The Flash – Season 8 Episode 11

Apr 14, 2022 | Posted by in TV
Flash

“Resurrection”

The Flash has the team work to find a way to stop the Black Flame and bring Ronnie Raymond back in the process.

Caitlin being confronted with the possible return of her dead husband made for a striking ending to the previous episode. Her bad fortune when it comes to relationships has become something of a joke outside of the show but this episode leans into the mental impact of her relationship history. It started with Ronnie’s death; something she never actually put behind her.

Flash

This will be a tough one to explain

She recognises the impact Ronnie’s death had on her and how she closed herself off in the wake of that loss. Brief dalliances with Hunter Zolomon and Julian notwithstanding she has been mostly relationship free since that point. Her experiences with Hunter and Julian were enough to dissuade her and her belief that she could find someone to create that sort of connection with dwindled over time. The demands of being a member of Team Flash and the impact it has on the personal lives of those on the team is oddly something the show hasn’t dealt with to any degree over the years. Outside partners are rare with Kamilla being the only real example of that and she was brought into the fold quickly.

Other than that there’s limited evidence that the members of Team Flash have lives outside of each other. Periodically a character will mention a colleague, a family member will show up or side characters associated with CCPD will play a role in some way but for the most part they keep to each other. This isn’t unique to this show as many TV shows confine the social circle to the primary cast.

Ronnie is a character who died at the beginning of season 2 when he sacrificed himself to close the singularity that had appeared above Central City. Since then he has appeared in different capacities a number of times but has remained dead. This episode appears to undo that by having the team engage in some technobabble in order to bring him back. The details aren’t important as the plot is framed around whether it’s right to bring Ronnie back and if it’s even possible to do so.

Flash

Don’t trust strangers on the internet

His death was impactful for more than his connection to Caitlin; Barry also carried around a lot of guilt because Ronnie’s sacrifice meant that he survives. This means that Barry held himself responsible for this profound loss in Caitlin’s life. He also recognises the value of Ronnie’s sacrifice and sees his death as being final. It’s an odd position for Barry to occupy as he has experienced far stranger things than the resurrection of someone believed to be dead so his stance on this is purely plot driven so that someone is in opposition to Caitlin. It has to be Barry so that he can decide to override Caitlin’s wishes as leader. It’s painfully transparent and doesn’t come from the established characteristics.

This serves as yet another repetitive lesson for Barry. When Ronnie is supposedly brought back he admits that he was wrong not to trust Caitlin at face value and apologises to her. Trusting his team is something he has learned time and time again without it ever sinking in so there is no weight to his apology because past experience suggests he will simply forget it almost instantly. It’s a conflict lacking in substance because it never comes to a head and is quickly dismissed like most internal conflicts within Team Flash.

Another conflict of sorts cropped up in the episode with Allegra urging Chester to not be so trusting to strangers on the internet in regards to his technology. He brings up a positive example of one of his followers using his design to help a lot of people but Allegra rightfully doesn’t have the same kind of faith in others that Chester does. She points out that his designs could be used in harmful ways and urges him to keep them to himself. He agrees to do so in this instance without much in the way of protest so it doesn’t quite qualify as a conflict. It does most likely foreshadow one of Chester’s inventions being used against Team Flash in future.

Flash

Happier simpler times

There is slight development in the Iris time sickness plot. Tinya is upset with her for taking her mother from her immediately after they connected so makes Iris disappear somehow which leaves Sue to deliver the bad news. There is a compelling emotional beat associated with Tinya having her mother ripped from her and blaming Iris for it but the Time Sickness plot remains a confusing addition with no apparent purpose. Barry dealing with the loss of Iris has some potential to be interesting and mirrors Caitlin’s experience with Ronnie to an extent.

It goes without saying that Caitlin carries the episode. Flashbacks to Ronnie and Caitlin’s early days provide context to their relationship and underscore her motivation to bring him back. The flashbacks are perfectly functional if lacking in depth. They depict their first meeting, the point they got engaged and there’s a reminder of Ronnie being affected by the particle accelerator so they hit the highlights. Robbie Amell impresses as Ronnie and he has excellent chemistry with Danielle Panabaker. Together they sell Caitlin’s need to have him back in her life by presenting their relationship as a comfortable one that fulfils both of them. The proposal in particular was a really strong scene and an example of a simpler time in Caitlin’s life where the complications she routinely faces didn’t exist.

In a refreshing development Caitlin is completely upfront about Ronnie being the dark flame rather than the usual pattern of hiding the truth from the team as she pursues bringing him back on her own. This moves the plot forward very quickly and allows the team to pass comment on their reading of the situation. The return of the flame being drawn to grief was baffling as a reveal after the previous episode discounted that possibility. Throwing in the detail of Caitlin knowing -or happening to be near- the victims also didn’t really work as it’s something that should have been noticed before this point when trying to determine a pattern to the killings. There was no suggestion of guilt on Caitlin’s part that innocent people had died due to association with her or proximity to her. It’s not her fault but as a compassionate person it’s something that should weigh on her rather than be treated as an incidental detail. Caitlin and the rest of Team Flash come across as cold when failing to emotionally react to this fact.

Flash

Another one back from the dead

Caitlin breaking up with Marcus doesn’t work as a moment because limited time has been spent establishing developing their connection. As an example of Caitlin’s readiness to move on with her life and try to build a relationship with someone it’s effective because it develops her as a character but as with Cisco and Kamilla it’s impossible to invest in their relationship because it hasn’t been a priority in any given episode. The double date was a reasonable attempt but it fell short of providing much grounding to this relationship because it was more about Caitlin’s relationship with Frost.

Her honesty with Marcus was certainly commendable but also a lot to throw at him when he hasn’t been inducted into the lunacy that is her daily life. She tells him she works with the Flash and that her dead husband might come back to life. Caitlin showing him respect by being honest with him says a lot about her character especially with the pattern of dishonesty among the characters in this show but the actual execution of this left a lot to be desired. In fairness Caitlin comes across as misguided with her suggestion of playing their relationship by ear; something that Marcus rightly calls her out on before opting to part ways and wish her luck on reconnecting with her lost husband. It doesn’t track for Caitlin to be so naive and does her character a disservice to not realise that there is no way she could pursue a relationship with Marcus while figuring out what it means to have Ronnie back in her life. With more attention on the Caitlin/Marcus relationship the end of it may have had some emotional resonance but the interaction comes across as a means to an end which is fitting in a way as this only existed as a development point for Caitlin.

Ronnie’s resurrection plays out typically with a fairly bland set piece preceding it but the aftermath is done well. The brief moments of bliss among Team Flash are endearing as they consider the positive impact of having Ronnie back in their lives. Newer members are excited to get to know him and long serving members look forward to having him around again. Of course it’s short lived but character beats like this are few and far between. Seeing Caitlin so content and unburdened is a rarity with Danielle Panabaker playing the lack of stress wonderfully.

The ending presumably sets up the villain that will occupy the remainder of the season. At this point there isn’t a lot to say about it but the prospect of an antagonist wearing the face of someone that Team Flash -and specifically Caitlin- cares about automatically creates tension. Robbie Amell already delivered a strong turn as the villain so as long as the CGI Darkstorm form is kept to a minimum there’s a lot of potential for a strong antagonistic relationship to be created. It’s certainly a personal issue for Caitlin because of the part she played in bringing this threat about and the fact that it looks like Ronnie.

Flash

The next problem


Verdict

A good episode that features some strong emotionally driven content for Caitlin and welcome callbacks to simpler times. The prospect of Ronnie returning from the dead is a strong one and the emotional impact on Caitlin is well established within this episode. It also holds weight for Barry who carries guilt around due to the circumstances of Ronnie’s death. A manufactured conflict is created between Barry and Caitlin in order to facilitate another repetitive lesson for Barry that exists only for the purposes of there being opposition to Caitlin’s plan to bring him back. It has to be Barry because he can override her as leader of the team but it lacks in substance and is quickly dismissed. Another conflict of sorts crops up between Allegra and Chester with Allegra urging him not to be so trusting of strangers on the internet. She points out his tech might be misused by other and Chester agrees to take her advice in this instance. This likely foreshadows one of Chester’s inventions being used against them in the future. The time sickness plot receives a slight development through Tinya being upset with Iris for taking her mother right after they connected. She makes Iris disappear somehow leaving Sue to deliver the bad news. There is a compelling emotional beat associated with Tinya having her mother ripped from her but the Time Sickness gets in the way of it. Barry dealing with the loss of Iris has some potential to be interesting and mirror’s Caitlin’s experience with Ronnie to an extent.

It goes without saying that Caitlin carries this episode. Flashbacks to Ronnie and Caitlin’s early days provide context to their relationship and underscore her motivation to bring him back. The flashbacks are perfectly functional if lacking in depth. Robbie Amell impresses as Ronnie and he has excellent chemistry with Danielle Panabaker. Together they sell Caitlin’s need to have him back in her life by presenting their relationship as a comfortable one. The proposal in particular was a strong scene and an example of a simpler time in Caitlin’s life. In a refreshing development Caitlin is completely upfront about Ronnie being the dark flame rather than the usual pattern of hiding the truth from the team as she pursues bringing him back on her own. This moves the plot forward quickly and allows the team to pass comment on her reading of the situation. The return to the flame being drawn to grief was baffling as the previous episode discounted that possibility. Throwing in the detail of the victims being connected to Caitlin in some way didn’t really work as it’s something that should have been noticed before this point. There was also no suggestion of guilt on Caitlin’s part which runs counter to her compassionate nature. Even though she wasn’t responsible she would have felt responsible. Caitlin breaking up with Marcus doesn’t work as a moment as the work hasn’t been done establishing their relationship. Her honesty was commendable but Caitlin comes across as naïve which does her character a disservice. Ronnie’s resurrection plays out typically with a bland set piece but the aftermath is done well. The brief moments of bliss among Team Flash are endearing as they consider the positive impact of having Ronnie back in their lives. Of course it’s short lived but character beats like this are few and far between. Seeing Caitlin so content and unburdened is a rarity with Danielle Panabaker playing the lack of stress wonderfully. The ending where Ronnie reveals himself to be Deathstorm sets up a compelling antagonist for the rest of the season with a strong personal connection to Caitlin and the team.

Overall
  • 7/10
    Resurrection - 7/10
7/10

Summary

Kneel Before…

  • the emotional impact of Ronnie’s return on Caitlin being well established throughout the episode
  • Robbie Amell impressing as Ronnie
  • great chemistry between Robbie Amell and Danielle Panabaker
  • the aftermath of Ronnie’s resurrection being done well
  • a striking ending
  • a strong emotional beat related to Tinya losing her mother

 

Rise Against…

  • the flashbacks being functional
  • more bland Time Sickness content
  • Caitlin’s connection to the victims being a weak plot point
  • Barry and Caitlin’s manufactured conflict
  • the lack of impact to the Caitlin/Marcus breakup scene

 

What did you think? Select your rating in the “User Review” box below

Sending
User Review
8/10 (3 votes)

We’d love to know your thoughts on this and anything else you might want to talk about. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter or just leave a comment in the comment section below. You’ll need an account for Disqus but it’s easy to set up. Don’t forget to share your rating in the “User Review” box

If you want to chat to me directly then I’m on Twitter as well.