Saturday, April 2, 2022

The Flash Season 8, Episode 8: The Fire Next Time

This week on The Flash we get another decent outing— one that feels very much like the early seasons of the show. In fact I actually enjoyed it for the most part, which is a marked and welcome change of pace. Wow, that makes three reasonably satisfying episodes in a row— what the hell's going on here?

The Fire Next Time wasn't perfect of course— no episode ever is— but it was leaps and bounds ahead of the execrable Mirrorverse Saga and the frustrating Four Forces tale. Those storylines were so godawful they almost made me quit the series.

Barry himself seemed new and improved this week as well, as he was calm, confident and in control. He took charge and used his powers to quickly and efficiently deal with every situation that arose, and never once whined that he didn't believe he was fast enough— a familiar refrain that's become very tiresome over the years. I like this new self assured Barry 2.0, and hope he sticks around for the rest of the season.

This week's Big Bad was Jaco Birch, aka The Hotness, who first appeared back in Season 4. This is another recent trend I've noticed, as the show's started bringing back old, established villains this season. Maybe the writers have given up trying to create brand new threats, and are going back to the well and giving us proven ones that they know will work?

That said, this episode does introduce a new baddie this week, one who seems to be "meta serial killer." I guess that means a killer who is themselves a meta, not one who targets them. Let's hope they turn out better than misfires like Bloodwork and Godspeed.

On the down side, a good part of this episode is taken up by tiresome and banal workplace drama between Iris and Allegra. Amazingly, we get a repeat of the "Allegra's Worried Her Older Subordinates Won't Listen To A Young Boss Like Her" storyline. 

Jesus, didn't we just see that exact same arc a few episodes back in Armageddon, Part 1? Yes. Yes, we did. And it was seemingly resolved then too. Apparently this storyline's like a persistent rash though, because here it is again. I can't wait to tune in and see it yet again in a couple weeks. 


The Plot:
The episode begins at O'Shaughnessy's, the show's favorite new location. Waitress Donna Winters leaves for the night, as bartender Stan Mullen closes up. Suddenly he hears a noise and grabs a stool to use as a weapon. He yelps in pain and drops the wooden stool as it somehow scalds his hand (?). He turns and screams as someone— or something— comes at him.

The next morning, Iris greets Barry in their kitchen, and notices he looks a bit down. She glances at the calendar and realizes it's his late father Henry's birthday (although the audience isn't supposed to know that yet). Barry gets a CSI alert and assures Iris he's OK as he zooms off.

Barry arrives at O'Shaughnessy's, where he sees the incinerated body of Stan. Chester's there as well, and detects dark matter residue— meaning a meta was involved.

Barry has a suspect in mind, and shows Donna a photo of Jaco Birch— aka The Hotness (last seen in Season 4). Donna recognizes Jaco, and says he and Stan got into an argument the night before.

Meanwhile at Central City Citizen Media, Iris assigns Allegra to a story on vapid social media influencer Rosie Levin. Allegra says her subordinate Taylor pitched the story to her, but she rejected it in favor of actual news. She's upset that Taylor went behind her back to Iris (and rightly so). Oddly enough Iris blows off these concerns and orders Allegra to write the story with Taylor.

Elsewhere, Jaco Birch is working security at a LIPS concert. He sees his teen son Harold and apologizes for failing to get the backstage passes he promised him. Harold calls him a loser and slumps away. Just then a squad of CCPD cars roll up, and Officer Korber— sporting a massive blaster— tells Jaco he's under arrest for the murder of Stan Mullen.

Jaco says he's innocent, and sees a policemen escorting Harold away. He says he won't let the cops take him away from his son again, as his body bursts into flame. Just then the Flash appears, knocks Jaco into a nearby fountain and slaps meta-dampening cuffs on him.

As Jaco's being loaded into a police car, he tells Flash he's innocent, and pleads for his help. Barry flashes back to the night his own father was wrongly accused of murder, and realizes Jaco may be telling the truth.

Barry meets with Cecile and tells her he thinks Jaco's innocent. She looks at the police report and says even if he is, there's a mountain of evidence against him. He asks her to use her powers to see if Jaco's telling the truth, but she refuses, saying that wouldn't be ethical (!!!!). She agrees to meet with him though and hear his side of the story.

Elsewhere, Allegra and Taylor interview Rosie Levin at Jitters. Taylor's taken with the faux celebrity, while Allegra's bored to death with her. She looks around and sees Lydia Sanchez— a former fellow inmate from her time in Iron Heights— sweeping floors in the shop.

Allegra speaks with Lydia, asking what she's doing there. Lydia says she's not as lucky as Allegra, and points out it's nearly impossible for an ex-con like her to find a decent job. Allegra decides to help her out and share Lydia's story with the world.

At CCPD, Cecile meets with Jaco, who says he tried to sell a guitar to Stan to make enough money to buy backstage passes for his son Harold. He says they argued after Stan stiffed him, but insists he went straight home afterward. Unfortunately he can't prove it, prompting Cecile to say there's enough evidence for the prosecution to convict him. Jaco flies into a rage and says he won't lose his son again.

Later Cecile tells Barry that she believes Jaco's innocent, but his case is hopeless. Just then they see police running by, and Korber tells Barry that Jaco escaped.

Back at O'Shaughnessy's— which is apparently still open, despite the death of an employee— Donna takes the trash out back. Suddenly she's confronted by Jaco, who accuses her of lying to the police about him. He says he's gonna lose his son because of her, as he loses his temper and steam pours from his body. Donna screams as we cut away.

At STAR, Barry insists that Jaco's innocent, but of course Team Flash refuses to believe him. Just then Chester gets an alert from O'Shaughnessy's, and Frost— who thinks Barry's cracking up— insists on accompanying Barry to the scene.

They arrive at the pub, where they find the charred, smoldering corpse of Donna. Frost tries putting out the fire, but it keeps reigniting. She asks what kind of crazy flame this is.

At CCCM, Allegra frantically types away on her story. Iris sees her working, thinks she's writing the Levin story, and says she can't wait to read it.

At STAR, Barry analyzes the two charred corpses, and says their burn patterns match exactly. He claims this would be impossible for any pyrokinetic meta, which proves Jaco's innocent. That doesn't make a lick of sense, but let's just move on or we'll be here all day. Cecile points out that there simply are no other suspects besides Jaco, and says she's worried about Barry's obsession with the case. Barry says if someone believed in his father, he would never have gone to jail. He speeds off in a huff.

Cut to Barry sulking in his lab. Joe enters and says he knows that today's Henry Allen's birthday— which we now realize is the mysterious date on the calendar. Joe reminisces about Henry and how much Barry meant to him. He then gives Barry a Patented The CW Pep Talk®, saying if he truly believes Jaco is innocent, then to prove it for Henry's sake.

Elsewhere, Iris reads Allegra's story about Lydia's plight. She says it's great, but not what she asked for. She reluctantly says she's going to run the story anyway, but next time check first before going off on a tangent. Iris also tears her a new one for not working with Taylor as she asked, and says she needs to learn to supervise her subordinates.

At STAR, Chester finds evidence that the O'Shaughnessy victims were killed by cold fusion (?) and not fire— meaning Jaco is indeed innocent, as Barry's been telling them all episode. Barry gathers the evidence so he can clear Jaco's name.

Meanwhile, Korber (who sure gets around in this episode) drives Harold and his Social Worker to his new home. Suddenly they're stopped by Jaco standing in the middle of the street. How he knew the route they'd be taking is anyone's guess. Korber gets out and points her blaster at Jaco, as he says he's not leaving without his son. He begins heating up again.

Chester detects Jaco's heat signature, and Barry figures he's about to do something stupid.

Back on the street, the ground begins shaking as Jaco loses his temper. Harold jumps from the car and calls his father a big loser. Jaco admits it, and says getting his powers only made things worse. He says all he wanted was a clean break when he got out of prison. He then bursts into flames.

Suddenly Flash zooms to the scene, with Frost in tow again. Flash creates a vortex that instantly puts out Jaco's flames, and tells him that his name's been cleared and orders him to stand down. Jaco does so, but the ground keeps shaking. Jaco says he's not causing it, and Flash says the damage is already done. Just then a plume of lave erupts from the street.

Chester radios that Jaco inadvertently opened an underground lava channel, and Flash has thirty seconds to stop it or the city's toast. Huge cracks form in the street, as Korber and the others run for their lives.

Flash tells Jaco he has an idea, but will need his help to absorb a huge amount of excess heat. Jaco says he'll do whatever he can to help.

Flash phases underground and creates a tunnel to a large water table below the city. The water hits the lava and cools it, causing a massive geyser of steam to shoot out of the ground. Jaco then uses his powers to absorb the superheated steam, saving the city.

Harold's so impressed with Jaco's actions that he does an instant 180º turn and embraces his father. Barry watches and flashes back to the day his father was cleared and released from prison.

Sometime later, Social Services announce they're giving Jaco custody of Harold again. He thanks Barry & Cecile profusely for believing him, and tells them to thank Flash as well. Jaco and Harold leave together to start over.

At CCCM, Allegra apologizes to Taylor, and says they'll be running her puff piece the next week. Taylor accuses Allegra of using her friendship with Iris for personal gain. Allegra admits what she did was wrong, but points out that she's still Taylor's supervisor and hopes to move past this ugliness. Taylor hisses that she's going to "destroy" Allegra and stalks off.

Barry, Iris, Joe & Cecile then reminisce about Henry, and toast his memory.

That night at STAR, Barry wonders who really killed Stan and Donna He tells Team Flash to look for other cold fusion victims, as they have a meta serial killer on their hands.

• If nothing else, at least there was no awkward Chester/Allegra relationship hooey this week.

• As I watched this episode I thought, "Where the heck's Caitlin?" Then it struck me that Danielle Panabaker was actually there, but only playing Frost this week. Now that's the mark of a good actor, when they're able to make you think they're actually two separate characters!

• Why look, it's O'Shaughnessy's Pub again!

Last week I jokingly said the producers were determined to get their money's worth out of this particular set. Turns out I was actually right! This is now the third week in a row it's appeared, and the fourth time this season. Hey, sets ain't cheap! Gotta stretch those budget dollars as far as they'll go!

As I pointed out a couple weeks ago, O'Shaughnessy's is played by the Back Forty bar, located at 111 Robson Street in downtown Vancouver. They shoot the place to make it look like it's a back alley dive, but it's literally right across the street from BC Place— the stadium used for STAR Labs exteriors.

• The episode clearly wants us to think that Jaco Birch is the one attacking Stan The Bartender. Spoilers, it's not him, but someone or something else. For some reason when Stan's attacked, we hear what sounds like growling on the soundtrack— almost like there's an animal in the pub. 

I noped out of comics back in 2000, so I'm not up on my current DC villains. Are there any growling heat metas in the Flash comic that this could be? Or is there a dragon on the loose in Central City?

• Stan picks up a wooden stool to use as a weapon, and immediately yelps in pain as it burns his hand. 

He burns his hand. On a stool. A wooden stool. A wooden stool that's somehow hot. A wooden stool that's somehow hot enough to burn his skin without itself bursting into flames. Comic Book Science!

• Whoever or whatever killed Stan, they were also able to turn on the jukebox without touching it, as well as make steam pour from the surface of the bar (?). I'm starting to wonder if the writers of this episode have ever actually seen fire or know how it works.

• As Stan's being burned alive, the camera discretely moves away and focuses on this poster for the rock band LIPS. Why, exactly? In a few minutes we'll find out that Jaco Birch is working as a security guard at a LIPS concert. Is this shot a red herring, meant to make us believe he's really the killer? If not, then... why the hell is it here?

• At the loft, Iris notices Barry seems down in the dumps, then looks at the calendar and realizes why. Apparently it's a significant date, but unfortunately we have no idea what day this episode's taking place, nor do we know why Barry's upset about it. Is he apprehensive about picking up their dry cleaning on the 7th? Not looking forward to date night on the 13th? Worried about his annual physical on the 18th? Dreading paying property taxes on the 25th?

Maybe he's reeeeally not looking forward to that video call with Cisco on the 15th!

Eventually we find out the date is actually February 1st— the birthday of Barry's late dad Henry Allen. I assume the writers didn't mark the date on the calendar because they were trying to drag out the "mystery" of why Barry's in such a funk. But leaving it blank just ends up confusing the audience and making them feel stupid for not knowing what's upsetting Barry so much.

Also, where the hell did they get this calendar? Note that it starts on Monday, instead of Sunday like every other freakin' calendar I've ever seen in my life. Is this how they work over on Earth Prime?

• It's Old Home Week again on The Flash, as once again the show dredges up another old character. They did it last week with Goldface, and the week before with the Royal Flush Gang. It's definitely becoming a theme this season.

This week it's Jaco Birch, aka The Hotness. Jaco first appeared in Season 4's Run, Iris, Run, where he bumped into a meta named Matthew Kim and accidentally absorbed his heat powers (a VERY truncated recap of that episode's plot). 

We also saw a fleeting glimpse of him in Marathon, as he was included in Cisco's Who's Who binder.

• Barry notes that Stan's body is burnt to a crisp, but the floor underneath him is completely untouched. He suspects Jaco, who's a known heat meta. Chester asks, "How'd he kill someone without burning half the place down?" Barry replies, "Looks like we're not the only ones who leveled up this year."

Again with that phrase! This is at least the tenth or twelfth time someone's said it so far this season. This HAS to be leading up to something— otherwise what's the point of having characters say it multiple times in every episode?

• A good part of this episode is taken up by workplace drama between Allegra and her subordinate Taylor. It's dull, boring and of little or no interest to anyone. But let's slog through it anyway, shall we?

Iris assigns Allegra to work on a profile of Rosie Levin— a vapid, Kardassian-level influencer. Allegra balks, saying such fluff pieces aren't what Central City Citizen Media is about. Iris replies that the people are interested in Levin, which will result in clicks.

Gosh Iris, all your past talk about "journalistic integrity" went right out the window once ad revenue was on the line, didn't it? Pander much?

Secondly, Allegra notes that her subordinate Taylor submitted the story to her but she rejected it. Taylor then apparently went behind her back and give it to Iris anyway. Amazingly Iris is OK with this, saying Taylor "followed protocol." Allegra points out that if her people know they can just do an end run around her and go straight to Iris, then her word means nothing.

Not that I care about this subplot, but Allegra's absolutely right about this! And yet Iris does nothing to discipline Taylor, instead spouting some platitude about agreeing to disagree or something. Feh!

Iris is clearly in the wrong here. If I was Allegra I'd start updating my resume, find a new position with a rival company and quit without giving any notice.

• Jaco tries and fails to impress his horrible Gen Z slacker son Harold. 

I know this is hopelessly cheesy, but I like the staging of this scene, as it visually illustrates the massive emotional gulf between father and son. Well done!

• CCPD then appears out of nowhere and surrounds Jaco, informing him he's under arrest for the murder of Stan Mullen. 

Jesus Christ, look at the high tech ordnance they're packing here! Where'd they get these heavy duty blasters? From STAR Labs? ARGUS? Looks like it's time to Defund The Central City Police!

• This episode does everything in its power to make us feel sorry for Jaco and sympathize with him. He's seemingly turned over a new leaf and is genuinely trying to be a good father to his son. He's even innocent of the murder he's been charged with as well.

But the cold hard truth is that Jaco's no angel. He's a dangerous, unhinged, ticking time bomb— one who instantly becomes violent and literally bursts into flame any time things don't go precisely his way. He also threatens police officers, intimidates witnesses and escapes from custody! And if all that wasn't enough, his temper-fueled powers almost destroy the city in the third act!

Tell me again why I'm supposed to feel bad for this guy?

• As I was watching this episode it occurred to me that Jaco looked a bit young to have a son who's almost eighteen. Actor Max Adler, who plays Jaco, is currently thirty six. If we assume his character is the same age, that means Harold was born when Jaco was just nineteen. Entirely possible, but still pretty darned young as I suspected.

A Tale Of Two Fathers: When Jaco tells Flash he's innocent and can't lose his son again, Barry flashes back to the night his own father was hauled away by the police. It's a nice little parallel, and helps explain Barry's vested interest in clearing Jaco's name.

By the way, in these flashbacks Young Barry's played by actor Logan Williams. Sadly, he passed away in April of 2020, due to substance abuse. Sad.

• Barry tells Cecile he believes that Jaco's innocent, and asks her to use her telepathic powers to find out if he's right. Cecile replies:

"Yes, of course, I'll meet with him. Guilty or not, everyone deserves proper representation. But Barry... using my powers to read a client... It's an ethical line that I can't cross."

Jesus Christ! Good thing I wasn't drinking anything during that scene, or I'd have ruined my TV with a massive spit take!

In virtually every episode she's ever appeared in Cecile's used her powers to violate the minds of everyone around her— friend and foe alike! But suddenly this week it's unethical for no good reason? What the hell?

This is a classic example of lazy writing. If Cecile had given Jaco a quick telepathic scan she'd have seen he was innocent and the episode would have been over at the ten minute mark. By suddenly giving her scruples, they were able to drag the plotline out to the requisite forty three minutes. 

• Allegra tags along with Taylor to interview social media influencer Rose Levin. Believe it or not, Levin's actually a character from the comics, where she's a blogger and ancestor of superhero Booster Gold.

This is the second Booster reference in as many weeks on the show. In the comics, Booster Gold, aka Michael Jon Carter, was born in the 25th Century and worked as a janitor at the Metropolis Space Museum. While there, he stole various hi-tech components to create a battle costume and traveled back to the 20th Century to become a superhero.

We know for a fact the writers are dredging up Iris' "time sickness" plotline again this season— in which she keeps randomly being pulled into the future for reasons. Since Booster's from the future as well, you can bet your bottom dollar these name-drops are setting up a meeting between the two. You heard it here first!

• At Jitters, Allegra spots a woman named Lydia, who was a fellow inmate at Iron Heights a few years back. Lydia congratulates Allegra on her good fortune, and laments that menial labor jobs are all that most ex-cons like her can get. This inspires Allegra to write an article exposing the unfair treatment of former criminals. 

Something about this scene seemed familiar to me, but I couldn't quite figure out where I'd seen it before. Then it hit me— Allegra's recreating the "Hermione Goes On A Crusade To Free The House Elves" plotline from Harry Potter.

• Back at O'Shaughnessy's, Jaco confronts Donna the waitress and accuses her of fingering him for Stan's death. 

This is a very oddly shot and edited scene, as the way it's filmed makes it look for all the world like Jaco used his powers to incinerate her. We know he didn't kill her, but there's no shot of him walking away before she's murdered— so who else could have done it? And when?

Since there really is someone else burning people alive, Jaco would have had to see them here. Yet he never says anything about it to prove his innocence. Like I said, a very strange and puzzling scene.

• At STAR, Frost gets a report that Jaco burned his way out of a transport that was taking him from CCPD to Iron Heights Prison. Wait, what? How the hell'd he do that?

When Flash first captured Jaco, he put meta-dampening cuffs on him to suppress his powers. He was still wearing them when Cecile interrogated him as well– you can see the blue glow of the cuffs in the shot above.

That means the only way he could have escaped was if a CCPD officer thought it'd be a good idea to remove the cuffs while transporting him!

• Team Flash gets an alert that Jaco (or some other fire meta) has struck again behind O'Shaughnessy's. Barry then takes Frost with him to investigate. 

Note that he and Frost are wearing their street clothes when they zoom away, but are dressed in their costumes when they arrive at the scene. Apparently they both stopped off somewhere mid-zoom to change their clothes!

• Ugh, Central City Citizen Media has a dreaded "open office" layout. I swear by all that's holy, if my job ever decides to implement that hellish floorplan, I will burn down the building and everyone in it.

• Barry tells Team Flash that he believes Jaco's innocent, and once again, they all refuse to believe him. 
Yes, the evidence overwhelmingly points to Jaco, but how many times in the past has Barry had a gut feeling and turned out to be right?

This happens over and over on the show, as it's a cheap and lazy way to generate conflict and pad out the runtime. It never makes any sense though. They live in a city that's regularly threatened by villains who can fly and shoot rays out of their hands, so why's it so hard for Team Flash to believe something that seems "impossible?" Barry needs to find himself a new crew, stat!

• Joe chats with Barry in his lab, where we see he's broken out the old school clue board— complete with red string connecting the items!

Funny that the only leads he has so far are the two victims and the sole suspect!

• In the third act, Officer Korber and an unnamed Social Worker drive Harold to a foster home. Somehow Jaco knows the exact route they'll be taking, allowing him to get ahead of them and confront their SUV in the middle of the street. Just how he came by this info is anyone's guess.

I suppose it's possible they're only a block or two from the home and he made a good guess as to which street they'd take. That still doesn't explain how he knew WHEN they'd come by. Maybe he stood there for hours?

• At one point Chester says the STAR Labs satellites have detected Jaco at Hastings Ave. and Nicola Lane.

As we all know by now, The Flash just lovvvves naming streets and buildings after prominent comic book creators. I can't find any info on anyone named Hastings, but there's a Nicola Scott who's an artist at DC. To my knowledge she's never done any work on Flash comics though. Maybe this is a case of "sometimes a cigar's just a cigar."

Obsessive Attention To Detail: Chester looks at a satellite view of the Social Services vehicle, which is stopped just past a bridge or overpass.

A few seconds later we see the scene in reality, and there is indeed a bridge behind the vehicle— just like the overhead view showed. Wow! Well done, guys!

• After Flash tells Jaco he's been cleared of the charges, he finally stands down. It's too late though, as his powers have already done irreparable damage, causing a geyser of lava (!) to erupt from the street.

For some reason, Frost just stand and gapes helplessly at the lava plume as it heads right for her. Fortunately Barry zooms her out of harm's way at the last second. You know, it's really too bad Frost doesn't have some sort of, oh, I don't know, ICE POWERS she could have used to freeze the lava and save herself.

• Last week I commented on the fact that Chester's Black History Month Exclamations were completely random and as such didn't apply to the current situation. For example, last week he detected a carjacking and yelped "Holy Alice H. Parker." For the record, she invented central heating, which as near as I can tell has little or no relationship to car theft. I said it'd be nice if the oaths he cried actually had something to do with what was going on.

Welp, I take it all back! In this episode, Jaco's powers cause a huge magma pool to form under the city, and Chester says, "Merry Mack Gibson, Jr.!" Gibson was the first African American to earn a PhD in Geology! That's more like it!

I swear the writers are reading my blog and adjusting the show accordingly!

 • I love this shot of the street collapsing into the fiery abyss below!

• In order to save the day, Barry phases 140 meters underground until he reaches a natural water table beneath the city. He then creates a tunnel between the water and the lava (I guess?), causing a geyser of steam to shoot from the street. Comic Book Science!

I have many questions about this scene. First of all, how the hell did Barry know there was a large pool of water 140 meters (about 460 feet) below Central City? He's a CSI, not a geologist! 

Secondly, he's presumably phasing through solid rock— which means there's no oxygen down there! Did he hold his breath the whole time he was phasing and tunneling? That'd be a pretty good trick, considering he was exerting himself at superspeed the entire time. Does the Speed Force somehow generate oxygen for him? Does he not need to breathe when phasing?

Lastly, he uses his speed to bore a tunnel over to the lava deposit. Fresh lava has a temperature between 1,300º and 2,200º F! Just how the hell did he get close to it without being incinerated? I guess his Speed Force aura protected him?

• Once the superheated steam is released, Jaco absorbs it all— by inhaling every last particle of it into his lungs! Comic Book Science again!

So what's Jaco's lung capacity? There are clearly thousands of cubic meters of steam shooting into the sky, yet he somehow manages to suck it all in. Where the hell does it all go? Is he farting it out the other end to constantly make room?

• The second Harold sees his father save the city, he makes a complete 180º turn, going from snarky, apathetic slacker to demonstrative, loving son. It was just that easy!

• As Barry watches Jaco and Harold, he flashes back to the day his own father was finally released from prison. Man, look how young he was back in Season 1! He's just a baby! Was this shot really from Season 1, or did they crib it from an earlier series?

• Hilariously, once Harold is reunited with his father, he ditches his unruly Gen Z coif and gets a straight-laced haircut— looking like he just left a Young Republicans meeting! Because as we all know, only a filthy slacker would wear a lopsided curly hairdo like he originally sported!

I'm honestly surprised they didn't dress him in an Alex P. Keaton sweater vest while they were at it.

• Jaco thanks Barry for clearing him of the murder charges and helping him get his son back. He and Harold then head off to their new life together. 

Not so fast there, Jaco! Yes, you were innocent of murdering Stan and Donna and cleared of those charges. But there's still the matter of you threatening multiple police officers, escaping from CCPD custody, causing hundreds of thousands in property damage and almost destroying the city. Those are all serious crimes that would each carry hefty sentences in their own right.

Did Barry somehow talk Kristen Kramer into sweeping the additional charges under the rug as well?

• Cecile smiles beatifically as Jaco & Harold leave, and tells Barry, "They are gonna be alllll right." Note that she doesn't also say, "Gosh, Barry, can you ever forgive me for not believing you and accusing you of obsessing over this case because it reminded you of the situation with your late father." What a frakin' cow!

And if that wasn't enough, she then uses her powers to scan Barry and sense that he's still troubled about something!!! Are you f*cking kidding me?!?!! Earlier in the episode she said that telepathically forcing her way into a client's mind was "unethical." Apparently though it's fine when she does it to Barry. 

Man, I just really wanted to punch Cecile all through this episode. As I said before, Barry definitely needs a brand new crew!

• In the wrap up, Allegra apologizes to Taylor for bulldozing her story and promsises they'll run it next week. Taylor then goes completely off the deep end with a comically over the top reaction, accusing Allegra of stabbing her in the back and using her friendship with Iris to further her own career. She finishes by flat out threatening Allegra, saying she's "
going to destroy her." 

Where the hell did THAT come from? Talk about an overreaction! Especially since her stupid story is still getting published, just not exactly when she wanted. Her reaction was so preposterous that I wondered if she was supposed to be a villain from the comics who'd been added to the cast.

And apparently Taylor forgot that whether she likes it or not, Allegra's her boss. She's lucky she's not carrying out her belongings in a cardboard box after talking to her like that.

• At the end of the episode, Barry, Iris, Joe and Cecile reminisce about Henry. Barry talks about how he used to make Henry read him his favorite book over and over— a story about a hippo who bakes cookies. Wait, what?

I thought THIS was his favorite story? You know, the book that's been featured many times on the show over the years? Jesus Christ, there was even an episode with the same goddamned title as this book! Did the writers suddenly forget about this major detail? 

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