THE FLASH 5.05 Review “All Doll’d Up”

That's two Gotham acknowledgements in just as many days, campers.

This post contains spoilers for The Flash.
Check out our review for last week's episode here.

It’s a pity that we didn’t get “All Doll’d Up” two weeks ago, because Rag Doll’s creepy ass would have made a perfect Halloween Eve villain of the week. This big bucket of nope twitches and contorts his way through the episode, but any backstory of his is sacrificed for the West-Allen family drama. It’s fair to use Peter Merkel as a throwaway villain since he never gained much traction, but he was a fun challenge while he lasted.

Outside of Mr. Twitchy is a whole host of family drama. Caitlin, Sherly, Cisco, and Ralph all continue their quest to find Killer Frost and Caitlin’s father. Meanwhile, Barry and Iris figure out what to do with their daughter drama. Much of both of these plotlines is by the book dramatics that leave a little bit to be desired in the storytelling department, but they lead to several solid moments across the cast.

The first is a stymied Cisco Ramone. He’s been laying low after his run-in with Cicada, but we only had to deal with his absence for a week or so. He returns to the fray to help find Caitlin’s dad, but it turns out that helping is also causing him pain. Shrapnel of Cicada’s bolt remains in his hands, attacking his nervous system every time he tries to vibe. Cisco and Caitlin are given a chance to bond over the fact that both of them have lost their powers, and the lil buddy remembers that he’s a super genius before the episode’s close. Welcome back, STAR Labs satellite system!

It’s a good thing Nora West-Allen is as cute as a button, because her behavior for the last few episodes has been insufferable. An earnest desire to help can be grating when laid on too thick, but adding that to teenage dramatics is just a lot. Thankfully, Grandma Cecille agrees, because the new mother goes off on her future grand daughter in the most satisfying of ways. After getting Nora’s attention, Cecille tells her that she’ll share an untold Flash story for every chore she completes. She then proceeds to tell every time Iris changed his life, helping him to become the man he is today, on the sly.

The teen speedster arrives at the final battle just in time to watch Iris literally throw herself off a building to save Barry as he’s plummeting to his doom in meta cuffs. Not a second of thought, just hurls herself over the ledge like it's nothing. Iris’ actions and Cecille’s stories are enough to help Nora see that her mom might actually be just as big of a hero as her father. We still don’t know what’s going on in future Iris’ life (outside of that whole losing her husband business), but present Iris and Nora seem to be doing okay at last.

A special shout-out goes to the new and improved Ralph Dibney. Season five’s version of the character is a little more kind, a little less lecherous, and a lot more likable. The Elongated Man played a critical role in the apprehension of Rag Doll, and seems to really have found his purpose on the quest to find Caitlin’s dad and her lost alter ego. Also? “I wanna try something. I saw it in a comic book!” is The Flash’s low key fourth wall breaking MVP this week.  

“All Doll’d Up” isn’t doing anything groundbreaking, but there were enough fun moments sprinkled throughout that it didn’t feel like a wasted hour. It looks like we’ll be making some real progress on the Poppa Snow/Killer Frost front next week, too. Hopefully they’ll find some time to sprinkle in a little bit of the main story in addition to the chilly hijinks, but our girl Caitlin getting her own episode wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

If you had thoughts on this week’s episode of The Flash, we want to hear ‘em in the comments!

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