This season’s focus on Caitlin Snow continues this week right where it left off: with Caitlin facing down the black flame, which is talking to her using words spoken last by Ronnie, the husband she lost twice–first in the show’s premiere, and then again when he, as Firestorm, flew into a singularity to save everyone. Spoilers follow for The Flash Season 8, Episode 11, “Resurrection.”
Barry (Grant Gustin) and Chester (Brandon McKnight) may have found a way to stop the “Black Flame” from hurting anyone else meanwhile Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) decides to handle a situation on her own, possibly putting more innocent lives in danger.
In the final moments of last week’s episode, The Flash gave us a possible answer as to the cause of the Black Flame that has been murdering people throughout Central City. After first approaching Frost, the flame appeared before Caitlin Snow and spoke to her, convincing her immediately that Ronnie, her dead husband, was trapped inside the flame, but not in control of it.
Ronnie Raymond Returns?
This conclusion puts Caitlin at odds with the rest of the team. After the flame had worked so hard to trick Chester last week, it seems almost a given that it would do the same to Caitlin. Caitlin, though, is convinced that the spirit inside the flame is really her Ronnie. This sets off Barry’s hypocritical side. The hero has a penchant for making moral exceptions for himself specifically when it comes to dramatic situations. It’s okay for me to bend time and space to get Iris back, but you definitely can’t go after Ronnie–that’s dangerous.
The show brings this up but doesn’t deal with it in what feels like a meaningful way. Caitlin goes off on her own to resurrect Ronnie while the show shifts between the modern-day and pre-Flash flashbacks. It is nice, admittedly, to have an Amell back in the Arrowverse, even if not for long. Ronnie is played by Robbie Amell, cousin to the Green Arrow himself, Stephen Amell.
Nope, it’s Deathstorm
Of course, Barry is right this time around, and Ronnie is soon taken over by–or manifests his true identity as–the personification of death and grief, Deathstorm.
This character, despite its silly name, is one of the most comics-accurate characters to show up in the Arrowverse in some time. While his origin is a little different–the comics one begins life as a Black Lantern version of Ronnie Raymond–he’s an almost 1:1 visual reproduction of the character. While many details are yet to be revealed, it’s cool to see such a faithful reproduction of a character on an Arrowverse show.
He’s pretty goofy in the comics; while Ronnie is in Firestorm mode, Deathstorm would taunt him and his other half, Jason. And he would say things like “This is gonna be so boss.” or “Righteous!” Will this version also quote Bill & Ted, or will he be darker and more serious? Either way, he presents a fearsome danger to the team, bringing all of Firestorm’s powers along with taking a genuine joy in killing.
Deathstorm presents a very cool-looking villain with a complicated history that will make him difficult for the team to even fight, let alone defeat. Are they fighting their old friend? Can they save him? Is he truly gone?
This is a unique villain that has both meaningful ties to the characters and feels fresh, giving us both the benefit of legacy and new ideas. It’s up to the show to take it an interesting direction, but it continues the trend of The Flash being a significantly better show than it has in years (by which I mean, it’s pretty okay now).
Iris is gone again
Meanwhile, Iris has once again been disappeared, because if there’s one thing we can’t have, it’s the show’s main couple being on-screen together. Truly, I can’t wait until a few years after The Flash ends, if only so we can find out what the heck is going on with that.
Here’s fingers-crossed that Deathstorm is an interesting new wrinkle to the show and not just another source of silly drama.