‘The Flash’ Recap: “Dead or Alive” – Living for the Future

     January 31, 2017


The trouble of knowing the future is you know the future. On The Flash right now, the apprehension of Iris’ looming death has played out with both positive and negative aspects and it looks like that’s going to continue through the rest of the season.

When Gypsy showed up to apprehend HR for violating the principal law of Earth-19 (which banned interdimensional travel), the knowledge of the future played into Barry’s thinking of the situation – but that was only the first of many ways the future came into play.

At the core, the team’s quest to save Iris is problematic as mentioned in last week’s “Borrowing Problems from the Future” recap, but that’s where we are in the series. Given that is the show’s direction, it was exciting at times to see how that knowledge influenced the different characters and less so in others.


Images via CW

Since Barry saw HR on the roof on his subsequent visit to the future, he determined that meant that Wells couldn’t return to Earth-19 and be put to death. Was that logical? Perhaps, but it’s also just as possible that somehow the changes they’ve already made led Gypsy to show up, right? These assumptions are where knowing the future and seeing it play out falls a little short.

On the other side though was Iris’ reaction to her possible death. This was a highlight of the hour, even if she was crazy in her pursuit to get the story. Her reaction was understandable and touching to witness. She believes she’ll be alive in May, so with her future fated up until that point, she walked into a dangerous situation and basically taunted a guy to shoot her.

Iris’ desire to make a name for herself is admirable and understandable, especially with Barry (and now Wally) becoming heroes of Central City. With a potentially shortened timeline, she’s creating her legacy and making a difference at the same time. This Iris is full of fire in her gut and gumption, which is character development that’s great to see.

Hopefully going forward, the team’s interpretation of what they can and should do to change the future to save Iris will be less about changing events leading up to her possible killing and more about saving her life in the square. If they keep attempting to change the news events they saw, the likelihood of knowing the exact future changes and makes it more difficult. Barry’s plan to use Wally’s speed is the smartest option they’ve come up with yet.


Image via The CW

On the villain-of-the week side, the Gypsy-HR story wasn’t one of the best the show’s done. Even though Cisco gave a passionate explanation about why he risked his own life to save HR, it rang flat. The team hasn’t embraced HR like they did any other version of Wells (and neither have the fans) given the short amount of time he’s been with them. Plus, HR doesn’t jive very well with the team either.

Just because HR looks like Harrison Wells isn’t enough of a reason for Cisco or Barry to have the type of allegiance they showed him. If HR was taken back to Earth-19, The Flash and Team Flash wouldn’t be any worse, so that took the emotional side off the table regarding HR. And, there was no way that Cisco was going to be killed by Gypsy.

The best part of Gypsy’s appearance was the flirting between her and Cisco. Their chemistry was off the charts, so hopefully she will make a return appearance (even in violation of her Earth’s law) for a coffee run and a date.

Rating: ★★★ Good


— The 3D toy replica of Iris’ murder scene almost makes the whole knowing-the-future thing worth it. That needs to stick around until May.

— Caitlin: “Are you asking her on a date?”
HR: “Are you kidding me?”
Cisco: “I am negotiating.”

— Cisco: “I can’t help who I’m attracted to, even if it is the… sexy, intense, deadly ones.“


Image via The CW

— Iris plays Wally so hard. They may be a sibling crime fighting team, but she’s in charge.

— Cisco: “She’s gonna kill me, isn’t she?”

— Iris’ conversation to distract her father was a little over the top. The baby innuendo was funny, but the cat or dog question… Shouldn’t Iris know if Barry is a cat or dog person? She is his sister. (Okay, that’s just weird to write at this point, but it is true.)

— Julian has been a good addition to Team Flash. He has his quirks, but he’s smart and thinks in a way unlike anyone else on the team.

— It’s a field trip of Earths. Nice drop in at Catco. Will Supergirl make a reference to the destruction?

— For a fight that was supposed to be to the death, that was a weak ending.

— Cisco: “Is this goodbye?”
Gypsy: “For now.”

— Barry to Wally: “I’m not going to save Iris from Savitar. You are.”