But there was a lot to love about this episode before we get to that faithful moment of time.
Spoilers beyond the fold.
So, as we left off last week, Tracy's trap is ready to go, except for one teensy little detail: it needs a massive power source. Right, so that's the goal in this episode.
"Infantino Street" starts off with a montage (brilliantly set to Aurora's "Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)") that shows what Team Flash is up to 24 hours before Iris dies. In terms of cinematography, audio and music usage, and overall atmosphere, this episode is easily one of the best of the season.
And I have to admit, it's one of my favorites overall simply because the main part of it brings back one of the best characters in the Arrowverse: Leonard Snart, aka Captain Cold.
So Cisco discovers that ARGUS has the power source they need, but when they ask Lyla for help, she refuses, saying that the Dominator technology could be used as a mega weapon in the wrong hands, and that because of Flashpoint, she can't trust Barry with it. Man, is Barry ever going to live that down?
|Look, Lyla, dude... I know we look goofy, but please, can we have the macguffin? Pretty please?|
Of course Team Flash isn't going to take no for an answer. They need a master thief, which is how Barry ends up in Siberia in 1892, which is a callback to one of Legends of Tomorrow's better episodes in season one, to talk to Leonard Snart. Why go all the way back to 1892 (and by the way, how the hell did Barry know to go to this moment in time)? Well, because in 2017 Snart is dead of course, since he sacrificed his life for the Legends. So Barry needs a Snart that has been influenced by the Legends enough to be helpful, but that isn't yet dead.
Snart can't pass up the challenge of stealing from ARGUS, so he agrees, as long as Barry agrees to do things his way. Already this episode is awesome, but watching this moment, I was waiting for it to become seriously epic.
And spoiler alert, it was everything I could have wanted from a Captain Cold episode. I can't begin to tell you how much I desperately miss Wentworth Miller's snarky thief.
|I think I cried more in this episode over this guy's inevitable death than over Iris'...|
The ARGUS break-in was boss. Grant Gustin and Wentworth Miller have great chemistry together, and this whole break-in sequence was fabulous. When they get to the cell where the Dominator thing is located, they find a final obstacle: King Shark is in the cell as well, as a sort of guard dog. Barry is willing to kill King Shark and asks for Cold's gun, and that's when Snart realizes that part of the reason he was recruited was that Barry wanted someone there who wouldn't judge him for doing whatever needed doing. Even if that means killing.
But this isn't just any Snart. This is the Legends version, and by this point in season one of Legends, Snart has softened significantly from his badass self and is well on the road to becoming a hero. He suggests that instead of killing King Shark, they use his gun's cold thingie to put the shark to sleep. Not gonna lie, my heart swelled at how amazingly awesome Snart was here. And it made me remember how much I cried at the penultimate season one finale of Legends of Tomorrow.
Anyway, nothing is going to be easy about this heist, so as soon as they grab the thing, the door starts to close. Barry manages to slide under, but Snart gets trapped in the cell with a waking King Shark. Snart tells Barry to just go and leave him behind, but Barry refuses. He sticks around long enough for Cisco to hack the door, but by the time Snart is out, Lyla and a bunch of ARGUS agents have shown up. But Lyla saw the whole heist, and she also saw Barry selflessly risk everything to make sure Snart lived. So she decides that Barry is responsible enough to have the macguffin, and lets him keep it.
Back in Siberia 1892, Snart and Barry share a final moment. Snart gives Barry some advice: being the hero is the only way to save Iris and defeat Savitar, not getting down to Savitar's level. And then as they part ways, Leonard says the line: "There are no strings on me."
In case you don't remember or don't watch Legends, that was Leonard Snart's final line when he dies. ALL the feels were happening in this moment, when I was watching "Infantino Street." I was definitely misty-eyed.
|Thanks, bro. You da man...|
Sidenote: back during the Dominator Arrowverse crossover, one of the Legends said that Snart had died because Barry had inspired him to be a hero. At the time I was like lolwut? because it seemed to me that Snart had made the heroic journey on his own during season one of Legends, and that his sacrifice had been more about his best bud Heatwave than anything else. The Arrowverse crossover seems like it happened a long time ago, but it was really nice to see them actually tie all of this together. It appears that this moment, with King Shark and Barry choosing to nearly sacrifice everything just to save him, really did inspire Snart towards heroism.
Anyway, so now the team has the thing. During the course of the episode, a few other things had transpired: HR had asked Tracy to join Team Flash and she accepted, and Wally and Joe took Iris to Earth-2 without Barry knowing, so that Savitar couldn't find her. There was also a brief scene where it seemed like Killer Frost was having second thoughts about everything, but Savitar tells her to play her role.
So right before Barry returns, Savitar tricks Team Flash (and specifically HR) into revealing where Iris is, and ends up nabbing her on Earth-2 and bringing her back to Infantino Street, where everything is going to go down.
|Aww jeez... not this shit again...|
So anyway, HR is horrified that it's his fault that Savitar has Iris. And during the final fight, when Barry uses the gun, it doesn't work. Tracy is watching from afar and thinks that the trap failed, that she failed, but really the only reason it didn't work was because Savitar had the Philosopher's Stone in his hand. The stone is how he got out of the speedforce trap in the first place. Killer Frost and Vibe are having their final battle as well.
And we are once again treated to the scene of Iris dying as Savitar gets stabby with her.
Yeah, I don't even know how this is going to be undone or dealt with next week.
I've harped time and again this season about how the entire overreaching arc has been the death of Iris, and yet Iris herself has been remarkable absent from a good chunk of this. She has been treated as much like a macguffin as the Dominator thingie was in this episode.
That said, the few scenes Iris had in this episode were fabulous, once again reaffirming my belief that Candice Patton is a desperately under-utilized resource for this show. I think one of my favorite Iris scenes ever will be when she and Joe, sitting in Earth-2, confess things to each other about the past. Iris confessing that she and Barry switched rooms as teenagers so she could be out past her super strict curfew is the cutest thing ever. And the video Iris leaves on Barry's phone in case she does die, is worth a few misty-eyed moments.
This show is based on comic books, where no one dies permanently except Uncle Ben. I stand by my belief that Iris isn't going to die, although she seems pretty dead by the end of this episode. I don't know how it will be undone, but I still think it will be. We'll see if I'm wrong next week, I suppose. But honestly, this killing of every person Barry loves, in the penultimate episode of every season? It's old and tired and it's a trope that needs to die in a fire. Here's hoping this is where it dies for good.
What do you think will happen next week? The trailers for the final episode are cryptic and don't give anything anyway (as it should be), so here's to endless speculation!
The Flash airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on the CW.
Ivonne Martin is a writer, gamer, and avid consumer of all things geek—and is probably entirely too verbose for her own good.