THE FLASH 4.02 Review “Mixed Signals”

Please no one ever say "shmoopy" again.

Read the previous review here
This post contains spoilers for The Flash. 

The Flash may notoriously avoid consequences for The Fastest Man Alive’s mistakes, but things have a way of catching up with all of us in the end. Barry may have been able to hop right out of the Speedforce and get his mind back in order in a snap, but running can’t fix a pissed off fiancé. Thankfully, it can help you stop a scorned tech-genius Meta human, but that’s not really what “Mixed Signals” is about.

The CW does this nifty thing with its filler episodes where, despite them being filler, they still typically have a good enough baddy and some type of message involved. Kilgore isn’t the toughest villain that Team Flash have ever faced, but he’s got an interesting enough power set to keep folks’ attention. His story doesn’t push the overall arc forward, but it gives the show time to focus on stories that do.

Barry and Iris have been through the ringer. Things might not be as dark as they are in Star City (even though they were lazy enough to just straight up use Oliver and Felicity’s apartment without changing the set dressing), but they can get pretty dreary when you have to trap yourself in the Speedforce to save the planet. It was Barry’s fault that things got to that point, but he wasn’t the only one affected by any means. Timeline changes aside, Iris West had a hell of a time while Barry was trapped. We’ve seen how the fallout from the event made her stronger, but “Mixed Signals” takes a second to show how it made her vulnerable as well.

The Flash writers have struggled with writing women characters in their tenure. The women involved in the show have deserved better characters to play with, and it seems that they might finally be getting them. Iris not only finally has an actual role on the team, but is leading it. Caitlin’s dealing with the complicated dichotomy between herself and Killer Frost. That story could go either way so far as quality goes, but it’s way more than the doctor’s been given in the past.

In addition to the progress with their ladies, the show also took a moment to acknowledge the importance of therapy, even if you don’t feel like things are at a boiling point. Media still has difficulty portraying mental health in a positive light. There were the usual quips about therapy, of course, but it was great to see someone as smart as Caitlin recommending it to Iris, and to see it pay off for the couple.

At the end of the day, it turned out Kilgore did tie in to the overall story, albeit just a little. The Thinker has his sights set on him and the other Metas like him. It was inevitable that the show would eventually have to expand the creation of Metas past Central City’s border, and it appears season four will kick that off.

To those who were excited about all of the tech upgrades to Barry’s suit, sorry fam! Barry Allen ain’t Iron Man, and he don’t need all that nonsense. He’s got a crack team and super speed, after all. Don’t worry, though. Surely Cisco has more surprises waiting as the season progresses. If you had a favorite moment from the episode, you know what to do!

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