their problem. After shaming Barry for failing at hiding his secret identity, Amunet agrees to help them because she realizes that stopping DeVoe is in her best interest, too; however, she says she can only help them if they help her track down the rest of her metallic shards stash, which was stolen from her super-secret storage locker. Said storage locker also contained the splicer Caitlin needs, so Caitlin also agrees to pull off one more job for Amunet if she gives it to her.
Let’s be honest, this little quest shouldn’t have taken up an entire episode because it slows the season down right as it was starting to get going. Where the hell is DeVoe in the antepenultimate episode? But, I’ll admit that I’ll take any reason to have Sackhoff back on the show because she just seems to be having so much fun playing such a broad villain. Her delightfully over-the-top performance is almost as fun as Wentworth Miller’s hammy take on Captain Cold (Her delivery of “David Caruso has got nothing on you” to Barry as he was examining her broken into storage container made me giggle).
Realizing that Caitlin isn’t being completely upfront with the team, Joe pushes Caitlin to come clean about why she suggested they team up with Amunet in the first place. As I’ve said in past weeks, I continue to be surprised by how invested I am in Caitlin’s newfound Hailee Steinfeld-esque love for Killer Frost and her desperate quest to get her back. Danielle Panabaker does a great job of making you feel just how much Caitlin misses her. Unfortunately, Amunet has some bad news for Caitlin: The splicer isn’t real. The results Caitlin felt the first time she used it were just a placebo effect, which is great news for Cailtin because it means that the key to getting her evil half back is within her. (Next: Silliness abounds with the Council of Harrisons)
Eventually, Team Flash figures out that Amunet’s former right-hand man Norvock was the one who broke into her storage locker, and they manage to track him down right as he’s about to sell her shards to some businessmen. While Cailtin and Joe try to stop the buyers from driving off with the only weapon they have to defeat DeVoe, Flash and Amunet, who promised not to kill Norvock, takes on the snake-eyed henchman. The entire fight sequence is one of my favorites of the season; from Barry getting doused with Norvock’s acid and having to phase through it and Amunet Man in the Iron Mask-ing Norvock to stop his eye from creating anymore problems, to Caitlin dropping an icicle on Norvock’s buyers.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but once the dust has settled, Amunet tries reneging on their deal and says she doesn’t want to help Team Flash anymore. However, Caitlin points out that Amunet won’t be spared from DeVoe’s Enlightenment, which convinces Amunet to give Team Flash what they need: a ball of her combustible shards, which can blow up the satellites. Then, she exits stage right in a tornado of metallic shards, which is one of the coolest visuals The Flash has given us all season.
While all of this was going on, Cisco was busy helping Harry look for a way to get his intelligence back. Unfortunately, the Council of Wells refuses to help, so Cisco decides to form the Council of Harrisons, which is comprised of different, emotionally intelligent versions of Harrison Wells. Cisco’s hope is that the Council will help Harry get in touch with his emotions, which, again, is a theme I can get behind at least in theory. The episode’s execution, however, leaves much to be desired because the Council of Harrisons just comes off as pointlessly silly. All of the doppelgangers are very one-note, sort of like the characters the Whose Line Is it Anyway? guys come up with in a game. They’re great for the moment, but aren’t suited for multiple scenes.
That being said, I do appreciate the show’s renewed focus on helping Harry understand the importance of empathy. That’s definitely a valuable theme and reminds me of Guardians 2. Even though his first meeting with the Council leaves him rather frustrated, Harry ends up realizing that empathy is the key to beating DeVoe. So, Harry puts himself in the Thinker’s shoes and deduces that DeVoe hasn’t activated his satellites because he’s missing the one thing he cares about: Marlize. Here’s hoping that Harry’s newfound emotional intelligence leads to a few more breakthroughs.
Sackhoff’s performance and the themes of this episode definitely make it one of the more enjoyable ones of the season; however, “Harry and the Harrisons” feels rather out of place in the season as a whole. At this point in a season, The Flash is usually crescendoing toward its big climax, but this episode slams on the breaks and barely inches us forward and is another example of how this season has suffered from poor pacing. Clifford DeVoe definitely wasn’t a strong enough villain to anchor an entire season and that has forced the show to throw out these filler episodes. Thankfully, this one was more enjoyable than that string of bus meta episodes we got earlier in the season.
Wall of Weird:
- Elsewhere in tonight’s episode, The Flash forgets how the internet works. Iris tries to cripple DeVoe’s plan by publishing an article that outlines everything he’s trying to do. She hopes Central City will help rise up and help them catch him, and in the episode’s stringer, we see her laying in bed reading all of the tips coming in about recent DeVoe sightings. She seems very excited about the response and doesn’t even pause to remember that lying trolls exist. Gosh, I do love this show’s optimism.
- “Oh look a little hidey hole for your outfit!” Amunet reacting to where Barry keeps his costume in the Cortex.
- “It’s time for the Flash to put his faith in people,” Iris, trying to convince Barry to support her publishing her article.
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