Previously on The Flash, Team Flash adjusted to a post-Crisis on Infinite Earths world! While Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Iris West-Allen (Candace Patton) both learned to stop living in crisis mode, Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) decided to set off out into the world to chronicle the changes to the timeline as a result of the universal rewrite! Meanwhile, Iris and her staff at the Central City Citizen uncovered a years-long metahuman conspiracy perpetrated by a terrorist group called Black Hole—a discovery that led to Iris being pulled into a mirror while investigating a connection with McCulloch Tech! This week’s episode, The Flash S6E11, “Love is a Battlefield,” finds Barry and Iris caught in the middle of a lover’s spat between two supervillains, and trying to work out their own issues in the process.
We Are Strong
The episode opens at McCulloch Tech, immediately following the end of last week’s episode. Iris rises from the floor in front of the mirror. She has a headache, but otherwise the office looks the same way it did before. Footsteps from outside of the office lead her to scamper away.
The next morning, Iris, who is notoriously a bad cook, has made Barry breakfast. He bites into the pancakes and they’re actually delicious. Iris tells him that Team Citizen is taking some time to regroup after last episode’s attacks before they go after Black Hole again. Then, in some truly stunning product placement, Alexa pipes up and reminds the couple they have a dinner reservation at Giovanni’s coming up on Valentine’s Day. They decide to go out that night instead, and Barry has Alexa make a new reservation for them. Amazon: infiltrating every part of our lives, even our superhero TV shows!
At the offices of the Central City Citizen, Frost (Danielle Panabaker) is hanging out when Allegra Garcia (Kayla Compton) arrives. Allegra gripes that Nash Wells (Tom Cavanagh) has been kind of clingy with her, and in the course of conversation it comes out that Allegra hates Valentine’s Day. Frost surmises that it’s because she’s heart-broken, and Allegra confesses that there’s a boy she used to date that she’s still hung up on. Social media posts indicate her ex will be at Jitters the next day, and Frost decides she’s going to help them get back together.
That night, at Giovanni’s, Barry and Iris are out to dinner. Iris orders food for them in Italian, a language Barry did not know she speaks. As the two talk about how nice it is to be out together, Amunet Black (Katee Sackhoff) enters the restaurant with a flourish. She says she’s looking for someone, and finding him she takes the briefcase he’s carrying and the experimental tech that’s inside. Barry stands and tries to arrest her, but she threatens to expose his secret identity (which she deduced after an encounter with Barry at Iron Heights Prison) if he tries to stop her. Iris makes Barry let her go, and Amunet escapes. Later, with the police at the restaurant, Barry and Iris tell them what happened. Iris speculates that whatever Amunet wants is probably big, while Barry is still upset that he let Amunet get away. He wants to search the city as The Flash, but Iris convinces him to let her help him catch Amunet.
No One Can Tell Us We’re Wrong
The next day, at Jitters, Frost and Allegra are stalking Allegra’s ex. Frost convinces Allegra to go talk to him, but as she prepares to they see her ex talking very familiarly with one of the baristas. Allegra gets upset and leaves.
Later, Barry and Iris are in a S.T.A.R. Labs van staking out a location where they know Amunet has recruited goons before. Iris is going in, as Barry is a cop and would immediately be recognized. They establish a codeword of ‘banana,’ and Iris exits the van. She enters the bar and we see that she’s dressed in all black, apparently the uniform of a criminal in Central City. She orders a drink at the bar and tells the bartender she’s looking for Amunet Black. The bouncer approaches to escort her out, and Iris smashes a bottle over his head, which causes a listening Barry to freak out and start shouting ‘banana.’ Having proven herself, Iris gets a location from the bartender for where she can find Amunet, and downs her drink before exiting. Back in the van, Barry is still freaking out over Iris having potentially been in danger, but she shrugs him off and gives him the location of Ivo Labs.
Soon, at Ivo Labs, Amunet blows open a safe and removes a black case from it. As a hiding Barry and Iris watch, Amunet opens the case and removes a piece of cylindrical tech from it. Just then, Goldface (Damion Poitier) arrives and says he can’t let her leave with the tech. Barry and Iris realize they’ve wandered into a gang war, and Amunet and Goldface (who were formerly a couple) posture at each other before devolving into an argument over their split record collection. Using his ability to control gold, Goldface throws a gold chain and steals the tech from Amunet, who fires back with metal from her gauntlet, causing Goldface to drop the case, which slides over to where Iris and Barry are hiding. Barry secretly saves a security guard who’s stumbled upon the fight, and Goldface grabs the case and escapes, pursued by Amunet. Barry returns to Iris, who reveals that she snagged the tech from the case.
Back at their apartment, Barry returns from a patrol and tells Iris the gangs are trading attacks trying to find the tech. Iris says she thinks Goldface and Amunet are trying to hurt each other personally, not just their businesses. She also says, after talking to Ryan Choi, she learned that the two pieces of stolen tech can be combined and used to transport delicate plantlife. Iris suggests using the tech to get close to Amunet, but Barry is less than enthusiastic about a plan that again puts Iris in harm’s way. Iris snaps at him that she had to protect herself from Doctor Light while he was off on Lian Yu, and that she doesn’t want to be his damsel in distress anymore. The two argue about her safety, and Iris tells Barry she’s grown, that she’s proud of who she’s become, and that she wishes he felt the same. She storms off, leaving Barry speechless.
Meanwhile, at the Central City Citizen offices, Frost is getting drunk and drowning her sorrows when Nash arrives. He tells her he’s looking for Allegra and stumbles to make an excuse before turning things around to talk about what’s wrong with Frost. Frost says she failed to help Allegra, and has generally failed to figure out how to be a normal person in the world. Nash tells her not everything in life is black and white, and that she should get back into the game.
Searching Our Hearts For So Long
Iris arrives at Amunet’s hideout (which is just a loft apartment basically). She tells Amunet she got the location from the bartender, then presents the tech and says she wants in on Amunet’s action. Iris says she knows what flower Amunet is after, and that the flower’s pollen can be heated and used to give those who inhale it telepathic powers. Amunet asks why she should believe Iris, and Iris says she wants to use the pollen so she can read Barry’s mind, which will hopefully help keep their marriage from being ruined by all of Barry’s superheroing. Amunet is delighted to hear this, and accepts Iris’s offer to join her.
Elsewhere, at the Central City Police Headquarters, Barry and Captain Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) are talking about the escalating gang war. Barry explains to Joe that he can’t call in Team Flash to help because Amunet knows them all and he has to protect them. He also says he thinks Iris is right about Amunet and Goldface’s feud being personal. Barry then tells Joe about the argument he had with Iris, and Joe agrees that Iris has grown a lot. Barry says he’s worried that they’re growing apart, and Joe likens marriage to a tree that’s continually growing and branching out, while under ground the roots are growing deeper and stronger.
Back at the Citizen office, Frost finds Allegra sulking. Frost apologizes for meddling in Allegra’s lovelife, and Allegra says she was right in a way before telling the full story behind her breakup: she ghosted her ex because she didn’t want him to find out she has powers. Frost says she should give her ex a chance to accept her as she really is, and reiterates Nash’s point about things not always being black and white.
Later, Amunet, Iris, and Amunet’s gang are at the location where the rare flower is being held. Amunet expounds to Iris about her relationship with Goldface, and says they broke up as their respective businesses improved. Iris suggests Amunet should talk to Goldface, but Amunet seems uninterested. The gang finds the flower, a rare orchid that only blooms every 25 years, and Amunet pulls the tech out of her bag. Just then Goldface and his gang arrive, and a battle between the two groups commences.
The Flash arrives and whisks Iris out of the crossfire, and Iris says they have to convince Amunet and Goldface that they still love each other. Barry takes out all of the goons, and is able to get the two leads to talk to each other for a moment before they both turn on him. Returning to Iris, Barry tells her he can’t get through to them, and Iris suggests a bold move: burn the flower. Barry throws lightning at it, and the flower goes up in flames, superheated pollen filling the air around Amunet and Goldface. The two suddenly able to hear each others’ thoughts, they realize they are in love, communicating with each other telepathically as Barry and Iris look on. Amunet and Goldface finally start making out, and things get awkward real fast for Barry and Iris, who watch in horror.
Both of Us Knowing
Later, at Jitters, Allegra tells Frost she apologized to her ex and explained everything, and that they’re going to be friends now. She thanks Frost for her advice, and leaves to rejoin her friend as Nash arrives. Frost thanks Nash for his help, and says his advice was almost parental. She tells Nash she’s available if he ever wants to talk about anything. As she exits, Nash turns to say something to her and sees the Harrison Wells of Earth-2 across the room, staring at him. A person crosses in front of him, and Earth-2 Wells disappears, leaving Nash stunned.
Back at Barry and Iris’s apartment, Barry apologizes to Iris for the way he treated her earlier. He tells her that he’s proud of her, and Iris assures him they’ll never grow apart. The two kiss, and as they embrace, Iris looks over at the nearby mirror. Inside the mirror, the real Iris West-Allen looks on, trapped, unable to tell Barry that the woman he’s with isn’t the real her.
To be continued!
This week’s The Flash leaned heavily into the camp aspects of the show, with Katee Sackhoff and Damion Poitier absolutely devouring scenery every time they were on screen. The scenes featuring one or both of them were extremely fun, and a nice contrast to the heavy stuff going on between Barry and Iris. The cliffhanger is also fascinating, and should make for an interesting turn once Barry realizes that’s not his wife and that Iris really is in some danger. And what’s up with the Earth-2 Wells appearing to Nash? I’ve theorized for a while that Nash has some sort of connection to that Wells (I thought he actually was Harry for a while), and I’m interested to see how that plays out. Hopefully we’ll find out more next week!