The Flash Season 3 Episode 11 Review: Dead or Alive

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The Cisco Ramon we know and love is officially back.

And he's a badass superhero willing to go to great lengths to save H.R. on The Flash Season 3 Episode 11 "Dead or Alive."

Thank goodness the decision was made to course correct the mess that has been Cisco since Barry reset the timeline. 

Cisco's Ready - The Flash Season 3 Episode 11

While I can't imagine the grief of losing a sibling, the broken, angry Cisco, who lashed out at his friends and seemed to hate his job, nearly ruined the show for me.

But that guy seems to be gone, so let's pretend those early episodes were a bad dream.

Not only did I love Cisco flirting with Gypsy, before, after, and during fights, but it was great to see the team's reactions to his inappropriate timing.

Caitlin: Are you asking her on a date?
H.R.: Are you kidding me?
Cisco: I am negotiating.

It's fantastic to see humor in the show again.

Even in the middle of a crisis. Especially in the middle of a crisis. Because there's always a crisis on superhero shows.

And one of the best things about The Flash is the actors' ability to toss out zingers and lighten the mood. 

Gypsy played into that nicely. 

Badass Bounty Hunter - The Flash Season 3 Episode 11

Sure, she came to our Earth to collect H.R. so he could be sentenced to death. But she still respected Cisco's powers and seemed to appreciate his flirting. 

Not to mention that near kiss. 

I know we barely have enough screen time for the cast we have now, and there are always plenty of guest stars in the recurring stable. But I hope we see Gypsy again. 

Flirting aside, she helped Cisco elevate his Vibe abilities, and that's pretty awesome.

H.R.: You don't even like me. Why would you risk your life for me?
Cisco: You heard Barry. It's what we do around here.
H.R.: Come on. Why?
Cisco: You're not like the other Wellses.
H.R.: So you keep reminding me.
Cisco: No, I mean those two, they were geniuses. We depended on them. But with you, the roles are reversed. You depend on us. Harrison Wells was always there for me. So I just...I want to be there for Harrison Wells.

We have to talk about Cisco and H.R. bonding.

On The Flash Season 3 Episode 10, H.R. finally started to mesh with the team. He's still not Harry, at least not in my book, but he's come a long way.

His backstory surprised me. 

I'm not sure what I expected since it's hard to top him not being a scientist, but feeling like he didn't belong was so relatable.

H.R. Captured - The Flash Season 3 Episode 11

And I think that's part of the reason Cisco wanted to protect him.

Not just because the other versions of Harrison Wells mattered to him, but because he understands what it's like not to live up to expectations.

We've seen how out of place he felt with his family in the original timeline. And we've seen him lack confidence in this one.

When I looked in the mirror, I knew the truth. And the truth was...I didn't matter. I was a fraud. That is why I came to this Earth. So I could rewrite my story. Both literally and figuratively.


By helping H.R., by beating Gypsy, by paying respect to the other versions of Wells; not only is Cisco opening himself up again, he's healing his wounds.

I couldn't be happier.

Julian: Surely all your adventures are not this disorganized.
Cisco: [with a British accent] There's a method to the madness, mate. Watch and learn.

Julian fits in better than I expected.

Yes, he insults everyone with his bad interpersonal skills. But he's trying. He wants to help even if he doesn't always go about it the right way.

Plus, his awkwardness just adds to the comic relief.

Should we start a countdown to his romance with Caitlin now, or wait a few more episodes?

Sibling Chat - The Flash Season 3 Episode 11

As for the other lady of Team Flash, how great was this episode for Iris?

I love seeing reporter Iris in action. It's frustrating that it doesn't happen more often, but that's a point for another time.

Iris has always been fearless. We've seen her chase after criminals and jump in to help innocent victims whenever she can. 

But there's a difference between fearless and reckless. 

Wally, how dangerous could it be? I don't die until May.


There's no question Iris was reckless when she went after the gunrunners. Was she really that confident she wouldn't die ahead of schedule?

Her fear of dying without mattering is similar to H.R.'s need to make something of his life.

She's just on an even tighter time clock. So I can't really blame her for not wanting to waste a single minute.

Big sister mode activated!  - The Flash Season 3 Episode 11

And winning a Pulitzer for investigative journalism is a great goal. I hope we continue to see her in reporter mode.

But the whole not telling Joe what's going on thing remains dumb.

He's a detective, and arguably the best father on TV, so naturally he knows something is up. Keeping him in the dark makes even less sense now than it did last week.

Although I did enjoy Iris messing with his head over the idea of having a baby.

Iris: What if I end up just like my mom? Gone without making a mark. Without leaving anything behind.
Barry: Iris, your mom, she left something behind. She left a brave, wonderful son. And the woman that I love.

As for Barry, he played a supporting role, and it worked.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating for this to be a regular thing. He's still my favorite. It's just nice to see him being there for his loved ones.

He gave Cisco and Iris the love and comfort they needed.

Both were pretty fantastic speeches. I think Barry's various father figures would be proud of how far he's come.

Lost in thought - The Flash Season 3 Episode 11

He also told Wally he needs to be the one to save Iris.

Is this why they've been beating us over the head with Wally's desire to be faster?!

Something tells me this won't go smoothly.

I've never believed Iris will actually die, but it doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility that Wally might.

And then Barry would have to live with the guilt of sending him in his place.

Your turn! What did you think of "Dead or Alive?" 

Were you happy with Reporter Iris? How great was Cisco? Is H.R. going to stay forever?

Don't forget, it you missed an episode, you can watch The Flash online anytime!

Dead or Alive Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
  • 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (67 Votes)

Mandy Treccia was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in September 2017. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Flash Season 3 Episode 11 Quotes

Barry: I can't lose her, Cisco. Please tell me you found a way to change the future.
Cisco: We found a way to change the future.
Barry: Did you really?
Cisco: No.

Julian: Surely all your adventures are not this disorganized.
Cisco: [with a British accent] There's a method to the madness, mate. Watch and learn.