Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Flash 8x14 Review: "Funeral for a Friend" (Many Mourners Mourning) [Contributor: Deborah M]


“Funeral for a Friend”
Original Airdate: May 11, 2022

This week on The Flash, the team mourns the loss of Frost in their own particular ways while a metahuman of the week scenario happens in the background. Breaking up the episode into focused mini-storylines that just barely brush against each other was a clever way to do an episode like this, which is more focused on character and less on a binding plot device like a villain. Fingers crossed that the events toward the very end don’t undermine everything “Funeral for a Friend” managed to accomplish.

DISTRACTED HEROING

As with any post-character-death episode, this one opens with a sad montage of people staring into the middle distance or looking at significant items around them while they mourn the lost loved one. The montage is interrupted when Team Flash has to stop a robbery in progress, but the mourning continues. Everyone is so distracted by their grief that they completely botch the heroics, allowing the robber — Blockbuster — to get away.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry calls a meeting with everyone and tells them they still have to be able to protect the city even though they’re in mourning, so get it together already. Caitlin shows up in the middle of the meeting just to tell everyone she’s not going to Frost’s funeral, then leaves. The writers definitely could’ve come up with a way to make dropping that plot point a little less clunky.

When Caitlin leaves, Joe dives in with the saddest of pep talks, saying they all need to find ways to honor Frost so that they can heal as a family. This is the jumping off point for the split storytelling format the episode follows until the funeral scene at the end.

IRIS

Iris is talking with Cecile about what they’re going to do to honor Frost. Cecile has decided to take on more pro-bono work helping metahumans but Iris hasn’t figured hers out yet. She wants to do an obituary but writing from a personal perspective on Frost would reveal her as a member of Team Flash. Considering that neither Allegra nor Cecile wear costumes or masks while in the field as Team Flash members and Iris associates with both of them, I think those dots are going to be connected regardless.

Iris pawns the obituary off on a CCC staff member, but when she takes it to Carla Tannhauser for review she concludes that it’s too impersonal. Iris confesses to Frost’s kinda-mom that she didn’t think she really knew Frost well, so she couldn’t find a way into writing the obituary. Carla thinks the obituary isn’t what Frost would’ve cared about anyway and Frost was more concerned with saving people, which gives Iris an idea to instead do a series of interviews with people Frost has saved.

CHESTER & ALLEGRA

This slice of the story is probably the weakest of the bunch, with Chester and Allegra mostly just bickering the entire time. It does introduce the running beat of Mark Blaine being the unlikely voice of reason, though. Basically, they have to go haul a drunken and grieving Mark away from trashing Central City’s only bar, O’Shaughnessy’s, and he tells them their arguments aren’t really arguments. They’re just showing each other how they view the world differently, like Frost used to do for him.

Then he passes out. After dumping Mark on a bed in the medlab back at S.T.A.R. Labs, the two of them decide to honor Frost by hanging her jacket from her first superhero costume up for display.

BARRY

After making a brief cameo dressed for kayaking during Chester and Allegra’s story, I assumed Barry’s was going to be weird. Turns out, he’s crossing off items on Frost’s bucket list. We see him building a snowman on top of Mount Everest, sculpting a snowflake out of ice, zipping in to hang one of Frost’s paintings on a wall in the Louvre, and winning a hotdog eating contest that CCPD is inexplicably holding in the department lobby. Frost sure did have a wide array of interests, huh?

Mark wakes up in the lab and interrupts Barry watching the scanner for Blockbuster. He can apparently provide enlightenment just as well hungover as he can while drunk, because after a short conversation during which Barry admits that crossing things off Frost’s bucket list doesn’t really feel complete, Barry suddenly gets what he needs to do.

CAITLIN

Caitlin’s story starts where we last saw her snapping that she wasn’t going to Frost’s funeral. Then we see her packing away Frost’s things from her apartment, including the painting Frost hung, photographs, and a coffee mug with a Frost-lips-colored lipstick stain. So she really did wear blue lipstick all the time? Her powers just... applied lipstick to her face? The implications of this are mind-bending. When she’s finished packing Frost away, Caitlin appears to sit on her couch all night until morning breaks and Barry knocks on her door.

After insisting again that she’s not going to the funeral, Caitlin lets Barry inside her apartment because he says he wants to apologize about what she overheard the previous day. Caitlin snaps at Barry a bit more, but then Barry asks her what Frost would have wanted her to do and that’s what gets through to her. She admits that she doesn’t want to go to the funeral because she thinks that seeing Frost in the casket will mean she’s really gone, and it’ll be too much after living her life with Frost always there for her. Even before she had a name, Frost was the voice in Caitlin’s head making her braver, and Barry tells her that voice won’t be gone. In fact, always keeping it with her is the way for Caitlin to honor Frost.

Of course Caitlin does show up at the funeral. She gives a touching eulogy about keeping the good parts of Frost — like her selflessness and unique outlook and love for her friends and family — alive to honor her. After the funeral, the whole team has gathered at Joe and Cecile’s house to share fun stories about Frost but they’re interrupted by alerts about Blockbuster and have to go be heroes. Caitlin stays behind with Joe, but when he leaves to get them both some coffee she turns all shifty and makes a call.

The person she called was apparently Mark. She’s stolen a genome sequencer from somewhere and recreated laboratory conditions in the middle of her apartment, and she wants Mark’s help in her mission to bring Frost back to life. 

Okay, first of all: when did she have the time to move all this stuff? Two: has she learned nothing from the “bringing her fiancĂ© back from the dead” fiasco that led to Frost’s demise in the first place? And three: I swear, if this show pulls this bait and switch again I’m going to be furious. It was bad enough when they made a huge deal out of Frost going to jail forever, only to break her out a couple episodes later. 

No offense to Frost, I like her, but when you’ve dedicated a whole episode to her death, this character better freaking stay dead.

Other Things:

  • Cecile is in the action team now? And neither she nor Allegra have costumes? Iris had powers for about a day and got a fully designed hero costume, but these two don’t get anything?
  • Speaking of which: the mean CCC staff member who hates Allegra wants to “investigate” these new Team Flash members. What investigation? They literally wear street clothes and no masks, you could run a Google image search on them and probably find their social media accounts.
  • Green sparkles strike again: Iris has disappeared. Mean staff member basically witnesses this and shrugs it off. They only hire the best investigative journalists at the Central City Citizen!

0 comments:

Post a Comment