I needed a little break from The Flash and decided to watch in more of a binge format. Netflix has spoiled me. I was looking forward to All Doll’d Up as it featured one of Flash’s more interesting Rogues – Rag Doll.
What really made this episode work was the writers finding a better way to work the cast without having them tripping over each other. The pairings made sense and it allowed Barry and Iris to have some quality time together.
It was a little weird that Nora was still nursing her temper tantrum for two weeks. There’s no reason she has to stick around in this timeline after all and if she feels so hurt she can always leave. That minor gripe aside it was nice to see her and Cecile spending time.
I appreciated that Cecile didn’t let Nora get away with trash talking Iris. Cecile misted Nora by telling her stories about Iris and not Barry like she promised. It was a smart way to have Nora stop bashing present Iris for future Iris’ decisions.
Danielle Nicolet filled in nicely in Jesse L. Martin’s signature role of dishing out that timely, sage advice. Hopefully Martin will recover from his back injury before the season is over, but Nicolet will hold things down in his absence.
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I was also glad to see Caitlin, Cisco, Ralph and Sherloque having their own subplot as well. Ralph gets my vote for Most Improved Arrowverse Character this year. He was so aggravating last season, but now that he’s no longer the bright, new shiny toy, he’s become a lot more bearable and likable.
Unlike a lot of times on the show, there were some long-term ramifications from a villain’s actions. Cisco can’t even do his touch vibe without an incredible amount of pain. It did seem a stretch that Cisco would think he was all of a sudden worthless since he didn’t have his powers. That’s never really been his mindset especially since he does so much for Team Flash. The foursome did manage to track down another major lead that could help locate Caitlin’s father. It was a little frustrating that after all that effort Caitlin all of a sudden wasn’t in a rush to find him.
The main plot had Iris and Barry dealing with a new meta — Rag Doll (played by actual contortionist Troy James). As usual, the show took some interesting liberties with a comic character opting for more of a horror movie villain take. This wasn’t bad as he could easily be played in that manner, but The Flash tends to always go too dark with the Rogues. With the exception of The Trickster of course. The cracking bone sound is accurate to the comic, but in this case it seemed to be so exaggerated that it felt a tad hokey.
It was nice to see Iris take more of the lead and want to find a story angle on Rag Doll. My main issue with Iris as the Team Flash leader is it completely robs her of her own life. That’s not the best message that Iris had to drop everything including her career to stay by Barry’s side. It’s still a bit confusing how the writers view Barry’s reflexes. He probably should have been quick enough to react to Rag Doll creeping up behind him.
I also liked that Ralph got to be useful against a Rogue even if his mode of transportation was lacking. The CGI not Ralph’s creative use of powers. Occasionally, the speedster effects look off, but Ralph’s powers have never looked good. Iris got a bada$$ moment in leaping off a building (in a single bound) to free Barry from Rag Doll’s restraints. That was good enough to impress Nora and finally get them on the same page. Good as I was starting to find Nora annoying for hating on Iris.
All Doll’d Up showed how effective The Flash can still be when the characters have agendas and a credible villain arrives. With the tease of another classic Flash Rogue next episode, here’s hoping the hot streak can continue.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW