This post contains spoilers for The Flash.
Check out last week's review here.
The cost of being a hero has always been high, but this week’s episode of The Flash forces Barry to evaluate that cost when his family is in the equation too. While he’s never been alone, he’s always been surrounded by other heroes who understood the risk. He and Iris wouldn’t be right for each other if she were to ask him to give up The Flash for her, but Nora’s a different story. Central City needs The Flash, but Nora West-Allen needs her dad.
“O Come All Ye Faithful” has some heavy content, but it takes time to show off The Flash’s ability to tackle that content while still warming your heart along the way. While we watch Nora try to reconcile with the idea that her dad has willingly said goodbye with no way back in the past (and the fact that he will again in the future) the episode takes some time to give us a glimpse into Cicada and his daughter’s life, too.
As a matter of fact, father/daughter relationships are the theme this week. Weather Wizard’s daughter, Weather Witch, just about kills Barry in the beginning of the episode. As it happens, The Flash and the people of Central City aren’t her target. Weather Witch is after her dead beat dad, but it’s Barry that dies. That death is what sparks all of the reasonable angst from Nora, but directly results in her realizing that heroes gotta hero. Plus, Weather Witch’s cranky dad drama was a fun little one-off that didn’t end in either of them dying.
The episode’s focus on Cicada humanized the character a great deal. Then it threw it all away at the finish line. The moments that made him an empathetic villain aren’t gone, they’re just covered up in that terrible voice and the tragic overacting. Problem is, they go out of their way to illustrate that Chris Klein is fine as an actor when it comes to Orlin and then move into the villain scenes. The Cicada is supposed to be the most terrifying serial killer in the history of The Flash, but the voice they’re making the guy do turns him into a living version of the “Where Are They?!” meme.
More important than any of that: Killer Frost is back for good. The villain turned anti-hero alter ego of Caitlin Snow is no longer trapped in the scientist’s brain, and is back smacking her boys around for being dummies. When Sherloque, Cisco and Caitlin are all down on themselves and the idea of Thanksgiving, the perpetually annoyed ice queen makes her presence known. It doesn’t take much to nudge her friends in the direction of their family (and the good food), resulting in a lovely dinner for the members of Team Flash. Ralph Dibney is presumably… somewhere?
Instead of ending a happy family dinner in tragedy, “O Come All Ye Faithful” throws the CW Network rules out the window and lets the team finish their get together in peace. The episode closes on a win, too! Years of superhero shows have trained me to live in fear of happy moments but, hey, they had a nice dinner and they know the identity of Cicada now. It’s a big win for the team, but the Cicada storyline will be put on hold for the next couple of weeks while The Flash tackles its hundredth episode and then moves directly into crossover week. Pretty solid reasons to put your main arc on hold, if you ask me!
You know what to do if you had thoughts on this week’s episode!