Plot Lines of The Flash – Season 4, Episode 2 “Mixed Signals”

By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)

WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Flash.

A Plot: Kilg%re and the Return of Metahumans

In what feels like the first time in a long time, the villain-of-the-week was a metahuman. With the exception of Savitar/Evil Barry, The Flash spent an unusual amount of time last season focused on non-powered villains. I was beginning to wonder if the writers were running out of ways to explain how one particle accelerator could affect so many people, but alas, the metas are back. I’m glad the writers decided to expand the horizons of the Flash’s universe and include metahumans that weren’t created by Wells’ particle accelerator explosion. That was a good story arc but it’s old news. I like that The Thinker is being set up as someone who can seemingly create his own metahumans. This was a concept that was explored last season with Alchemy but it looks like it’ll be more of a factor this time around. This makes The Thinker seem like a more insurmountable villain for Barry. If he knows the Flash’s strengths and weaknesses he can theoretically create an army of metahumans specifically to target those weaknesses. This is a nice change of pace from the usual speedster villains we’ve gotten the past three seasons.

B Plot: Barry and Iris

I’ve always thought the best thing about this show is the personal relationships among the characters. We’ve spent three seasons watching this group grow as a unit. We’ve seen how the chemistry of the actors complimented the series in ways that made the audience care about all their fates. Tonight, that was tested with the suddenly rocky relationship between Barry and Iris. This part of the story really worked for me. Barry was gone for six months and no one knew if he was alive or dead or if he’d ever return. My biggest worry about this season was that the writers would gloss over the ramifications of his absence. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Iris was a rock in Barry’s absence and I’m sure it would have been tempting for the writers to evolve her into a stoic character who took everything with Barry and the Speed Force in stride but that would have been a disservice to the character and the audience. Iris has experienced a ton of pain the last three seasons and I’m glad the writers have allowed her to reach a breaking point. We didn’t really get to explore her reaction to the deaths of Eddie or her mom but her feelings of abandonment over Barry going into the Speed Force for six months were on full display tonight. That’s good and having her talk about it makes her a stronger character. If you’re going to take one thing away from this story arc let it be that discussing your pain makes you stronger, not weaker.

C Plot: Cisco is the 1-1-1-

Relationship troubles were a theme this evening as we watched Cisco fall all over himself trying to have a date with Gypsy. I liked the juxtaposition of Barry and Iris and Cisco and Gypsy. One couple is well into their relationship and one is in the beginning but they both experienced bad communication problems tonight. I’m glad the writers are willing to get this personal with the characters and are willing to spend both the B- and C-plots focusing on it. I know it’s a superhero show, but it would get pretty stagnant if the series only focused on the Flash running around fighting bad guys.

Thanks for reading!