The tables are turned in the latest Flash as Iris inherits Barry’s speedster abilities and steps into the role of Central City’s protector — and as expected, she absolutely rocks it. But she also learns a few things along the way.
Spoilers ahead for “Run, Iris, Run,” the latest episode of The CW’s Flash, which aired March 13, 2018.
“Run, Iris, Run.” -Barry
One of the last remaining bus metas surfaces, and apparently possesses the ability to swap metahuman abilities with nothing more than a touch. The fallout finally gives Iris the ability to step into the role of a powered hero, but it turns out the hero has been inside her all along. Iris’ journey has taken her from the outside looking in on Team Flash to team member to de facto leader. The one role she’s never had? Superhero.
Iris positively geeks out after realizing she can zip around the city at super speed, and it’s a welcome change of pace to see her purple lightning flying around. She’s joyous at the prospect of testing out these new abilities, and though she obviously makes a few rookie mistakes after running headlong into metahuman battles and towering infernos, Iris earns her stripes alongside the seasoned heroes of the Arrowverse. Heck, she even makes her very own tidal wave, which is pretty super. Pun intended.
But more than the super-story, this was a character study of who Iris has become over the past few seasons — and who she’s still becoming along the way. Iris might spend her time pulling the strings from behind a console relatively safe at STAR Labs, but she’s still a hero. As Barry showed while at the helm back in the lab, it’s not easy to make the tough calls and keep the team running in the heat of the moment. It might not be the most obvious superpower, but leadership can be just as valuable as tapping into the Speed Force. She's positively fearless, and she's finally remembering it.
We also got a major change in the closing moments, as Iris fires up her laptop and gets her blog back online — and as fans of the comic are almost certainly well aware, being a journalist is a key part of what makes Iris tick. She’s had something missing from her life that wasn’t being filled by Team Flash, and it’s writing. She wants to save the world at night, and tell the world about it in the daytime.
*Team Flash finally has a new plan to take on Devoe, and Harry’s grand idea is to literally outthink the Thinker. It’s not a bad idea on the surface, but as Cisco points out, all that brain power is driving Devoe mad. Harry is a smart guy, but if he has one downfall, it's his hubris. The real question will be whether his friends can keep him from following the same path.
*If nothing else, Harry’s thinking cap is paying dividends, as he uses that brain power to figure out the names of the two remaining bus metas: Janet Petty and Edwin Gauss. Petty doesn’t seem to have an obvious comic connection, but Edwin Gauss is a name deep cut comic fans will likely recognize. Gauss, aka the Folded Man, has been affiliated with the Rogues and is typically portrayed as an extremely intelligent individual. It’ll be interesting to see how they adapt him for the small screen.
*Ralph is still dealing with his sheer terror over being on Devoe’s short list, but thanks to Iris stepping up, he’s been inspired to return to the field and use his abilities to help those in need. It was a small part of the story, sure, but continued Dibny’s journey in a real way.
*The team also ended this episode with a key new ally in the fight against Devoe. Matthew Kim, the metahuman with the power-swapping abilities, signs up to help take down the Thinker. Considering he can apparently pull out metahuman abilities with simply a touch, that could be one heck of a neutralizer when it comes to a guy who is collecting metahuman abilities.
Next time: This certainly looks to be an, ahem, lighter episode. The Flash takes on a metahuman with the ability to make people float. Which, sure, it’s hard to run if you’re floating in the air.