REVIEW: The Flash, S6E5 – Kiss Kiss Breach Breach

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For those who have been longing to see Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) take center stage on The Flash, “Kiss Kiss Breach Breach” is a treat that does justice to the complexity of his character and the talent of his actor. Crafted as a murder mystery and turning him into the prime suspect is a surefire way to show off both his big intellect and his big heart, but there are still many quarrels to be had with the episode.

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Poor, poor Breacher.

First, the choice of victim is at once appropriate and reprehensible. Cynthia Reynolds (in this house we don’t call her an ethnic slur) was a major factor in Seasons 3 and 4 of The Flash, and her romance with Cisco was a fan favorite, which makes her offscreen death certain to pull at viewers’ heartstrings and provide ample angst for Cisco. But considering the show’s origin resides in a woman being refrigerated, and it has previously spent half a season reliving the murder of Iris, did they really need another pretty dead girl to fuel Cisco’s manpain?

Nevertheless, the mystery of who killed her brings back her father Breacher (Danny Trejo), who is always a welcome surprise. His bond with “Cisqui” is heartwarming, and it’s surprising in the best way to see him still consider Cisco a son after the breakup and now Cynthia’s death. But while the campfire stories of Cynthia’s warm respect and high esteem for her ex brought several tears to my eye, the meat of the “Kiss Kiss Breach Breach” lies in another direction.

With Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) headed for a 48-hour Last Holiday in lieu of actually discussing Barry’s impending death or exploring Iris’ feelings about losing her husband so soon after losing their daughter, Cisco develops an adorable B.A.R.I. AI that’s meant to guide him through all the decisions Barry would have made. This is a questionable choice from the get-go, but it’s meant to be – Cisco’s lack of faith in his own abilities is evident, and he is stretched even thinner when he tries to rely on a computerized version of Barry to solve Cynthia’s murder rather than on his own intellect.

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Bed scenes are allowed: confirmed.

His current girlfriend Kamila (Victoria Park, who may well be on her way to becoming a regular) never loses her faith in him, but their relationship hits a small bump or two throughout “Kiss Kiss Breach Breach.” First, there’s the awkward half-spoken “I love you” between them that’s interrupted by Breacher’s entrance and announcement. Then there’s the fact that Cisco must mourn – and may have murdered – his ex. The Flash displays a hint of nuance which it rarely possesses in allowing Cisco to struggle with what his feelings regarding Cynthia’s death mean for his happiness with Kamila and vice versa.

He actually has a beautiful moment with Iris, where he asks how someone like him can move on after what happened and Iris responds that it’s because he’s very much in love. Considering that Barry was there too, it was the perfect opportunity for “Kiss Kiss Breach Breach” to tackle her thoughts on having moved on with Barry after Eddie’s death – or even wondering how she herself will move on after Barry dies. But Iris doesn’t seem to be on The Flash‘s mind these last few eps, so we shall have to hope that she’ll do or say something during the actual Crisis crossover.

I have not yet mentioned the true culprit who killed Cynthia, which is mostly because it was a bit convoluted of a resolution. Valdes explained in an interview that the plot was changed at the last minute, and it shows. Basically, the reason Cisco could so easily be framed for Cynthia’s murder is that the real murderer is an elite E-19 hacker who incepted symptoms of Breach Psychosis in his mind, including sleepwalking at the time of said murder, and showing his face at the moment he killed her. Yes, Echo is Cisco’s doppelganger – or he just hacked Cisco’s identity in order to replace him with a different Cisco doppelganger, as that appears to be his job. Either way, Valdes played him with a cool and chilling aura that elevated the scene, but I had a hard time following the specifics.

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Just say you’re Pariah and go.

With the breach between Breacher and Cisco healed and Kamila reciprocating her boyfriend’s fervent, “Kiss Kiss Breach Breach” only had a few minutes left over for side plots – neither of which did much to push The Flash‘s narrative forward. Nash (Tom Cavanagh) and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) found themselves trapped under rubble in their search for something related to the Monitor until Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) saved them. There were some impactful conversations about science vs. faith, and Joe got to once again expound on how hard it will be for him to lose his son-in-law while no one wondered how hard it would be for his daughter Iris to lose her husband. But aside from Nash’s last-minute declaration that he could save Barry, those scenes could have been bestowed on Westallen’s beach vacation.

Finally, Frost (Danielle Panabaker) tracked down Ramsey (Sendhil Ramamurthy) to appeal to him as Caitlin, which got her choked out for her efforts. Their scene would have been more powerful had the show actually focused on their dynamic for more than two scenes, or if Caitlin had ever mentioned him prior to this season. But as it is, it just felt like a way to kill time and give almost everyone their paycheck. Long story short: “Kiss Kiss Breach Breach” did wonders for Cisco, which he very much deserves, but nothing for anyone else.