As Barry and Iris’ wedding looms closer on The Flash, it’s time for the bachelorette and bachelor parties to happen. Felicity Smoak visits from Arrow, and so do a few super-villains, including Blacksmith, and no Flash action. Who knows what else what might happen? Meet me after the prenuptial jump for my thoughts on “Girls Night Out!”
Girls and Boys
Felicity arrives ready to party but Iris wants something low key, just a dinner… with her fiancée’s ex-girlfriend and a friend from ‘work’ who is also a sociopathic super-villainess. Iris needs more friends. Does she have no friends from Picture News, no college roommates, no childhood pals? Who’s going to be her maid of honor? We do find out, and it’s a nice surprise, and advancement of character. Luckily for Iris though her potential stepmom and her daughter are also tagging along. No, it’s not weird, for TV, I guess. And let’s not even bring up the idea that she’s effectively marrying her brother.
As for the guys, it’s easier to distinguish Barry’s friends. Cisco of course, who will probably be his best man; Harry, friend from work; and Joe… Barry’s kind of father and definitely the bride’s father. That last one is rough. Why couldn’t Ralph come? Although he does show up. And if Felicity came, where is Oliver? At least Ralph saves them from Cisco’s home movies.
Worst Stripper Ever
While the ladies are having dinner, the dude who gave Caitlin a hard time for quitting her bartending gig and later got flash-frozen for his trouble, comes back and insists Caitlin come with him. Amidst the women thinking he’s a stripper, albeit the worst ever, he loses an eye in Felicity’s drink and a reptilian tongue jets from the empty socket. Yes, it’s as disturbing as it sounds. The man’s name is Norvok, and he works for Amunet Black, known in the comics as the Blacksmith.
Norvok is also from the comics. He was Hunk Norvock, a crime lord who in the 1930s ruined the law career of a young attorney named Clifford DeVoe, later hiring him as a strategist for his criminal empire. Once DeVoe became the Thinker, he made Norvock kill himself and took over his operation. It’s hard to say here if there’s any connection to the source material. At least Killer Frost decides to show up and take out the garbage.
The Golden Booty
Ralph takes the boys to a strip joint called The Golden Booty, where cellphones aren’t allowed (so Iris conveniently can’t reach Barry), and the sleazification of Ralph continues as he is their number one customer, with his photo on the wall and everything. Cisco also volunteers to be designated superhero as Vibe just in case, so Barry can have a good time. Cisco, friend that he is, brings special alcohol that Barry can’t metabolize at super speed. Yeah, this will be fun.
While Barry brags loudly and drunkenly about being the Flash, and Ralph uses his stretching powers to steal money, Joe makes a horrible soap opera-ey discovery. Cecile’s daughter Joanie is one of the strippers. She explains to Joe that she needs the experience to write about feminism. The bar fight that follows clinches it that the men are holding both the soap opera and comic relief keys this week, and it ain’t pretty.
In the comics Amunet Black was once married to the Green Lantern foe called Goldface, stealing some of the formula that gave him his powers, she branched off on her own as Blacksmith. With the ability to mold and reshape metal psychically, she formed The Network, an arms and drug black market in Central City and Keystone City. She also created her own new Rogues Gallery of modern age Flash foes, before being finally defeated.
Here on TV, she is very close to the same, and played by Katee Sackhoff with a terrrrible British accent. She wants Killer Frost to work for her as protection while she pushes a new drug harvested from a metahuman called the Weeper. Amunet is who Caitlin had been working for between seasons – in exchange for Caitlin keeping control, Frost provided muscle. Blacksmith (even though she’s never referred to as such here) and Norvok predate the Thinker’s dark matter metas, but the Weeper definitely is one. The female members of Team Flash curiously know all about Amunet, so how is it the team’s never gone after her?
There is not much said about the Weeper other than the assumption that he gained his powers from the bus hit by dark matter when Barry returned from the Speed Force. He is chained up and looking severely beaten when we first see him in the back room of Blacksmith’s club. Kudos to the make-up folks as those bruises look pretty brutal.
There are two Weepers in DC Comics continuity but neither are metahuman. Father and later son, the Weeper was a bitter criminal who fought Bulletman and Bulletgirl (and later Mary Marvel, and Batman and Robin) back in the Golden Age when those characters were still published by Fawcett Comics, the home of the original Captain Marvel.
Bad Idea Theater
While it is a step backward in logic, it is a step forward for the character of Iris. She and the rest of her half of Team Flash are determined to stop Blacksmith and save Killer Frost. Felicity is able to trace the metal in the bucket Amunet carries around. The bucket bothered me. Aren’t there better ways than a bucket? A chain cape or belt? Or if you have to, have a henchman carry the bucket? Baddie with a bucket is a bad thing.
Killer Frost shows up to save the day, which is disappointing and takes away from Iris taking charge, but the worst part? Blacksmith and the Weeper get away, so we’re basically status quo again. Except of course for the final stinger of the Thinker capturing the Weeper. This is the first time we see him outside his lair, and that floating chair conjures images of Metron of the New Gods. And his comments to the Weeper make me wonder about Ralph. Is the Elongated Man a pawn of the Thinker the same way Wally was of Savitar?
There was a lot to like, and a lot to dislike, in this episode where Barry doesn’t even put on the Flash costume once. In the long run, bits like Joanie stripping or Joe feeling too old to be a dad have little bearing on the big picture, but Blacksmith walking free (and who won’t fall for the same magnet trick twice) and a crooked Elongated Man are bothersome. I dug the introduction of new villains, and in a smaller geekier scale the Hulk and Doctor Who references. This wasn’t a bad episode, all things considered.
Next: The Elongated Man suits up in “When Harry Met Harry…”