THE FLASH 5.02 Review “Blocked”

Shhh... do you smell that?

This post contains spoilers for The Flash.
Check out last week’s review here.

Last week’s almost perfect premiere of The Flash was only missing one thing: a poppa Joe moment. Happy to report that “Blocked” both fixes that gross oversight and keeps the show on track after past seasons left us missing the levity that let the show shine in contrast to its darker counterpart, Arrow. The show even doubles down on last week’s progress, adding in things like characters dealing with their emotions and not keeping something major from their significant other for months!

Gee, it’s almost like a toxic presence was removed from the network or something.

“Blocked” opens with Barry and Nora revealing that the latter isn’t really trapped, and the future she comes from is still missing its Flash. Because changing the stars is basically Team Flash’s whole thing, no one bats much of an eye at the whole “Barry missing for twenty-five” years situation, but there is something wrong with Cisco. Looks like that breakup with Gypsy is finally catching up with him, and all of last week’s big distractions are gone.

The Cisco situation runs parallel to the episode’s main story, with Ralph and Caitlin working on getting their little buddy back to his old self, and Barry, Iris and Nora dealing with a recently escaped meta with a proclivity for smashing things. Block isn’t anything special, but she acts as a catalyst for Barry training Nora. Frankly, there’s no room for any of the bad metas to be compelling so long as Cicada’s out murdering any metahuman he can find. It would be a waste to get someone interesting just to have them offed thirty minutes later.

Meanwhile, Cicada’s over here stabbing people and raising eyebrows. It seems he operates by a certain set of rules. He didn’t kill any of the police transporting Gridlock, and balked right as he was about to kill The Flash after hearing XS yell “dad”. To add to the intrigue, Nora all but froze when she heard his noise as Iris played the cam footage after Team Flash all got their butts handed to them. Seems like this little bug was bad enough to leave a lasting impression twenty-five years in the future. In addition to all that, his weird, Percy Jackson knockoff prop is apparently able to steal powers from multiple metas at once. Not great, Bob.

On the lighter side of things, Ralph Dibney has somehow managed to stop being insufferable. This year’s version is a charming goof who has his uses but seems to be lost at least sixty percent of the time. Ralphy’s going to help Cisco not be sad about Gypsy anymore with the help of resident medical expert and BFF, Caitlin Snow. Ultimately their motive is to get it so Cisco can vibe again, helping Caitlin discover what’s going on with her father’s forged death certificate. But Caitlin starts to get squirrely when they get closer to that becoming a reality.

By the end of things, Caitlin and Cisco muddle through their abandonment fears together. Sugary pastries are magical that way, but only when mixed heavily with good friends. They’re adorable and funny moments are a very important part of the equation that makes superhero shows great.

The Flash has a twenty-two episode run per season, so it’s unreasonable to think they’ll make it through even half of that without having a bad episode or two. But, for now, we’re happy to bask in back-to-back greatness. Next week we’ll see Cicada continue to up the ante, with the return of the one and only Harry Wells and Cisco seemingly in peril.

You know what to do if you had thoughts on “Blocked”!