Saturday, April 22, 2023

Disco Inferno

Saw this item recently in the local news. Apparently my hometown is planning on installing color changing lights in various underpasses, in an effort to spruce 'em up or beautify the expressway or... something.

Jesus wept.

Maybe these lights are meant to entertain the homeless folks living under the bridges? Or to delight commuters stuck in bumper to bumper traffic during their morning and evening commutes? Or perhaps the city fathers want are planning to repurpose our underpasses and hold raves there?

I'm far from what you could describe as civic minded, but even I can think of a thousand better ways to spend our tax money. We currently have potholes the size (and depth!) of bathtubs here, but sure, disco underpasses are a priority.

The Flash Season 9, Episode 8: Partners In Time

This week on The Flash we get yet ANOTHER filler episode— but hey, at least Barry's actually in this one, I guess. 

Overall Partners In Time isn't a terrible episode. Far from it. In tact in a normal season it would have been a fun, lighthearted little romp. 

But as I'm so fond of pointing out lately, this isn't a normal season. As I said last week, this is the last ever season of the series. We should be getting one final multipart story, each episode bigger and more thrilling than the last, culminating in a mind-bogglingly epic conclusion.

Instead the writers decided it'd be a good idea to give us one half-hearted five part storyline, then three utterly pointless filler episodes. It's mystifying and baffling.

Let's just get on with it before my blood pressure rises too high.


The Plot:
In 2123, a Hooded Figure (another one!) breaks into the Flash Museum.They head straight for the Weapons Vault, expertly bypassing the electronic lock. The Figure enters the Vault and is just about to grab a high tech device, when they clumsily trip a laser 
sensor and activate the alarm. The Vault door locks tight, trapping the Figure inside. They then open a time portal and leap through it.

In the present, Barry finishes painting a crib for Baby Nora, who's due to arrive in seven months. He tells Iris he can't wait to be a dad, and is already stocking up on Nora's favorite ice cream (despite the fact it'll be years before she can actually eat it). Iris gifts him with a vintage copy of a magazine featuring his father on the cover— a subplot which seems like it's gonna be important but goes nowhere.

Barry tells Iris he's off to STAR Labs, as he's scheduled a mold inspection of the place to make sure it's safe for Nora when she arrives. Iris, who constantly stuffs herself all through the episode for comedic effect, tells him to bring back some of Cecile's casserole.

Barry zooms off to STAR, where Khione says Caitlin's mom Carla Tannhauser called and wants to meet her. She doesn't understand Carla's interest, as she's not her biological daughter. 
Barry says she probably just wants to get to know the entity who's wearing her dead daughter's face, and to go have coffee with her.

Just then Iris wanders into STAR so that the plot can happen. She and Barry are surprised when four different inspectors file in. Barry asks the leader, Inspector Howard, what's going on. He says Barry's mold inspection request triggered a Code Enforcement Alert, which revealed STAR Labs hasn't been inspected since the Particle Accelerator Explosion. This resulted in additional inspectors to search for mold, radiation and electrical violations.

As the others get to work, Electrical Inspector Tao asks Barry & Iris where the "box with all the wires" is located. Eventually they figure out she means the breaker box. Gosh, that couldn't possibly be a clue of some kind, could it?

Barry & Iris rush the inspectors out of the Speed Lab and down the hall. They're all shocked when they immediately find themselves back in the Speed Lab. They exit again, and the same thing happens. Howard isn't amused, saying he doesn't like pranks.

Just then Inspector Dupree notices there's an antique grandfather clock sitting in the middle of the Lab. Inspector Jane examines it and says it's from the 19th Century, but appears brand new.

Barry & Iris excuse themselves and try to figure out what's happening. Barry tries calling Team Flash, but can't get a phone signal and realizes they're completely cut off from the rest of the world. Iris fears they're being manipulated by an evil meta. Barry says it all feels too real to be an illusion though.

Barry gets the bright idea to run to the future to see how the episode ends so he can figure out how to escape from the room (!). He phases out of the room and begins running around the Speed Lab track in order to time travel.

Elsewhere, the episode insists on forcing more Chester & Allegra relationship drama onto us. I'm not gonna spend a lot of time on this dreck, but basically the two of them are at Cecile's place, playing Scrabble. Chester casually blurts out that he loves Allegra, which freaks her out. He panics, thinking he's ended their relationship, but they eventually reconcile at the end. That's it! That's their storyline for this entire episode! 

Back at STAR, the inspectors hear Barry zooming around the track and asks what's going on. Just then a wave of blue energy sweeps through the Lab, causing everyone's clothing to inexplicably revert to period outfits. Iris is dressed like an African or Greek queen, Howard's wearing a Revolutionary War redcoats uniform, Jane a mod 1960s pantsuit, Dupree a Shakespearean getup and Tao an 1800s floor length dress. 

Barry fails to travel to the future and falls down the ramp from above. For some reason he's now dressed in a legally distinct Starfleet uniform from Star Trek (?). The inspectors ask what the hell's happening, and he's forced to reveal he's the Flash and that they're trapped in the Speed Lab for all time. Howard passes out and drops to the floor.

Jane— who sure seems to know a lot about quantum mechanics and such for a city inspector— has a theory as to what's going on. She says space and time seem to have lost their elasticity due to a localized gravitational force— which she calls a "Time Magnet" for some reason. Sure, why not.

Barry says according to his Map Book, a hundred years from now the Speed Lab will become a weapons vault in the Flash Museum. Jane says there must have been a Time Magnet in the Vault, and someone was in a hurry and stole it without pairing it with a stabilizer— which is what's trapped them in the room. Comic Book Science!

Iris realizes the thief must be among them. Gosh, I wonder who it could be? Surely not the electrical inspector who didn't know what a breaker box was? Iris then recreates the blood test scene from The Thing, as she uses a technobabble device to check each inspector for radiation. She checks out Jane, Dupree and Howard, who all test negative. They turn to look at Tao, figuring she must be the guilty party.

Just then Howard grabs his head and howls in pain as he transforms into a miniature version of the statue of David. When the others ask what's happening, Barry says it's The Law Of Conservation Of Matter, explaining that because they're in a time loop they'll eventually be replaced with objects from various eras. That might as well happen.

Elsewhere, Cecile asks Allegra what's going on with her and Chester. Allegra says she's unnerved by Chester's declaration of love, because everyone who's ever said it to her has either left her or died. Cecile gives her a Patented The CW Pep Talk® and straightens her out. Sigh...

Back at STAR, everyone's still trapped in the Speed Lab. Iris decides this is the perfect moment to tell Barry her concerns about being pregnant and becoming a mother (?). He gives her a Patented The CW Pep Talk® and straightens her out. Sigh...

Iris says she feels like she's stuck in the past while Barry's in the future. Amazingly, this gives him the answer as to who the time thief is. They approach Inspector Tao and tell her the "check valves" are causing their problem, and ask her to take a look at them. Tao looks confused and says she'll get right on it. Barry asks if she's gonna call a plumber, as a check valve regulates water flow. Gee, who could have ever guessed she'd turn out to be the time thief?

Tao realizes the jig is up, pulls out the glowing Time Magnet and uses it to turn Jane and Dupree into lawn gnomes (??). She reveals she's actually Lady Chronos, and admits she stole the Time Magnet as her "retirement score."
She demands Barry free her instantly, before they're all turned into artifacts.

Barry explains he can't even get himself out of the Lab, much less anyone else. He asks how she got trapped her in the first place, prompting her to infodump an incredibly convoluted explanation. She says she broke into the weapons vault in 2123, but was sealed inside. She then jumped back to 2023, where she posed as an inspector. While no one was looking, she went back to 2123, stole the Time Magnet and came back. All she had to do then was waltz out of STAR with her prize, but because she forgot to stabilize the Magnet she found herself trapped with the rest of them. At least I think that's what happened— the whole thing's a jumbled mess.

Barry suggests she go back to 2123 and replace the Magnet, but she says her chrono belt is out of power. He says he can charge if with Speed Force Lightning, but she says if she goes back she'll be instantly arrested. He says it's either that or stay stuck in the Lab till she turns into a statue or something worse.

Eventually Lady Chronos realizes he's right, and agrees to go back. Barry charges up her belt and she opens a time portal and jumps through.

Iris wonders if it worked and they're free. Just then Howard, Jane and Dupree— plus a new inspector, Rogan— enter the Speed Lab
, with no knowledge of the past few hours. They get to work and start inspecting.

Later on, Khione tells Barry that everything went OK with Carla, as she just wants to be her friend. Allegra finds Chester at Jitters, apologizes and says she loves him too. Thank the Maker that was resolved!


• The episode begins in 2123 at the Flash Museum, formerly STAR Labs. A couple things here:

First off, it took 'em a hundred years, but it looks like they finally repaired the goddamned roof of the place.

Second, check out the parking lot. It doesn't appear cars will change much in the next century! Maybe they left antique cars out there as part of the whole Flash experience?

• We then see a Hooded Figure break into the Museum's Weapons Vault. Wait, another one? We just had a mysterious Hooded Figure kick off the plot in the previous episode!

Anyway, the Figure's there to steal a "Time Magnet," and is smart enough to bypass the Vault's electronic lock, but too stupid to realize there are laser tripwires. They blunder through one, which activates and alarm and locks them inside. That's some pretty bad writing, but the episode can't happen unless the alarm goes off, so I guess I'll allow it.

By the way, note that the Weapons Vault contains displays of Chester P. Runk's Tech. It makes me sad the Flash Museum has apparently forgotten all about Cisco Ramon.

• Once trapped, the Hooded Figure— which is secretly Lady Chronos— opens a time portal and strides through it to escape. Here's where things get murky for me. Lady Chronos has a chrono belt, that's basically a tiny portable time machine. It allows her to travel to any point in time— but apparently not space. So far so good.

The problem is she goes all the way back to April 5, 2023, where she appears inside STAR Labs and poses as a city inspector for reasons. But why go back an entire century? She could have easily just gone an hour into the past, stolen the Time Magnet— making sure not to trip the laser this time— and got the hell out.

Again, if she did that the episode couldn't happen, so...

• We then get an extreme closeup of the STAR Labs inspection report, which is dated April 5, 2023. Wait, what?

So either this nuclear faciliity hasn't had an inspection in A HUNDRED YEARS, or the people who put the Flash Museum together thought this mundane civil document was of fasctinating interest to anyone patronizing the place.

Oh, and April 5, 2023 just happens to be when this episode originally aired!

Nice Touch, I Guess: Barry finishes painting Baby Nora's crib, which is of course purple and yellow— the same colors as her Speed Force Lightning.

• All through this episode Iris' pregnancy causes her to either constantly eat or crave food, for comedic effect. She mentions ice cream, so Barry zooms off and returns with her favorite flavor— vanilla bean, from an organic farm in Coast City. Several things here:

This is the first time we've actually seen Barry use his powers in at least two weeks— and when he does, it's to get a goddamn pint of ice cream. Jesus wept, guys.

More importantly, just how does this "speed shopping" work? He ran all the way to Coast City, picked up some ice cream and ran back— all in less than one second.

He wasn't gone long enough to actually interact with a cashier, and even a self checkout register's clock speed would be too slow for him to use in the time he was gone. Does Barry just grab some ice cream, throw a twenty on the counter and zoom out? Or is he actually stealing the food when he does this?

I get that it's a comic book show and we're not supposed to think about this sort of thing, but I believe it's a legitimate question.

• Iris gifts Barry with a vintage copy of North American Science magazine from 1994, featuring his late father on the cover.

The prop department did a pretty good job here, even using a photo of a younger John Wesley Shipp. And note the $3.99 cover price. Can't find magazines that cheap anymore!

HEAVY DUTY NITPICKING ALERT #1: Barry's so gung-ho about being a parent that he schedules a mold inspection of STAR Labs to make sure the joint is safe for infants. Iris doesn't think it's a good idea though, as there'll be strangers traipsing around gawking at all their secrets. Barry replies, "I mean, the Starchives are sealed, and I had Chester and Khione store all the other Team Flash stuff in the Time Vault."

But... if they're gonna restrict where the inspectors can go, then why bother? Isn't the point of a mold inspection to find out if it's growing anywhere on the premises? Whoops!

And what's up with all the mold storylines in the Arrowverse lately? A couple weeks ago on Superman & Lois there was a storyline involving black mold at Smallville High, and now Barry's worried about it at STAR. Odd.

• At STAR, Khione's nervous because Caitlin's mother Carla Tannhauser wants to meet her for some reason. I assumed this was gonna be the B plot of this week's episode, but instead it goes absolutely nowhere. In fact we don't even see her meeting with Carla, as it happens entirely offscreen! What the hell?

Was actress Susan Walters (who plays Carla) unavailable? Or was the show's tight budget unable to afford one more guest star this week? Whatever the reason, I'm puzzled as to why they bothered to include this subplot at all— other than, of course, to fill up a couple minutes of screentime.

• Chester informs Barry that the inspectors just checked in with security. HAW!

For years now it's been a running joke among fans that STAR Labs has ZERO security measures of any kind, as heroes & villains alike are constantly sashaying into the place. 

According to this episode, they apparently DO have some sort of security though. If it's an actual person guarding the door, then he's doing a piss-poor job and needs fired, stat!

• Barry's surprised when FOUR city inspectors show up instead of just one. Inspector Howard informs him, "This lab's operating permits haven't been renewed since your infamous particle accelerator exploded. That's why we'll be conducting a full DOE inspection today."

Wait... so if Barry hadn't ordered an inspection, then there never would have been one? Does that sound right? STAR Labs is a freakin' NUCLEAR FACILITY, located in the heart of one of the biggest cities in the country! Seems like official inspections would be a mandatory and annual requirement!

Also, check out the sign to Barry's right, which reads "Level 500." EVERY other time we've ever seen this bank of elevators, the display has read Level 600. So why the difference? Why the hell would they change the display for this one episode?

By the way, I've been harping on this for years now, asking if STAR Labs really contains 600 underground levels or floors. That would be extremely unlikely, as it'd make the place over a mile deep. I'm starting to think their numbering system goes by hundreds, so Level 600 is really just six floors underground. That makes a bit more sense.

• Normally I'm terrible at figuring out mysteries and whodunits. That said, the guilty party in this episode was so startlingly and blatantly obvious a blind man could have spotted them!

Inspector Tao approaches Barry & Iris and asks where to find "the thing with all the electrical stuff in it." Hmm... she's an electrical inspector and she doesn't know the term 'breaker box." Gosh, do you think it's possible she might be the villain in this episode?

• After their exchange with Inspector Tao, Barry tells Iris, "Electrician's unusual." She replies, "Yeah, if you ask me, they all seem like characters from a sitcom."

Wakka wakka! I guess that was some lampshading on the part of the writers? I honestly don't know.

• Barry, Iris and the others then discover they're trapped in the Speed Lab, as every time they exit they end up right back in it. As they find themselves back in the Lab for a third time, they notice there's an antique grandfather clock sitting in the middle of the room. Inspector Jane says, "I have excellent spatial retention. I can say with near certainty that grandfather clock was not here before!"

First off, that's totally a normal sentence a human would say, right? And second, would one really need "excellent spacial retention" to spot a big ass clock that wasn't there before?

It was at this point I started to suspect this episode was actually written by Chat GPT or some other AI.

• We're then treated to— no, wait— make that subjected to more Chester & Allegra relationship nonsense. As always, it's just downright bizarre to watch these two thirtysomethings flailing about like awkward teens who've never dated before. 

Even worse, their drama this week is just a rehash of what we've already seen twenty times before on the show. Chester blurts out that he loves Allegra, which weirds her out and makes her feel uncomfortable. Yeah, the audience knows the feeling!

But don't worry— their scenes have absolutely nothing to do with the plot, and you can safely fast forward through all of them!

One last thing about Chester & Allegra before I ignore them for the rest of the review— as we join them we see they're playing Scrabble, and Chester tells Allegra that "za" isn't a word. She insists it is, as it's short for "pizza." 

She's absolutely right— it's a stupid word, but a word it most definitely is. Plus I refuse to believe that Chester— a nerdy hacker who probably lives on pizza— wouldn't have ever heard call it that before.

• Barry decides to run to the future to see how they get out of the jam they're in, which sounds like a wonderful idea, considering how often he's screwed up the timeline in the past. 

Anyway, note that he time travels by running circles around the top of the Speed Lab in order to open a portal. Yet somehow NONE of the four inspectors— whose job is literally to observe and report— sees this take place just a few feet above their heads! Great job, guys!

• A wave of temporal energy (caused by Barry?) then passes through the Speed Lab, which somehow causes Iris' outfit to change into that of a Greek or maybe Egyptian queen.

Similarly, Barry's clothes are transformed into an ersatz Star Trek uniform. Wait, what?

So... does that mean there's an equivalent of Starfleet and the United Federation Of Planets in the Arrowverse's future? If so, that sounds wayyyy more interesting than anything that's happened all season on this show.

By the way, when Iris sees Barry's uniform, she says, "Star Wars?" It's been a long-running joke on the show that she doesn't know anything about the nerd culture her husband's into and doesn't care enough to learn.

Oh, and the rest of the inspectors get temporal fashion updates as well.

Note that not only does Inspector Jane's clothing change to a groovy 1960s outfit, but her glasses get altered to match as well! Luckily for her the lenses still seem to work though!

• In order to gain the trust of the inspectors, Barry reveals he's secretly the Flash. Inspector Howard is so overwhelmed by everything that he faints dead away.

Credit Where It's Due: Kudos to the actor or stuntman who fainted here. He fell straight backwards right onto a tile floor, which had to hurt!

• There's one genuinely funny moment in the episode, as Inspector Jane finds out Barry's the Flash. She says, "I know that we're in a situation here, but if we get out of this, I would love to study some of your quantum biochemistry sometime."

Iris then gives her some major side-eye, as she apparently thinks Jane's hittin' on her man.

• I don't often comment on the quality of the acting in The Flash, as the leads are generally all pretty good. The guest stars though are often a mixed bag. 

Like the guy who plays Inspector Dupree here. In this scene he displayed some of the worst acting I've seen since Mark Wahlberg in The Happening! His "No. Are we gonna die? Oh man. No!" has to be seen to be believed!

• OK, I lied about not mentioning Chester & Allegra again. In order to avoid talking about their relationship, Allegra insists on playing Settlers Of Cataan with Chester & Cecile. Apropos of nothing, Klaus Teuber, the inventor of the game, died on April 1, 2023— just four days before this episode originally aired. R.I.P.!

• Barry & the others deduce that one of them is a thief who stole the Time Magnet from the Flash Museum and brought it to the past‚ which trapped them all in the Speed Lab for reasons. Iris then tries to find out which one of them is the thief by recreating the testing scene from 1982's The Thing. Except, you know, nowhere near as tense or exciting.

By the way, during this scene the sound effects guy was either drunk or just didn't give a shit, because there's no consistency whatsoever in the radiation detector. Iris scans Tao with the detector, and it emits a handful of halfhearted clicks. But when when she scans Jane we hear two or three times as many clicks, and Iris says she's clear. Dupree's reading is even more intense, but again, Iris clears him.

So what the hell is she measuring? How do such wildly different readings all indicate clear? And why does Tao, who's the actual thief, have the fewest amount of temporal radiation particles?

• For reasons, the Time Magnet shenanigans causes Inspector Howard to turn into a small replica of Michelangelo's David (the real one's seventeen feet tall!).  

I had to laugh when I saw this, as the statue was in the news just a week or two before the episode aired. Seems some wingnuts in Florida (of course) decided the statue was "pornographic" and shouldn't be shown in schools. Jaysis. Fortunately, the replica seen here has its naughty bits strategically covered by a large fig leaf, to spare us all undue embarrassment.

You may be asking just why Inspector Howard was replaced with a replica of the statue from antiquity. Good question! As near as I can tell, the Time Magnet is replacing the occupants of the Speed Lab with various objects from the past. Why's it doing this though? Because the script said so, and to give the episode a ticking clock.

HEAVY DUTY NITPICKING ALERT #2: When Howard's replaced with the statue, we get the following exchange from the others:

Dupree: "Oh god! He's a statue! We're all gonna be statues!"
Jane: "He's not a statue. He's dead."
Iris: "Dea..."
Jane: "Scattered through time and space in a collection of free-floating subatomic particles."
Iris: "So he was erased and replaced with a statue?"
Barry: "It's the law of conservation of matter. If we don't all get out of here soon, we're next.

OK, the Law Of Conservation of Matter (more commonly known as the Law Of Conservation Of Mass) states that matter cannot be created or destroyed. That means when an object goes through any physical or chemical change, it MUST have the same number of atoms that were present before the transformation.

Which means Inspector Howard apparently had the exact same mass as a granite statue of David! Which seems pretty unlikely.

Hey, don't look at me! I'm not the one who brought up an ironclad physical law here!

• OK, one last thing about Chester & Allegra, and then I'm done for real. Cecile asks Allegra why she's so put off by Chester saying he loves her. Allegra says it's because everyone in her life who's ever told her they loved her has either abandoned her or died. Cecile then responds with this howler:

Cecile: "Allegra, I can't even imagine how tough that was for you to go through."

Bitch, you're a f*cking psychic meta who can sense people's emotions and even read their thoughts! And you "can't imagine" how she's feeling right now?

They literally are not even trying at this point.

• So Barry, Iris and the remaining three inspectors are trapped in a time/space loop, unable to ever leave the Speed Lab. Even worse, if they don't find a way out soon, they'll all be replaced by historical objects. So naturally Iris decides that's the opportune moment to bring up her worries about becoming a mother. 

Are you frakin' kidding me right now? I get that having a kid is a life changing event, but Jesus Jetskiing Christ! Priorities, woman!

• Barry figures out who the time thief is by asking Inspector Tao to examine the electrical check valves. When she looks around in confusion, Barry tells her check valves are used in plumbing, not electrical systems. Again, this was probably the most obvious "reveal" I've ever seen outside a Scooby-Doo episode.

Also, when Barry accuses Tao, she demands he prove it. The episode then gives us a helpful flashback of her askingwhat a breaker box is— something that literally just happened about fifteen minutes earlier. The producers really do think the viewers are idiots, don't they?

• Realizing she's been found out, Tao transforms into Lady Chronos. Several things here:

First off, I naturally assumed the show did its standard gender flipping of a character, turning comic book villain Chronos into a woman. Nope! For once that's not the case, as there really is a Lady Chronos in the comics! Color me officially shocked!

It would take about 50,000 words to adequately outline her comic origin, so I'll be brief. In the comics, a woman named Jia started a relationship with Ryan Choi, aka the new Atom. Unfortunately they broke up, and Jia ended up marrying an abusive man named Alvin. She eventually killed Alvin to escape his wrath, but for reasons he turned into a zombie and began stalking her (!). She then became involved with David Clinton, aka Chronos— nemesis of the original Atom. Jia adopted Clinton's supervillain identity and trappings and became Lady Chronos. She then attempted to destroy the Atom's home of Ivy Town to ruin his reputation or something.

There's LOTS more, but it gets really weird and dark and that's enough for now.

Once Lady Chronos doffs her hood & robes (which I'm convinced they reused from the Original Dreamer character who appeared in last week's episode), she's wearing the usual black leather catsuit of course. But I was impressed that her face looks exactly like her comic counterpart though— right down to the white greasepaint, angled lines and clock hands on her forehead!

I thought it would have been fun if each time the camera cut back to her, the clock hands would be in a different position!

• Lady Chronos uses the Time Magnet to fire a blast of temporal energy at Jane & Depree, which transforms them into lawn gnomes. Why? Because it's funny, I guess?

Once again, that pesky Law Of Conservation Of Mass rears its ugly head, as this means these two yard decorations somehow contain the same amount of matter as two grown-ass adults.

• Barry accuses Lady Chronos of killing the inspectors, but she insists it's not her fault. She says, "You see, the Time Magnet is attracting temporal displacement particles, causing everything to transmogrify."

For some reason this time-themed supervillain pronounces temporal as "tem-PORE-al" instead of "TEMP-oral."

Eh, no big deal. The actress just flubbed her line— no need for a retake. I dunno why, but this kind of mistake has happened in literally every episode this season. Are the actors using Canadian pronunciations? Or did they all just forget how to speak English?

• I watched Lady Chronos explain her master plan several times now, and I'm still not sure I fully understand it.

I think she entered the Flash Museum in 2123 and broke into the Weapons Vault intending to steal the Time Magnet. Before she could grab it though, she accidentally tripped a laser sensor, which trapped her inside. She then used her chrono-belt to open a time portal to escape. She noticed the last time STAR Labs was inspected was April 5, 2023, so she jumped to that date to pose as an inspector. She found the real electrical inspector, knocked him out and took his place. Once inside STAR, she sneaked off by herself and went back to 2123 to steal the Time Magnet. For gods only know what reason, she then returned to 2023, even though she could have gone to any other time. Unfortunately once she came back to the present, the Time Magnet disrupted space and trapped her and everyone else inside the Speed Lab.

Is that it? Did I get it right? I'm still honestly not sure. I kind of understand it all up to the point where she steals the Magnet and then comes back to April 5, 2023. Why this particular day? And why not take her time to steal the Time Magnet's stabilizer while she was at it? Did she not know about that?

As always, I feel like I'm putting way more thought into this than the writers did.

• Quick question: Is Lady Chronos from 2023 or 2123? I'm leaning toward her being from the future, due to her intimate knowledge of the Flash Museum and its contents. 

The only partial clue we get is at the end of the episode when Khione asks what happened to Lady Chronos, and Barry says they'll find out in a hundred years. But that's still not conclusive, as just because she was arrested in the future doesn't means she originated there.

• Writing time travel stories is hard! Barry tells Lady Chronos the only way to save them all is for her to return the Time Magnet to the Weapons Vault. She says if she does that though, she'll be arrested the second she appears. Eventually she realizes it's the only way and goes back to the moment she stole the magnet.

Again, why? She has a freakin' time machine on her belt! She could go anywhere in time! Why not appear the day after she first stole the Magnet, once the cops have gone? None of this makes any sense.

• Lady Chronos returns to the future and apparently returns the Time Magnet. Another wave of temporal energy washes through the Speed Lab, and Barry & Iris' clothes return to normal. Inspectors Howard, Jane & Dupree then show up, with no knowledge of anything that's just happened.

They're also joined by Inspector Rogen, the real electrical inspector, who's wearing a large eyepatch for some reason. At first I figured this was part of The Flash's draconian inclusivity and representation policy, and they hired someone with monocular vision. But I looked upHarrison MacDonald and he has two normal eyes. So... I guess his appearance was supposed to be a joke? Like it's hilarious that there's an inspector who only has one eye? Ha, I guess?

• In the wrap up, Barry tells Khione that STAR Labs passed the inspection. He says he's really glad it's safe after all the stuff that's happened there the past nine years. 

We're then treated to a brief montage of all the stuff that happened there the past nine years, including Marlize DeVoe (The Thinker's wife) battling Iris, Bloodwork and several of his blood zombies, Godspeed and zombified arms dealer Mitch Romero exploding in a fountain of gore all over Barry & Frost.

Why that handful out of the hundreds of villains they've faced? Could it be those characters are returning in the handful of episodes that are left? They pretty much have to be, right? Especially the TWO instances of Bloodwork's zombies. Otherwise why remind us of them?

The Simpsons Revealed!

Lately I've been watching The Simpsons on Disney+, revisiting a lot of classic episodes I haven't seen since the 1990s.

At one point during the opening titles there's a whip pan across the various inhabitants of Springfield— it's sandwiched between Marge honking the car horn and Homer pulling into the driveway.

The scene's composed of a whopping EIGHT frames, and flies by in less than a second— far too fast for it to register in my brain.

Until now, that is! I was curious to see who all's in the scene, so I slowed it down about 2000%, so it now lasts around twenty seconds. Now at long last we can finally get a good look at all the characters in the scene. I think my favorites are Patty & Selma, sunbathing in their matching bullet bras. Shudder!

Anyway, it only took thirty years, but now we know who's in this scene. You're welcome!

The Flash Season 9, Episode 7: Wildest Dreams

This week on The Flash, we inexplicably get yet another episode in which the titular character barely shows up, and does absolutely nothing of interest.

That's right, Wildest Dreams is another Flashless Flash episode, as it features both Iris and Nia Nal (of all people) from Supergirl. No, really!

I am completely and utterly baffled by this choice on the part of the producers. As I've been saying for weeks now, this is the last ever season of the series. We should be getting one final multipart story, each episode bigger and more thrilling than the last, culminating in a mind-bogglingly epic conclusion.

Instead the writers saw fit to burn off one of these last episodes by focusing on a side character from another show that ended two years ago! 

Even worse, the Nia character was already given a proper sendoff on Supergirl, and will most likely never be seen again in any media! And yet here she is, as the show devotes precious time giving her a swan song that absolutely no one asked for.

As I said, this is all utterly, utterly mystifying and incomprehensible.

To be fair, Wildest Dreams isn't a terrible episode— lord knows the series has had far, far worse (I'm lookin' at you, all of Season 7). It's just that it belongs anywhere else but here in the final season. 

Based on the ratings, apparently I'm not the only one who feels this way. The very first episode of The Flash pulled in an impressive 4.8 million viewers, which was MASSIVE for a CW show.

Sadly, those days are long gone. The ratings for this week's episode were slightly lower, at... 450,000.

Jesus Christ!

OK, I know it's unfair to compare these two episodes, ratings-wise. After all, the series premiered nine years ago, when online viewership was still in its infancy, and streaming was just starting to become a reality. Still... 450,000 viewers! In a country of 334 million! That's pretty bad!


The Plot:
We open in a darkened warehouse, where we see Nia Nal (aka Dreamer from Supergirl) in full costume, cautiously walking through it. She doubles over in pain as she sees a string of disturbing video clipart images, including crows & black widow spiders. 

A group of shadowy people behind her, and she asks what they want. Suddenly a Hooded Figure with glowing blue eyes appears, and Nia says it can't stop her now that she's "so close." She starts to fire up her dream energy powers, but they fizzle and die.

Just then Iris appears and asks where the hell she is. Before Nia can answer, the two of them are knocked out and fall to the floor.

Hard cut to Nia waking inside the National City branch of Jitters. She runs out the door, saying she has to get to Central City.

At CCCMedia, Iris calls Barry & tells him she's working late on her story about Red Death's recent "attack." Allegra enters and shows her the headline she wrote for the article, which reads "DEATH UNDER RED SKIES." Iris recognizes the headline from Barry's Map Book— which contained info on all the future events of their lives.

Iris realizes according to the book, this is the article that'll will win her her first Pulitzer. Understandably weirded out by this, she postpones publishing the piece.

Meanwhile at STAR Labs, Khione finally unlocks her ice powers, which pleases Chillblaine no end. Khione aggressively plants a kiss on him, as she practically attacks him. Suddenly he wakes and we realize the entire scene was a dream, as Chillblaine fell asleep while on monitor duty.

Chester and Khione enter the Cortex and engage in witty banter with Chillblaine. He then invites Khione out for a fun day on the town. Everyone enjoying this thrilling superhero action so far?

Nia arrives at CCCMedia to talk with Iris. Nia says she's recently been trying to take her powers to the next level, but instead they've somehow been erased. For some reason she thinks Iris is the only person who can help get them back, because she was in her dream.

Just then Nia sees the Hooded Figure again, and she and Iris collapse on the floor.

The two wake up in CCCP, where Nia is dressed as a cop and Iris is the Chief Of Police. Iris asks what's going on, and Nia says they're in the Dream Realm. Specifically they're in Iris' dream. Iris admits she always wanted to be a cop (?), and wonders if this is the life she should have chosen. They see a bright blue door, and Iris figures it's a way out of the dream.

Nia picks that moment to reveal that Iris died in her initial dream, killed by the Hooded Figure. She tells them they need to be careful while they're in the Realm.

The two go through the door and find they're now working at Jitters— along with Barry, Chester & Allegra. When Nia asks what the hell, Iris admits she started out working at Jitters, and secretly longs for a 9 to 5 job again.

Back in the real world, Barry brings dinner to Iris at CCCMedia. He sees her and Nia lying comatose on the floor, and takes them to STAR. There, Chester examines them and says they're in deep REM sleep (yeah, no sh*t) and he can't wake them. Even Cecile can't sense anything from them. Chester says if the two don't wake up soon, they'll be in permanent comas.

Back in the Dream Realm, Nia says she's feeling hot and says they're both in "angry sleep," whatever that means. 
She says they need to find a way out of the Realm fast, or they'll be lost there forever. She says dreams reflect reality, and suspects Iris has a problem that's keeping them there.

Suddenly they find themselves in the darkened warehouse from earlier, and Nia realizes their dreams are somehow merging. She tells Iris to run.

At STAR, Chester notes that Iris & Nia's temperatures are soaring. He says if it keeps up, their organs will start failing.

Iris & Nia run through corridors in the warehouse, looking for an exit. They're confronted by the Hooded Figure again, who blocks them. Nia says she's in control here, and won't let anyone hurt her.

The two then appear in a dream version of CCCMedia. Iris overhears her employees dissing her, saying she's a fraud who doesn't deserve all her success. Nia asks Iris what's going on, and she tells her about the Map Book, saying she doesn't feel like she's earned the Pulitzer she's supposed to win. Nia gives Iris a Patented The CW Pep Talk®, saying her destiny is the culmination of a lifetime of choices that she made herself.

Elsewhere, Chillblaine & Khione show up at O'Shaughnessy's Pub after a day of fun activities. Khione complains that everything they did were things HE wanted to do, and he ignored her suggestions. He deflects her concerns by trying to get her to sing karaoke. She refuses, accusing him of trying to turn her into Frost. She says he's so obsessed with Frost he's never bothered to get to know her. 
The patrons in the bar overhear all this and cheer Khione as she walks out.

Back at STAR, Iris & Nia remain unchanged. Cecile senses someone else is in the Dream Realm with them, but can't tell who. She tells a distraught Barry that she's getting a feeling the presence was a guardian angel, and the two will be OK.

In the Dream Realm, Iris & Nia see a door covered in spiderwebs. Nia explains it's meant for her, as her mother died of a spider bite (?). She says maybe she's not supposed to get her powers back, and just needs to go through the door to find out what's next for her. She thinks it has something to do with giving up control. Iris offers to go with her, but she says she has to do it alone.

Nia opens the door and goes through. She finds herself in full costume again, back in the warehouse from the beginning. Right on cue, the Hooded Figure appears. Nia says she's ready to release control and find out what happens next. The Figure removes her hood, revealing she's the Original Dreamer— the ancient source of Naltorian dream energy. She takes Nia's hands and transfers her powers to her.

Nia and Iris both wake up at STAR, completely fine.

Sometime later, Nia explains that the Original Dreamer is going to train her to use her newly supercharged powers to their fullest. Cecile can sense the Dreamer, but only Nia can see her.

Barry & Iris return to the Loft. Iris makes a decision, opens her laptop and publishes the Red Death article.

The next day Team Flash has a huge dinner at Cecile's place. Chillblaine stops by to apologize to Khione. He says he's still struggling with his grief for Frost, and is leaving to sort things out. Khione goes back inside, and her sadness ends up freezing all the food (but not the people around the table). Everyone gathers around her for a group hug.

• Sorry about the poor quality of the screencaps. This was the best video I could find.

• The plot of this week's episode— in which Iris and Nia are trapped in a dream world that forces them to accept their fates— is swiped directly from, er, I mean inspired by the Season 3 episode Duet

In that outing, Barry and Kara Danvers (aka Supergirl) are captured by the Music Meister and trapped in a dream world, where they're forced to deal with their respective relationship problems with Iris and Mon-El. 

Heck, both episodes even feature the dreaming characters lying in beds right next to one another in the real world!

• The episode begins with Nia Nal, aka Dreamer, exploring an abandoned warehouse. Since I wasn't a regular viewer of Supergirl, I barely know who she is and know little or nothing about the character. Here's a very brief rundown on her:

Nia was born in 1997 to Paul and Isabel Nal. Her father was human, while her late mother was a Naltorian— a race of aliens who conveniently look exactly like humans. 

Once in every generation a Naltorian woman becomes the Dreamer— a shaman-like figure who can access the Dream Realm and manifest various powers. Apparently the Dreamer can pass her powers onto her daughter or any woman of her species to carry on the position.

Nia was born a male, but from an early age considered herself female and eventually transitioned. As an adult she moved to National City and became a reporter for CatCo Media. She was gifted her mother's powers and began assisting Supergirl, eventually joining her team, the Superfriends. 

As a half Naltorian, Nia has above average strength and durability. She can also see visions of the future in her dreams— but these premonitions don't always turn out to be right due to the actions of others. She can enter anyone's dreams, as well as astrally project her consciousness outside her body.

She can inexplicably manifest her dream energy into various tools or weapons, like a rope (?), a shield or a repulsor ray. So she's basically been turned into a Green Lantern too, just like speedsters have slowly become in the Arrowverse.

There's a ton more to her backstory, but that'll do for now.

• Inside the warehouse, Nia experiences "psychic headaches," and sees this crowd of random strangers approaching her.

Credit where it's due— this was actually a legitimately eerie scene. But... who the hell are these people? Visions of citizens Nia tried to save in the past but didn't? Those she wronged throughout her life? Amway sales people?

Apparently it's none of our goddamned business, because who they are and why she sees them is never explained.

Also, when she first sees the random crowd she says, "If you're trying to stop me, you can't. Not when I'm this close." This close to what? Again, it's never explained.

• A Hooded Figure with glowing blue eyes then appears before Nia, and robs her of her powers.

All through the episode, whenever this Figure appears, Nia describes it as "she" or "her." How the heck does she know there's a woman under all those robes? I don't see anything the least bit feminine to clue her in. 

I wondered if maybe this was the official uniform of Naltorian Dreamers. But if that's true, then Nia would have just called her "The Dreamer" instead of "The Hooded Figure.  

Does Nia maybe have some kind of low-level telepathy, so she can sense a womanly presence? Who knows.

 • We then find out Nia's been dreaming all this, as she wakes up inside the National City branch of Jitters. National City of course being where Nia and Supergirl live.

I'm ashamed to admit this, but seeing that NC there made me realize for the very first time that the CC in CCJitters stands for "Central City." All this time I just assumed the CC was something to do with coffee. Like "Caffeinated Coffee Jitters" or something like that. Live and learn!

• Cut to Iris & her staff over at CCCMedia. Ye gods, what a nightmare it must be to work there. First of all, no one but Iris is allowed to have an actual office, as the rest of her staff has to try and work in a dreaded "open layout," which has to be extremely distracting when trying to write an article. 

Then to top it off, it's clearly nighttime, meaning her poor wage slaves are having to toil well past the normal quitting time, till 8 or 9pm— if not later!

• Allegra shows off the headline for Iris' big article— the one that's gonna win her her first Pulitzer. Hmm... that's a pretty familiar-looking headline. Seems like there're a lot of "Disasters Under Red Skies" happening in Central City. Remember the infamous one that's supposed to happen in 2024 and cause Barry's disappearance? The one the producers are desperately hoping we all forget about?

• When Iris sees the headline, she recognizes it from Barry's Map Book (which listed all the future events of their lives). She's so weirded out by this preordained event that she actually thinks twice about publishing the article.

The idea of Iris feeling like she didn't earn her Pulitzer because her future's already been written is actually pretty interesting. It feels like something that would actually happen if a person had access to their own future. Good job, writers!

That said, I'm not sure it needed to be the focus of an entire episode— especially not in the final season.

• Barry chats with Iris from their Loft. Check out that hazy background! Looks like the god rays are alive and well again this week! The cinematographer is pumping so much atmospheric smoke into those sets that the actors probably all have black lung at this point.

• At STAR Labs, Chillblaine's still obsessed with proving that Khione has ice powers. During the testing she accidentally spills something on his shirt, so of course he immediately whips it off to expose his chiseled abs. 

We then find out this scene is all a particularly vivid dream that Chillblaine's having. Jesus Christ, he even insists on losing his shirt off in his dreams!

• The Hooded Figure appears at CCCMedia and knocks out Iris & Nia. They wake in a dreamworld where they're both cops at CCPD. When Nia wonders why they're in this particular dream, Iris mentions that she always fantasized abut becoming a police officer. Wait, what?

I think maybe they're referencing Welcome To Earth-2 here. In that episode, the Iris of that world was indeed a cop (although not a captain, as she is here). I guess from that we're to infer that the Earth-Prime Iris secretly wished she'd gone into law enforcement as well?

• Based on the events of this episode, Iris' superpower is apparently "Getting Trapped In Otherworldly Dimensions." First she was stuck in the Mirrorverse, then spent half a season inside the Still Force and now she gets pulled into the Dream Realm. At this point in the series I guess this is the only thing the writers can think of to do with her character.

Namedropping: In their CCPD dream, Officer Korber congratulates Iris:

Officer Korber: "Hey, Cap. Nice takedown earlier. CCPN is dying to interview you about it, that and how you took down the Snart siblings last week. You're unstoppable!"

Of course she's talking about Leonard Snart, aka Captain Cold, and his sister Lisa, aka Golden Glider (who was first seen wayyyy back in Season 1's Rogue Time).

• Nia says they need to find the way out of the Dream Realm as soon as possible. Iris looks around and spots the door out of this particular dream at the top of the stairs. 

Was it coincidental or deliberate that they painted the door bright TARDIS blue? Also, nice portrait of Chief Singh on the wall behind Iris.

• Barry finds Iris & Nia in comas at CCCMedia and takes them to STAR Labs. Chester examines them both but is unable to wake them. Barry then asks if Iris' baby is OK, and Chester whips out a full-blown tricorder to scan her fetus!

OK, where the hell did he get that particular piece of tech? Heck, an even better question is WHY the hell does he have it? How often does anyone at STAR ever get pregnant?

• This is now the second episode in a row in which the Flash doesn't suit up or use his speed. I suppose it's possible he might have zoomed Iris and Nia to STAR Labs after discovering them unconscious, but if so it happened completely off camera.

More Namedropping: At one point Barry reels off a list of people who may be able to help wake Iris & Nia:

Barry: "What about contacting Kara, or Brainy or J'onn? I mean, they know Nia's powers better than we do."
Chester: "Barry, I checked. They're all off world."
Barry: "Okay, well, we have to try something. I'm gonna— I'm gonna call the League, Cisco, Digg, anyone I can think of."

Lots of references in that brief exchange!

The Kara, Brainy and J'onn that Barry mentions would of course be Supergirl, Brainiac 5 and Martian Manhunter, all from Supergirl.

Chester's line about the three of them being "off world" when needed is a nod to an old, old trope from the comics. See, Superman was clearly the strongest superhero in the DC Universe, far out-powering all their other characters. So whenever a crisis popped up that was too big for someone like the Flash or Green Lantern to handle, the obvious solution would be to call Superman for help.

That made the other characters look weak and ineffectual though. So the writers would have Superman conveniently be somewhere in space, in order to give the other heroes a chance to shine. 

So where was Supes whenever he wasn't on Earth? Good question! He just had urgent business "off planet."

Lastly, Barry's line that he's gonna call the League for help is a reference to the end of Crisis On Infinite Earths, Part Five

Remember when the heroes from all the various Arrowverse shows— Martian Manhunter, Batwoman, White Canary, Supergirl, Flash, Black Lightning and Superman— all came together and formed the Justice League? Remember how the producers made a huge deal of this team up, giving them their own headquarters that looked just like the Hall Of Justice from the Superfriends cartoon show? Remember how they gave them their own Arthurian round table, complete with chairs showcasing their respective symbols?

And remember how it was implied that we'd be seeing this Arrowverse Justice League team up on a regular basis? Ah, good times. 

And then they were literally never seen together again. 

We did get a brief glimpse at the Hall Of Justice in Armageddon, Part 2. And Black Lightning showed up for part of an episode to help Barry, like he was his AA sponsor or something. But to my knowledge that was the one and only time we ever saw anything League related in the Arrowverse ever again.

It's a cryin' shame, and a massively wasted opportunity!

• After going through the blue door in CCPD, Iris & Nia find themselves in a dream version of CCJitters, where they're working as manager and waitress. Barry & Chester are working there too as baristas, for maximum yuks. In fact while slinging coffee, Barry even tells Iris he's "the fastest man alive!" Com-O-Dee!

• When Barry screws up the bean hopper, Chester says, "Resistor coil is overheating! It's a Code Sumatra!"

I'm not entirely sure, but I think they're referencing the fact that in the world of coffee shops, "Sumatra" is the code word for a strong, thick and intense brew. It's either that or some code Cisco came up with in a past season that I've forgotten about.

• When Nia wonders why they're in a dream version of Jitters, Iris replies it's because she used to be a barista there. That's a reference to Season 1, when she was indeed working at Jitters while studying journalism.

Of course the REAL reason why their dreams keep taking place in known locations like CCPD and Jitters is because the producers used all the show's standing sets in an effort to save money.

• Chillblaine takes Khione to O'Shaughnessy's Pub, because again it's a standing set and the show couldn't afford to build any new ones this week.

Speaking of O'Shaughnessy's, I can't believe it's taken me so long to realize it actually appeared in the comics! There it's a burger joint like McDonald's and not a pub, but still— it's a mainstay of the DC Universe. It first appeared way back in 1995's Green Arrow #94. Live and learn!

• Chillblaine continues to go all Vertigo this week, as he desperately tries to mold Khione into his dearly departed Frost. 

As much as I dislike the character of Chillblaine, I have to admit this is one of the few interesting ideas the show's had this season. It's gotta be rough on the guy to constantly be around someone who looks exactly like his dead girlfriend. No wonder he's starting to lose it!

Unfortunately the writers have neither the talent or the interest in exploring this storyline in depth. Instead, they give us the most appalling scene in the entire episode, as Khione asks Chillblaine— in front of the entire bar, mind you— if he wishes she was really Frost. As he tries to sputter an explanation, the other bar patrons actually heckle and boo him! 

Incredibly, Chillblaine's emotional pain is actually played for laughs here! He was severely traumatized by Frost's death, and is clearly having trouble coming to grips with it— to the point where he's actively trying to force Khione to act like her. The guy's clearly hurting and desperately needs psychological help, but the writers want us to laugh at his mental anguish. Jesus Christ!

• Back at STAR, Iris & Nia's body temperatures soar to a whopping 104º, as Chester states they're on the verge of organ failure and death.

Turns out he's right, as it's commonly agreed that 108º is the highest temperature the human body can reach before dying.

• Iris & Nia manage to escape from the dreamworld Jitters, but find themselves in a "nightmare." Strangely enough, this horrifying otherworldly realm looks a lot like the corridors at the Vancouver Film Studios, where the show's filmed. Funny how that worked out, eh?

• The two then find themselves in a dream version of CCCMedia, where Allegra, Taylor and Aariz are watching Iris accept her Pulitzer. Note that once again, the TV's tuned to Channel 52, the only station in Central City!

• If you tuned in this week expecting to see fun superhero action from the Flash, then look elsewhere. This is how our titular hero spends the few brief scenes he's in— folding his arms while looking gravely concerned.

Again, I'd like to point out that this is the FINAL season of the show, and the creators are brazenly squandering the remaining episodes by sidelining the main character.

• At STAR, Barry frets over the still-unconscious Iris. Suddenly Cecile senses the presence of the Hooded Figure and says:

Cecile: "Barry, I don't know why, and there is no rational explanation for me feeling this way, but I know that Iris is gonna pull through this. She's gonna be fine. She and Nia are both gonna be okay."
Barry: "How can you be so sure?"
Cecile: "Because the presence that I just felt was something powerful and kind. It was almost like a guardian angel. Barry, I think it was a sign."

Welp, that's one way to completely diffuse any tension the episode might have had! Never mind Iris & Nia's fevers, or the dangers they face in the Dream Realm— none of that matters because they're both gonna be just fine!

Jesus Christ, I'm just a schlub from Indiana, but even I know a story needs conflict and danger. Without them, there're no stakes or any reason for the audience to watch! It's Writing 101— a class The Flash's staff apparently skipped.

• Iris & Nia then see the infamous blue door again, but this time it's covered in spider webs. Nia says this is because her mother was killed by a spider bite (?).

I know, it doesn't make any sense, but just go with it or we'll be here all day.

• Nia goes through the spidery door, where she's confronted by the Hooded Figure again. Nia gives up control of her powers, which apparently consists of just announcing the fact and not, you know, actually doing anything.

It works though, as the Hooded Figure reveals she's a friendly-looking black woman who was the ORIGINAL Dreamer from Nia's planet.

The Dreamer then gives all her energy to Nia, which supercharges her powers. A couple things here:

First of all, why is the very first Dreamer (who likely lived millennia ago) appearing and transferring her powers to Nia? It's Naltorian custom for the Dreamer to pass their abilities to the next generation, right? So why didn't a vision of Nia's late mom— who was the most recent Dreamer— appear and boost her powers? Whoops!

Secondly, it appears the Original Dreamer's entire plan in this episode was to pass on her powers to Nia. Fine. So... couldn't she have simply told her that from the start? Why put her in a coma and force her to go through all the "Lost In A Dreamworld" nonsense for forty five minutes? Why not just appear before Nia, say, "Hey, I've decided you're gonna be the new Dreamer. Here's your power upgrade."

• Barry & Iris return to their Loft for the wrap up. 

As always, their building is one of the few locations on the show that isn't filmed in Vancouver. It's actually the Brockman Lofts in downtown LA.

• Barry & Iris then enjoy a late dinner of Big Belly Burgers. They're a staple of the Arrowverse, popping up numerous times in both Arrow and The Flash

Big Belly Burgers originated in DC Comics though, and have appeared in numerous titles over the years. They were introduced back in 1988's Adventures Of Superman #441.

Iris mentions that Barry zoomed to National City to get the burgers. So technically he did actually use his powers this week— but again, completely offscreen, and only to pick up some fast food. Thrilling!

Heavy Duty Nitpicking Alert: Team Flash enjoys a huge breakfast spread at Cecile's place. It all looks good, but... who the hell serves orange juice in champagne flutes?

More Heavy Duty Nitpicking: Chillblaine stops by to apologize to Khione, and tell her he's leaving to try and get over Frost.

What in the name of Christian Dior's Dirty Drawers is Khione wearing here? Did no one teach this new life form how to dress herself yet? 

• Khione is so upset over Chillblaine's abrupt departure that her ice powers— which she apparently has after all— automatically kick in and freeze all the food on the table. Oddly enough, the people sitting mere inches away aren't affected by the cold in the least. Comic Book Science!

• Their breakfast ruined, Team Flash then gathers around Khione and gives her a big group hug because Chillblaine said he's leaving. Never mind that he's currently experiencing intense mental and emotional trauma. He can just go f*ck himself I guess.

The way they treat Chillblaine in this episode is honestly appalling. Yes, he betrayed the team to Red Death a few weeks back, but he ended up saving them and redeeming himself. And afterward Barry told him all was forgiven and even proclaimed him an official member of Team Flash.

So why are they suddenly treating him like something they'd scrape off the bottom of their shoe?

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