Let me address the elephant in the room first. Based on my bio (which you can find below this article), you may think that this piece is biased. It’s not. I see and understand both sides of the argument and I’m not trying to invalidate Barry’s (Grant Gustin) feelings. …I’m just making a case as to why Cisco’s (Carlos Valdes) feelings are 100% valid and why half of the fandom shouldn’t be hating on him as badly as they are.
Before I joined this site, I was just a normal fan of The Flash. (Well…not normal. I have a thriving Instagram fan account and I write fan-fiction for the show.) Why am I telling you guys this? To let you know that I’m constantly on top of the fandom’s reactions to things that happen on the show–whether that be on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter. For the past week, a good half of the fandom has been attempting to make their cases for why Cisco should just “get over himself” and “stop whining”. These people agree with Iris (Candice Patton) and Oliver (Stephen Amell)–that the same things could’ve happened to Cisco and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) anyway and that anyone in his shoes would’ve done the same exact thing.
Well, let me address that last point first. You know who didn’t do the same thing when put in his shoes? Sara Lance (Caity Lotz). She explicitly told Barry on Tuesday that, when given the option to kill Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) and save her sister, she decided against it because she knew how much it could affect the timeline. (That being said, she did get her chance to do that last night on Arrow–albeit inside a hallucination.)
As Oliver would say, moving away from the sci-fi of it all, let’s talk about something every human being does experience: the five stages of grief. The writers are doing a beautiful job letting Cisco express those. When we first met this version of him in ‘Paradox’, he was in the fourth stage–depression. In that episode, we learned what he did when he was in the bargaining stage (stage three): he asked Barry to go back in time and save Dante (Nicholas Gonzalez). He knew it was irrational but he would’ve done anything to see his brother one more time. (Remember in the ‘The Man in the Yellow Suit’ when Caitlin told Cisco what she would’ve given up to see Ronnie again?) Finally, at the end of the episode when Cisco went to go save Barry from The Rival (Todd Lasance), we saw him start moving into stage five–acceptance.
And then Cisco learns that Dante was alive before Barry created Flashpoint and we’re back to stage one–denial. He asks Barry if what Caitlin said is true. Barry confirms it. What we’re seeing now is stage two–anger. Here’s a description of this stage from Grief.com:
Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal. There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing.
No one is saying that Barry was the one behind the wheel but Cisco only knows one thing: Dante was alive before Barry created Flashpoint and now he’s dead. That is a fact. We as an audience know this, as well. If you still think that what Iris said is true, though–that this all still could’ve happened–I’d like to take a few moments to talk about Caitlin.
She believes that she got her powers from the particle accelerator explosion and that, like Cisco’s, they didn’t manifest until much later. That is a fair, valid explanation. However, we cannot say the same thing about pre-Flashpoint Caitlin. I mentioned this in my recap of ‘Monster’: Harry’s watch did not go off on her. She even told Cisco in ‘King Shark’ that they tested her and she didn’t have the meta-human gene. Iris doesn’t know that she’s wrong…but she is. Caitlin was not a meta-human pre-Flashpoint…and Dante may not have been hit by a drunk driver if Barry hadn’t changed the timeline.
Before I finish up, I’d like to address one more thing. Cisco Ramon is so much more than just comedic relief. Stop saying “I want the old Cisco back.” Your “old Cisco” had to deal with learning that the man he viewed as a father figure was actually evil and stood there helplessly as he murdered him. Was he cracking jokes in that moment? No. He was begging for his life. (This is actually the moment I fell in love with Valdes’ portrayal of the character.)
There is no “old Cisco” or “new Cisco”. Cisco has always been a human being who is completely and utterly allowed to feel things and be hurt. He’s hurting right now. Badly. Let him. Don’t invalidate his feelings. Imagine someone telling you to “get over it” after a family member died. (And, no, it does not matter that Cisco and Dante weren’t on the best of terms. They were brothers. And do we not remember that they began to mend their broken relationship in ‘Rupture’?!?!?)
Next week, Cisco is going to be facing his first Christmas without his brother. I can’t promise that I won’t be bawling my eyes out. To leave on a positive note, however, let the people closest to you know that you love them this holiday season. Cherish every moment together. And enjoy the final part of ‘Invasion!’ tonight!