Even when you’re having a great season, not every episode can be a winner. That’s what happens this week as the latest The Flash adventure had a lot of potential but just didn’t live up to it. Remember all that drama built up about Barry’s imprisonment? Yeah, it’s frittered away pretty easily this week.
Prison Break Metahuman Style
After last week’s cliffhanger where the warden turned out to be a villain and knows the identity of Barry as the Flash, things aren’t off to a great start for Barry or all the metahumans that the team has fought this season. Slybert Rundine/Dwarfstar, tech controlling Ramsey Deacon, animator Mina Chaytan and Becky/Hazard are all up for sale alongside Barry to the returned Amunet Black who is still in the meta-human sales game. Barry going full McGuyver to get out of the prison before they are all sold was actually probably the most interesting part of this whole thing. After that, it kind of takes a downhill turn.
A hero/cop having to work with villains they helped put away (not that these villains know that fact) is a tired cliche. Sometimes it works, other times it’s just tedious. This round goes more towards the second option as Barry has to wrangle a bunch of kill hungry psychopaths that are willing to do anything to get out and go back to crime. Trying to convince Becky that her powers are not a curse and maybe she can do good was vintage Barry and was an okay moment. Otherwise, the prison break was not all that interesting at least until it reached a very unsatisfying conclusion which I dive into further down.
The Man That Elongates Has Some Issues
Ralph managed to gain some goodwill back in my eyes after his big episode a few weeks ago with the Trickster. Now that Barry’s in prison he’s getting a lot of attention and it stays this week as he’s the key to saving Barry. Ralph suddenly learning he can shapeshift just in the nick of time to try and use this to be the warden to call off the deal just is too much of a coincidence. These plot conveniences that keep popping up that just happen to tie the A and B plot storylines together are just lazy. Last week it was Dwarfstar being tied to Big Sir’s prison time and now this. Plot lines tying together is something that happens a lot in shows when writers just have to quickly build things and sometimes even in life coincidences happen. But when it becomes a recurring thing that’s when maybe one needs to think of other ways to tie characters or plots up.
Ralph had his big moment weeks ago and now because of one failure suddenly he’s back to being a mopey guy that is willing to throw in the towel when his friends need him. Throwing in some guy from his past to try and convince him that he’s going to be ditched again was eye rolling. I want to care about Ralph but the mopey woe is me thing that keeps coming up leading to him needing motivational speeches from Barry and then from Killer Frost is making that hard. Sure he comes back around again and dives in to help try and save the day but it would be nice if he could do it without the whole running away and needed to be dragged back into things route. Just once at least.
The coincidences didn’t wrap up here. No, they proved to be the very fabric tying this episode together.
Coincidence Thy Name Is The Flash
After a number of weeks missing in action, The Thinker and his wife return their plans still as mysterious as before. Apparently, the whole Amunet Black thing was not part of their plans and not something fully foreseen, which is an interesting thing to note. At some point, we really need to learn what the heck their plans are and why the Flash had to be put away for it to happen. Unfortunately, that is not this episode. No instead we get more of the issues with the couples relationship as DaVoe abuses the telepathic powers he gained with the new body and then drives a wedge deeper into their relationship as he becomes more detached and further from the man that he used to be.
Those aforementioned coincidences come in spades for the final moments of the episode. Thinker shows up just in time to stop Amunet Black’s trying to get the metahumans, kills the Warden and all the metahumans outside of Hazard, whose body he now resides within, so of course, them having found out that Barry is the Flash is done with because all that knew it are killed. What a coincidence there. Then Ralph uses his conveniently discovered shapeshifting to pretend to be DaVoe so that suddenly Barry can be freed from prison. So much potential with the plotlines was just tossed aside for the quick easy answer to things. This is where juggling too many things seem to be weighing heavily on the writers as their plans don’t seem to be as planned out as the Thinker’s are said to be. That could easily turn around, but this week was just a bit of a letdown after all they had built up over the weeks.
While there were some entertaining or character developing moments, this week’s episode fell as flat as Ralph Dibny during his first attempts to turn into Warden Wolf. Barry’s prison stint ended too easily and too cliche like, and too many plotlines just wrapped up way too quickly and without much fanfare. Hopefully, this is just a bump in the road off episode for this otherwise excellent season.
Score: 6 out of 10