In its first season, The Flash has managed to find a nice balance between its procedural and serialized elements—until tonight’s episode. After several episodes that sped the show’s mythology forward, The Flash slowed down its pace tonight and gave us a somewhat standalone episode—which felt very much like a speed-bump in its, so far, smooth run. If we’re keeping it 100 Larry Wilmore-style, tonight’s episode may have been the show’s weakest to date: the metahuman-of-the-week was both clichéd and forgettable, and Drunk Caitlin, while amusing at first, eventually became somewhat cringe-worthy and was also a rather unoriginal diversion.
In spite of its many troublesome aspects, “Crazy for You” also had a few bright spots: We got several scenes between Henry and Barry, which, because of the great dynamic between John Wesley Shipp and Grant Gustin, were incredibly poignant. You can’t watch Henry-Barry scenes and (a) not feel like a terrible son or daughter and (b) not want to immediately call your parents and tell them how much you love them. Cisco’s subplot with Hartley was also rather compelling. However, I’m worried that the show is putting way more effort into developing Cisco than it is Caitlin, who, for the most part, still seems to be defined by her tragic relationship with Ronnie. While Caitlin’s lack of substantial development may not be as bad as Iris’, it is still problematic because she is one of two female characters on a show with four other well-drawn male characters. (Yes, I left Eddie out because the show is using him less as a character and more as a plot device because he’s integral to the Reverse Flash-mystery).
METAHUMAN OF THE WEEK: Shawna a.k.a Peek-a-Boo
While Barry and Cisco are bantering on about which possessive pronoun to use in regards to the Flash’s suit and Cisco also is teasing Caitlin about not having a life, Shawna Baez breaks her incarcerated boyfriend Clay out of jail. This isn’t a Neal Caffrey or Ocean’s Eleven kind of deal. Shawna springs her BF from the pokey Alicia Baker on Smallville-style—i.e. via teleportation. The guards notice her on the security cameras, but by time they respond, Bonnie and Clyde are already back in Shawna’s car making out. All is not right in these lovebirds’ relationship however. When we check in with them post-coitus, we quickly realize that Clay may not love Shawna as much as she loves him; he conspicuously changes the subject when she says that breaking him out was no big deal because he would do the same for her. Having freed Clay from jail, Shawna’s anxious to leave Central City and start a new life with him. Unfortunately, that’s gonna have to wait because Clay can’t leave until he pays off the debt he owes to some Ed O’Neill look-alike.
Joe and Barry are called to the crime scene at the prison, and Joe arranges for a guard who owes him a favor to bring Henry by Clay’s cell while Barry’s there. As I said before, any time these two guys are together, you can’t help but catch a few feelz. However, the moment leaves as quickly as it came because Barry found some particulate residue at every location in the prison that Shawna touched. He and Joe take the sample back to the S.T.A.R. Labs team, who do their thing and find two traces of DNA in the residue: Clay and Shawna’s. While Cisco engages Hartley further on the topic of Ronnie (more on that later), Caitlin continues to run tests on the evidence and asks Barry if she agrees with Cisco that she doesn’t have a life. He does, mostly because her definition of a “having a life” is kind of sad and lonely. But, alas, their conversation is interrupted because their computer pings to let them know that Shawna and Clay are committing a crime.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned this season of The Flash, its that it sucks to be a guard and drive an armored car in Central City because it’s all but guaranteed that you’re going to get robbed. Being good ol’ Central City villains, Clay and Shawna go after an armored car transporting cash. While Clay holds the guards at gunpoint, Shawna transports the money back to their cool-looking car. The Flash eventually shows up on the scene and engages in a visually entertaining game of “catch me if you can” with Ms. Teleportation. Unfortunately, Clay and Shawna manage to escape.
While Wells figures out the limits of Shawna’s powers, Caitlin and Barry go out for a night on the town. Because of Cisco’s assessment of her, Caitlin decides that it is time to move on from Ronnie and find new love. She also thinks Barry should do the same because he’s become the embodiment of John Mayer’s song “Man on the Side.” While out at a karaoke bar, Caitlin gets drunk and drags Barry on stage to sing “Summer Lovin.” SPOILER ALERT: Grant Gustin/Barry Allen can sing—and Caitlin can’t. Barry’s performance is so entertaining and charming he catches intrepid reporter Linda Park’s eye (Unfabulous’ The Vampire Diaries‘ Malese Jow). Taking a brief trip to 2009, Linda uses the “Bump” app to give Barry her number and flirtatiously tells him what he does with it is up to him. As Linda leaves, Caitlin returns from the bathroom and tells Barry she isn’t feeling well. So, Barry superspeeds her home, superspeed changes her into her pajamas, and at her request, stays with her until she falls asleep.
NEXT: Cisco makes a bad decision