Taking a page from Season 1 of The Flash, the writers of “Mixed Signals” managed to inject comedy, charm, and fun into the season’s second episode. “Mixed Signals” did a lovely job of re-introducing Happy Barry. From dance moves, to huge turbo-charged breakfasts, to chasing down new baddies, this episode got rid of the gloom and doom that was Barry’s life last season. It’s funny just how drastically different the new season is and it’s refreshing to see both Grant Gustin and Candice Patton shine in their respective roles.
The meat of this episode focuses on Barry and Iris reacclimating to being together after 6 months apart. There are some unspoken conversations that both Iris and Barry need to have, and while Grant Gustin shines at playing a happy go lucky Barry Allen, Candice Patton excels at playing an empowered Iris West. The clever writing and the superb performances by the two actors provide The Flash with some of its best scenes. The only major criticism that can be made about “Mixed Signals” is the fact that Wally West is side-lined for the majority of the episode, begging me to question his role on Team Flash. Anyway, here are some of the highlights of the episode
Therapy is a good thing.
With Barry finally free from the Speed Force, he and Iris are getting used to living together again. While Barry catches up on Game of Thrones (he is a Jon Snow fan) and reenacts scenes from Risky Business, Iris is feeling a bit off kilter from everything that’s transpired the last 6 months. There’s a bit of tension between the two, especially after Barry cancels some of the training sessions Iris scheduled for the team. When Caitlin notices that things aren’t exactly mellow between her two friends, she suggests that they seek therapy. There might be a wee bit of animosity between Iris and Caitlin during this interaction because Iris gives Caitlin major side eye and responds, “We’re fine, it’s me and Barry.” It’s not surprising that Iris is a bit standoffish to Caitlin’s suggestion, especially since it was just six months ago that Killer Frost was working with Savitar to murder her. At some point, Caitlin and Iris need to have it out, clear the air, and then move forward with their friendship.
Iris has a change of heart and decides to take Caitlin’s advice after Barry has an incident in the field whilst dealing with new baddie, Kilgore. She makes an appointment with a therapist immediately and hilarity ensues. Between Barry behaving awkwardly by making comments like, “I love therapy, I had to go after my mom died” and Iris trying to talk about Team Flash without talking about Team Flash, “Mixed Signals” delivers some of the series’ best dialogue. And while it remained rather lighthearted, there were some moments during Iris and Barry’s session that allowed Candice Patton’s character of Iris to really express herself. Unlike last season which portrayed Iris as having a limited emotional range, Therapy Iris cries, makes valid points and expresses her worries about her and Barry’s future. She reminds Barry that he’s not The Flash, but rather that they are The Flash. This is something that many fans have probably been waiting for; the moment when Iris and Barry are on equal standing as lovers, partners, and teammates. Hopefully, Season 4 of The Flash will continue to pepper episodes with occasional therapy sessions. Iris and Barry need them.
Cisco and Gypsy Sitting in a Tree…
Well, it took long enough, but Cisco FINALLY has a love life! Thank the Lord! With that gorgeous mind and face, fracking stellar hair, and sense of humor, it’s ridiculous that Cisco hadn’t been snatched up seasons ago! But seriously, it was a treat to see Cisco enjoying himself with Gypsy, who might just happen to be his perfect match. Like Barry and Iris, Cisco and Gypsy experienced their own tension this episode when Cisco’s work begins to interfere with their dating plans.
With a new meta-human on the loose (Kilgore – a meta with the ability to hack technology), Cisco ends up canceling his date with Gypsy after she dimensional hops over to celebrate her Earth’s equivalent of Valentine’s Day. As Cisco tries to figure out how to thwart Kilgore’s efforts to murder his former business partners, Gypsy plays it cool. Except she’s not, a fact that’s brought to Cisco attention by Caitlin. Cisco ends up having a hard time concentrating on the task at hand (capturing Kilgore) because he’s worried about Gypsy and all the times he’s had to reschedule on her. Truthfully, it was a treat to see Cisco worrying about something other than a scientific conundrum. Thankfully, once the two have a heart to heart, Cisco is able to solve his Kilgore issue and makes time with his lady love. Aww.
Barry’s New Suit is Ridiculous (Sorry, Cisco!).
While Barry was trapped in the Speed Force, Cisco spent time creating the ultimate Flash suit for his friend. The suit looks top-notch and boasts more traditional Flash colors than its last season counterpart. There’s just one problem with Cisco’s latest creation: it’s too awesome and boasts a boatload of wild tech. We’re talking ridiculous tech — think lockout modes and self-destruct/self-inflating functions. This sleek addition to Barry’s wardrobe proves to be nearly fatal when he goes up against Kilgore. Kilgore is able to hack the suit’s technology and essentially stops Barry in his tracks when the two begin to battle. Fortunately, with a little help from Iris, Barry is able to break through the hack with some Speed Force lightning. By the time Kilgore is jailed in a tech dampening cell, Barry is ready for his low-tech suit.
Someone is responsible for creating meta-humans, and it’s not Harrison Wells.
So, we all know that most of the metas in Central City got their powers from the particle accelerator accident of Season 1. That, or they come from a different version of Earth 1. This isn’t the case for this episode’s baddie, Kilgore. Kilgore, who is thwarted by our heroes after trying to hack Barry’s suit, has a different origin story. Though he doesn’t reveal how he got his meta abilities, the end of the episode suggests that the season’s new supervillain, The Thinker, is responsible. Team Flash is still unaware of The Thinker’s presence and thus far his motivations have not been revealed. All we do know is that Kilgore and Samuroid ( from last episode), aren’t the only metas he’s created. Whatever The Thinker is up to, it can’t be good.
• What’s up with Caitlin Snow and why doesn’t she tell the team she’s still battling the Killer Frost personality? And what’s with all of the advice she’s been giving folks recently? Is from her guilt over her actions last season?
• Umm, will Kid Flash ever come into his own? Oh, and is that a perm he’s rocking…?
• Does Gypsy have an actual name, or is her meta name it?
• This season is THE BEST!
The Flash airs Tuesdays on the CW.
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Jahkotta Lewis is a professional archaeologist specializing in Pacific Island archaeology. When she’s not documenting historic and pre-Contact cultural sites, she spends her days hiking through native forests, and hanging at the beach with her three beautiful sons and husband. She also enjoys writing short afro-futuristic stories, engaging the Twitter community, and watching/reading all things fantasy and science fiction. See what she’s up to on Twitter @jahkotta