The Flash: 4.05 Girls Night Out
Well, it was always going to be difficult to top or even match last week’s episode Elongated Journey into Night. However, Girls Night Out is well executed, continuing the momentum at a steady pace. Frankly speaking, I’ve mixed feelings about this episode, on one hand you’ve some superb humour from the entire cast, continued story for Caitlin (which I’ve been complaining about) and the female characters taking the helm. On the other hand you’ve zero Flash (not even Barry suited up), poor villains and a fourth box entry that’s completely expendable.
Girls Night Out separates the genders as Barry and Iris celebrate their bachelor and bachelorette parties. Cisco arranges a relaxing evening drinking and watching old home movies. Enter Ralph; still as funny as ever, crashing the “party” and taking them all to a strip club. Barry is given a concoction by Cisco that renders both him and The Flash out of action, as when you’re intoxicated you can’t channel the speed force, I guess. Iris and the girls (Cecile, Caitlin and a nice cameo from Felicity), however, go for some quiet drinks when they’re interrupted by Norvock (meta henchman) who demands the return of Caitlin. After a strong refusal, she turns into Killer Frost, attacking him and running away, much to the shocked girl's dismay.
Finally, after weeks of me complaining about it, we get an episode that explains Caitlin’s whereabouts for the past 6 months. We discover she turned to a “meta-human dealer” for help in controlling Frost, in exchange for security work. Enter Amunet Black, portrayed by Katee Sackhoff, a meta who can control some forms of metal, manipulating it to her will. Unfortunately this villain just doesn’t cut it. Although Ms Sackhoff brings uniqueness to the role, that same aspect hinders the character. Whoever’s decision it was to give her an English accent made a mistake, it’s horrible and lessens the fear factor, coming across more cheesy and comedic.
Additionally, who green lit the idea of her carrying around a bucket full of metal shards? Could this not have been made part of her outfit? It seems she’s going to return, which I welcome, but please come up with something smart so she doesn't have to carry that bucket around and isn’t so easily defeated. The whole Caitlin mystery was handled very well; from it we are introduced to new foes and it developed her character beautifully. However, her alter ego becoming one of the good guys feels cheap and sudden.
The driving force of this episode was to showcase the female cast member's strength, talents and capabilities at accomplishing impossible scenarios without The Flash (or men in general). But then they create a very awkward scene where the girls, emulating a sports team, put their hands in and utter, "hashtag feminism"...Yes #feminism. Regardless, I thought this was tackled well, Iris, who I mentioned had been side lined after Barry’s return, gets a chance to show her leadership capabilities, portraying what she must of done in the The Flash’s absence.
Keeping to the feminist theme, we return to the strip club, where Joe discovers that Cecile’s daughter is working as a dancer. This awkward encounter is the opposite of what the episode represents. However, cleverly turned on its head, she explains she is doing feminist research on the way women are treated. I'm genuinely confused by this, it's clever dialog but it wasn't clear if she was being ironic or not.
Well now I suppose it’s time to talk about the meta that fills our fourth box. The reason he isn’t mentioned so far is because he receives maybe three minutes of screen time, gets four words of dialog, (“get away from me”, plus some groaning), and is generally uninteresting. Nicknamed The Weeper, his tears are a strong narcotic, he’s held prisoner by Amunet who beats him so she can sell the drug, and eventually him, on the black market.
All in, Girls Night Out is a bit all over the place. Although I respect the overall theme and thought it was well executed, there’s simply too many side plots and too many characters / meta’s introduced. The humour was great, but the tone was a bit hit and miss; continuously switching tones between serious, dramatic and comedic, it felt disjointed. Also there’s too much side story to keep up with, Cecile being pregnant, the introduction of her daughter, the Thinker creating the Weeper (I think), not to mention everything that happens with Caitlin. Simply, this needed a more singular, focused and cohesive story.
Not the worst, if nothing else it has filled our fourth box. Next please.