The Flash Recap: Sparks Fly Between Vibe & Gypsy

"The Flash" continued its post-winter break trend with another episode that was both funny and full of joyous moments. As addressed in last week's midseason premiere, the show had taken on a dour tone, what with the consequences of Flashpoint and the arrival of Alchemy and Savitar. With Flashpoint well behind Team Flash, the show seems to have bounced back to a place of fun and optimism. Even with Iris' supposed death looming on the horizon, Team Flash feels happier and stronger than ever. Somehow they do better fighting villains that are in the open -- villains that they can see, like the threat against Iris -- than against enemies that lurk in the shadows. Overall, this was a strong episode and a welcomed deviation from the "evil metahuman of the week" model. Gypsy was a great challenge for Team Flash this week and Cisco really got to shine as Vibe.

Wanted "Dead or Alive"

The episode picked up where last week's left off, with the metahuman bounty hunter Gypsy arriving on Earth-1. Her quest was to track down HR Wells and return him to their home, Earth-19. According to Wells, multidimentional transport was outlawed on their earth and anyone who opens a breach between Earths is liable by death. At first Barry wanted to step in and protect Wells, but it was Cisco who ultimately decided to challenge Gypsy to the death. This was a powerful move on Cisco's part, especially considering Wells in Season 1 killed him in another timeline. Wells was moved by Cisco's wish to sacrifice his life and the pair shared some heart-warming moments.

Gypsy vs. Vibe

Cisco really got to shine in this episode. Up to this point, Cisco has spent most of Season 3 brooding -- mad at Barry for his brother's death. But since the show returned last week, Cisco has been able to regain part of his comedic personality. This week he also got to test the strengths and limits of his powers. With Barry and Julian's help, he got to experience new levels of his powers. His powers were put to the ultimate test when he offered to defend Wells' life in a trail by combat with Gypsy. Gypsy, who had powers similar to Cisco, was more than up for the challenge. The two of them faced off with their Vibe powers and love for movie quotes. If Cisco didn't have to fight her, he would probably have been in love with her. During their battle, Gypsy opened portals to three other worlds: Earth-2, Supergirl's Earth-38, and an Earth totally ensconced in fire. Cisco was able to best Gypsy, and she returned to Earth-19 without HR Wells. The pair almost kissed, but that will have to be visited in another episode. Hopefully Gypsy returns to Earth-1 again because her dynamic with Cisco was really fun. Plus it was refreshing to see a metahuman that wasn't pure evil.

Iris' Death Wish

With the threat of Iris' deadly date with Savitar looming, Iris found a new sense of courage this week. She's always been a daring journalist -- she was willing to meet The Flash on rooftops in Season 1 just to get her story. Now that she knows she can't die until at least May, Iris decided to confront an arms dealer tonight. Not only did she go behind her father's back to get the information on the dealers, but she used Wally to do it. This plot landed her in the literal crosshairs of the arms dealer, where Iris boldly walked right into the barrel of his gun. This was a bold move for Iris -- bold yet stupid -- because cheating fate can make a person wreckless. Joe and Barry were furious when they found out, which forced Iris to confess the truth about how she was feeling. She didn't want to be insignificant like her mother. It's easy to see why she would want to live her life with meaning, when her dad is a celebrated cop, and her brother and her lover are both superheroes. This begs the question, will the women on The Flash ever get their moment in the sun? Currently Caitlin has to keep her powers under wraps because they are too dangerous to unleash. Iris, though surrounded by heroes, is relegated to doing her investigative work by the book. Will either of these women get the fame that their male counterparts regularly receive on the show? It's hard to say.

The episode concluded with Barry realizing that only Wally can be fast enough to #SaveIris in the spring. This changes the dynamics of the show a bit, because it puts Barry in a mentoring position, similar to where Oliver is this season on "Arrow." When “The Flash” returns next week, a new metahuman will arrive in Cental City. When this metahuman targets Iris, Wally’s speed will truly be put to the test. Will Iris take her death wish too far?

“Untouchable” — (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET) (TV-PG, LV) (HDTV)

THE TOUCH OF DEATH – Barry (Grant Gustin) and the team at S.T.A.R. Labs work together to bring down Clive Yorkin (guest star Matthew Kevin Anderson), a criminal meta-human who is methodically killing people by causing them to decompose at an accelerated rate. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) becomes his next target but it’s Iris (Candice Patton) who is caught in the crossfire. The Flash mentors Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale) and begins to elevate the newer speedster’s training to another level. Rob Hardy directed the episode written by Brooke Roberts & Judalina Neira (312). Original airdate 2/7/2017.

Starring Grant Gustin as the Scarlet Speedster, “The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Keiynan Lonsdale and more.

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