The Thinker's plan slowly starts to take shape as Team Flash faces a meta who can give people bad luck
The Flash continued to embrace its goofy side in tonight’s episode, which managed to fill almost every scene with humor. At one point, I wondered if the episode was trying too hard to be fun and funny, but I think it’s best if we don’t complain since anything’s better than the funk the show was stuck in last season.
“Luck Be a Lady” begins with a healthy dose of schadenfreude as The Thinker coldly observes and comments on the very sad life of Subject Two, Rebecca “Becky” Sharpe (Sugar Lyn Beard), the unluckiest woman in the world. Three weeks ago Becky suffered a series of indignities — having a lactose intolerant bathroom emergency right when her she walked in on her boyfriend cheating, being fired from her casino job after pushing away a patron for sexual harassment, her car being impounded — that eventually led her to a bus occupied by Mr. Kilg%re, from last week. As the bus pulled away from the curb, there was a flash of light, giving Becky the power to give others bad luck and herself good luck.
In the present day, we find Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin playing laser tag, which I loved, especially once Cisco invoked “Run, Barry, run” before Barry charged their opponents. No surprise: They all end up losing to the rude teenagers they’re facing. On the bright side, right after they lose, Iris and Barry learn that the wedding venue they wanted has opened up, and they immediately book it.
The same can’t be said for Wally, who receives some heartbreaking news from Earth-2: Jesse wants to break up. Writers Sam Chalsen and Judalina Neira treat this development humorously, as Harry breaches over from Earth-2 carrying a break-up cube containing a hologram message from Jesse. Unfortunately, the device, made from Atlantean plastic (!!), fails, and it’s up to a stuttering Harry to deliver her message, which is as awkward and hilarious as you’d expect given his gruff exterior. Thankfully, a crime alert goes off, ending this uncomfortable conversation.
Using her newfound powers, Becky goes on a bank-robbing spree. In one of the show’s most obvious yet fun song choices, “Luck Be a Lady” plays as she casually strolls into a bank while a series of unfortunate events befall the people who try to stop her. The Flash speeds out onto the scene, but a convenient tub of marbles spills onto the road and trips him before he can stop her. As Barry notes, it’s very cartoony — but in the best way possible. The Flash is always at its best when it embraces its goofy Silver Age instincts as opposed to the grimdark tone that dominates present-day superhero tales.
It doesn’t take long for Team Flash to figure out Becky is one of the new metas Kilg%re warned them about. Cisco, Barry, and Harry manage to track the traces of dark matter on Becky to a street corner, which just happens to be where Barry came running out of the Speed Force in the premiere. That Speed Force breach released a ton of dark matter into our world, which hit the bus Becky and Kilg%re were conveniently on. So, yes, Team Flash is once again responsible for creating these new metas.
This discovery unfolds rather quickly (and with a lot of playful arguing between Cisco and Harry), which is great since the show struggles when the team is kept in the dark for too long. There is, however, one small plot hole: How does Barry remember where he exited the Speed Force? In the premiere, Barry said he remembered nothing from the time in between when he entered to Speed Force and when he saved Iris. Did coming to that intersection jog his memory? If so, the show should’ve done a better job of explaining that. Anyway, Harry gives them hell for opening the Speed Force without consulting him, and a frustrated Cisco yells at him to go back to Earth-2. (Recap continues on the next page).
What’s great about having Becky as a villain is that she isn’t out for revenge. As I’ve complained in the past, the show tends to lean on that trope a bit too much, which at this point feels like lazy motivation. Barry recognizes that Becky isn’t like the show’s usual foes and thinks he’ll be able to solve this week’s problem by just talking to her. So, Barry approaches her at Jitters, where her powers start to act up and cause trouble in the coffee shop as she gets upset. Realizing he can’t win, Barry is forced to just let her walk away before something bad happens.
Given that they just lost their wedding venue and all of the bad luck they’ve faced over the past four years, Iris decides that she wants to just get married today. She summons Barry to a church, and as a funeral starts wrapping up, she and Barry push past the procession (“I love this coffin. Is this cedar?” says Iris is one of the episode’s funniest lines) to the altar and ask the priest to marry them. Unfortunately, that plans falls apart because the priest goes into anaphylactic shock; he’s allergic to the cinnamon incense the altar boy used. (My notes: “LOLOLOL.”) Meanwhile, Cisco apologizes to Harry for telling him to go back to Earth-2, and Harry admits that his daughter kicked him off her superhero team because he was too strict and didn’t give them enough time for personal bonding. Cisco ends up inviting Harry to stay on their Earth to help them fight crime and, in a surprising development, build a life filled with friends here.
Cisco and Harry’s make-up chat is interrupted by more alarms: The bad-luck quantum field created by Becky’s powers is expanding and affecting the entire city. The more good luck Becky experiences, the worse it gets for everyone else. As Becky goes on a winning streak at the casino, the West home, which has been suffering plumbing problems all episode long, starts to fall apart and traps Cecile and Joe inside — and the particle accelerator starts powering up, which can’t be good news. Given that The Flash‘s VFX maestro Armen K. Kevorkian directed this episode, you’d expect this all to build to some beautifully rendered computer-generated sequence of The Flash saving the day, but the script subverts those expectations. When The Flash arrives at the casino with some power-dampening handcuffs, he slips on some quarters and accidentally handcuffs himself. Tonight’s save goes to Harry, who tells Cisco to let the particle accelerator turn on because it will counteract Becky’s powers. He’s right and everything goes back to normal, and Barry is able to get the cuffs on Becky.
During the episode’s climax, I wrote in my notes, “WHERE IS WALLY?” because his absence was pretty glaring amid all of the excitement. Thankfully, the show answers that question fairly quickly. Wally reveals to the team that he traveled to Earth-2 to talk to Jesse, who is focusing on herself. And since no one noticed he was missing during the fight, Wally has decided to do the same and pull a “Jeremy Gilbert on The Vampire Diaries” by leaving town. Is writing off Wally the show’s way of admitting that it has no idea what to do with him? It seems to be, which is disappointing because Keiynan Lonsdale has a done a great job with the character and there’s some story potential in watching Barry getting used to working with a partner in the field. Hopefully, he’ll be back soon. But with Wally gone, a Wells back in, and two enjoyable metas-of-the-week in a row, it feels like the show is trying to capture the spirit of the first season.
As Wally leaves S.T.A.R. Labs, removing himself from the proverbial chessboard, Harry realizes that someone is playing an elaborate chess game with them, that everything that’s happened since the Samuroid came to town is part this person’s big plan. We obviously know he’s right. The Thinker is onto to them, too, because he’s using the Samuroid head to eavesdrop on them. By the end of the episode, The Thinker’s plans remain pretty opaque, but we do know that he’s trying to collect all of the metas he created in Iron Heights — but first he wants to observe how they use their powers.
Wall of Weird:
- In a surprising twist, the episode’s stinger belongs to Joe and Cecile, who reveals that she doesn’t want to move out of the very old West home because she’s pregnant. This leaves Joe speechless.
- “Subject was born in Sarasota, Florida, the first indignity in a life full of unfortunate circumstances,” says The Thinker, whose deadpan makes everything he says sound super shady.
- Becky still used MySpace three weeks ago, which is the saddest thing about her background.
- Did anyone gets Harley Quinn vibes from Sugar Lyn Beard’s delivery of “Mr. Security Man”?
- “Every time we try to do something right, it goes horribly wrong!” — Cisco, after learning they created the new metas
- Look, we should take issue with the fact that The Flash refuses to drop the Wells crutch, but Tom Cavanagh has been pretty fantastic in every role he’s played on this show, so I’m glad he’s sticking around.
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