Violet recaps Season 3 Episode 11 of The Flash, titled Dead or Alive, where H.R.’s transgressions on Earth-19 catch up with him, so Cisco risks his life to save H.R.’s! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts about the episode.
- His thoughts on Dead or Alive, Episode 311 of The Flash
- Her thoughts on The Flash, Season 3 Episode 11: Dead or Alive
H.R. continues writing his novel — making himself out as the hero. But he is interrupted by having to help the team (including Julian) assist The Flash and Kid Flash with apprehending some criminals known as the Electric Gang. The two save a bus of cheerleaders, who are excited to meet Kid Flash.
Back at STAR Labs, Cisco and Caitlin show Barry that they have found a way to map the future — with a LEGO diorama. They have calculated the time in which Barry has to cover a certain distance to save Iris from Savitar. However, Julian says it’s impossible for Barry to improve his speed enough. The others vow to find a way to make it work.
Meanwhile, at Jitters, a woman with metahuman powers has broken in. It seems she is looking for H.R. When the police confront her, she uses her powers to push them back, and then opens a breach and goes through. The next day when Joe and Barry investigate the scene, Joe has a talk with Barry and seems worried that something is going on with him and Iris. However, Barry assures him that everything is fine.
At STAR Labs, the woman from Jitters appears outside and call for H.R. He tells the others that the woman’s name is Gypsy, who is a Collector from his Earth, and she’s come to collect him. Gypsy opens a breach and comes inside, then shoots at H.R., knocking him to the ground. Cisco uses his powers and she is impressed that he can vibe. She then shows off her own powers on Cisco, and then Kid Flash, who she is able to freeze in place. Gypsy explains that their Earth has a ban in inter-dimensional travel, which H.R. knew when he came here. She tells H.R. he has an hour to get his affairs in order, then he’s coming back with her. She then opens a breach and leaves.
H.R. tells the others that the punishment for non-authorized breach travel is death. Barry thinks that since he saw H.R. in the flash forward, that means he doesn’t go back. But Julian points out that maybe if they do let him go back, it changes the future and prevents Iris’s death.
Barry goes over to Iris’s office and updates her about Gypsy. He confirms with her that she didn’t tell Joe about the future. Barry also asks her to stop investigating her arms dealer story, and she reluctantly agrees.
Iris visits Wally at STAR Labs, who also tries to discourage her about the arms dealer story. But Iris asks him to become a brother-sister crime fighting team with her.
Cisco asks H.R. why he risked his life to come here. He replies that he looked in the mirror and saw that he didn’t matter. So he came to this Earth to rewrite his story. Barry comes in suggesting that H.R. make an appeal, but H.R. says there’s nothing he can do — aside from request a trial by combat. Gypsy arrives to collect H.R., and H.R. begins to go willingly. However, Barry tells her to wait. Then Cisco speaks up, challenging her to a trial by combat. Barry tries to clarify, saying it’s him, not Cisco, who will be fighting her, but Gypsy says Cisco spoke first. Gypsy clarifies that the trial by combat is to the death, and gives him 24 hours to prepare.
The Flash team works together to train Cisco so that he can beat Gypsy. H.R. asks Cisco why he would help him. Cisco says that Harrison Wells was always there for him, so he wants to be there for Harrison Wells.
Iris and Wally go to the police station, where Iris tells Wally she needs him to swipe a file from Joe’s desk, take photos of the contents, and then put it back without Joe noticing. Wally is reluctant, but Iris talks him into it, saying these could be her last few months, and she wants her life to mean something. Iris pulls Joe aside for a father-daughter chat, distracting him while Wally runs in and gets the file and returns it.
Over at STAR Labs, Cisco’s training isn’t going very well. H.R. speaks privately with Barry and has an idea of getting to Gypsy before the fight, in order to save Cisco. He reveals that he placed a tracker on her last time, and they track her to the waterfront. H.R. pretends to give himself over while The Flash ambushes her, but she catches on before he can do anything. The Flash convinces Gypsy to follow through on the trial by combat with Cisco instead of forfeiting the deal. She takes H.R. with her in the meantime.
When Barry returns to STAR Labs and reports the news, Cisco is upset that Barry and H.R. didn’t believe in him. Barry apologizes and gives Cisco a heart to heart pep talk. Julian points out that in the split second when Gypsy comes out of her breach, her feet are off the ground, so for that amount of time she will be off balance, which could give Cisco the advantage.
Meanwhile, Iris and Kid Flash investigate a warehouse where the arms dealers are keeping their stuff. While Kid Flash is elsewhere, Iris confidently faces one of the arms dealers before Kid Flash saves her at the last second.
Later, Joe is upset that the two of them upset a CCPD sting operation that was months in the works. He is also upset to learn that Iris almost got shot over this. Barry pulls Iris aside and assures Iris he won’t let her die. However, she says she’s not afraid to die, she’s afraid to die without making a mark or leaving anything behind. Barry says that whatever happens in the future, they’ll face it together.
Gypsy vibes her position to Cisco, and he heads there to meet up with her and H.R. Gypsy gets the first shot in, but Cisco comes back strong, to Gypsy’s surprise. Gypsy opens a breach to Earth-2, and they fight there for a bit before she opens another breach to the Supergirl Earth, where they briefly fight in the Catco office. Then they go through yet another breach to a volcano before returning to Earth. Gypsy goes through another breach alone and comes out on the other side of Cisco, at which point he is able to take advantage of her weakness of being off the ground for a split second, and pins her down with his powers. She admits defeat, but Cisco doesn’t kill her.
Gypsy will return to Earth-19 and report that she killed H.R., which means he can never go back. She brings back a bunch of coffee with her, and says goodbye to Cisco, leaning in for a kiss, but breaching away before their lips touch.
Barry reads Iris’s article and praises her. He vows that he will beat Savitar again and that The Flash will save Iris.
Over at STAR Labs, H.R. thanks Cisco for risking his life for him. They have a nice talk about the other versions of Harrison Wells.
Later, Barry tells Wally that he’s done the math and he himself is not the one who’s going to save Iris from Savitar, Wally is.
Her Thoughts on The Flash, Season 3 Episode 11: Dead or Alive
Sooo, I think that the writers of The Flash need to review what the definition of “trial by combat to the death” is. Typically, just “trial by combat” on its own implies that it’s to the death. But then the show went further to clarify that it was, in fact, to the death. So, I’m not sure why there was any doubt about one or the other dying as a result of this fight. For example, when Julian suggested having the med bay ready. Why would the med bay need to be ready? If Cisco lost, then he would be dead. It would make sense for them to have it ready in case Cisco were badly injured from the fight but had won, but it was implied that they were getting it ready because they assumed he would lose. And why was there a question about whether Gypsy ever lost a trial by combat? Obviously no, or else she would be dead. It was just really odd how throughout the entire episode, there was this sort of assumption that one of them might be badly injured, but that neither one would actually die. So the rules were never really clear about how a winner would be declared, even though it was supposed to be to the death. If it’s to the death, the rules are pretty straightforward: the person who dies loses, and the person who survives wins. Apparently, according to this episode, there’s this whole other aspect to a trial by combat where one opponent can forfeit during the fight. This is news to me.
Anyway, I was greatly distracted by the characterization of the trial by combat this whole episode, as you can tell. But yeah, so does this mean we’re going to keep this version of Harrison Wells permanently now that he is unable to return to his Earth? Or will he end up somehow going to another Earth, or even dying, and we’ll end up with yet another version by next season? I’m not sure that I have a preference one way or the other, but I do like having Tom Cavanaugh around regardless.
I’m actually enjoying having Julian as part of the team, even if he is on the negative side, but his quips are hilarious. So far, it looks like his honesty and ingenuity has helped the team figure out that Wally has the better chance of saving Iris from Savitar, rather than Barry. We’ll see how this develops…
His Thoughts on The Flash, Season 3 Episode 11: Dead or Alive