The Flash S5E5, Review – All Doll’d Up

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We jump in with Team Flash two weeks after the previous episode. Nora still resents Iris, and it’s killing her inside. With a Meta who is the source of dangerous burglaries running around, and Caitlin searching for her father, the focus remains primarily on Nora and Iris finding common ground.

Wreaking havoc this week is Rag Doll, a contorting, creepy-mask wearing Meta who can fold his body to impossible sizes. He uses this to his advantage, sneaking into nearly impossible areas to perform high profile burglaries. Rag Doll is mysterious as he is creepy; his motive isn’t explicit, but he accomplishes each theft without capture. I don’t feel as if Rag Doll was used to his potential– he’s written almost as an afterthought and is easily captured in the end. We’re not told why he’s stealing items, and the team seems to forget about him the moment he’s arrested.

Barry and Iris are in charge of the search for Rag Doll, and throughout the investigation, he’s used only as a segway to speak of Nora’s rejection of Iris. Little by little Iris opens up to how much Nora’s dismissal hurts her until it’s revealed why her future self’s choices so profoundly hurt her. Nora and Iris’ relationship mirrors the one Iris had with her mom, one she regrets not fixing before her passing. It’s not something she wants for Nora, but is stuck on how to address their issues.

We have Cecile to thank for stepping up and finally parenting Nora. She knocks her attitude down a few notches and shares stories about Iris growing up. It seems Nora never asked her grandparents in her own time and was opened to a whole new world of Iris. When she witnesses Iris jumping off a building to save Barry, any reservations she’s had about Iris is thrown out the window. The two are on their way to a much more harmonious relationship thanks to Cecile and Iris being so schway.

While Rag Doll ran around Central City, Caitlin, Cisco, Ralph, and Sherloque took off in search of Caitlin’s dad. While Cisco has traditionally been the one to riff on the Harrison Wells of the season, Ralph has taken the position with Sherloque. The two play well off of each other, not just by personality but with actual detective work. Together, they take Caitlin to old offices and labs in search for clues. Cisco helps where he can by vibing certain items that belonged to Caitlin’s dad, but it’s physically taxing on him.

The search is cut short when Cisco collapses, and it’s revealed Cicada’s dagger left traces of dark matter in his wounds. It explains why he isn’t healing and his powers are limited. The news isn’t good and throws Cisco into a downward spiral as he realizes he may never be Vibe again. Caitlin, even as she’s processing all the new information about her father, comes to the rescue as she reminds him what a brilliant scientist he is– even without his powers, the team would be lost without Cisco.

Caitlin’s search was the most exciting part of this week’s episode. I enjoy a good mystery and having it revealed that Caitlin’s parents might know more about her icy half than they let on is sweetening the pot. I wish they would have used Rag Doll’s creepy factor to their advantage because a horror episode would have been quite enjoyable.

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