THE FLASH Review: “Dead or Alive”

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“Dead or Alive” is an example of how much this show has grown and learned from its mistakes. is truly an ensemble show with everyone focused on fighting the future. Every member of Team Flash is needed in this week’s episode. It’s too bad H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) is a fugitive on his Earth (Earth-19 to be exact). Gypsy (Jessica Camacho) arrives to take H.R. back to their Earth to be sentenced and stepping up to plate this week is Cisco (Carlos Valdes).

As we learned from the mid-season premiere, the team is working together protecting Central City and figuring out how to prevent the impending death of Iris (Candice Patton). However, Gypsy shows up to take H.R. Wells back to face trial on Earth-19 as H.R. violated a serious law by traveling from his earth to be on Team Flash. Since breach travel is banned, he is to be sentenced to death. Cisco, partly smitten by Gypsy’s beauty and partly feeling indebted to Wells, opts to face Gypsy in trial by combat as they both have similar powers.

The Flash -- "Dead or Alive" -- Image FLA311a_0247b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells and Jessica Camacho as Gypsy -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

The metahuman of the week story works here as we get character development for both H.R. and Cisco. H.R. came to Team Flash to do something important and not have to look in the mirror and see himself as a fraud. This bit of character development shed some light on H.R., a character who I’ve found to be hit or miss so far. Hearing Cisco say that H.R. depends on them and that for once he wants to be there for Harrison Wells as the last two acted as a mentor (not to mention had all the answers) was good character growth for Cisco. H.R. and Cisco were never on the best of terms, so it is very noble he would face Gypsy in a trial by combat. Humbling Gypsy was a bonus as well. In true, H.R. fashion Gypsy finding him as he was broadcasting his stories out into the multiverse was very funny. Cisco telling H.R. that his moment has yet to come was very touching as well.

Iris is trying to leave her mark on the world to leave a legacy behind before she dies. Well, Iris goes about this in the worst way possible by taking on a story (she’s still a reporter) about an arms dealer. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) recruits Barry (Grant Gustin) to talk her out of it, but Iris being the headstrong woman that she is, goes out and recruits Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) to steal files from their father and locate the dealer. Iris goes so far to even deceive Wally as he scopes out the hideout the dealer sells from, as she charges in confronting him head on standing in front of his gun. Unfortunately, they almost destroyed a Central City PD sting operation that took a long time to set up. Seeing as Central City loves Kid Flash now, Iris promises Wally the front page and covers him instead of the arms dealer. It’s good to show that Iris is doing everything in her power to leave behind a legacy and to show she’s still a reporter, something I thought was not going to be brought up again. I do hope in the coming weeks, the show finds a good story for her to cover to show off her investigative journalist skills as well as having her be on the level of Lois Lane is on for being world renowned.

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Julian (Tom Felton) is integrating into the team nicely by setting up a training course for Cisco and even showing Cisco and Barry Gypsy’s one weakness in her fighting style giving Cisco the advantage he needs to beat her. His social ineptness was hilarious as everyone kept giving him the side-eye and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) trying her best to fix things. Julian is filling in the hole H.R. can’t really fill, so his use science and knowledge of metahumans are proving so far to be invaluable. Tom Felton is still credited as a guest appearance, hopefully, The CW and Felton himself figure out a way for him to be a permanent fixture on the show as Julian is still working to better himself. Not to mention his arc this season has been really good so far.

Barry sharing the spotlight this episode is something I really enjoyed as he tries to help Cisco take the lead and even enjoys having Wally out on the streets with him taking down bad guys. The smile he gets on his face when the cheerleaders cheer Wally on is one I recognize. It’s the brother dynamic as Barry acts as a big brother to Wally. Barry recognizing that Wally is faster than him also gives him great joy to realize that it’s not gonna be him who beats Savitar, but Wally. And thus Barry begins his training of teaching Wally everything he knows.

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Can Wally beat Savitar? Is Wally the key to fighting the future? Will H.R. prove that there’s more to him than meets the eye? Stay tuned true believers!

TB-TV-Grade-A

Season 3, Episode 11 (S03E11)
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8PM on The CW

Read all of our reviews of The Flash here. 
Read our reviews of more of your favorite shows here.


A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is an indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop).
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @bwood0824
Keep up with all of Brandon’s reviews here.

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