written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
The hunt for Ronnie continues and a brand new meta human piques the interest of Team Flash. Shawna "Peek-a-Boo" Baez officially joins the Flash rogues gallery. Shawna's unique power allows her to teleport to any plain within her line of sight. She of course used this power to teleport her convict boyfriend out of prison and steal a whole bunch of money in the process.
Adding Peek-a-Boo to the roster makes a smart addition to the cast, sure Barry is fast but what's faster than instantaneous teleportation? Joining the cast is Skins alum Britne Oldford as the aforementioned Peek-a-Boo. Last week's Hartley "Pied Piper" Rathaway (played by Andy Mientus) returns after his revelation to Cisco last week that he knows the truth about what happened to Ronnie Raymond.
While retaining the status quo of "villain-of-the-week" The Flash has flexed throughout most of the season featuring usually one primary villain, but this week felt like both Peek-a-Boo and Pied Piper were fairly even when it comes to screen time. This felt balanced but as a viewer I didn't feel like Shawna was given as sufficient of a character development as I hoped she would. Glad they didn't kill her off like Plastique earlier this season, but I feel like this isn't the end for Miss Baez.
The family theme is further explored this episode, but instead of just Barry and Joe sharing all the "make-ya-wanna-hug-ya-dad" feels, Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) plays a major role in Barry's case, playing the inside man aiding the investigation. This of course leads to trouble for Henry Allen, if the HBO series Oz taught me anything... folks in prison don't take kindly to snitches.
As far as the Hartley Rathaway front, Cisco convinces him to elaborate on Ronnie Raymond's fate. Firestorm's comic origin is largely kept the same with Ronnie Raymond merging with Professor Martin Stein. The family theme doesn't just apply to Barry and his relationship with Joe and his father, but also the the members of team Flash. Cisco having to admit to Caitlin his role in Ronnie fate, and Barry going out to a karaoke bar with Caitlin... all for the sake of gathering intel to eventually catching Shawna Baez. Speaking of the karaoke bar, though brief it has to be my highlight of the episode. Grant Gustin flexes his Warbler roots this episode, with Barry belting out "Summer Lovin" with a drunkenly off-key Caitlin.
Another comic book staple makes their debut, though a part of me is hesitant in accepting it. After Barry's exceptionally on-key performance, Linda Park flirts with Barry and gives him her phone number is possibly one of the most delightfully geeky ways. Though in the comics Linda Park was a love interest of the Flash, it wasn't Barry but rather Wally West (Barry's nephew and eventually the third scarlet speedster) who falls for Linda Park, eventually marrying her. I could think of a few other candidates that would have been a better fit for the "before-Iris-West" love interest role; perhaps Patty Spivot, Barry's assistant who eventually becomes his girlfriend in the New 52 continuity... or even Daphne Dean, who in the comics was a childhood friend of Barry Allen... a history that was rather applied to the Iris West of the CW-verse.
I'm open to it, and especially with Linda Park working in the same office as Iris West, this could make for some dramatic tension in the Barry/Iris dynamic.
There's a lot to love about this episode, though Shawna Baez felt underutilize and Hartley Rathaway continued to shine in the villain role; shedding more light on Ronnie Raymond and giving Glee fans a fun little Grant Gustin serenade made for a largely satisfying episode. Another major Flash villain makes a debut in the pre-ending credits scene, won't give too much away but it looks like Barry Allen will have to channel his inner Charlton Heston sooner than later.