Thank god, Team Flash has finally learned their lesson! “Blocked,” tonight’s episode, opens with Barry and Nora coming clean to the rest of Team Flash about Nora’s lies and, more importantly, the fact that Barry never returns after he disappears in the future. You would expect this revelation to put a damper on things, but it doesn’t, and that’s due to Iris. She tells everyone that they’ll worry about that when the time comes because they already know that they can change the future if they have to.
But that doesn’t mean Iris isn’t worrying about anything. Learning that Nora grew up without Barry explains why she doesn’t want to leave his side and doesn’t want anything to do with her mother. She talks to Joe about this, and he advises that she just focus on keeping herself busy. And that’s exactly what she does, leading to one of Iris’ most compelling episodic storylines and one of Candice Patton’s best performances.
Iris, who started writing again toward the end of last season, decides to dig into what happened to Gridlock, who never made it to Iron Heights. She drops by a crime scene to talk to Captain Singh, who only gives her the name of the officer who was part of Gridlock’s detail. While at the scene, she sees Barry and Nora bonding over CSI stuff. See, Barry was called to the scene to investigate a very Bones-y murder — a human body was compressed into a cube by a metahuman named Vanessa Jansen, who can create these blocks — and Nora decided to tag along and pretend to be Barry’s intern. Patton does a fantastic job of conveying how much it stings to see Nora and Barry bonding without her. It’s subtle at first, and throughout the rest of the episode, you get the sense that Iris is carrying those hurt feelings around in every scene.
From the crime scene, Iris decides to pay a very beaten up Officer Matthews a visit at the hospital. Unfortunately, the good cop doesn’t remember too much of what happened after the prison transport stopped. But that doesn’t stop this intrepid reporter.
While Barry decides to teach Nora the basics of being a speedster after she messed up their first encounter with Vanessa and allowed her to get away, Iris uses Barry’s lab to access the prison transport’s dashboard camera. While there isn’t much to see in the recording, there is quite a bit to hear, most notably the officer’s screams and Cicada’s heavy breathing. Honestly, one of the best things about this episode is getting to see Iris work as a journalist, which we haven’t seen much. It’s great to see her have a life outside of Team Flash.
Unfortunately, Barry’s training time with Nora isn’t going so well. Barry decides to go all the way back to basic physics, but Nora resists because she knows all that stuff already and only wants to do the big stuff. Frustrated, Barry turns to Joe for help. Of course, Joe comes through and helps Barry realize that the reason Nora is so eager to help out is because she wants to impress him. She spent all these years reading about all of the awesome things he did in the Flash Museum and now she’s met her idol. He advises Barry just show Nora that it’s okay if she’s not perfect and that he’ll still love her.
Joe’s advice helps Cecile out, too. See, earlier in the episode, she realizes that she’s losing her powers, which makes her anxious because she thought those powers would help her be a perfect mom. Hearing what Joe has to say — that not being perfect isn’t a failure — helps her get over that. What I loved about this particular storyline is that it packed an emotional punch even in limited screen time.
Next: Cisco deals with heartbreak