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THE FLASH “Oh Come, All Ye Thankful” Review

By on November 28, 2018

The Flash — “O Come, All Ye Faithful” Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Jessica Parker Kennedy as Nora West – Allen — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW

 

THE FLASH “OH COME, ALL YE THANKFUL” REVIEW

 

BY JUSTIN CARTER

 

The Flash has had a problem with recurring villains for one reason overall: they’re not relatable. With very few exceptions (Captain Cold and Eobard Thawne), their motivations are debatable even as the show tries to tie their actions to some basic human emotion — typically love. The Thinker and Savitar suffered from this as beings billed as existing without love even as they wanted to just murder en masse or perform global lobotomies.

 

Cicada doesn’t have this problem, and this week’s episode does a pretty good job of making his plans and the show’s overall theme of love tie together. Put basically, his life has been screwed over twice thanks to the existence of metahumans; a meta attack killed his sister and left him to take care of her daughter Grace, and the Thinker’s Enlightenment from May put her in a coma and impaled him in the shoulder. Chris Klein conveys Orlin’s hopelessness and later rage quite well; it’s melodramatic, but in the right kind of CW way that’s more compelling and jarring to watch. Given the chaos that metas have caused over the years, it’s hard not to agree with him thinking they should all die, and the show avoids the problem that Supergirl is having with Agent Liberty this season by not trying to do too much with him.

 

It’s still Thanksgiving in the Arrowverse, so family is a big thing in this episode. The Weather Wizard’s daughter Joss shows up to break him out of jail, now going by Weather Witch thanks to her staff being a piece of meta-tech. Mardon left Joss with her mom to “focus on his career” (yeah, really), but there’s no reconciling going on here. Joss just wants to crush him with a truck, in what has to be the series’ darkest comedic moment before the reveal of Iris using a hologram of Mardon in place of the real thing. The Mardon drama also ties in with Nora’s family dilemma of the week; having saved Barry from dying earlier in the episode, she’s upset with how he’s so willing to give his life for his job and just thinks he should stop being the Flash altogether so he doesn’t vanish on her before she’s born. She gets why he throws himself into the fray, though, and I suspect that the next phase of their relationship will be figuring out what he does to vanish and how best to prevent it.

 

The surprising thing about “Thankful” is that it really isn’t as dour as it seems on paper. Even with Cicada’s origin and the Nora/Barry drama of it all, the episode confidently walks the line between the serious topic of families falling apart and some less heavy comedic beats featuring Cisco, Sherloque, and Caitlin slowly becoming disillusioned about the holiday in question because they’ve all had a horrible 2018. (Join the club.)  When the three have a drinking pity party, Killer Frost hijacks Cait’s body to order them to attend the West-Allen dinner and remind them that she’s had the worst year after being cut off from living for half a year. Silly, but not wrong, which is just what the show needs to be.

Additional Notes

  • Killer Frost’s hijacking was great, Sherloque’s spit take at her sudden arrival was even greater.

  • Iris’ yam story is something I suspect we’ve all experienced in some capacity or another during Thanksgiving dinners.

  • Joe and Cecile were out of town for this episode, but where was Ralph?

  • Orlin’s doctor friend is way too okay with him just murdering people, even if she doesn’t care for metas.

  • Orlin didn’t become Cicada until just hours before he murdered Gridlock in the premiere, which is a nice way of filling in things a little more.

  • Seriously, I’m not ashamed to say that Joss crushing her “dad” with that truck caught me by surprise. She did have a great line after: “Don’t feel bad, he was a selfish dick who abandoned his family.”

  • Next week: Barry and Nora take a trip to the past!

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