It’s a lighter than normal week for The Flash. Even though there’s a new super-foe to be fought and at least one tearjerking conversation between father and son, the emphasis of “Crazy for You” is placed squarely on the Central City dating scene. It’s a mark of how far the CW has come that this sort of thing was once de rigueur for the network, yet is now a welcome break from the angst that walks hand in hand with heroics.
This week’s villain is Peek-a-Boo (named, for once, by Caitlin). She may not be in Captain Cold’s league, and her powers of teleportation (complete with what sounds suspiciously like a “BAMF!”) at first invite comparisons to the X-Men’s Nightcrawler, but when she’s pitted against our favorite speedster, the limitations of his own abilities are made all too clear — for what good is speed against someone who can disappear whenever they want to? Peek-a-Boo, or rather Shawna Baez (played by Britne Oldford), is somewhat unique in that she only wants to bust her boyfriend out of jail, until he informs her that he owes a debt to a Central City mob boss, after which she finds herself robbing delivery trucks. The Flash is flummoxed by her powers until Wells reminds him she can only teleport within her line of sight. So Barry shatters every light in the tunnel through which Baez’s getaway car is driving. Her boyfriend, of course, immediately abandons her.
But the best bits in “Crazy for You” are character-based, including a subplot in which Cisco, as Hartley predicted he would last week, frees the nascent Pied Piper from S.T.A.R. Labs in exchange for information on Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein. Cisco learns the two have been fused together by the particle accelerator explosion, after which Hartley escapes, though not before Cisco fries his ears with his latest gadget, proving, as he did in “Going Rogue”, that he has a lot more cunning than he lets on.
Then there’s Barry and Caitlin’s wild night out. The two are determined to stop moping over people they can never have (Iris) or believe are gone forever (Ronnie). So they hit a karaoke club, where Caitlin drinks her weight in vodka and the two sing “Summer Nights” — in Caitlin’s case, poorly, and in Barry’s, surprisingly well. Well enough at least to attract the attention of Linda Park, a sports reporter for Picture News, who gives Barry her digits. The night ends with Caitlin vomiting in the gutter and the gentlemanly Mr. Allen changing her into her PJs at super speed and putting her to bed, waiting, at her request, for her to fall asleep before running off. I like Drunk Caitlin. A lot. She gives Danielle Panabaker a chance to show off some heretofore unseen comedic chops, which turn out to be refreshingly different from those of Emily Bett Rickards over at Arrow. And even while hungover (behind hilarious Audrey Hepburn shades), she brightens the show’s mood considerably. The morning after their night out, she seems to have developed a slight crush on Barry; a beat on which I hope Andrew Kreisberg and company follow up.
Iris winds up shocked to find that Barry is dating her co-worker, but she is grateful when the Flash gives her the scoop for which her editor has been hounding her. She also nabs a front-Barry gets a girlfriend and karaokes like a boss on this week’s The Flash. Joe reviews “Crazy for You”.page-making photo of the crimson comet, whom Barry’s father immediately identifies as him, leading to this week’s thankfully sole moment of super sentimentalism. But who has time for tears when the episode’s last scene reveals that a giant gorilla is roaming the city? A gorilla intelligent enough to write his name — Grodd — and kill anyone who gets in his way.
— Thanks to writers Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing for answering the question I had in my review of “The Sound and the Fury” about how Barry pulls passengers out of their falling cars if their doors are locked — he vibrates them open.
— “Guess I’m a lot faster than a speeding bullet.”
— Wondering why Barry is so good at crooning a selection from Grease? Grant Gustin, who previously demonstrated his vocal skills on Glee, has often said his dream role is Danny Zuko.
— From now on, I intend to open bar tabs the way Caitlin does — by enunciating, like Mr. Spock, “I would like to start a tab.”
— Grodd? Seriously?! I mean, I know the show’s producers had said they’d hoped to bring him on at some point. I guess I just didn’t expect him so soon. But okay, hell yeah, Grodd is here!!!
Next week: The Flash is formally introduced to Firestorm and we finally meet Dr. Martin Stein in “The Nuclear Man”.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).