Review: The Flash 3×11 – Dead or Alive

Cisco and H.R. are given the spotlight in a generally lighter-hearted episode of The Flash


However much you like the rest of the cast, you have to admit that the combined comic chemistry of Cisco and Wells often provides the highlight of each episode of The Flash. For the first time in a while, the pair got to be the focus in this week’s ‘Dead or Alive.’

When Gypsy comes to return H.R to Earth-19, Cisco challenges her to a trial by combat… to the death! First of all, Cisco’s attraction to bad girls – Plastique, Golden Glider and now Gypsy – is a hilarious running joke and Carlos Valdes and Jessica Camacho had good chemistry. As well as their flirty banter when they should have been enemies, the best part of the episode was the climactic fight through the multiverse. There was Earth-2, an apocalyptic wasteland Earth and, in a brief but brilliant crossover, Supergirl‘s Earth-38. Plus, our first proper look at Cisco in his Vibe costume!

This plot allowed for some shading in of H.R.’s character away from just being the peppy comic relief, particularly building the friendship with Cisco that has been a core characteristic of each version of Wells. What was disappointing, though, was that we didn’t really find out that much about him, apart from the fact that he is secretly broadcasting his novel across the multiverse. There is still a nagging feeling that something is being held back about his true reasons for leaving Earth-19, for instance. Who knows, maybe he’s Savitar?!


Meanwhile, the B-plot involved Iris going all out to investigate a dangerous arms-ring story in order to leave some journalistic legacy behind her, if indeed she is killed by Savitar at the end of the season. While it was a sound idea for Iris to be affected in this way, her reckless reaction to endangering her own life felt odd seeing as she knows that timelines can change. And did anyone else practically forget Iris was a journalist? I swear we haven’t heard anything about her career since season two.

It wasn’t a massive part of the episode, but Julian also had his debut as a member of Team Flash this week. His unflinching cynicism and lack of tact brought a lot of laughs, as he completely failed to make Barry and Cisco feel better about their respective dire situations. That said, he did work out how to defeat Gypsy so he is on the road to being a key part of the group.

All in all, this was an entertaining enough episode that gave some often sidelined characters a chance at the A-plot and introduced a fun new potential returning character.


Speed Thoughts:

  • Gypsy was very different from the comics. On the page, she was a member of Justice League Detroit, alongside Vibe, and had illusion powers not vibing ones. She was, however, an awful Romani stereotype so well done for The CW for changing that.
  • They still aren’t telling Joe about Iris’ future death. Team Flash, why do you never learn that keeping secrets will just come back to bite you later on?
  • Wally wasn’t a drag on the plot for once, as he was allowed to be a care-free superhero sidekick, just like Wally West should be. Let’s hope this continues.




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