The Flash 8×17 Review – B-Story Barry

The Flash -- "Keep it Dark" -- Image Number: FLA817a_0176r.jpg -- Pictured: Grant Gustin as The Flash -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This week’s episode focuses on Team Flash member Allegra, putting her leadership skills to the test, while Barry visits an old favorite Arrow location to talk to one of his enemies. Spoilers follow for The Flash Season 8, Episode 17, “Keep it Dark.”

“Keep it Dark”

The Flash (Grant Gustin) goes off the grid to look for answers about a new Meta in town. Meanwhile, Allegra (Kayla Compton) pulls out all of the stops at CC Citizen Media, to protect a source and a friend.Eobard

This episode isn’t terribly interesting, but that doesn’t keep it from having a few awesome moments. This episode’s “A” story has Allegra chasing a story about her old gang, Las Aranas (The Spiders). She wants to expose them with the help of an old friend, but the friend is scared. When the friend agrees, it doesn’t take long for Las Aranas’ light-based meta muscle, Dr. Light and Sunshine, to show up and put everyone’s lives in danger. The story highlights Allegra’s leadership skills and her awkward position as both a journalist and a metahuman. Meanwhile, after finding evidence of another speedster in Central City, Barry visits Eobard Thawne in Lian Yu.

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Allegra’s part of the episode isn’t terribly interesting; it feels somewhat like a purely functional superhero show bottle episode. Kayla Compton does her best with the content provided, but she’s mostly stuck in a room with characters we’ve met twice each, facing off against villains we’ve never been given a good reason to care about.

Obsession by Eobard Thawne

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The most interesting part of the episode comes when the camera cuts to Barry standing outside Thawne’s prison cell. Barry pokes at Thawne for information about this new speedster, and Thawne taunts him. Barry, being well acquainted with Thawne’s mind games at this point, turns the manipulation back on him, and soon has Thawne screaming at him.

Thawne throws a fit, telling Barry that no one will ever understand him the way Thawne does, no one will ever hate him the way Thawne does. The whole scene is a great reminder of what a presence Tom Cavanagh is on the show, and feels genuinely like a Reverse-Flash scene despite the lack of a suit or CGI running. Thawne is single-mindedly focused on making Barry Allen miserable, and this speech shows it perfectly. It’s a shame that the episode is so average otherwise because this scene is truly excellent.

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Meanwhile, where is Iris? Who can say? Barry doesn’t seem too concerned, nor does anyone else from Team Flash in this episode. More and more it seems clear: either the showrunners don’t like Candice Patton, or Patton is done with The Flash. There’s not even a side mention from Barry of the fact that his beloved, his lightning rod, is missing and is trapped somewhere in the Still Force. The show isn’t even attempting to deal with this right now, and it’s really strange to the point of being distracting. I’d almost rather they just put up a title card explaining the drama, because it’s so obvious even without them doing so.