Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Flash 8x11 Review: "Resurrection" (Ronnie’s Return?) [Contributor: Deborah M]

Original Airdate: April 13, 2022

We’ve got a Caitlin-centric episode of The Flash this week, something I don’t think we’ve had for quite a while. Unfortunately, slightly sloppy writing undercuts any tension early on and we’re left with some bad circumstances we saw coming from a mile away. Meanwhile, not really appearing in this review: Iris’s time sickness is getting worse. Green sparkles everywhere!


It’s flashback time! Wow, the show is flashing back to season one quite a bit these days, huh? Well, I guess technically the flashback we get to Caitlin meeting Ronnie for the first time is pre-season one. Anyway, it’s a pretty cute little scene between the two of them and, since they’ve been seeding the idea of her finally moving on from Ronnie this season, it’s good to remind everyone what she’d be moving on from.

Back in the present, Caitlin is chatting with the killer black flames. In Ronnie’s voice, the flames ask her to join them in order to save them, then say something about “memories in the snow.” That’s nicely cryptic, well done. Later, when Team Flash is discussing their black flame problem and find out there are possible victims that predate the O'Shaughnessy's Bar victims this plotline started with, Caitlin sweeps in with a fully-formed theory on why she thinks the black flames are actually Ronnie. The theory is backed up by the fact that Caitlin recognizes all the victims, including the newly surfaced ones.

Basically, Caitlin matched the radiation of the black flames to that of a singularity, which is what Ronnie died in. She theorizes that, since energy can only be changed and not destroyed, Ronnie could have been transformed into the black flames when he died. When Barry mentions the whole “killing people” hobby the black flames have but Ronnie certainly did not, Caitlin just dismisses it as Ronnie being confused and full of a grief hormone at his time of death. The grief hormone reacted with the singularity and resulted in a being that feeds off the same hormone in others — i.e., a being that eats grief like the black flames do.

After dismissing Barry’s idea that the flames could just be messing with her like they did with Chester (I almost thought the show had forgotten about that bit), Caitlin says she thinks Ronnie wants them to save him with the quantum splicer that allowed him to be Firestorm years ago. She even punches a few keys and pulls a blueprint of the quantum splicer up on a monitor to jog everyone’s memory. I swear only a few hours, tops, could have passed between Caitlin’s scene with Ronnie-Flames and this one, so how in the world did she manage to put this whole theory together, complete with visual aids ready to go on the Team Flash command center computers? I bet Caitlin was a dream to have on team projects back in school. 

While the rest of the team is on board for this plan to essentially bring Ronnie back to life, Barry is wary and — since this episode is not about Barry learning a lesson — we know from the start that Caitlin’s plan is a bad one. Basically announcing that this whole thing is going to fail or backfire in some way by depicting Barry as so completely against it kind of ruins the story, in my opinion. We’ll get more into that later on, though.

Even if I couldn’t predict bad things to come by the way Barry resists Caitlin’s plan, I’d still probably consider her breaking up with her new boyfriend jumping the gun a bit. Without waiting to see if Ronnie can actually be saved, Caitlin meets up with Marcus, tells him everything that’s going on (including her side job helping the Flash, although if Marcus could meet Frost and not assume Caitlin’s got some connection with the Flash he’d be pretty dim) and then they break up. He seems to take it well, though he’s certainly weirded out by the fact that his relationship is being ruined by a resurrection, and leaves her with a poignant Plato quote about tending to one’s heart like a plant or something.

Because he’s the correct one in this situation, Barry is double-checking that the modifications to the Fusion Sphere are complete and ready as everyone’s backup plan. He raises some good questions to Frost when she finds him, such as why Ronnie took seven years to show up again if he turned into the black flames as soon as he died. Even more questions are raised when Cecile gets bombarded by Ronnie’s voice and the undeniable feeling that Ronnie doesn’t want to be saved; he wants to die.

This splits the possible plans of action in two: either follow Caitlin’s heart toward rescuing Ronnie, or follow Cecile’s powers and destroy the black flames, freeing Ronnie from his torment. Since we really need an either/or situation for the drama, it’s also revealed that using the quantum splicer on an unwilling participant will cause an explosion. The team seems to fall in with Barry and Cecile while Caitlin and, later, Frost, decide to work alone and save Ronnie.

There are a couple more flashbacks to moments during Caitlin and Ronnie’s relationship, including one where the two of them have gotten their car stuck in snow on the way to a romantic bed and breakfast. Caitlin is especially upset because she planned to propose, but a romantic little conversation with Ronnie has her kneeling in the snow and proposing anyway, only to have him present her with an engagement ring. It’s a really cute little scene and, combined with the earlier quote about “memories in snow,” tells Caitlin where she’ll find Ronnie next.

The Flash finds Ronnie first, though. Barry uses the Fusion Sphere and successfully captures Ronnie, but Frost shows up and freezes the sphere, releasing him. Caitlin approaches the black flames, has a few more flashbacks (some of which were actually on the show) and places the quantum splicer on him, regaining his body.

Even though everyone is all smiles and “we can’t wait to get to know Ronnie” after, Caitlin’s happiness is cut short when she finds Ronnie staring creepily out the window. When he turns around, he reveals that he’s not actually Ronnie — Ronnie is really dead — and that he calls himself Death Storm.

Okay, here’s the thing: the show has established this pattern of Barry being right all the time and the audience gauging how they’re meant to feel off Barry except for episodes where it is patently obvious that Barry is wrong and needs to be wrong in order to win a lesson. This means that, for anyone who watches this show regularly, we all knew less than ten minutes into the episode that Caitlin/Ronnie wasn’t going to work out. It’s incredibly frustrating that the writers would completely deflate the tension in what would otherwise have been a pretty intriguing episode, and a rare spotlight episode for Caitlin to boot.

Anyway, in other news: Iris has gotten disappeared by Tinya in revenge for Iris disappearing Tinya’s mom.

Other Things:

  • Paused to read Chester’s livestream chat again. Poor Techluver5898 is still mourning the drone killed by their cat.
  • Caitlin and Ronnie after simultaneously proposing to each other: “My answer’s yes, by the way.” “So’s mine.” Genuinely really cute.
  • Joe’s joke-gasp when Allegra calls him “grandpa” was the funniest thing in this episode.


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