NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “The Flash” are present in this review
Barry and Iris are taking their latest vacation on The Flash this week, and that means we get another episode spotlighting the show’s supporting cast. We’re still in an interim period between arch-villains at this point, which has motivated the show to sort out Cisco’s and Kamilla’s exit from the series, along with establishing some new challenges for Joe and Cecile. “Rayo de Luz” continues building off of Joe’s new mission to get to the truth about Kristen Kramer as well, but for the most part, it actually centers mostly around Allegra, after her more villainous cousin, Esperanza/Ultraviolet makes a return to Central City.
Allegra’s character has been noticeably underserved this season. She’s mostly bumbled around other characters’ storylines as the season’s narrative sees fit, likely because her previous major story arc was tied so heavily to Nash Wells, a character who is now effectively erased from existence. Ultraviolet does give Allegra another dangling plot thread to explore however, beyond her supposed romantic tension with Chester, something that The Flash likely pulled out of its ass simply to appease its CW overlords. Fortunately, temporarily taking Barry and Iris out of the picture this week nicely allows The Flash to start further fleshing out its newest Team Flash agents, something that it actually does a solid job of doing here, even if it comes at the expense of our latest forgettable villain-of-the-week. Oh, and the fact that everyone is a massive dick to Chester in this episode for some reason, again. Didn’t we just spend an entire episode making a big spectacle about how Team Flash needs to be nice and welcoming to Chester as Cisco’s replacement?
We don’t even get a cool new metahuman villain this week either! Instead, after Allegra traces Ultraviolet’s location to an assassination attempt against an ER doctor, Ultraviolet is captured and thrown in the Pipeline, at which point she reveals that this doctor experimented on her and mutilated her… Somehow, and for some reason. This is presumably related to Ultraviolet’s powers, but the plot doesn’t explain this very well. It feels like the show just needed a boilerplate target for Allegra and Ultraviolet to both come together against, which they inevitably do, once Ultraviolet is let out, and eventually teleports away (she can do that?!) to finish her mission. If you’re expecting any honest surprises on the way to Allegra’s and Ultraviolet’s inevitable reconciliation, I wouldn’t, because there are practically no curveballs on offer here.
That being said however, the show does hit upon something a little meatier between Allegra and Sue, after Sue tries to insist to Allegra that Ultraviolet can’t be saved, and simply needs to be stopped. Sue and Allegra have what’s honestly a pretty heartfelt debate about their vastly different family backgrounds at this point, and in particular how Allegra’s cousin was her only family for most of her life. Sue even ends up having a decent counterpoint, wherein she reveals that her parents are actually in debt, and were not originally wealthy, so she has reason to doubt the worth of desperate family members. It was Joseph Carver and Black Hole that directly created the Dearbon family fortune, and Sue has struggled to liberate her parents from their addiction to an opulent lifestyle ever since. This is actually a very interesting way to both further develop Sue’s character, without needing the still-absent Ralph in the picture, while also addressing that consequences from Black Hole still linger for many people, even after its destruction.
Even if this week’s mad doctor villain is a little bit lame (though this episode does feature a fairly decent fight sequence between Sue and some goons during this episode’s climax), the promised reformation of Ultraviolet is a fairly sweet prospect, as is Allegra and Chester finally agreeing to have a date. Again, I’m not entirely buying the romance brewing between Allegra and Chester at this point, but maybe it will make more sense as the series goes on. I actually find the tense professional relationship between Joe and Kramer to be much more engaging and well developed, even as Joe appears to find damning evidence that Kramer is dirty. When Joe gives Kramer a chance to confess whatever nefarious deed she’s involved in as well, she reacts angrily, threatening to arrest Joe if he pursues the matter any further. Yikes!
Fortunately, it doesn’t end up going that far. Kramer eventually meets Joe at a bar (this looks like Chillblaine’s bar as well, but it could just be a reused set), at which point, she finally begins to explain herself. As it turns out, Kramer has a foster brother, Adam Creyke, who happened to serve in the military alongside her. Creyke was the true guilty party in whatever metahuman-related foul play unfolded during Kramer’s military career, and Kramer ended up getting sucked into that sabotage, even as Creyke tried to push her away. Kramer has since devoted herself to finding her missing brother, which is another key motivator in Kramer’s stubborn quest to regulate metahuman rights, effectively implying that Creyke may have been the treacherous metahuman that killed Kramer’s squad. Kramer’s unlikely survival during this event could also logically be explained if the metahuman turncoat she’s after is a foster relative. Best of all however is that Joe and Kramer are now finally working towards a common goal, giving Joe a chance to scratch his law enforcement itch again, while Kramer finally doesn’t have to undertake her one-woman mission alone anymore.
As much as this episode primarily focuses on Allegra, and her tension with Sue over Ultraviolet, this Joe/Kramer subplot actually ends up being the most interesting and exciting part of what’s otherwise a somewhat unremarkable filler episode for The Flash. Danielle Panabaker’s engaging direction is working overtime to elevate what’s otherwise a bit of a drab script this week, especially as the series continues to bide its time before its latest major villain arc finally kicks off next week. Oh, and Chillblaine apparently negotiated his way out of Iron Heights on parole, as revealed by a quick epilogue scene with Frost. This is bad because Chillblaine is an insufferable character that’s now threatening to intrude on better storylines once again, plus it’s also bad in-universe because it’s quickly becoming apparent that the Arrowverse’s justice system is pure bullshit, and that Iron Heights is a thoroughly terrible prison that seems to be letting out highly dangerous, superpowered criminals simply because it feels like it at this point.
I suppose that Barry and Iris picked the right moment to take a vacation though. Allegra lucked out with a lame, borderline helpless criminal to apprehend while they were gone, so now everyone can hopefully be on their A-game when The Flash finally starts delivering on its oft-teased Godspeed mystery next week.
- Allegra and Sue addressing their respective family issues
- Danielle Panabaker's sharp direction
- Very promising Joe/Kramer team-up
- Very boring villain-of-the-week
- Ultraviolet's redemption arc is painfully predictable
- Chillblaine's inexplicable parole