Updated: Apr 29, 2019
Difficult family dynamics and controversial time travel are common themes running through this week’s episode, which opens with the worst, loudest marital tiff to date between Iris and Barry. Barry’s single-handed decision to send Nora back to the future isn’t sitting well with Iris, understandably. Proving that two wrongs don't make a right, Iris duplicates Barry’s poor judgment and decides to take matters into her own hands, dragging Ralph along for a time-jump mission.
Meanwhile, at the lab where Caitlin’s mother works, Caitlin leads an investigation into a robbery of a high-tech absolute zero device by her I-thought-he-was-dead father, the villain Icicle. He later returns to take Caitlin and her mother hostage, intending to create a very cold family reunion. Too bad Cisco wasn’t around to give Icicle a cooler codename, or make fun of his cheesy hairdo, which was obviously stolen from Snow Miser.
After Caitlin escapes, an epic father-daughter battle is fought on instantly-created ice paths (a concept borrowed from Iceman in X-Men comics), that miraculously do not collapse under their own immense weight. Sometimes, the “willing suspension of disbelief” has its limits. What works in the comics doesn't always work in live-action.
In the future, a heartbroken, angry, and determined Nora continues to seek advice from Eobard Thawne (Reverse Flash), despite knowing how much her parents disapprove, and that he is most likely manipulating her. After all, a man on death row has nothing to lose. She wants a way to time travel that her father cannot detect. Thawne teaches her a dark method he created, one that can have devastating side-effects.
In the end, the storylines conclude with love winning the day, but not without a high cost, and a few foreshadows of bad days to come.
• a purple suit for Elongated Man (Ralph)…finally!
• the first appearance of the Negative Speed Force
• a Harry Potter reference
• a bonus fire vs ice battle
• a loving sacrifice
The Flash airs Tuesdays on The CW.