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‘The Flash S03E11: Dead or Alive’ Review

The Flash returns this week and still focuses heavily on death, but brings about a bit of a lighter tone. Until they hit the day where Savitar takes and kills Iris, we expect this theme of death to continue. In “Dead or Alive” Iris makes it known that she isn’t afraid of dying and Cisco gets himself into a trial by combat situation to save HR. It’s hard to call Gypsy the villain of this episode since she is just doing her job and HR technically broke the law on his Earth. This gives the episode that little glimmer of light after last week’s episode.

Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW

Barry stays optimistic throughout about saving Iris. However, the team doesn’t have an answer for changing the future just yet. Iris is intent on becoming a great journalist and leaving behind whatever legacy she can muster before her supposedly fated day with Savitar. Barry and Joe want her to lay off of a gun running case that CCPD caught, so she goes to Wally for help instead. When Wally accompanies her to a warehouse, she goes in without him and almost gets herself killed. Barry, Wally, and Joe naturally show how upset they are with Iris to varying degrees. It looks like it’s tough keeping Joe out of the loop with the whole we know Savitar kills Iris in the future situation.

It’s no surprise that Julian still needs work on his people skills. He insists that Cisco can’t defeat Gypsy and that Barry won’t run fast enough by May and therefore saving Iris won’t happen. I’m glad that they’re taking their time with developing Julian as a character and a team member. He’s showing progress, but still struggling. He’s helpful at time and harsh at others.

Moving back to Iris, she finally gets the chance to do something for herself, which is advancing her journalism career. There’s a nice moment between her and Barry where he’s “slowly” reading her article. In reality he’s read through it five times. Seeing Iris back in action as a reporter is fulfilling, but with all of the men in her life upset with her over it, there’s still more to work on.

Overall, this episode brings back more of that optimism from Barry that we’re used to seeing. There’s also the banter between Cisco and Gypsy that helps bring some more light to this episode.


  • Giving Iris more to do is great. Would love to see more of her as a reporter.
  • Wally gets the chance to be faster than Barry and save Iris in the future.
  • The team really needs to loop Joe in to what is going on.

Favorite Lines

  • “I was a good boy.” – Barry to Iris when she asks about the cheerleaders him and Kid Flash saved.
  • “I wouldn’t miss an evening with you even if it’s a showdown.” – Cisco to Gypsy

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