‘The Flash’ Season 7 Episode 4 Recap: “Central City Strong” Review

The Flash Season 7 Episode 4
Brandon McKnight as Chester P. Runk, Kayla Compton as Allegra, Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash and Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow in ‘The Flash’ season 7 episode 4 (Photo: Katie Yu © 2021 The CW Network, LLC)

Trauma, stress, loss, grief, and a headache all play big roles in season seven episode four of The CW’s The Flash. As the episode begins a news reporter is covering how S.T.A.R. Labs and everyday citizens are volunteering to help repair Central City after the attack by the Mirror Master. The Flash surprises everyone by speeding up and letting himself be interviewed. He apologizes to the city for not being able to stop Mirror Master earlier and promises he’ll make it up to Central City. He believes the city can rebuild because he believes in its citizens.

Over at Iris’ office, Iris persists in forcing Allegra (Kayla Compton) to come clean and reveal that in her opinion after editing Iris’ article on the Mirror Master attack on Central City…it’s awful. Her reasoning is that it has too many facts and not enough emotion. She suggests Iris needs to reveal to the readers her time spent in the mirrorverse, which she’s left out.

Later that night as a volunteer is finishing up and about to go home, a rumble occurs and he turns to see a man in black with white hair standing before him. “I’m the greatest magician of all time which is why you should be more than just afraid…you should be terrified!” claims the mysterious man who then uses his glowing wand to make deadly cards pierce the man who screams in agony.

The following day Cisco (Carlos Valdes), Chester (Brandon McKnight), and Barry (Grant Gustin) are investigating the murder of the volunteer for the CCPD. (It seems Chester is now an intern working for them.) After collecting a few clues and seeing the body, it’s quickly obvious to Barry and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) that Abra Kadabra (David Dastmalchian) is back from the future. However, instead of just being a thief who uses 64th-century tech to mimic magic, he’s now killing with it.

Meanwhile, Iris (Candice Patton) attends a mirrorverse survivors support group to get an interview for her story. After listening to a speaker being interrupted by people asking if she’s okay, Iris quickly excuses herself and leaves – still obviously suffering from the trauma she went through.

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Chester and Cisco are scanning and pick up a signal of energy identifying Abra Kadabra’s location. The Flash and Cisco, wearing new sonic blasting gear, speed over to confront him. They try to capture him, but he uses his tech to distract them and turns the tables putting The Flash in the special cuffs which he can’t phase out of. Abra Kadabra says he’s doing The Flash a favor killing him now so he won’t have to face the wrath of the Chronarch. Just as he’s about to kill the speedster, he’s hit by an icy cold blast and Frost (Danielle Panabaker) takes him down.

A.R.G.U.S. shows up and takes Abra Kadabra away. Frost gives Cisco an item of tech she lifted off of the deadly magician and asks for a favor.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco runs some tests on Frost and Caitlin to see why she still feels so tired after the fight with Mirror Master and can’t shake off a bad headache. Cisco tells her all the tests show that she’s fine, but Frost says she can feel something is wrong.

At A.R.G.U.S., Abra Kadabra uses a few more tricks and gets free. He then gets access to some tech he needs to build an anti-matter bomb.

Barry tries to take Iris away for a romantic getaway; he already took her to Maui a few days ago and has been overly romantic with her since getting her back. Iris tries to argue that she needs to work on her article, but Barry sees she hasn’t written a single word. Just as she’s about to agree to the getaway, Barry receives an alert about Abra Kadabra roaming A.R.G.U.S.. He speeds off to stop him.

When The Flash shows up Abra Kadabra once again one-ups him and locks him in a constrictive metallic halo which squeezes tighter the more he tries to escape. Abra Kadabra reminds Barry the last time they faced off Barry asked him to find a light inside himself. He did just that but then Barry stole it from him.

Abra Kadabra builds his bomb in front of The Flash, telling him it’s time for his final trick “to make a whole city disappear.” Abra Kadabra and the bomb vanish.

Once more at S.T.A.R. Labs, Team Flash go over what Abra Kadabra told Barry. Cisco realizes he’s built an anti-matter bomb that’s strong enough to destroy Central City. Barry blames himself for not seeing Abra’s plan and goes off to sulk. (Seriously, a bomb that could have enough power to destroy the city in a few hours is out there somewhere and now is when Barry decides to pout and sulk! Oh, please!)

Iris shows up and gives Barry the pep talk he needs to get up and go after Abra, telling him that he was a victim of what Eva as the Mirror Master did to him by tricking him with Mirror Iris. Barry suddenly realizes why Abra Kadabra is attacking the city and claims he knows how to stop him.

The Flash Season 7 Episode 4
David Dastmalchian as Abra Kadabra in ‘The Flash’ season 7 episode 4 (Photo: Katie Yu © 2021 The CW Network, LLC)

Team Flash gets a hit on where Abra Kadabra is and The Flash speeds off. He confronts him in downtown CC and shows the evil magician an image of the wife and child he once had. Moved, Abra Kadabra tells Barry how he kept having flashes of memories that didn’t make sense but that he finally figured out that he had a wife and daughter who got erased after Crisis. He blames The Flash for taking away his family so he will destroy the speedster’s city as revenge.

The Flash tells Abra Kadabra everyone lost someone in Crisis. “I lost someone, too. He was like a brother to me and ever since I’ve tried to honor his sacrifice.” He goes on to tell Abra Kadabra that he can’t bring back his family because that timeline is gone. The Scarlet Speedster asks Abra Kadabra if his wife and child would want him to destroy a city and cause millions of deaths in their names. This finally reaches the mourning magician and he stops powering the bomb.

Abra Kadabra asks how he can go on without them and The Flash assures him “the people we love never really leave us.” He needs to find hope through the love he had with them in this world. Abra Kadabra says he doesn’t get it and that they are mortal enemies in the future. “Why are you doing this?” he asks. “So the next time we meet, maybe we won’t be,” answers The Flash as he extends a hand in friendship. Abra Kadabra shakes his hand.

Just as they are shaking the ground shakes and rumbles. “This isn’t me!” says the magician as a huge monster appears and attacks. The Flash gets knocked off his feet and Abra Kadabra distracts the beast by calling it over to him. He then lights up the bomb again and sends it into the monster as it explodes. The beast isn’t killed but instead is able to absorb the bomb’s energy.

The monster stomps over and hits Abra Kadabra hard, sending him crashing into a wall and onto a garbage container. The Flash sends lightning at the monster but it just absorbs it. The monster grabs The Flash and squeezes him tight almost killing him, and then growls loudly and jumps away.

The next day at S.T.A.R. Labs Team Flash talk about Abra Kadabra giving his life to fight the beast and that the monster can just absorb deadly energy, possibly making it unstoppable. Barry warns them they have to find a way to stop it.

Iris returns to the mirrorverse support group but this time to talk as a member and not to get an interview. She realized when Barry forced Abra Kadabra to face the trauma of losing his family she needed to face hers about being lost and trapped for three months.

The final scene of the episode shows Cisco working in his lab. Caitlin walks in with a worried look on her face. “Thank God you’re here. There’s something I need to show you,” says Caitlin. Cisco asks if she’s still having the headaches and she replies, “Nope, not anymore.” He turns in his chair to face her and is stunned to see Caitlin and Frost split apart as two separate people. “Hello Cisco, how great is this,” says a happy and smiling Frost.

The Flash Season 7 Episode 4 Review:

The return of an intriguing villain and his revenge plan sadly takes a back seat to the guilt, trauma, and regret Barry and Iris are struggling with after battling the Mirror Master. Bringing back David Dastmalchian to reprise the role of Abra Kadabra, a character he first portrayed back in season three, is a great touch and a nice addition to the episode. Dastmalchian plays Abra Kadabra this time with more anger and rage as he’s bent on revenge instead of the deadly playful magician as he was originally. It’s his performance as the “villain of the week” that is the highlight of the episode.

Unfortunately, the going back and forth to Iris not dealing with her own trauma and Barry still blaming himself for Iris being trapped for so long in the mirrorverse drastically distracts and takes away momentum and time from the hunt for the returned deadly magician. Also, the heavy-handed reminders of Barry’s big heart and the power of love on someone’s life, while well-meaning, is getting tired and thin.

Here’s hoping moving forward Team Flash can focus on new themes and ideas with more action.