Run Iris Run was another solid episode of The Flash even though it featured a main subplot steeped in ridiculousness.
After being the main supporting cast member and rock of Team Flash, it was cool to see Iris get her chance to be a speedster even if only for a few days.
Team Flash was stymied trying to find the last three bus metas before DeVoe gets hold of them. Barry had other problems as he still can’t get his job back. Stuffing the show with so many characters has not helped Barry as this season has felt more like a superhero ensemble instead of a series about The Flash. On most shows, Barry’s struggle to stay productive and make a living would be a decent plot point. Or at the very least we’d see more follow-up to the seemingly tossed out notion of Barry being a private investigator with Ralph.
Speaking of the Elongated Man, Ralph had been somewhat redeemed over the last few episodes, but the writers reverted him to a complete jackass once again. Ralph has always been a tad chauvinistic and sleazy, but it was the peak of insanity for him to call Iris out for staying behind the desk while everyone else risks their lives on the field.
First off, Ralph has been part of Team Flash for like, what three weeks? Who is he to call out Iris for anything? Secondly, Ralph can’t say anything while he’s hiding in STAR Labs too afraid of getting taken out by DeVoe. Finally, Ralph is just dead wrong. Iris literally just went on the field to help stop Cisco and Ralph from blowing up. She owes Ralph absolutely nothing and it was aggravating that the focal point of this episode revolved around Iris feeling like she had something to prove to this moron.
For a quick one-off gimmick, Run Iris Run had a clever means of having Barry and Iris swap roles thanks to a bus meta Matthew Kim (Leonardo Nam) who could take abilities from one meta and give them to anyone else. The writers played it a little too safe with Iris going through the same hamster on a wheel speed test training and initial failure and brush with self doubt. Not that Barry was all that helpful as he was advising Iris as she tried to put out a fire like a Hall of Famer turned coach.
This gave Candice Patton a nice spotlight to bring some drama as Iris explained how she stopped fighting after Savitar. Suiting up for Iris wasn’t about proving anyone right but herself. Still, it would have been a lot more fun to just let Iris immediately take to being a speedster and fight some more criminals than the 80s relic flame thrower. I just wanted some explanation as to why Iris had a purple flash effect. It was nice to hear Run Iris Run as a twist on the show’s big catchphrase. The people of Central City must be so confused with The Flash branding. It seems like everyone is The Flash these days.
Matthew partnering up with Team Flash raises some important questions: why didn’t DeVoe just grab him first and use him to siphon off the other metas’ powers? He could have snatched their abilities without needing to kill them. And why would DeVoe come to him near the end of his depth chart? Also, how shocked was anyone else that Barry didn’t unmask in front of Kim like he does everyone else that enters STAR Labs?
The other big subplot revolved around Harry trying to counter The Thinker with a thinking cap of his own. This led to some silly moments for a bit before settling down with Harry learning the names of the final two bus metas. I’m sure they’ll follow the playbook and be a problem for Team Flash before finally joining them/getting killed.
Maybe the biggest accomplishment of this episode was Iris returned to her passion — writing. With no Lois Lane in this universe, it was always silly that The Flash didn’t make more use of Iris’ actual gig in the comics to help steer stories. This gives Iris a job away from everyone else. Maybe she can even make some friends?
I can’t believe the show is taking yet another break. Besides Ralph, this season has already felt stretched out enough and these long delays aren’t helpful in maintaining any momentum.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW