‘The Flash’ Season 4 Episode 2 Recap and Review: Mixed Signals

The Flash season 4 episode 2
Grant Gustin as The Flash and Keiynan Lonsdale as Kid Flash in ‘The Flash’ season 4 episode 2 (Photo: Dean Buscher © 2017 The CW Network)

“Guys, the suit is freaking out!” says Barry (Grant Gustin) to his team back at S.T.A.R. Labs after his new suit goes haywire in season four episode two of The CW comic-book inspired series, The Flash.

As the episode begins, Barry’s up early making breakfast while dancing in his underwear, reenacting the famous Risky Business scene with Tom Cruise. He’s enjoying his life and uses the extra time in the morning to handle the wedding plans and binge-watch his favorite shows he missed while being trapped in the Speed Force. When Iris (Candice Patton) wakes up and joins him, she’s a little taken aback at his energy and how he seems to be diving back into life. She’s also just a tad bothered by the fact that Barry has planned their entire wedding without her input.

Later that same morning at S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) unveils the new Flash suit to Barry, a supportive Iris, and an envious Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale). Cisco beams with pride while showing Barry some of the new tech he’s put into the suit, tossing a War & Peace-sized instruction manual to the speedster which Barry says he’ll read later.

Barry suggests to Iris they grab dinner out tonight and she tells him she thinks she’ll be too tired after the long training session she scheduled. Barry surprises Iris, saying that it’s no problem because he cancelled it, and then takes off for the CCPD to work on a case with Joe (Jesse L. Martin). Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), who notices the tension Iris is exhibiting toward Barry, approaches her and suggests she might want to go to couples counseling. “When Ronnie and I started dating and working together, we had some trouble communicating and it helped,” says Caitlin, trying to be both supportive and helpful.

Iris shoots down the idea, telling Caitlin they’re “Barry and Iris” and they’ll be fine. Just as Iris is about to walk out, the alarms go off indicating an unauthorized breacher coming through. Iris grabs one of the power guns and notices Caitlin has turned her back to her. What Iris doesn’t see are Caitlin’s eyes turning crystal blue and Caitlin whispering to herself, “Don’t change, don’t change.” “Caitlin, come on!” yells Iris and Caitlin gets control over her cold powers, grabs another power gun, and follows Iris.

Iris and Caitlin are joined by Wally in the breach room to take on whoever is coming through when Cisco runs in front of them and yells it’s okay. Gypsy (Jessica Camacho) comes through and Cisco reveals he and Gypsy are going on a date.

Over at the crime scene, Joe and Barry are investigating the death of a young wealthy man who was killed in an elevator. The victim’s death came not by falling but by being shaken to death. Cisco, the tech advisor for the CCPD, shows up and aids in the investigation by finding a small device that shouldn’t be there. He realizes that whoever killed the man hacked into the elevator to control it and murder him.

A little later, the same hacker takes control of another man’s car and sends the poor helpless driver speeding into traffic at 120mph. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Team Flash watch what’s happening on their computers and Barry goes to save the day, telling both Iris and Wally he can handle it on his own.

Barry catches up to the car and Iris tells him to turn it left to a low traffic street so he can slow it down and stop it. However, Barry decides to ignore her advice and turns it right saying it’s a better street. Iris yells no, advising Barry construction on that street started three months ago. Whoops! Barry’s bad. Fortunately, the Scarlet Speedster is able to use his incredible speed to disassemble the car so the car’s seat is all that remains when it comes skidding to a stop.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry apologizes, acknowledging it was his mistake and he should have listened. Iris pulls him aside and tells him that she thinks Caitlin’s suggestion of going to couples counseling is a good idea. Barry asks if they’re in trouble and she assures him it’s just for some “fine tuning” in their relationship. Barry agrees to it to and Iris reveals they have an appointment in 30 minutes.

Barry and Iris sit down with Dr. Finkle (Donna Pescow) to talk about their relationship. They don’t get off to a good start with Barry saying he loves therapy and explaining he went once after his mother died. This starts a long list of both Iris and Barry mentioning all those they’ve lost including Barry’s dad, Eddie, Ronnie, H.R. “We’ve been to a few funerals,” admits Barry. (It should be noted this is done in a very humorous tone and not a dark and depressing one.) They try to talk about newly working together and how they need to improve on communication, but Barry gets a distress signal on his phone from Joe and shows Iris, not Finkle, and says he has to go.

At the CCPD, Joe has been talking to Tim, the man in the car Barry took apart, trying to find out who might want to hurt or kill him. Joe hears a commotion outside the room and when he opens the door, he sees a bomb disposal robot coming at him with a grenade. He tells Tim to get down and tries to protect him from the blast as the robot pulls the pin and tosses the grenade. In an extremely well shot scene, Barry speeds in just in time to catch all of the flying shrapnel from the grenade before any of it hits Joe and Tim.

Meanwhile, back at S.T.A.R. Labs Cisco keeps delaying his date with Gypsy because he and Caitlin are trying to break the code to the hacker trying to kill people by using electronics. They realize the hacker isn’t just a hacker but a meta-human whose powers give him control over tech. This research takes them a few hours and Cisco ends up telling Gypsy he has to cancel their date. Gypsy says, “It’s fine. I understand you have to work,” and leaves. Cisco turns to Caitlin saying Gypsy is the best because she’s not even mad, but Caitlin quickly lets him in on a little secret. “When a woman tells you things are fine…they’re not,” explains Caitlin. She goes on to let him know he’s in big trouble with Gypsy.

Cisco and Caitlin discover a picture of Tim with a few other people, noticing one of them is the guy killed in the elevator. They figure out the girl in the photo is sure to be on the killer’s list next since he already missed Tim twice. Joe and Wally head out to stake out the house while Iris and Barry go for round two of therapy.

It’s during the second session of therapy that Barry becomes defensive when Iris says he didn’t include her in their plans for their wedding. He reveals he was just trying to be involved and take some of the pressure off her. He admits they’ve had some trouble getting back into the swing of things but they’re Barry and Iris, the gold standard, and he loves her. Barry doesn’t get to finish his sentence because Iris screams at him, “Then why did you leave me?!” She continues, saying he left her standing there alone. Barry is unable to speak freely about the night he went into the Speed Force in front of the therapist, so he sits back and goes silent.

Back at the stakeout, Wally and Joe are distracted by the music they‘re listening to in the car and don’t hear Tim paying the woman in the photo, Sheila, a visit. Tim tells Sheila they have to admit what they did and come clean. Sheila brushes Tim off but the meta-human who they wronged, Kilgore (Dominic Burgess), is already in her apartment. Seems back when they all worked together, Tim, Sheila, and the dead man in the elevator stole Kilgore’s idea and made a fortune off it and then shut him out of the deal. Now he’s using his powers to kill them for their mistake. Kilgore notices Sheila’s insulin pump and gives her an overdose.

Finally, the music ends and Wally and Joe hear Sheila struggling to breathe. Kid Flash races in and gives her a shot of glucose to save her life, but Kilgore has gotten away with Tim as his hostage. (Really? Kid Flash can’t catch up to Kilgore who seems to be on foot? C’mon!)

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry talks to Iris about the night he went into the Speed Force, reminding her he didn’t go on vacation but sacrificed himself to save the city and everyone in it. “Sometimes it’s not about you or me. Sometimes the weight of the city falls on my shoulders and I have to carry it. I’m The Flash,” says Barry. “The day I put on this ring that changed, Barry. You’re not The Flash, we are,” replies Iris.

The Flash Season 4 Episode 2
Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon and Jessica Camacho as Gypsy (Photo: Jack Rowand © 2017 The CW Network)

Cisco has a chat with Gypsy and finds out the day they were supposed to have their date is a big day over on her earth. 1-1-1 Day is like our earth’s Valentine’s Day and she wanted to spend it with him. He tells her he’ll make it up to her and to always let him know when something is especially important to her so he understands why. It’s during this short but cute conversation that Cisco has a breakthrough. He returns to work and collaborates with Caitlin on how to stop Kilgore. The two geniuses come up with a compound that will reverse the ones and zeroes in Kilgore’s DNA, shutting down his meta-human powers.

The Flash and Kid Flash speed off after Kilgore – they learn of his location when he transmits a live feed of Tim admitting stealing his idea – and confront him. Kilgore can sense all the new tech in Barry’s suit and takes control of it, trapping the Scarlet Speedster in his own suit. Kilgore uses some new blasters in the suit to knock out Wally who, unfortunately, was just standing there watching. (Hello!! You are the second fastest man alive. How about coming to the rescue?!) Barry tells Team Flash what’s happening and Kilgore realizes he’s talking to someone so he kills the coms.

Barry gets away from Kilgore but his suit is still going crazy. A phone call comes in to S.T.A.R. Labs and a surprised Iris answers. “Help me!,” yells Barry who’s found a pay phone while his suit inflates making him look like a huge Thanksgiving Day parade balloon. Iris comes up with the idea that Barry should hit himself with one of his lightning bolts, believing it should short-out the tech and give Barry back control. Caitlin warns he could stop his heart while Cisco is worried it might cause the suit to self-destruct, given that Kilgore just activated that option and the suit is now counting down.

Barry listens to Iris and hits himself with lightning. It works and he’s able to slip up on Kilgore and use the compound on him.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco and Gypsy finally go on their special 1-1-1 date.

Joe and Barry take Kilgore to Iron Heights, asking him how he got his powers since he wasn’t in Central City when the particle accelerator exploded. Kilgore laughs and lets them know there are others like him out there.

The final scene is with The Thinker (Neil Sandilands). He’s informed by his female assistant that Subject One has been located and is safe in Iron Heights. She asks what’s next and he answers, “Now we find the others.”

The Flash Season 4 Episode 2 Review:

Funny, cute, and at times silly, episode 2 titled “Mixed Signals” tries to bring back to the series the humor and lightheartedness it had during the first season. It’s a definite improvement over the last two years in which the show became brooding, dark, and even occasionally bloodthirsty.

The stand-out performance goes to Candice Patton who shines in the scenes where she finally reveals to Barry the pain and loss she went through when she thought she had lost him to the Speed Force forever. The scene in the therapist’s office when she yells at him about leaving her and breaks down crying is moving and powerful. This, unfortunately, doesn’t completely counterbalance the selfish and self-absorbed traits the writers are giving Iris’ character this season while showing her focus on how Barry’s action impact/affect her, her life, and her emotions. They’re making Iris incredibly self-centered, which is a shame.

With Barry and Iris hopefully back on track in their relationship and Cisco and Caitlin working together like old times, it will be interesting to see when they will become aware of The Thinker and when Caitlin’s Frost-y side gets the better of her.


More on The Flash Season 4:
Recap of The Flash Season 4 Episode 1
Recap of The Flash Season 4 Episode 3
Recap of The Flash Season 4 Episode 4
Recap of The Flash Season 4 Episode 5
Recap of The Flash Season 4 Episode 6
The Flash Season 4 Episode 7 Recap
The Flash Season 4 Episode 8 Recap
The Flash Season 4 Episode 9 Recap
The Flash Season 4 Episode 10 Recap
The Flash Season 4 Episode 11 Recap
The Flash Season 4 Episode 12 Recap
The Flash Season 4 Episode 13 Recap
The Flash Season 4 Episode 14 Recap
The Flash Season 4 Episode 15 Recap
The Flash Season 4 Episode 16 Recap
The Flash Season 4 Episode 17 Recap
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