The CW superhero shows are on a roll so far this week. Supergirl was thoroughly enjoyable, Legends of Tomorrow was great, and this episode of The Flash is right there with it in terms of quality. This episode, titled “Dead or Alive” was one of my favorite episodes of The Flash this season. The main reason for this is the main storyline, having to do with the introduction of the DC character Gypsy, and her interactions with Cisco.
Gypsy is basically a bounty hunter from Earth 19, the same Earth that H.R. Wells comes from. We learn early on in the episode that she is here to take him back to Earth 19, where he will be executed for breaking that Earth’s laws regarding interdimensional travel. The scene where she just pops into Star Labs is a great scene, showing her be a badass as she shoots H.R., blasts Cisco, and stops Wally cold in his tracks all in the same scene. Jessica Camacho stars as Gypsy in this episode, and I can’t wait to see her again. She was great in this role, and I totally bought her chemistry with Cisco.
One of the main problems I have had with this season of The Flash is that they have basically gone back to a villain of the week formula, while doing very little to really progress the Savitar storyline. That wouldn’t be as bad if the villains of the week weren’t so forgettable and generic. The fact that we got an interesting, somewhat fleshed out villain this week is a great thing. A lot of people may point out that Gypsy isn’t a villain in the comics, and she may not be one going forward in this show, but make no mistake, she was the villain of this episode. Her actions and intentions went directly against those of Barry and company. We learned things about her character and her motivations for doing what she does, thus we care more about her. Funny how that works.
I absolutely love how Cisco just constantly shamelessly flirts with Gypsy throughout this episode. There is some truly funny dialogue between those two, and I sincerely hope we get more of them together later in the season. Caitlin even makes a comment in the episode about how Cisco seems to only fall for villainous women. Cisco ends up challenging Gypsy to a trial by combat in order to keep her from taking H.R. back to Earth 19. However, this duel is to the death and Cisco is far outclassed by Gypsy. She gives him 24 hours to prepare, and the rest of the Star Labs team spends that time helping him prepare. The breakthrough ends up being provided by Julian, who gives Cisco some information that ends up allowing him to defeat Gypsy at the end of the episode, although he of course spares her life. Cisco and Gypsy then have a final scene together, and just when it looks like they are about to kiss, she creates a portal and disappears through it, leaving Cisco there with his eyes closed. That is a great exit.
Alright, so as far as secondary plots go, the main one had to do with Iris being determined to break open a story about a new arms dealer in town. I don’t personally feel like her reporter storyline has ever been fleshed out nearly enough as it should be, but I bought her determination to break this story because of her possible impending death. She wants to make sure she leaves some kind of lasting mark on the world just in case the team can’t save her from Savitar. As far as Wally helping her, I didn’t really buy It at first, but then I remembered that Wally more than anything wants to use his powers any way he can. So this was a way he could do that and help Iris at the same time. This subplot has one of the best scenes in the episode, where Iris attempts to distract Joe while Wally gets some information from his desk at the police precinct. Iris makes it sound like her and Barry are going to have a child, and Joe’s reaction is simply priceless. He plays that scene so well, and it just reminds me why Jesse L. Martin is such an integral part of this show. That scene was comedic gold. After Iris and Wally eventually bust the arms dealer, Joe finds out about it and is unhappy to say the least. It is only a matter of time until Joe finds out about Iris’ possible death a few months from now, and things are not going to be pretty when that comes to light.
Overall, this episode was great. We got introduced to a really compelling new character that we actually got some backstory for, great scenes between her and Cisco, a couple cool action scenes involving Gypsy, and a decent side story with Iris and Wally that contained a fantastic scene with Joe. I hope that there are more episodes like this coming down the line, where I don’t forget everything about the “villain” an hour after I watch the episode, and where we get compelling scenes of both the dramatic and comedic variety.