Saturday, June 26, 2021

The Flash 7x14 Review: "Rayo de Luz" (Let There Be More Light) [Contributor: Deborah MacArthur]

“Rayo de Luz”
Original Airdate: June 22, 2021

Look, I don’t want to imply that the Flash is holding back The Flash, but this is the third episode in a row that’s been light on Barry and leagues better than the Barry-centric episodes that came before it. Maybe it’s because the show was struggling with an arcing plot and these post-Forces storyline episodes are more self-contained, maybe I just really like the side characters of this show and I’ve been subconsciously wishing they had more to do. I don’t know. But Allegra-focused “Rayo de Luz” was a decent little episode either way.


Remember Allegra’s assassin cousin, Esperanza “Ultraviolet” Garcia? I sure didn’t! But this episode delivered a reminder\ by way of an in media res opening open set twelve hours before the events of the episode. I assume this was really just to remind us of who Ultraviolet is, since it doesn’t offer much else.

The actual episode begins with Barry announcing that he’s going to be “zooping” Iris to a remote island, inspired by the embarrassment of Chester catching the couple boinkin’ in the Starchives last week. This means that the parents are away, so the children (read: Allegra) are free to plot questionable rescue missions of assassins. Allegra is hoping she can get through to her cousin and they could be a family again, and has apparently been tracking her and waiting for the opportunity to strike with a tried and true Team Flash-patented heartfelt speech.

Unfortunately for Allegra (and Chester’s wrist, since he gets caught in the crossfire and Ultraviolet breaks it), Ultraviolet is not in the mood for a family reunion. While Allegra and Chester are at Jitters, Ultraviolet attacks. I can’t help thinking that the insurance costs for the Jitters coffee shop must be astronomical, with how often this place gets trashed by metahuman fights. Allegra holds her own in the fight for a bit, but inevitably has to be rescued by the sudden appearance of Sue Dearbon. Sue apparently did not skip town after the disastrous heist last week.

Just like with the heist, Sue tries to be the voice of reason in the group and convince Allegra to write Ultraviolet off as a lost cause, mostly because Sue once saw the assassin melt a person’s face off while laughing. Sounds like a good reason to me, but Allegra is apparently not in the business of giving up on family. Sue, with the begrudging air of an older sibling left to babysit and well aware she’s the only thing standing between these people and certain death, agrees to help out while Barry and Iris are away.

The next time we see Ultraviolet, she’s attacking some guy. Allegra et al. stop her and the guy gets away, but then Ultraviolet reveals that the man they just rescued was the mad scientist who made her into the mask-wearing assassin she is. And I know that’s portrayed as a real “dramatic chord” type moment that’s meant to imply our heroes did something wrong, but even if they’d known the guy was bad news they wouldn’t have let Ultraviolet kill him. So it’s a bit of tension that isn’t really tension.

Sue and Allegra try to interrogate Ultraviolet. She explains that the red mask she wears is to help her speak, since Black Hole’s scientist — Dr. Olsen, the man who escaped — cut out... her vocal chords? It’s unclear how the mask helps when the scar tissue is on her throat and the mask doesn’t go past her chin, but I don’t know. I’m not a science fiction doctor. Either way, Ultraviolet wants revenge and Allegra decides she wants to help her get it. Just not, presumably, by murdering Dr. Olsen.

Before she accepts the assistance of the ragtag Team Flash, Ultraviolet tries training Allegra on how to better use the light-based powers they both share. When Allegra fails to do what she needs to do, Ultraviolet declares her a useless idiot and storms off, but not before nearly killing poor Chester with a light beam. Okay, so she’s only a marginally worse teacher than Barry Allen.

So now Chester’s got one arm in a sling and the other’s got a braced wrist, but he’s still trying to make everyone else feel better about the Ultraviolet situation. Oh, Chester. Sue wants Chester to talk some sense into Allegra, who’s still feeling unsure about what to do with Ultraviolet, but Chester doesn’t think he can convince her of anything. Then something Sue says (“Sharing a back-alley yin-yang tattoo doesn’t mean you’re bonded forever.”) inspires Chester to run off like the genius he is, leaving Sue to do her best to convince Allegra not to try again with Ultraviolet.

But Allegra stubbornly refuses to give up on her cousin, who never gave up on her when they were growing up. When Allegra brings up Sue rescuing her parents from Black Hole, Sue confesses that she never did — that her parents loved the lifestyle they had with Black Hole and she couldn’t convince them to leave. Sue’s parents were already filthy rich, so I’m a little confused about what sort of lifestyle a shady underground organization could offer them to compete with mansions and never having to hold a job.

The conversation with Sue has only made Allegra more resolute in her mission to save her cousin, which is good because Chester’s eureka moment produced a way to track Ultraviolet. He was inspired by the yin-yang tattoo, thinking of Allegra and Ultraviolet as two halves of the same whole and using Allegra’s light signature to find Ultraviolet’s matching one.

The team finds Ultraviolet facing off with Dr. Olsen again. Dr. Olsen, by the way, is incredibly creepy. I almost wish this team didn’t have a no-killing policy, because this guy is gross. Chester takes out some guards with an EMP blast while Sue fights the ones who are left, wonderfully backlit the entire time. I don’t give shoutouts to production stuff very often, but the lighting in this episode is really pretty in several scenes and I wonder if it’s meant to be on theme with the two light-based metahumans at the center of the story. Whatever the reason, it’s nice.

When Allegra finds her cousin, Ultraviolet immediately attacks her. Dr. Olsen has promised that, as the only person in the world who knows exactly what was done to Esperanza and therefore the only person capable of fixing it, he sets the rules for whether Ultraviolet gets any help. He wants Ultraviolet to kill everyone who knows of his operations, starting with Allegra. While the two women have a light fight (with things heavily in Ultraviolet’s favor), Dr. Olsen supplies some creepy color commentary about how hate fuels their powers.

But Allegra ain’t having that. She says that her powers are fueled by something else and her chest starts glowing, and the losing light beam she’d been shooting at Ultraviolet starts gaining power. Eventually, Ultraviolet is struck back and Allegra has a full-body glowing aura that looks really neat. It eventually fades, but the day is saved nonetheless.

In the aftermath, Dr. Olsen has been jailed and Ultraviolet is recovering from getting blasted by Alelgra’s light beam. Caitlin reassures Allegra that Barry would’ve approved of her following her heart despite leading a rogue mission and nearly getting multiple people killed. Yeah, that tracks. Talking with Ultraviolet afterwards, Allegra shares the news that Caitlin has confiscated Olsen’s files and thinks she can cure her. Are we just going to ignore that story about Ultraviolet melting a person’s face off while laughing?

Other Things:

  • The only really irritating thing about this episode was the stuff involving Joe and Kramer, mostly because Kramer’s behavior makes no sense half the time. She seems okay by the end of the episode, though. She and Joe are going to find the person who actually betrayed the mission she was on.
  • Allegra calls Chester “Chuck”? Is she the only one who uses that nickname?
  • Frost has hunted down that bartender whose name I don’t remember except that it was awful. Is this really going to be a thing? I’m bored every time he’s on the screen.
  • Next week: Godspeed is back? Really, Godspeed? Ugh.


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