“She’s going to kill me, isn’t she?” asks Cisco (Carlos Valdes) to Barry (Grant Gustin) and H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) after challenging a bounty hunter named Gypsy (Jessica Camacho) to trial by combat to the death in The CW’s comic-book inspired fantasy action series, The Flash.
As season three episode 11 begins, The Flash and Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale) are racing together chasing after arms dealers in a van. Between Barry’s experience and Wally’s ever-increasing speed, the two speedsters cause the bad guys to crash and are able to catch them, saving a mini-bus of cheerleaders at the same time. The Flash lets Kid Flash take all the credit for saving the day and smiles proudly as his apprentice poses for selfies with the cheerleaders.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, the gang’s congratulating each other except for its newest member, Julian (Tom Felton), who points out six other and better ways they could have caught the criminals. After Julian’s lecture, Barry teams up with Cisco and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) to go over the scenario of the day in the future when Savitar kills Iris (Candice Patton). Julian joins them telling Barry that although the concept of the multiverse is new to him, math is not. At the rate Barry’s getting faster, he won’t be fast enough to save Iris in time. As Julian heads out to the CCPD, Caitlin reminds Barry and Cisco that in his own stuck-up, rude way Julian does want to help.
That night at Jitters, Gypsy breaks in and finds a coin H.R. left in a jar for a tip. “Gotcha!” she says just as two police officers show up telling her to freeze. She uses her powers to knock them off their feet and to create a portal to leave. (Yes, that’s right. She can vibe.)
The next day Barry and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) are working the crime scene and Joe asks Barry if he can talk to Iris about backing off doing a story about an arms dealer in Central City. Barry say he will and Joe asks if Iris seems okay to Barry. Barry lies and tells Joe everything is good. (Remember, Joe doesn’t know about the future in which Iris is killed by Savitar.)
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco, H.R., and Caitlin are trying to enhance the security footage from the coffee shop when Gypsy shows up outside calling for H.R. to come out. Cisco and Caitlin ask how she knows him and he tells them that on his Earth she’s known as a collector. Gypsy vibes inside and knocks poor H.R. off his feet with a shot from her pistol. Cisco uses his power to knock it out of her hand and tells her to stop. Surprised and a bit turned on, Gypsy flirts a little with Cisco saying she likes that he can vibe. She uses her powers to knock the wind out of Cisco and that’s when Kid Flash races in telling her she needs to leave. She informs them that if she wanted to she could have killed them all, but she’s only after H.R. He’s a wanted criminal and has to return with her. She gives H.R. one hour to get his affairs in order and leaves.
H.R. explains to Team Flash that on his world teleporting to another world is outlawed due to another planet years ago using it to try to take over their world. Caitlin asks him why he risked his life to come help them and he waves off the question to go pack. Barry and Cisco ask H.R. what the penalty is when he gets back. “Do you have to pay a fine?” asks Cisco, and H.R. tells them it’s death. Upset, Team Flash talk about keeping H.R. with them and Barry reminds everyone that H.R. does stay because he’s in the future when Savitar kills Iris. Julian points out that if they let him be taken back to his Earth, maybe it changes Iris’ future. Wanting Iris’ input, Barry takes off to talk to her at work.
Barry and Iris quickly decide they can’t let H.R. be taken back. Barry also tries to talk Iris out of going after the arms dealer for her front page story and, after a brief argument, she agrees which Barry finds hard to believe.
Over at S.T.A.R. Labs, H.R. heads out to be taken away by Gypsy when Barry speaks up and tells Gypsy she’s not taking him. Before he can say anything else, Cisco challenges Gypsy to trial by combat. The winner will get H.R. and Gypsy is intrigued, agreeing to the deal. Barry tries to tell her that he’ll fight her, but she points out that Cisco said it first. “What, like that’s a rule? Really?” asks Barry. After some flirty, threatening banter, Gypsy gives Cisco the traditional 24 hours to prepare for combat.
Team Flash works with Cisco on how to use his powers in the fight and it’s not going well at all. Julian gives him a 1 out of 10 chance to win.
Iris approaches Wally to help her track down the hideout of the arms dealer for her story. At first Wally doesn’t want to, but Iris manipulates him by talking about them being a crime-fighting team like Barry talked about in Flashpoint. They visit the CCPD and in a very funny scene, Iris distracts Joe from his desk talking to him about her and Barry’s relationship while Wally zooms in and out making copies of the crime file on the arms dealer.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, H.R. tells Barry that Cisco is going to die if they let him fight Gypsy and suggests the two of them take her on instead. He tells Barry he put a tracker on her and she’s at the waterfront. Barry agrees and the two men head off to catch her. It goes terribly with Gypsy getting the better of them, declaring this fight breaks the deal she made with Cisco. Just as she is about to take H.R. back, Barry tells her that Cisco didn’t know about the sneak attack and he will fight her. If she is really all about law and order, she will honor their deal. She agrees but keeps H. R. with her as prisoner.
Cisco’s justifiably upset when he finds out Barry went behind his back. Feeling betrayed and alone, Cisco goes off to sulk in his lab. Barry, feeling equally terrible, talks to him and they wind up confiding in each other that they’re both scared. Barry is scared about getting fast enough to beat Savitar and Cisco is worried what will happen to H.R. if he loses to Gypsy. “How do you deal with it all the time carrying all the pressure?” asks Cisco. “I lean on you guys. You’re always in my corner supporting me,” answers Barry who goes on to say that he’ll be in Cisco’s corner when he faces Gypsy.
Wally and Iris have tracked the arms dealer to a warehouse. Wally checks the perimeter while Iris, who is supposed to wait, goes in rather loudly to get evidence of the guns. She does but gets caught by the arms dealer who points a super-powered rifle at her. Believing she can’t die now because she dies a few months from now at the hands of Savitar, Iris walks right up to the gunman and tells him today is not her day to die. He looks at her like she’s crazy and is about to pull the trigger when Kid Flash races in and knocks him out. Wally yells at Iris, asking if she’s trying to get herself killed.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Joe is yelling at both Iris and Wally for putting themselves in danger for a headline story and also almost ruining a police sting operation that took months to put together. Wally tells Joe and Barry that Iris almost got herself shot and Barry pulls her aside to talk to her in private. Barry tells Iris her behavior is going to make Joe know something is wrong, and before he can go any further Iris yells at him. “Why do you think you are the only one who can risk his life to save people?!” she shouts. “I don’t,” answers a confused Barry. Iris confesses she isn’t afraid of dying but that she’ll be like her mom and not have done anything important or left anything behind. Barry hugs her and tells her that her mother did leave something behind, “a wonderful brave son and the woman I love.” Barry promises to find a way to save her. Cisco arrives and tells Barry it’s time for him to go face Gypsy.
Cisco meets Gypsy in the park and she admits she was hoping he wouldn’t show. (Seems she really does have a thing for him!) The two begin using their powers to fight, traveling through breaches, arriving on different Earths – including Supergirl’s – and exchanging blows. At one point Cisco and Gypsy end up on an Earth that seems very reminiscent of the Revenge of the Sith Mustafar planet, all volcanic and hot which also seems to be a nice comment on how these two feel about each other. Finally they portal back to Cisco’s original Earth and Cisco vibe-blasts Gypsy just as she’s exiting the breach which is when she is at her weakest moment, advice given to him by, of all people, Julian. Cisco has won and Gypsy knows it. She tells him that he can have H.R. and by law can take her life. Cisco replies, “Oh no, that’s not how we roll here,” and offers his hand to help her up. She smiles and tells Cisco in all her travels she has never met anyone like him.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Gypsy tells H.R. he can never return to Earth-19 because no one can know she failed. He agrees, saying he has nothing to go back to. Caitlin tells him he’ll always have a home with them here and they hug. Cisco goes to say goodbye to Gypsy noticing all the bags of coffee she is taking with her. (Seems Earth-19 has terrible coffee). Gypsy and Cisco move in to kiss and she disappears through a breach. “What an exit,” says Cisco.
Later, H.R. asks Cisco why he risked his life for him and Cisco tells him that’s what they do for each other. “We invest in each other,” says Cisco. He then goes on to tell H.R. about the other two Wells and how they helped shape who he is. “The first Wells told me that my time would come to be a hero, that it was my job to show up, to be ready when it did. If he was here, he would tell H.R. to be ready too, because one day I’m going to need you to show up to save me,” says Cisco.
In the training area of S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry goes to see Wally who’s racing around. He tells him pretty soon he’ll reach Mach 3. Wally is happy to hear it and can’t believe how fast he’s getting. Barry says he needs him to get a lot faster fast. Wally asks why and Barry tells him that he’s done the math and he won’t be fast enough to stop Savitar from killing Iris – but Wally can get that speedy.
The Flash Season 3 Episode 11 Review:
Action-packed and filled with humor, episode 11 titled “Dead or Alive” brings the fun, lighthearted, and witty banter back to the series that made season one of The Flash the best new show on television at that time. The entire cast really clicks together in this episode, with everyone getting a chance to have a funny line or two as well as a few serious moments.
The stand-out performance this time goes to Carlos Valdes as Cisco who’s both attracted to his new enemy Gypsy and fearful of her at the same time. (Just like this critic was towards Killer Frost in season two). Also noteworthy is Jessica Camacho’s performance as Gypsy who stole almost every scene she was in. Both Valdes and Camacho have great chemistry together and the scenes with them interacting are the best in the episode. Another plus to the episode were the creative and fun fight scenes showing Cisco and Gypsy breaching to different Earths.
With Julian proving himself as an asset to the team, Cisco learning to use his powers and becoming stronger, and Wally getting faster, here’s hoping Team Flash can pull together and use all their strengths to save Iris and Caitlin from foretold doom.