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The Flash Team: Iris, Vibe, Caitlin and Elongated Man

Could this really be the end of Carlos Valdes as Cisco/Vibe?

As a total fangirl, I both anticipated and dreaded this week’s episode of The Flash. I knew that the episode would bring back actor Tom Cavanagh in a new iteration of my character crush, Harrison Wells, but the episode title, “The Death of Vibe,” forewarned about a dreadful outcome for another fan favorite, Cisco/Vibe (Carlos Valdes.) To be this worried for the fate of a main character this early in the year is a testament to how well the show has handled the current big bad of the season, Cicada. This character is so dark and ominous that it is easy to assume that death will follow closely in his wake, and it seems reasonable that my favorite superhero team would not be left unscathed.

The episode opens with Nora having a flashback of the future Flash Museum, and her childhood fear of the Cicada section. In her time, Cicada is the unstoppable serial killer of metahumans, and as she explains to the Team, thanks to her muddying up the timeline, he has shown up in their time too early. Luckily, our plucky and impulsive XS has a plan.

In her timeline, there was no Harrison Wells involvement to help capture Cicada, so Nora proposes that they bring in a Wells to help. The team first summons Harrison Wolfgang Wells, the German-accented genius from the original Council of Wells. He is too busy to help but recommends Harrison Sherloque Wells, a French speaking detective who shows up saying he is there to catch their killer.

Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Sherloque Wells in The Death of Vibe

Sherloque gets right to work with his seemingly brilliant deductions of who Cicada really is and how to find him. He sends Nora and Barry off to a farm to catch one David Hersch (comic book fans will recognize this name from the DC Multiverse) and guides the two speedsters through the traps that Hersch has left for them. Nora does not wait for instructions but speeds her way through, setting off an explosion. Luckily they are not seriously hurt and Barry is able to speed off and capture Hersch – a known anti-government bomber. He is not Cicada however.

Sherloque explains that he has already captured Cicada on 37 other earths, and every time it has always been David Hersch. He did not know, thanks to Nora messing up the timeline, that Cicada is a different person here. In Cisco’s eyes, this means that Sherloque is a bit of a charlatan or at the very least a lazy detective. Cisco’s distrust seems to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship and promises to be yet another amusing/antagonistic bromance between Cisco and a Wells from another earth.

Nora does not want to believe that Hersch is not Cicada and wants to get him out of police custody to lock him up in the Pipeline. This prompts Barry to have a heart to heart with Nora. She needs to stop, think, and have a plan before speeding off to help, which only seems to make things worse. It’s a nice father/daughter moment that shows the strong bond between the two of them. I feel bad for Iris, and I’m really looking forward to learning the backstory and hopefully seeing a breakthrough of a strong mother/daughter bond with Nora in episodes to come.

The real Cicada has targeted Vibe as his next victim. After seeing Joe in newspaper photos of Vibe, Cicada goes to the West home and threatens Joe into calling Vibe. Of course, Joe won’t give up his friend Cisco, so Cicada ups the ante by tying Joe up and electrocuting him using his dagger. Joe withstands the torture silently, but Cecile, who has not completely lost her mind-reading powers, wakes and pushes the panic button alerting the Flash team that there is trouble. Cisco is the first to arrive by vibing into the home and Cicada tackles him back into the breach.

Cisco radios in to the team, saying he is in an unknown forest running from Cicada. Sherloque asks Cisco to describe the trees, and then tells him to be quiet so he can listen to the sounds of the forest. With the sounds and the description of the trees, Sherloque helps Iris use the computer to pinpoint which forest Cisco is in. Barry speeds off to the rescue, but Cicada has the advantage, using his daggers to drain both Barry and Cisco of their meta abilities and fights them hand to hand.

Nora, using Barry’s advice, sizzles next to Iris and comes up with a plan to save both Barry and Cisco. She speeds to the forest and throws something (dampening device maybe?) at Cicada which he deflects with his dagger. The thing ricochets to Cisco, causing a massive explosion that leaves nothing but a crater where Cisco had been. Cicada was injured and flies off (yeah, the dude can also fly – which does not bode well for our Team) and Barry is left looking at the gaping hole that holds nothing but the remnants of Cisco’s Vibe suit.

Thankfully, before I could shout out, “Oh no, they really did kill Vibe,” Nora speeds back to the crater with a very much alive Cisco. She explains that since what Cicada really wanted was the death of Vibe, she decided to give him his wish and fakes Vibe’s death. In the explosion, Nora pulled Cisco away, using an interdimensional extrapolator to open a breach and save the day.

In the episode side story: Ralph and Caitlin have continued to work on researching the truth about the death of Caitlin’s father. First, they confront Caitlin’s mother about the forged death certificate, but she lies and tries to persuade Caitlin to move on from the past. Knowing that her mother lied, Caitlin and Ralph break into the lab to steal her mother’s file on her father. They find a copy of a periodic table game that Caitlin used to play with her scientist dad, along with a suicide note. Caitlyn is not convinced that her father would write a note, and further research leads her back to the game and an anagram that reads: Caitlin come find me. The scene then cuts to a silhouette of someone spying on Caitlin – could this be her long-lost father keeping tabs on his little girl? More intrigue to come!

The episode ends with Joe explaining to Iris that given the way Cicada talked about family and how he reacted to his child’s baby blanket, he thinks that Cicada is a father. Cut to a hospital room with a little girl in a coma and an injured and distraught Cicada (without his mask and hood) visiting. The girl’s doctor tells Cicada to show her his wound, and he unbuttons his shirt to reveal a gaping cut on his chest that is not healing. She warns him to stop, but he says not until he’s finished. Uh oh.

Now that Sherloque has joined the team, Nora will be moving into the loft with Barry and Iris. As she gathers up her purse to leave, Sherloque asks Nora why she decided to help Barry exactly when she did. Could it be that someone suggested that she choose the exact moment that changed the timeline? Her hesitation at answering spells out another mystery for the Team to solve this season.

What did you guys think of the episode? Let us know in the comments!


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Cindy Cardozo

Freelance Writer and Critic: Theater, Film, and TV.

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