Last week’s episode disappointed me. I have since accepted that The Flash’s final season is more focused on individual episodes than a coherent season, so I had a lot more fun with “Partners in Time” this week.

Episode eight had a few different storylines. Namely, a mold inspection that has gone awry, an awkward slip-up by Chester, and a strong female mentor for Khione.

The Inspection

In the year 2123, Lady Chronos, the greatest thief time has ever known, tried to steal a time magnet from the Flash Museum weapons vault. She got close before she tripped the alarm, which forced her to flee through a portal to April 5, 2023, the date of S.T.A.R. Lab’s last Department of Energy inspection before it became the museum.

Her plan was simple: pose as an inspector, find the spot where the weapons vault will be, travel back to 2123 from inside the vault, and steal the time magnet. Her plan didn’t account for the ensuing time anomaly once she left the museum and brought the time magnet back to 2023.

From Barry’s point of view, he had scheduled a simple mold inspection so it would be safe to bring Nora to work. He got a bit ahead of himself. Iris wasn’t due for another seven months. Yet, he had already built a crib and painted it purple and yellow for XS. I still have concerns that the timeline is messed up. Iris craved vanilla bean ice cream throughout the episode, even though cookie dough ice cream is Nora’s favorite.

Chester and Khione had the day off. Nevertheless, they offered to stick around for the inspection. Barry said, “I’m the Flash, I’m pretty sure I can handle one mold inspector.” Famous last words, as the mold inspection apparently alerted code enforcement and triggered a full DOE inspection. Considering the permits for S.T.A.R. Labs hadn’t been renewed since the particle accelerator exploded, the last thing Team Flash needed was more prying eyes on the premises. Luckily, Iris’s pregnancy cravings brought her to S.T.A.R. Labs for some of Cecile’s leftover casserole, so Barry had her much-needed help with handling the inspectors.

The episode lazily telegraphed which inspector Lady Chronos posed as. When the elevator door opened, we initially saw Chief Inspector Howard, Mold Inspector Rogen, and the radiation inspector, Jane. They all carried briefcases and clearly meant business. A fourth inspector emerged from behind them named Inspector Tao, who purported to be the electrician but asked, “Where’s your thing with the electrical stuff in it?”

The inspection started in the Speed Lab and stayed there because the time anomaly trapped everyone in the room. Things went from weird to weirder when a seemingly newly built 19th-century grandfather clock appeared in the center of the room. Though Chief Howard initially suspected a prank, everyone accepted the seriousness of the situation once Barry revealed his identity as the Flash.

Barry first tried to fix the situation by running to the future for the answer. C’mon, Barry, that never works! He unsurprisingly altered the timeline, evidenced by everyone’s change of clothes into Star Wars garb.

Barry, Iris, and the other inspectors started to piece things together. Barry knew there was a weapons vault 100 years later in the Speed Lab based on his research for the map book. Chief Howard knew about time magnets from his science fiction obsession and that they require a stabilizer. Iris posited that a thief, in a hurry, may have stolen the time magnet but forgotten the stabilizer. And Jane knew that a time traveler among them would likely give off excess radiation. But, as Iris began using Jane’s radiation detector to sniff out the time thief, Chief Howard turned to stone because he inadvertently bumped into the time magnet hidden under Inspector Tao’s cloak a few minutes earlier.

Iris’s pregnancy-brain mix-up of ice cream flavors caused a lightbulb to go off in Barry’s head. Inspector Tao, who had never heard of a breaker box, was the time thief. Duh! Ultimately, they struck a deal. Lady Chronos was stuck because the time anomaly fried her time-traveling chrono belt. Barry agreed to recharge the belt because it was only a matter of time before Lady Chronos turned to stone unless she stabilized the time magnet by returning it to the weapons vault. Presumably, the police were waiting for Lady Chronos in the future, though we never saw her get arrested.

Thereafter, the timeline reset itself. The inspectors did not remember a thing, not even the real electric inspector who Lady Chronos stuffed in the trunk of a car. And Team Flash passed the inspection.

Three Magic Words

It happened. Chester told Allegra, “I love you.” Though Allegra’s abandonment issues prevented her from saying it back immediately, Cecile saved Team Flash’s second-best love story by assuring Allegra that she should say it back. I’m happy for them. For whatever it’s worth, I consider “za” to be a real word.

Khione’s Mentor

Khione met with Caitlin’s mom, Carla Tannhauser, for coffee. Susan Walters must have been busy because they didn’t show one second of their interaction. Though Khione was nervous to trust anyone again after Mark left, it appeared to have gone well, and Khione was excited to have a strong female mentor. The episode had a few more winks about Khione’s powers, but I’m getting tired of waiting for that to unfold.

Another Hiatus

The Flash is off until April 26. It looks like we’re getting one last crossover with the Arrow. It should be a huge episode, but I’m going to temper my expectations.