The Flash manages an engaging, murder mystery without the use of Grant Gustin or Candice Patton. Barry and Iris take a vacation as Cisco and…Camilla? take center stage.
The fifth episode of The Flash season six opens with a noir-style flash-forward to ramp up the tension. Cisco is wanted by Collector Agents for…murder. The Flash has used this technique many times before to varying degrees of success but it definitely fits well into the aesthetic they are going for in this episode.
Before we dive fully into Cisco’s story, Barry and Iris are headed off on vacation! After a quick opening of them in Hawaiin shirts, they’re effectively out for most of the episode. This could have been used to see how the entire team will operate without Barry but instead the focus is on how Cisco is coping with Barry’s impending death.
He has created an AI simulation B.A.R.I. to help him make decisions based on what would Barry do. The stress of Barry’s death and his role as the new team leader is definitely getting to Cisco. He is having trouble sleeping and has even started sleepwalking.
Then, Breacher comes back to inform Cisco that Cynthia aka Gypsy was murdered by the breach criminal Echo. It’s cool to have Danny Trejo back as Breacher. He has a great relationship with Cisco and his character is a lot of fun. Breacher enlists Cisco to track down Cynthia’s killer and Kamilla offers to help.
Victoria Park has slowly been given more to do this season and this episode is where she finally gets to come to the center. Kamilla ends up being a capable partner for Cisco and is able to run satellite searches and helps run operational support (seriously, those Star Labs computers must be super user-friendly). Most importantly, she is able to remind Cisco that he needs to have faith in himself. It’s no wonder Cisco Lo-…Looks forward to hanging out with her.
Through Cisco’s sleepwalking and their tapping into residual vibes to view Cynthia’s death, Cisco and Breacher are convinced that Cisco is responsible for her death. Only Kamilla helps him look further. The murder mystery twist is that Echo is a Cisco from another Earth who has been hacking his white noise machine to make Earth-1 Cisco seem guilty.
Cisco is able to corner Echo and outsmart him while circumventing the Earth 19 Collector Agents. This ends up being a cool exchange and sort-of fight scene. Carlos Valdes does a good job adding a dark side to Echo.
In the side-quests, Killer Frost and Caitlin are still looking for Ramsey. Caitlin is finally able to confront him in a tense scene where she tries to call on his feelings towards his mother and he tries to turn her to his plan of immortality. The evolution of Bloodwork definitely seems nearly complete as he gives one final threat to Caitlin.
The other story is a classic case of two opposing viewpoints getting stuck somewhere with air running out. Joe and Harrison ‘Nash’ Wells end up trapped underground as they debate their feelings towards having faith in people. This Wells is definitely lacking in the faith department, as most Wells usually are. Joe’s faith finally wins out as Dibny stretches in to the rescue. I love it when a plan comes together (is Ralph the best character on the show now?).
The faith theme continues when Barry and Iris return and Barry isn’t surprised at all to learn Cisco has retired B.A.R.I. He knew Cisco would eventually learn to have faith in his own judgment.
Meanwhile, big things are on the horizon. Chester P. Runk is 87% done cooking. These small mentions have felt like a countdown all season to…something. I don’t know what it is but I am very invested. And more immediately, Nash believes he has a way to save Barry.
This was a cool episode that gives some side characters a chance to shine. The noir mystery idea is interesting but they could have leaned into it even further. Still, this is a great episode that continues to remind us of the major changes coming to Team Flash soon.