REVIEW: The Flash – Season 8, Episode 10 “Reckless”

The tenth episode of The Flash’s eighth season brought some changes to the show, but also a lot of baggage from previous seasons. “Reckless” was able to overcome these problems with an engaging and powerful story that paid homage to the original comics while still being modernized for television.

The “The Flash – Season 1” is a show that premiered in 2014. It follows the story of Barry Allen, who gains super speed and becomes a crime-fighting hero. The first season was released on October 7th, 2014. Read more in detail here: the flash season 1.

REVIEW: The Flash – “Reckless” (Season 8, Episode 10)

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I’m probably beginning to sound like a broken record, but The Flash is still entertaining, and I’m content. “Reckless” is a great episode that returns to possibly the show’s most essential topic and explores it in new ways. The only flaws are an extremely convenient story aspect and more Sue Dearbon (though not as much as last week, luckily).

Frost devises a strategy to halt Black Flame, but Barry is concerned about the danger it presents to her. Tinya is looking for her mother, and Iris and Sue are assisting her.

 

That’s all there is to it! The Flash has a fairly condensed narrative and subplot once again, and writing the episodes this way continues to be a great move. Furthermore, the B plot of “Reckless” influences the A plot in an unexpected manner, one that is set up in the first scene but not fully realized until later. Following up on last week’s cliffhanger (if a discussion can be called a cliffhanger), Deon tells Iris what he knows about her illness, and it isn’t good. Anything in Iris is “causing time to fracture,” as he puts it, and it’s not something from the outside; Iris is the cause of whatever is going on around her. It began when Deon assisted Iris in proving that Joe’s death was caused by a temporal shift, particularly when he undone the treatments that prevented her from floating across dimensions. In fact, Deon cautioned that if he didn’t heal her, time would fracture. Now Deon must devise a new method of repairing her, but in the meanwhile, Iris must remain in Coast City, since mobility would increase the frequency of time leaps.

But it isn’t the most crucial aspect. When Deon informs Iris how severe her situation is, she instantly dials Barry’s number, who arrives in a matter of seconds. (This is just another example of them functioning like sensible human beings as well as a couple in a happy marriage.) Barry listens to Deon’s explanation and recognizes the prudence in Iris remaining there, but he’s willing to camp out with her in Coast City until she’s safe. Iris explains, as gently as she can, that this is insane, and that Central City desperately needs the Flash, particularly with a fire monster obliterating people left and right. Barry reluctantly accepts this and returns to confront the supervillain, while Iris assists Tinya in finding her biological mother. All of this makes sense since Barry would like to remain with Iris and would have to be persuaded otherwise. He not only loves his wife, but he also prioritizes the present good above the broader good, and Iris urgently needs assistance. Iris must persuade him – his head clouded by love – that remaining with her isn’t doing him any good right now, but that he can do some good in Central City. That isn’t immediately obvious, but it becomes clear as the issue at the center of “Reckless” unfolds.

*SPOILERS*

The Flash Reckless

Frost (who has just completed putting together a horrific work of contemporary art that is, alas, far from the worst I’ve ever seen) is Black Flame’s next victim. It even manages to inflict a long-lasting burn on Frost’s arm, which is unthinkable for someone with ice abilities. A visit to Caitlin and Frost’s mother, Dr. Carla Tannhauser, yields an explanation and a potential solution to their fire troubles. Black Flame uses cold fusion to power itself, and it attacked Frost in the hopes of recharging. Frost intends to use herself as bait in order to capture Black Flame in a cold fusion confinement device that resembles a bowl from an old-school humidifier. And here is where Barry’s annoyance with Iris arises; he doesn’t like the notion of putting one of his friends in risk, no matter how big the possible payoff. For Barry, the cost of losing a life will always be higher, and this is exacerbated by his unwillingness to aid Iris. Dammit, he’ll keep someone safe, and if it’s Frost, so be it.

The fact that both of these motives are correct reflects the depth with which “Reckless” delves into its subject. In a beautiful moment when the two are chatting dad-to-dad, Barry is impacted by his failure to assist Iris, and Joe helps him see this. (Joe refers to himself as a “leader,” but it’s apparent that he’s referring about Barry, Iris, and Wally when he talks about how tough it is to let your team make their own judgments.) And he’s partially correct; Barry has to realize that Frost is capable of making this choice on her own, as if she were a fully grown woman. But Barry’s viewpoint is also fully consistent with his principles, which Joe helped implant in him from the start: every life is valuable, and the greater good is not a justification to sacrifice someone. The only person Barry has ever been ready to sacrifice is himself, which further confuses matters; Barry will not jeopardize Frost’s life, but shouldn’t Frost be allowed to choose to risk herself in the same way that Barry would?

The Flash Reckless

Then Caitlin returns to the program (like a boss; God, I like Caitlin Snow) and puts everything into perspective once again. Frost, she claims, is being much too casual with her life. This corresponds to what Barry states earlier in “Reckless,” namely, that placing someone in such risk is a last option. Sure, this is a chance to capture Black Flame, but they haven’t explored all of their choices yet. To make things worse, they attempt it once and it not only fails, but it also almost kills Frost. Frost wants to try again even after that. So, even if you feel Frost should be the one to make the decision, is someone this – dare I say it – rash capable of doing so? Is it better for Barry and the others to go along with it? What about Carla Tannhauser, Frost’s mother, who claims to be Frost’s mother? Caitlin gives her the riot act but in a nice way, and she’s right; how could anybody put their kid in danger when she almost dies?

But, just as everything in this narrative is going swimmingly, “Reckless” becomes sluggish. Carla, it turns out, has always possessed ice abilities comparable to Frost’s, but she chose not to reveal them until now. Caitlin had tested her for meta genes and found she didn’t have any, but Carla decided to test herself again since it was a dull weekend, and she discovered she possessed the deus ex machina gene, which gave her the precise ability she needed for an episode that wrote itself into a corner! It’s not like Carla having abilities is a terrible thing; after this all blows over, I can imagine Barry taking metahuman training sessions with her, Kramer, and perhaps Tinya. However, the manner in which they are disclosed is problematic, since it appears out of nowhere to serve a tale that plainly relied on it as a crutch. It would have been great if Carla realized she had them throughout the narrative — maybe they appear when she’s attempting to assist Frost escape Black Flame or something. It seems tacked-on and stupid if she had them all along. Also, if she always had them, why didn’t she take the risk herself rather than relying on Frost? Caitlin had every right to scream at her.

The Flash Reckless

But, as they say, all’s well that ends well… unless it doesn’t. Even with Carla’s help, Black Flame is too strong to contain. Still, they’ve discovered Black Flame’s vulnerability, and if they can design a stronger mousetrap, they may be able to put an end to it once and for all. The beauty of the solution is that everyone is correct: Frost should be allowed to put herself in danger, but she’s also much too ready to do so when they have alternative choices. Barry has to let go of things he doesn’t have control over, but his instincts for safeguarding his pals are spot on. Caitlin must let Frost to be herself, but she is also right in her desire to keep an eye on her rash sister. Frost is correct to wish to protect others to the point of self-sacrifice, but she must remember that this is a last choice and that her own life is still vital. I was expecting them to link her willingness to stake her life to Frost’s need for repentance, but in such a crammed story, it could have been too much.

The Iris plot is less intriguing, owing to the fact that it is basically A-to-B. They track out the adoption agency that handled Tinya’s placement, but the receptionist refuses to reveal the identify of a customer. Sue thus contacts her uncle, who happens to be the chairman of the adoption board, and instructs him to violate laws and confidentiality agreements in order to make her happy. Are any of these folks thinking about the implications of their actions? Tinya is a child in distress, and I understand her. Sue is also a little sloppy and self-absorbed in general. But Iris must realize that this is the kind of thing that makes people reluctant to adopt. Anyway, they track down Tinya’s mother, have a touching reunion, and everything goes as planned. The interesting part here is how Iris’ temporal predicament appears in unexpected and frightening ways. The receptionist leaves to fetch coffee after they leave the adoption agency, then returns to find the whole waiting area vacant. (As a side note, is this truly how an adoption agency looks? It’s simply a waiting room and a woman behind a desk, right?) Then, when Tinya’s mother shakes her hand, Iris accidentally zaps her out of existence! What exactly is going on? We don’t sure, but things are looking up, especially with Black Flame’s unexpected interest in Caitlin.

Plot – 8
Acting – 9 points
8 – Progression
Design for Production – 7
Themes: ten

8.4

Good

“Reckless” is another excellent episode of The Flash, featuring a profound and nuanced moral problem at the center of its straightforward storyline. The pace is hampered by a deus ex machina, but the character work is excellent.

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