“All Doll’d Up” Review of S5E5 of THE FLASH

This week we find a version of Ragdoll that seems pulled straight out of Secret Six, just as creepy as the Gail Simone and Dale Eaglesham creation. We find Nora and Iris still working through their estrangement. And, the hunt continues for Caitlin’s dad, with help from a still-wounded Vibe. Lot’s of parent issues in this episode…and one of the best episodes of the young season.  Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!


NOTE: This review is posting prior to THE FLASH being seen in the Pacific Time Zone USA. If you haven’t seen the show yet, STOP NOW and come back after viewing the episode – you’ll be glad you did!

Nora has moved into the West house with Papa Joe and Cecile. The relationship with Iris is even more frayed, and Iris fears that she will lose all connection with Nora. Even more so, Iris fears becoming the type of mother Nora remembers. Through this episode, Barry tries to show her that she can choose another path…that the future doesn’t have to play out fully this way.  More on that later…

We see Peter Merkel, aka Ragdoll, committing a number of crimes with a singular purpose. He wants to make his victims suffer something personal, something that makes them as miserable as…himself. In this version of Ragdoll, he gained his powers during the Enlightenment, when he was crushed by a chunk of the satellite.  But, his troubles began far earlier. His mother basically disowned him after a lifetime of a cold, distant relationship. That gave him the motivation to make others suffer as well…and he’s really good at it.

Just a note – not only was the mask a dead ringer for the comic, but the movements and sound effects that accompanied them were simply outstanding.  If you weren’t creeped out at least a little bit by Ragdoll in this show, I don’t know what else I can say. Great job with the effects on this one!

While this is going on we see Caitlin, Cisco, Ralph and Sherloque trying to track down Caitlin’s dad.  They are getting closer with Cisco’s help – but every time he vibes he experiences greater and greater pain. He still has traces of that dagger in his hands – Vibe may really be “dead” for now, and Cisco is worried that he doesn’t have the ability to contribute to the team now. By episode’s end Cisco does find a new purpose…by taking over the remaining DeVoe satellites that are still in orbit, creating new “eyes in the sky” for tracking down just about anything. That “anything” ranges from chunks of the satellite that Barry and Nora took down to…finding Caitlin’s dad? Not yet…but stay tuned for future episodes.

Also while all this is taking place, Cecile finds a way to show Nora all the best qualities of Iris…convincing her to meet the Iris that exists today instead of the mother she remembers. Cecile is getting Nora’s attention, and it is making a difference.

But…Ragdoll strikes again! This time, he wants Iris to suffer…by killing Barry!

How does he have any hope of accomplishing this, you say? By knocking Barry out, putting the power dampening cuffs on him, and pushing him off the top of the apartment building!

Nora isn’t answering the phone because she is out with Cecile and left her phone at home. That leaves Ralph and Iris to try and save the day. They arrive to find Ragdoll ready to…

…okay Ragdoll really DOES…Push Barry off the building!

Nora arrives home and finally gets the message, so she saves Barry, right?


Don’t worry, Barry is saved. But it’s the way he is saved that is impressive here.  Iris jumps off the building, catching up to Barry in midair! She has the key to the power dampening cuffs and gets them off Barry just in time for him to be able to save them both!

Nora is impressed, as is all of Team Flash…and it gives Iris and Nora a chance to finally connect. And, as the new satellite connections come on line, we are set to end this episode.


  • So, who actually captures Ragdoll? Ralph, of course…by trapping him in his own stretchiness (is that a word?).
  • Prior to that, Iris and Ralph got to the building by using something Ralph read in a comic book…using his stretching abilities to simulate Spider-Man’s swinging through town.
  • The new satellites are named Hal, Robbie, Data, and Colossus – perfect here.
  • I’m glad that we have some resolution to the conflict between Iris and Nora. There may still be some issues, but we didn’t need that level of conflict all season, so this is a good time to make a turn for the better.
  • Caitlin and Cisco had some great moments in this episode – and we are far from done with the storyline that should solve the mystery surrounding the origins of Killer Frost…as well as the mystery surrounding whatever happened to her dad.

SUMMARY: This was an excellent episode all around for me.  I was a bit concerned coming into the show as to how well they could pull off the Ragdoll character. Those concerns were unfounded as the special effects were excellent (and creepy, but that’s sort of the point with Ragdoll).  It was a better choice to go with the look of this version of Ragdoll rather than the Golden Age version – and they pulled it off quite well. In this episode, it seemed that every secondary plot thread pushed the show (and the season) forward in a positive way, and we seem set for some pretty amazing things ahead. I’ll give this episode a 9/10 – but that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!


3 thoughts on ““All Doll’d Up” Review of S5E5 of THE FLASH

  1. Patrick Turvey

    Agreed. Probably the best episode of this season so far. I did find that Iris saving him in mid air thing a little questionable though, for it’s another reason for Iris to think too highly of herself and how did she catch him up that well (he is a man with the weight of a chair on his back)?

    1. Kelson

      Weight doesn’t make a difference in falling speed. Air resistance does. Iris positioned herself like a diver, while Barry and the chair were falling with more surface area blocking the air, which would let Iris fall faster than Barry. In reality the building probably wasn’t high enough for her to catch up *before* they hit the ground (unlike skydivers), but I’m willing to go with the exaggeration since they at least put a little thought into it.


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