Skipping off into Christmas, Team Flash hardly seems affected by the last crossover event. They’re preparing for the holidays, and everyone is in a great mood, despite the looming threat of the Thinker hanging over them.
Our villain has been quiet thus far, which isn’t a good sign considering how cleverly strategic him and Marlize are. Perhaps if Team Flash were on high alert, they wouldn’t be surprised by Caitlin and Barry’s kidnapping. Amunet Black surprised Caitlin in Jitters and effortlessly whisks her away, with The Thinker similarly stunning Barry and dragged him off as well. While it’s clear the events are connected, Iris is desperate to keep the team together, and so chooses for the team’s focus to be on finding both of their missing members.
Not only is Cisco overwhelmed by the task of the job at hand, but their own system is also having difficulty searching for two different Metahuman signatures. Iris is committed to her Flash family. Time and time again they are separated due to whatever villain is at hand; she doesn’t want to choose to lose one or the other. Harry is the voice of reason in the situation, and like it or not Iris needs to decide who to search for. They can’t split their resources searching for both teammates.
Caitlin and Barry are in vastly different situations, with Barry facing the lesser of two evils. The Thinker is not vicious, and he draws his scenes in a long poetic way to enjoy them. Amunet Black is not the same visionary as the Thinker– she kills indiscriminately, and Caitlin is already on her bad side. While Barry is merely a prisoner, Caitlin has to perform a risky surgery on a Metahuman with mind-reading abilities or face a painful death.
Iris’ choice is made with the information she has at hand; when Barry is gone she’s the go-to leader for the team. She orders the crew to pool their resources into searching for Caitlin, and they find her not a moment too soon. While she managed to escape Amunet Black’s backend hospital, she was facing her in a dangerous showdown. Without Dibny and Cisco there to lend a hand, we really could have lost her.
While struggling with her decisions, Barry appears after managing to escape The Thinker’s cell. His altercation is a little bit ridiculous as the two fight mid-air, but once free he can return to Star Labs unharmed. The whole scene went in Barry’s favor much too easily. We’re under the impression both Clifford and Marlize DeVoe are too smart to let Barry run off without much of a scuffle, so why could he escape with just an amateur fight?
From kidnapping to Christmas, the events were planned out perfectly. Clifford’s body is failing him; a deal with Amunet Black ensures he gets a younger body to help continue his plan. Specifically, the body of the mind-reading Metahuman Dominice Lanse cinches his victory. His old body is used to frame Barry for murder, leaving the Speedster to be found with the murder weapon and body in his home on Christmas.
It’s frustrating to see Barry accept the setup; he realizes what Clifford did at least a full minute before the police arrive. It’s incredibly easy to prove Barry did not commit it if he was not found with the murder weapon, but Barry accepts his fate without much protest. While DeVoe has cast doubt with CCPD with a restraining order against Barry, he would have had a fighting chance had Barry ran. We’ll have to wait a few weeks to see how the trial will go, and what the city will do with The Flash locked up.