Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 2 - Mixed Signals

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Barry has his hands full when confronted with a new metahuman who has the power to control technology and relationship trauma, as Iris insists on the two of them entering couples' therapy. Cisco is in similarly dire straits, having to deal with an angry Gypsy after he ditches their date night to tend to his duties at STAR Labs.


The film Risky Business (Barry's dance scene while fixing breakfast is a tribute to the movie), The Flash comics of Mike Baron (character of Kilg%re), Geoff Johns (character of Warden Wolfe) and Mark Waid (Barry's watching TV at super-speed, exploration of relationship problems caused by moving faster than significant other) and the Green Arrow/Black Canary comics of Andrew Kreisberg (couple with a secret identity who work together have to talk in code during a couples' therapy session)


The opening sequence in which Kilgoree kills a man by repeatedly stopping an elevator just looks goofy as all get out, even before we see the scowling Kilgore trying to look menacing in his hoodie.

Given Gypsy's workaholic personality when she was introduced, it doesn't ring true that she'd be angry about Cisco having to put life-saving work ahead of their date. Indeed, it seems she'd be more angry about him blowing off work to be with her, regardless of the holiday.

Great play is made of the fact that Ramsey Deacon wasn't in Central City at the time of The Particle Accelerator Explosion so some outside source must have given him super-powers. This is not the first time Joe and Barry have encountered this, as Deathbolt - the villain Team Arrow confronted in A319 - somehow acquired super-powers despite being in Opal City on the night of The Particle Accelerator Explosion.


Grant Gustin does a fantastic job of playing the hyper-happy to be alive again Barry Allen with just the right note of Type-A personality to make his sudden change seem natural and not just a forced character note to create drama.


The sequence in which The Flash takes an out-of-control car apart at super-speed is well executed.

Even more impressive is the sequence where Barry catches the pieces of a fragmentation grenade in mid-explosion and disposes of them safely.

Flash Facts

Much like Supergirl, this season of The Flash has apparently abandoned the classic introduction setting up the show, with the lines "My name is Barry Allen and I am The Fastest Man Alive..."

Ramsey "Kilgore" Deacon is an original character, unique to the DCTVU. His ability to psychically manipulate electronics, however, is a fairly common power-set in DC Comics. Perhaps the most famous technopath in the comics is Victor "Cyborg" Stone - a member of The New Teen Titans and founding member of The Justice League in the New 52 reality. Other prominent technopaths include Brainiac, Gizmo, the Cyborg Superman Hank Henshaw, Metallo and Kilg%re.

The original Kilg%re first appeared in The Flash #3 (Vol. 2) (August 1987) and was created by Mike Baron and Jackson Guice. The original Kilg%re was an electro-mechano-organic lifeform who required energy to live. Effectively, Kilg%re was a sentient computer virus who could control any machine it passed through and even take over human bodies. Originally only perceivable by beings moving at super-speed, The Flash fought it with the help of Cyborg. It would later reemerge to menace The Justice League

More recently, Kilg%re has appeared in the DC Rebirth Cyborg series, where it has formed an alliance with Gizmo and The Calculator against Victor Stone and built a giant robot body for itself.

The DCTVU version of Kilg%re is an piece of malware developed by Ramsey Deacon which was stolen by three other programmers. Deacon later takes the name Kilgore after developing the power to sense the presence of nearby technology and control it mentally.

The sequence in which The Flash saves one of Deacon's victims by taking a car apart while it is in motion is a classic stunt from The Flash comics.

Barry makes reference to the HBO series Silicon Valley.

At one point, when Kilgore is controlling the new Flash suit, Barry's armor inflates, causing him to appear incredibly round and overweight. This is a visual nod to The Flash #115, where a special gun caused The Flash to absorb moisture and gain weight, swelling up like a balloon.

This episode marks the first appearance of Warden Wolfe - the man in charge of Iron Heights prison. The penultimate scene of the episode show Wolfe menacingly staring at Ramsey Deacon in his cell - a hint at his true sinister nature.

First appearing in The Flash: Iron Heights (August 2001) and created by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, Warden Geoffrey Wolfe is a no-nonsense lawman who hates criminals and vigilantes with a passion, particularly metahumans. Ruling the Iron Heights prison with an iron fist, Wolfe adopts extreme measures to keep his charges in-line. This made him unpopular with idealistic cops and The Flash but they reluctantly were forced to accept Wolfe's rule as he was effective in keeping The Rogues locked up. A metahuman himself, Wolfe has the power to cause the muscles of people close to him to seize up, rendering them unable to move.

Warden Wolfe was reintroduced into The DC Comics Rebirth Universe in The Flash #32 - a comic which came out the week before this episode originally aired.


Barry notes that the impact marks on the ceiling and the repeated lateral stress fissures on the frame of the elevator indicate that Kurt Weaver didn't just drop to his death in the elevator - he was shaken to death.

Cisco says the quantum algorithm of The Cortex at STAR Labs should be able to decrypt the hacker code he discovered in the elevator.

Cisco builds Barry a new suit. In addition to being a brighter shade of red, the suit is equipped with self-repairing armor, nano-liquid circuitry, full-spectrum scanning and a custom HUD (Head-Up Display) filled with maps, building schematics and menus for Barry's favorite restaurants. It also contains energy weapons that shoot from Barry's palms, a built-in defibrillator (like the original costume), a dead-lock feature that prevents the costume from being removed (so a villain can't find out his secret identity), a self-destruct sequence (The Babel Protocol) and an inflatable raft to prevent Barry from drowning if he loses his speed while running on water.

One thing that Cisco did not build into the suit? An oxygen tank.

Caitlin determines that the virus code used by the hacker looks like an organic virus with a digital sub-based.. This leads the team to conclude that their hacker is a metahuman whose powers let him control machines.

Most organic viruses mutate in order to avoid being killed by antibodies.

An injection of glucose can be used to treat insulin shock.

Cisco determines that Deacon's powers are derived from the binary code in his DNA. He and Caitlin develop a compound encoded with a numerical string pattern of ones and zeroes to invert the order of the code.

The Thinker is able to extrapolate the ending of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony after one morning's study of his 600 other works.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Caitlin, Iris and Wally are facing the opening breach. Caitlin and Iris have guns raised. Suddenly Cisco runs into the room and waves his hands, standing between them and the breach.)
Cisco: Hold your fire!
(Gypsy jumps from the breach and smiles at the crowd.)
Gypsy: Hey.
(Iris lowers her gun but looks somewhat annoyed.)
Cisco: (To Gypsy) Hey. You want to give me a little more notice next time? You know people who want to kill us come through here, right?
Gypsy: Oh. My bad, guys.
Wally: Cisco, that was.... very heroic of you to just jump in, protecting Gypsy like that. It's pretty impressive.
Cisco: Dude, I'm protecting you from her! She would have vaporized you guys.
(Wally and Caitlin both scoff.)
Gypsy: He's not lying.
(Gypsy makes a gun-shooting gesture at them.)
Cisco: As you were.

Dr. Finkel: So what would you say your goals are for this session?
Iris: Uh, well... I just want to know that Barry hears my concerns about our issues with miscommunication.
(As Iris is talking, Barry's phone starts to vibrate. He pulls it from his pocket and looks at it.)
Barry: I've go to go!
Iris: You've got to go?!
(Barry shows her his phone. Joe's Panic Alarm app has gone off.)
Iris: He's got to go.
Barry: Yeah. 
(Barry starts to get up.)
Iris: Umm...
Barry: Sorry. Ah...
Dr. Finkel: (stunned) This was...
Barry: Sorry.
(Barry leaves the room. Dr. Finkel begins taking notes again.)
Iris: You're going to write down that he ran out of here, aren't you?
Dr. Finkel: ... yes!

(Shelia is going out of her way to antagonize Ramsey.)
Shelia: No! I'm not going to apologize because after four years you finally found some balls!
Ramsey: I found something else. Something I never had with my family. Or at MIT. Or with any of you. 
Shelia: Really? And what was that?
Ramsey: Power.
(Shelia suddenly has a pained expression as Ramsey looks at the insulin pump strapped to her side.)
Ramsey: (with mock sympathy)
Oh, you're not still diabetic are you?
(Shelia looks to her side in horror as she begins to gasp for breath.)

Cisco: You're mad at me!
Gypsy: I said it was fine.
Cisco: No, no, no! Rule Number One: When a girl says "it's fine", it is not fine!
Caitlin: Amen!
(Cisco and Gypsy just stare at her.)
Caitlin: I'm going to go.


Cisco sets up a 1,000x sped-up loop of all his favorite shows so he could catch up on what he missed after six months in The Speed Force. This suggests that Barry was not aware of what was happening in the world outside of The Speed Force.

Barry is a Game of Thrones fan.

Cisco is still a CCPD Tech Consultant a.k.a. "The Weird Tech Guy", according to Joe.

Caitlin says that she and Ronnie went through couples' therapy together after they started working together.

Caitlin has to struggle to keep herself from changing to Killer Frost in moments of stress, such as an alarm going off.

When Barry and Iris are in the waiting room, Barry sees a newspaper whose front-page headline reads "Mayor Queen Is The Green Arrow". He looks to Iris questioningly about this and she hisses they will talk about it later. This is a nod to the events of A601, where Oliver Queen's secret identity is revealed in the press.

Cisco discovers the common link between the victims - they were all the programmers behind a malware package called Kilg%re. Ramsey Deacon was screwed out of a fortune by his three business partners and is now out for revenge.

Wally West likes punk music.

One-One-One Day is an Earth-19 holiday that seems to be equivalent to Valentine's Day on Earth One. It is meant to be spent with a person you feel that your soul unites with to form one soul. Hence the name, because One Soul + One Soul = One Soul. Gypsy wanted to spend One-One-One Day with Cisco.

Earth 19 also has a holiday called St. Shaquille O'Neal's Day. It apparently does not have Christmas or, at least, does not feature Santa Claus as part of the Christmas celebration, as Gypsy mocks the idea of a man breaking into your home and eating your cookies.

Barry is now fast enough to throw a lighting bolt at himself.

Ramsey Deacon is imprisoned in a special cell at Iron Heights behind three layers of signal-dampening walls. He is not allowed any contact with any kind of electronics - not even electrical lighting. He is only allowed to read paper books by candlelight and laments the loss of his Kindle.

Joe and Barry determine that Ramsey Deacon wasn't in Central City at the time of The Particle Accelerator Explosion four years earlier. Deacon admits that he was given his superpowers from another source but says nothing else, save that the police are about to have their hands full.

Schubert's Unfinished Eighth Symphony was a childhood favorite of The Mechanic.

The Thinker and The Mechanic refer to Ramsey Deacon as "Subject One". He is apparently the first of a dozen metahumans they need to locate.

The Bottom Line

Largely entertaining, despite a weak script dependent on far too much forced drama. Kilgore fails to be a menacing villain and most of the sequences - from the opening elevator scene to Barry's fighting his own suit - are directed in a goofy fashion that reminds one of the bad parts of Richard Lester's Superman 2. Still, the cast manages to carry on and it's nice to see Joe and Wally being given something to do for a change and I like the new, more confident Caitlin Snow.

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