Coffee shops can be involved in meet-cutes, but in this episode of The Flash, “Dead or Alive,” it’s just a lead for when Gypsy comes to this Earth from H.R.’s because he’s broken a pretty big law. Oh, and while Cisco and Gypsy get their flirt on, they also engage in a trial by combat for H.R.’s life.
Meanwhile, Iris is facing the fact that she could very well die in four months, and while her father, brother and boyfriend would love nothing more than for her to not pursue a story about an arms dealer, she manages to convince one of them to help her.
Gypsy Follows the Coffee
The Flash and Kid Flash are doing pretty well out in the field together, stopping the Electric Gang and saving a bus full of cheerleaders. Wally even poses for a photo with the girls afterwards. (And just because he’s now part of the team doesn’t stop Julian from pointing out that he found six ways they could have accomplished what they did more efficiently.) But they’re not the ones whose powers are tested when a collector shows up from Earth-19 for H.R.
Gypsy’s search for H.R. begins — where else? — at Jitters, where she blasts back two cops who find her after she’s broken in before opening a breach and escaping through it. She next pops up right outside STAR Labs, calling out for H.R. to come quietly before popping right inside through a breach. She likes that Cisco can vibe too. And while Cisco tries to suggest that they talk things out over coffee/dinner/anything, she’d rather show what she can do, going through a breach and then blasting him back. She’s even mastered her powers well enough to stop Wally in his speedy tracks.
See, H.R. is a fugitive on their Earth and the punishment for non-authorized breach travel is death. He’s been beaming chapters back from his book (in which he’s the central protagonist), and she leaves him an hour to get his affairs in order. He may be annoying, but that doesn’t mean he deserves to die. Besides, Barry argues, he saw him in the future, so that must mean they don’t let Gypsy take him. (Or maybe letting her do so will change the future, Julian suggests.)
Though he initially avoids the question, H.R. does eventually admit to Cisco why he risked his life to come to their Earth. “I didn’t matter. I was a fraud,” H.R. says of his life on his Earth. He wanted to rewrite his story, both literally and figuratively. Now his only option is a trial by combat, but Cisco’s the one to challenge Gypsy (and offers to go for drinks instead). And since he speaks up first, it doesn’t matter that Barry offers to fight as well. Cisco gladly takes the customary 24 hours to prepare, but he knows that “she’s going to kill me, isn’t she?”
Vibing/Flirting Across the Multiverse
Gypsy is very good, as they can all see, just in the bits of footage they have of her on their Earth. But stepping up like Cisco did is what any of them (except H.R.) would have done. Cisco just needs practice and confidence, Barry says, and they’ll all help out. But the first order of business really needs to be Julian not talking because he wants Caitlin to set up the medical bay. When H.R. asks why he’s risking his life for him when he doesn’t even like him, Cisco explains that the other Harrisons were geniuses and the team depended on them, while with H.R., he’s the one who depends on the team. He wants to be there for Harrison Wells since Harrison Wells was always there for him.
When it becomes clear that Cisco’s training is not going well, H.R. pulls Barry aside and reveals that he tagged Gypsy. They need to stop her before she fights Cisco, so the two of them track her down to the waterfront, where she’s enjoying a cup of coffee. Their plan to have H.R. keep her distracted while Barry sneaks up on her and cuffs her goes about as well as Cisco’s training, and Barry’s the one who ends up in cuffs. The only reason that Gypsy just takes H.R. as insurance and doesn’t immediately whisk him back to their Earth is that Barry reminds her that she believes in the law and Cisco will hold up his end of their deal.
That move, however, has just shown Cisco that the others don’t believe in him like they claimed to, but fortunately Barry improves his interpersonal skills and Julian notices something that could save Cisco in the battle. When Cisco asks Barry how he handles the pressure of having someone’s life on the line, like H.R.’s life now is, Barry tells him that the team is always in his corner helping him face his fears, just like Barry’s going to be in Cisco’s. But it’s Julian noticing Gypsy’s signature move (the breach and blast) and the fact that when she comes out of a breach, her feet are off the ground and she’s off-balance and vulnerable. That’s when Cisco needs to strike.
But before Cisco can have the chance to do that, he and Gypsy blast and fight each other all over the multiverse (including stops on Earth-2 and in CatCo). Just as Gypsy reveals that she knows he’s holding back and accuses him of being afraid to show how powerful she is, she goes to pull off her signature move, but Cisco uses that to his advantage and blasts her back. Cisco wins, but he’s just taking H.R. He’s not going to take her life because that’s not how it works on this Earth.
Cisco and Gypsy’s flirting ends with an almost-kiss, as just as it’s about to happen she returns to her Earth (with a lot of coffee).
As for H.R., she’s going to tell everyone back home that she killed him, meaning he can never return to Earth-19. That also means that his book is now just for himself. And, hey, he might even have more material for it, since Cisco agrees to tell him about the other, smarter versions of Harrison Wells. The first Wells told him that his time would come to be a hero, Cisco shares. He had to be ready for when it did. They all make investments in each other, and Cisco has made one in H.R. One day, Cisco tells him, it’ll pay off when H.R. uses his crazy way of thinking to help him. One day, H.R. might have to save Cisco.
The Brother/Sister Crime-Fighting Team Succeeds But…
With rumors of an arms dealer in town with sophisticated weaponry, Iris is determined to get the story — even as Barry, Joe and Wally tell her that it’s a bad idea. They don’t really need to be looking for more trouble, Barry argues, since they’re dealing with Gypsy and preventing the future where she dies. While she agrees to drop it, she’s obviously not going to.
In fact, she goes to Wally and proposes that they make the Flashpoint brother/sister crime-fighting team a reality again. Just like running makes him feel amazing, cracking a big story makes Iris feel the same way, she tells her brother. She wants justice done, just like everyone else on the team. Plus, as she sees it, she doesn’t die until May.
First, they need access to Joe’s file, which means Iris distracting her father while Wally speeds over to his desk to get it. It also means Iris nearly giving her father a heart attack by talking about the only solution to too much love in a relationship for two people being to make the family bigger … meaning getting a pet. Is Barry a dog or cat person? she asks Joe, who’s busy trying to calm down after he got the wrong idea. Joe doesn’t particularly care as long as the only addition to the family is the kind with four legs.
Iris and Kid Flash do take down the arms dealer, but in doing so, Iris walks right up to the guy and the gun in his hand when he catches her snooping and taking photos of his weapons. “Everyone’s gotta go sometime,” she argues, but “I’m pretty sure today just isn’t my day.” Kid Flash speeds in and knocks him out, and while they think that Joe is fine with Wally running around the city, he’s definitely not okay with this and wants to know what’s going on with her. Since Iris is still on board the “Joe doesn’t need to know that I die in four months” train, that conversation pretty much just ends when Barry pulls her aside.
He’s not going to let her die, Barry assures her. But that’s not it. Iris is worried about being like her mother, “just going without making a mark, without leaving anything behind.” But her mother did leave something behind, Barry tells her, “a brave, wonderful son and the woman that I love.” Whatever the future holds, they’ll face it together.
As for the story, it’s the beginning of an amazing journalistic legacy, Barry tells his girlfriend after reading it five times. And it’s not one that’s going to end in four months because Barry is going to stop Savitar, and the Flash will save her. But will he?
To Save Iris, Barry’s Next Move May Be Impossible
Here’s the problem. Julian suggested putting together a 3D reconstruction of the future, and they’ve done just that, using Legos. Julian has also figured out that there’s no way that Barry can reach Iris in time to save her, not at his current rate of improvement.
But as Barry realizes, someone else can. Wally has been getting faster in a short period of time, and Barry needs him to get even faster. Barry’s not going to be the one to save Iris from Savitar. Wally is.
Did you feel the vibes between Cisco and Gypsy? Was Iris being too reckless in trying to get her story? Do you think Wally will be the one to save Iris? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
The Flash season 3 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Flash Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of The CW)