Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Flash 6x05 Review: "Kiss Kiss Breach Breach" (All In Good Faith) [Contributor: Deborah MacArthur]

“Kiss Kiss Breach Breach”
Original Airdate: November 5, 2019

Our most recent episode of The Flash features a Cisco-focused murder mystery plot, plus someone has apparently declared that the word of the day is “faith.” So, so much faith going around. Have faith in other people, have faith in yourself, have faith in black-fingered proto-supervillains controlled by a hunger for blood. Sometimes that faith pays off; sometimes it almost gets you killed. I guess you just have to have faith that having faith won’t get you killed though.


Remember how, in last week’s episode, Barry told Cisco he’s his choice for leader of Team Flash after Barry bites the big one during the upcoming Crisis? Well, that’s still the plan, and Barry is giving Cisco something of a trial run of things while he and Iris take a vacation to Tahiti. Despite the fact that Ramsey’s been a no-show for two weeks and the West-Allens will only be gone two days, Cisco is still feeling the pressure and has developed an artificial intelligence computer program called B.A.R.I to help him make the same choices Barry would make in any given scenario while the real Barry is sipping tropical drinks on a beach and/or eventually dead. This is clearly not what Barry had in mind when he wanted to leave Cisco in charge, but Barry has faith that Cisco will figure all that out while he’s away. Since this show is this show, Cisco — of course — does.

But plot must happen first! After (I assume) a day of taking orders from the B.A.R.I program, Cisco returns home and he and Kamilla go to sleep — only for Cisco wake up holding a pair of scissors to his hair. According to Kamilla, Cisco has been sleepwalking a lot lately. She chalked it up to general exhaustion and the pressure of what’s been going on in Cisco’s life and he buys that explanation. They settle back down to sleep the rest of the night, Cisco almost tells Kamilla he loves her before awkwardly exiting that confession. And then Breacher, a.k.a. Cisco’s ex-girlfriend’s dad, slices a hole in the universe and steps into Cisco’s bedroom. He sits down and tells Cisco that Cynthia is dead.

To the credit of Kamilla and the writers of this show, there is zero relationship drama resulting from this plotline. Kamilla is so far from jealous or uncomfortable about Cisco mourning his ex-girlfriend, she even offers his intelligence (since he’s no longer a metahuman) up to the investigation into her death. When the topic of Cisco’s lack of powers comes up, Breacher mentions a side-effect called “breach psychosis,” the symptoms of which — we are led to believe — coincide with Cisco’s new sleepwalking habit.

Cisco and Kamilla go to the crime scene on the order of B.A.R.I. Once there, they meet Earth-19 collector agents and, more specifically, Zak Zeal — a man so immediately hostile and unlikable he can only be the red herring of a murder mystery. Regardless of their distractingly unsavory team leader, the collector agents have been doing their jobs. They’ve narrowed Cynthia’s time of death down to a two-hour window between 2:30 and 4:30 in the morning, have arrived at the cause of death, and have marked out the place of death. Cynthia was completely vaporized — all that’s left of her is an ashy smudge on the concrete, which understandably strikes the mourning Cisco. He starts crying at the crime scene while Kamilla comforts him.

After a third failure to tell Kamilla he loves her is interrupted by Zak Zeal, Cisco voices his suspicions of the obvious suspect. He devises a plan to, with Breacher’s help, mimic his Vibe power of seeing events based off physical items. On top of the breaching devices that have been around for a while now, this really raises the question of whether Cisco lost anything at all when he gave up being Vibe — can he just come up with a technical solution for everything? Sure, the device is a bit slapdash and Cisco implies it only works because of his memories of Cynthia, but if he were to make improvements would it render his entire “stop being a meta” subplot last season pointless?

Anyway, Cisco and Breacher concentrate on Cynthia and use the bullet that killed her as a focus for the time and location. They watch her get shot and vaporized, then the killer pushes back the hood shrouding his face and reveals not Zak Zeal, as everyone assumed, but Cisco himself!

Breacher attacks Cisco. His suspicions are not only fueled by what he witnessed, but also Kamilla finding the vaporizing gun that killed Cynthia, and the revelation that Cisco has been sleepwalking — including a sleepwalking session that coincides with Cynthia’s time of death. Though Breacher concludes that breach psychosis is to blame, not Cisco himself, he still can’t let his daughter’s killer go unpunished. He gives Cisco an hour to get everything in order and turn himself in to the collector agents, or else Breacher will kill Cisco.

Kamilla still has faith in Cisco, though. She urges him to have faith in himself, to get past all the doubts he has about living up to Barry’s expectations and legacy and recognize that he’s a good person with good instincts and he did not kill his ex-girlfriend. During her speech, Kamilla gives Cisco a eureka moment and he checks the white noise machine he’s been using to relax. Turns out, it’s in wifi mode (really, Cisco?) and got hacked into brainwash mode. Cisco recognizes the code as his own.

It turns out Echo, the hacker Cynthia had been hunting down for some time now, is a Cisco from another Earth. Echo used this to get the jump on Cynthia, who hesitated when she saw her ex-boyfriend’s face and breached them both to Earth-1 — giving Echo the chance to vaporize her. Cisco outsmarts his evil twin in the end, though, by altering the vaporizing gun into a force field that encloses Echo long enough to call in the Earth-19 agents and get him hauled away.

Later, Breacher theorizes that Cynthia, though dying, brought Echo to Earth-1 because she knew Cisco would be able to bring him to justice. More of that faith going around. Breacher takes his leave and Barry and Iris return from their vacation to a Cisco who has learned a valuable lesson in having faith in himself as a leader and a hero in his own right.

Other Things:

  • Secondary plots of this episode: Joe finds Nash Wells in some underground tunnels and they get caught in a standard cave-in story. Joe teaches Nash a little something about having faith in the people around you. Meanwhile, Frost gives over to Caitlin just long enough for Caitlin to try — and fail — to get through to the villainous Ramsey, who wants her to join him in his pursuit of immortality. Both thematically resonant plotlines but too tiny to warrant sections in the review.
  • Cisco’s middle name is Baracus, named after the A-Team character. I don’t know what to do with this information.
  • Barry’s favorite thing that Iris makes for breakfast is, hilariously, “banana.” A callback to Iris’s terrible pancakes last season.
  • I love every instance of Joe calling Barry his son.
  • Cisco apparently owns adorable kitty cat pillowcases.
  • I don’t know if I’ve mentioned yet how much I appreciate the Joe’s in the show a lot more this season. It’s nice that you’re feeling better, Jesse L. Martin!
  • “I knew I smelled SPF-90.” Hee.


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