Initially Mixed Signals seemed like it was trying too hard to prove Season 4 of The Flash was going to be the fun CW superhero show again. There’s a razor thin line between funny and silly and this episode came very close to the latter. Eventually, everything came together leading to a pretty entertaining episode.
After some miscommunication and Barry trying to knock out all the wedding planning in a morning, Iris decided they needed to try couples therapy. All that was missing in these segments was Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau and a little encouragement to make it work. I get trying to keep things light, but Barry has never been portrayed as the kind of character who would laugh off his parents’ deaths. That was a weird moment that played out too much like a sitcom. Although good work in that classic comic book tie-in with the newspaper revealing Oliver Queen is busted as Green Arrow.
Therapy session Take 2 proved more useful as Iris finally let Barry have it for leaving her. Candice Patton strongly delivered on this scene and in the followup when she reminded Barry they’re together in everything now. We Are The Flash won’t be replacing I Am Groot anytime soon, but it was cute.
Cisco was also dealing with some romantic issues as Gypsy returned. I always like seeing Gypsy, but her appearances rarely matter. Mixed Signals gave her the Harry and HR treatment as the other Earth character confused when everyone doesn’t know their traditions. She wanted to spend her Earth’s equivalent to Valentine’s Day with Cisco, but he was too busy forgetting Google existed. Would a magazine with tech geniuses really be that hard to track down from a decade ago? Although the Motherboard of the Month line was pretty funny.
I didn’t like how quickly Caitlin was back to normal. She was living this cool bada$$ bartender life and in one episode she’s back to geeky Caitlin? Even if she’s not going to turn into Killer Frost every episode, it’d be nice to give her more of an edge.
Of all of Flash’s villains, Kilg%re definitely was going to get shortchanged in his comic to TV translation. Even with dramatically low expectations, his angry IT guy outfit was really uninspired. The teaser for Mixed Signals made it look like a huge focus was going to be placed on Barry’s new Homecoming suit. Fortunately that was just for one quick gag with Cisco’s ridiculous features.
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Kilg%re was running around trying to kill off his old partners. Good thing Mark Zuckerberg swiped Facebook instead of Kilg%re, huh? As far as bad guys go, Kilg%re was more of a convenient opponent since Cisco happened to upgrade Barry’s suit. Too bad, Flash doesn’t have a speedster partner to take him out. Oh, hey Kid Flash. Didn’t see you over there on account of you being too slow to avoid a regular speed laser blast. Kid Flash is seriously the worst although his hair is starting to rival Cisco’s so he’s got that at least.
I’m so glad Iris is doing more now than looking on worried, but it seemed silly that she had to come up with the solution to stop Barry’s mechanical issues instead of Caitlin or Cisco. And the self destruction setting was absurd.
Fortunately, Barry and Joe wanted to know my big question for the night — how did Kilg%re get his power? I’m ecstatic the writers are finally ready to move past the Particle Accelerator as a means for people to have superpowers in this universe. The Thinker is clearly behind this and the gotta find them all subplot of the other new metas should have drive the season forward.
Mixed Signals had some weird moments, but the writers are erring on the right side of making The Flash too silly instead of too serious. Finding that balance looks like it will be their major challenge for the season.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW