THE FLASH 5.21 Review “The Girl with the Red Lightning”

"I don’t want to give into fear just because there’s danger involved."

This post contains spoilers for The Flash.
Check out our last review here.

It's ironic that just yesterday Sara Lance chastised Gideon for too much exposition on Legends of Tomorrow. Penultimate episodes are there to set the ball so that the finale can spike it, sure, but there’s got to be something interesting going on while you build up to the wow-factor. You can tell that “The Girl with the Red Lightning” is building up to something big, and it both opens and closes with intrigue. But the rest is a snooze fest.

SheCada has extended her plan from offing all of the Metas in Central City to taking out everyone in the country. To do so, she needs a few things from various parts of the city, all of which she acquires with little struggle. During this process, Nora discovers that her psychic connection to Grace is still intact despite the amount of time that’s passed since she was last in her mind.

Connecting with Grace’s mind also shares her rage. This makes Barry and Iris skittish over the whole idea, leading to far too much insistence that she can handle it from Nora, and parental hand wringing from her parents. “Stop trying to keep me away from this danger and start helping me face it” is a really solid line, but it lacked the desired punch.

Irene’s story was another area of the episode with huge potential that petered out before it was allowed to be anything great. Sherloque, worried for his new lady love, takes Irene to the CCPD to get the cure with the rest of the frightened Metas of Central City. Thing is, she doesn’t want the cure. “The Girl with the Red Lightning” would have hit so much harder had it taken time to discuss the conundrum between safety and choosing to be yourself no matter what the consequences rather than dealing with more back and forth between the West-Allen family.

Throughout it all, actual human puppy Ralph Dibney is just trying to get someone to pay attention to the smoking gun. Something about this whole time travel thing isn’t sitting right with him, and he definitely can’t sleep without getting to the bottom of Reverse Flash’s scheme. Trouble is, no one on Team Flash wants to hear his ramblings about Eobard Thawne’s dastardly plans when they have a literal serial killer on the loose.

Too bad, they really should have paid attention. In the beginning of the episode, Thawne’s clock hits zero. He knows he’s about to be executed after fifteen years of frequent torture. But what’s a little torture if it means he’ll be able to ruin Barry Allen’s life one more time? One of two things could be happening here. The first is that the love Iris saw wasn’t for Nora, but for Grace. He kept the dagger for all those years so she could grow strong without it. The other option is that he only intends to use the dagger to escape the prison, he really did grow to love little Nora, and he’ll swoop in at the last second to sacrifice himself to save her.

My money’s on the former, and it’s not even Thawne’s past bullshit that makes me think that. It’s not the lies, the feigned love, or any of his other past indiscretions. Nah. It’s that damn newspaper article. Eobard Thawne has come back to that notorious clipping since day one. Having him deviate from that now feels strange. But I’ve been wrong before!

One more week left, campers! I want to hear all of your theories below.