“Keep it Dark” Review of S8 E17 of THE FLASH

The group of reporters at the Central City Citizen have had a hard time accepting Allegra as their leader. This episode doubles down on their reasons for mistrust, as they face danger together without knowing all the facts. Allegra may be a light-powered meta, but she has been keeping a lot of her life “in the dark”, at least until now. This is a chance for Kayla Compton to shine as Allegra Garcia, and she absolutely knocks it out of the park in this episode of THE FLASH. Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

First, an apology for taking this long to get to you all. It’s been a crazy week, and I have just now (on Saturday) been able to watch the episode on the CW app. I’ll try to do better moving forward – but for now, let’s go to the review.

When centering an episode on one of the cast members besides Grant Gustin, the writers often find a way to get the Flash out of the way for a while. That happens here, but there is a better payoff here than we normally find. More on that near the end. But, here’s how they get Flash out of the way:

There is a new speedster in town, one that may have accidentally set a fire in Ivo Labs. There is a stolen Newton Battery, a very powerful energy source, so was it really an accident or do we have a new villain in town?

Barry goes to Lian Yu, home of the ARGUS Supermax prison, to talk to Eobard Thawne in hopes of learning more about this mysterious speedster. Barry is “off-grid” for most of the episode, which of course means the gang has to figure out a way to save themselves before he can return. Barry’s conversations with Thawne make a difference at the end of the episode, but for now we are centering on Allegra.

She is talking with Lydia, who she inspired to leave the Aranãs gang. Now, the gang is trying to force Lyida back in, and she is afraid for her life. Allegra (who used to be in the gang with her cousin Ultraviolet) convinces Lydia to help take the gang down by doing a live interview. The only problem?

They’ve been spotted.

Dr. Light and Sunshine have taken over the group, and Aranãs has turned deadly, leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. Knowing what’s about to happen, they decide to track down and take out Lydia before they can be exposed.

That takes us to the CC Citizen and an attack by the bad guys. They want Lydia or they plan to kill everyone else. This brings to a head the conflict between Taylor and Allegra that has been building for a long time. Chester sets up a force field that provides temporary safety, but there is no safe way out – unless they can get help. Of course, help from the Flash is not possible as he is busy over at Lian Yu.

The conflicts get out of hand between the reporters. They are all afraid, and understandably so. It gets worse when Taylor reveals that she has found out about Allegra’s past involvement as a juvenile with the Aranãs gang. That destroys their trust, and things are getting worse by the second.

Allegra no longer believes herself to be worthy as a leader. It’s only after Chester and Lydia talk her down that she realizes what she can do – and what she must do.

Allegra reveals her powers to the reporters, which also reveals her connection to Team Flash – and it’s just in time as Dr. Light and Sunshine find a way to break through the barrier. Allegra buys Chester, Lydia and the reporters time to get away while she battles the bad guys. Allegra buys just enough time for the rest to go live – and to let Lydia tell the truth about Aranãs, including the real names of Dr. Light and Sunshine. That ends the standoff for now, as they run away

That experience, and the knowledge of who Allegra truly is, restores the trust of the Citizen team. It even mends the relationship we’ve seen tested with Taylor. The funds and assets of the Aranãs gang have been frozen and/or seized, and there is at least hope for now of a better day. Allegra has leveled up in so many ways as a character here, and it’s hard to express just how powerful the performance was in this episode. If you were already a fan of Allegra, you were likely cheering here – and even if you weren’t before, it would be hard not to give her props now.

That leads us back to Barry talking with Thawne. It’s a great scene, and I’ll leave it at that as you really should go back to see it for yourself. The upshot is that Barry realizes the new speedster is truly new – who doesn’t have full control of their powers yet. Barry returns to find the speedster back at Ivo Labs – RETURNING THE BATTERY!

They chase each other around the room for a bit – with the new speedster obviously not wanting to be caught. But, Barry is still faster and they finally stop and talk. This new speedster can only go the speed of sound, and can only use her speed for short periods of time. She was hoping that the battery she had invented while at Ivo Labs would help her. It didn’t, so she’s returning it now.

That’s when Barry realizes that he is talking to the CEO of Fast Track Labs, the inventor of the Newton Battery, Dr. Meena Dhawan!

We saw Meena briefly earlier in the season – it’s GREAT to see her character return. Barry offers to mentor her as she develops her speed, and she accepts – and that’s where we end the episode for tonight. A great payoff for Barry’s absence and return, and a fantastic episode for Allegra Garcia!

NOTES:

  • I don’t know how to give enough superlatives for Kayla Compton’s performance in this episode. This was a stellar performance, and it develops her character into a confident hero in her own right. This episode demanded a lot in both emotional impact and action, and she was outstanding throughout.
  • Meena Dhawan is a character that first appeared during Josh Williamson’s run on the comic, and it’s wonderful to see her portrayed here in the Arrowverse (should we still call it that? Flashverse?). Hopefully we will see more of her as we roll toward the end of Season 8.

SUMMARY:

Another excellent episode in one of the best seasons of THE FLASH so far. I’ll give this one a 10/10. Of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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