‘The Flash’ 3.18 Recap: “Ugh, This Guy Sucks”

Barry faces another very silly villain on ‘The Flash’ this week, which feels a bit much coming on the heels of the Music Meister. At least there’s no singing involved this time, but the sudden shift to turn dark at the end is quite tonally jarring.

The episode kicks off at a rival tech firm called Stagg Industries, where a flamboyant weirdo dressed up like a third-rate stage magician breaks into the warehouse, steals an electronic gizmo being stored inside a sealed glass cabinet, and kills a couple of security guards by (seemingly) magically transporting them into the cabinet and flooding it with water from out of nowhere, like a bad David Copperfield trick gone horribly wrong. When Barry and Joe are called to investigate the robbery/homicide afterwards, the secretive company won’t tell them what was stolen.

Meanwhile, Joe’s girlfriend Cecile excitedly announces that she scored four ‘Hamilton’ tickets and wants to double-date with Barry and Iris. That sounds great, except…. When’s the show? Oh, right on the day when Iris is going to die? Unfortunately, they might be tied up that night. (You’d think that getting as far away out of town as they can might be a good idea.)

Julian and Caitlin are having relationship issues. Julian is still pretty upset that Caitlin lied to him about having a chunk of the Philosopher’s Stone.

When the magical goofball robs a second tech company, Barry races over and interrupts him. The guy somehow knows Barry’s real identity and says he’s from the future. As they fight, Gypsy suddenly leaps through a portal to capture the baddie, but all she really serves to do is create enough distraction that he can escape.

Gypsy explains that the fugitive is a dangerous felon named Abra Kadabra. (Yes, seriously, groan.) He originally came from the 64th Century, but got trapped on Earth-19 in her time, where he killed a lot of people. His magic tricks are the result of advanced nano-tech in his body, which also shield him from being located by either Cisco or Gypsy’s vibe powers. She’s come to take him back for execution. Cisco tries to flirt with Gypsy, but she’s strangely cold to him.

Kadabra next strikes Mercury Labs. Barry, Wally, Cisco and Gypsy combine forces against him, but he’s a step ahead of them. They discover that they’re wasting time with a hologram while the real Kadabra invades S.T.A.R. Labs. Joe’s gun and other weapons in the lab are useless against him. However, Barry speeds back and manages to get a pair of anti-meta-human handcuffs on him, which conveniently are sufficient to neutralize his 64th Century powers. Worried about the death sentence he faces, Kadabra claims that he has detailed knowledge of everything happening with Savitar. He says he even knows Savitar’s real name and will give it up in exchange for Barry releasing him. Barry tosses him in a Pipeline cell while he thinks about this. Gypsy is mad at him for even considering it. She insists that she needs to take him back to Earth-19 immediately.

Barry has a heart-to-heart with Iris. She tells him not to let Kadabra go. Saving her life isn’t worth the number of other lives he will surely ruin or end. Joe, however, isn’t thinking quite so rationally or selflessly. Desperate to save his daughter, he lets Kadabra out of his Pipeline cell. No surprise, Kadabra reneges on the deal and vanishes as soon as the door is opened. Rather than immediately leave the lab, he makes his way to the secret Time Vault room and steals a little crystal sphere doodad that the original Dr. Wells (or Eobard Thawne) had left behind. On his way out, he detonates a bomb in the lab. Caitlin is badly wounded by shrapnel.

Because she’s still technically a wanted felon for her crimes as Killer Frost, the team can’t bring Caitlin to a hospital. Julian, who had a little training as a field medic in the British Army, has no choice but to operate on her himself. Caitlin stays conscious through all this to walk him through the surgery. Luckily, he manages to extract all the shrapnel without killing her.

Cisco confronts Gypsy about why she’s so obsessed with Kadabra. She reveals that he murdered her former partner/lover. This mission is personal for her.

By analyzing the list of things he’s stolen, Cisco determines that Kadabra is trying to build a time machine to return to the future. No sooner does he figure this out than Kadabra launches his vessel, which looks like a tiny jet, and flies it over the city streets toward a wormhole it creates. Barry and Wally chase after him, while Cisco and Gypsy portal over and block him from the wormhole. Kadabra’s jet knocks Wally off a building, but Cisco saves him. Barry, then, is forced to deal with him on his own. He leaps toward the jet and phases through it, grabbing Kadabra and pulling him out as the jet flies through the wormhole unmanned.

With Kadabra captured again, Barry decides to let Gypsy take him. No more deals. However, he appeals to the villain’s humanity and asks him to tell them what he knows anyway. Sadly, Kadabra is a total dick and says he’s happy that Iris will die. Before she leaves, Gypsy acknowledges that things are weird between her and Cisco now and they don’t know where their relationship stands. On the other hand, Caitlin and Julian make up and kiss.

Joe is shaken and worries that they won’t be able to save Iris. Barry says that he has an idea. Because it seems like everyone else already knows everything that’s going to happen, he needs to go to the future to get some answers as well.

Is It Chilly in Here?

Absent for the rest of the episode, H.R. returns to the lab at the very end and explains that he’s been off with a girl.

Just when it seems like Caitlin is recovering from her surgery, she suddenly goes into cardiac arrest. Julian panics and tries to save her with CPR and defibrillator paddles, to no avail. Her heart stops.

Even though she’d said earlier that she’d rather die than become Killer Frost again, Julian rips off the necklace inhibiting her powers. At first, nothing seems to happen. Then, after a moment, the monitors detect a heartbeat again and Caitlin’s wounds magically heal. Julian is relieved, until a blast of cold tears through the room and knocks everyone down. Killer Frost emerges through the mist, cackling with evil.

In addition to the obvious danger this poses, it also makes true another news headline that Barry saw in the future, about Killer Frost being loose in the city. It seems that all his efforts to change the future are failing.

Episode Verdict

I’ve complained about this before, but I still don’t understand why Caitlin has to automatically turn evil when her powers take over. Cisco and Wally aren’t evil, and the argument that Caitlin’s Earth-2 counterpart was Killer Frost doesn’t hold much water considering that Cisco’s Earth-2 doppelganger was also evil without affecting him. This just seems like a contrived excuse to have one member of the team turn against the rest. I fully expect that she’ll turn good again in no time.

In addition to that, the Abra Kadabra guy is pretty lame. I do, however, look forward to Barry meeting himself in the future in the next episode.

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