No Longer Imprisoned, But Still Not Free
Before it took an Olympics inspired hiatus, The Flash squandered it’s Barry Allen behind bars storyline with a super timely application of Ralph’s powers he never knew he had to impersonate Clifford DeVoe at Barry’s appeal hearing. It was the worst kind of story coincidence and loss of logic as the judge didn’t bother to even investigate and just Barry out. It felt like the writers just wanted Barry to be out of prison so just made it happen.
That being said, this week at least provided some fallout from the prison plotline. Barry might be free but the world still thinks he did something as they don’t fully believe the DeVoe return, as well they should not despite reference of Ralph still showing up as the man to answer questions, and I’m so glad Captain Singh mentions that with a city of metahumans and social media cries of fake news there are reasons for people to be skeptical. It’s still silly that the judicial system basically didn’t really do its job in just letting Barry out before they established anything about DeVoe, but at least there is fallout. Essentially Barry has no job at this point being put on an indefinite leave of absence.
Honestly, why does Barry even need this job anymore? I get it, it’s his passion but he’s done far more good for people at this point as Flash than as a CSI who we’ve seen in the last season or so barely shows up to work. The guy was left Star Labs by the season one Harrison Wells/Eobard Thrawne and lots of money and now was given a chance to become a private investigator by Ralph. So there are plenty of avenues for him to follow, which would be far better for him to just take.
The Hunt For Metahumans Begins Once More
Now that DeVoe stole the powers of four more metahumans and the body of one of them during Barry’s prison break, he’s on the hunt once more for the rest of the bus created metahumans. As is team Flash, even though they were on this hunt weeks ago and kind of stopped it once they found Ralph. This time the metahuman of the week is Izzy Bowin (Miranda MacDougall) with sound wave abilities and happens to be a gender-swapped & updated version of DC Comics character Issacc Bowin also known as The Fiddler. Originally in the comics, The Fiddler was a petty thief who gained metahuman abilities to hypnotize but also create destructive waves with his fiddle. Another metahuman that we were given the chance to get to know only for the series to pull it’s usual thing this season and prove that was a waste. As with all the other bus metahumans that aren’t Ralph, Fiddler lost her life as The Thinker beat Flash and Elongated Man to take her body and powers along with the rest. MacDougall will stick around on the series for now as DeVoe but it feels like a bit of a waste.
It’s time for DeVoe’s plans to be revealed. After fourteen episodes we’re no closer to even understanding what the villain is up to. Tricked Team Flash into getting Barry back, created twelve new metahumans, got Barry thrown into prison and now is back to trying to find the metahumans he created. Him switching bodies each week is a novelty but honestly the characters has lost something by not being portrayed by Neil Sandilands anymore. There was this quiet reverence and sadness to his portrayal of the character whereas now the character very much comes off as a cackling supervillain type as we’ve seen time and time again on the show. Us not even knowing what his overall plan is though makes it worse. They don’t even have to reveal it to the characters, just let the audience in on things, it might make us care a bit more.
The episode using Fiddler to try and help Ralph find something to fight for and stick around was slightly intriguing, but sorry him feeling such a rapport with the character and falling for her just felt forced. There wasn’t even that much between them to lead to his. If she had gotten more time through a few more episodes maybe, but this just felt hollow. Especially it leading to a vow of vengeance to make DeVoe pay as if Ralph had known Izzy for more than like half a day. Also in a way, this is the fault of Team Flash because why the hell did they stop searching for Metas? They knew there were 12 of them months ago. Even if they were focused on saving Barry, there is no reason they could not be multitasking especially after they found out like a month and a half ago that DeVoe had targeted at least one of those metas. Just poor plotting this season.
Things On The Side
Harry’s disappearance in the last episode was kind of out of nowhere, as he headed back to Earth 2, and this episode just sort of throws him back into things after that visit. A big issue with this season is that there are so many plotlines and supporting characters that the show is failing to juggle them. Joe didn’t even appear this week, and Caitlin goes back and forth between being a powered person helping the team to just hanging around the base as the guys run out and do the hero thing. Cecile & Harry’s side plot was mildly amusing, though Harry being upset he can’t help stop DeVoe when he took off during a time they most needed him was a bit annoying. It also brought the season three flash of the Cerebral Inhibitor to fruition, even if that ended up being another moment that fell completely flat in the long run.
This was just another weak installment in a season that started strong but has been becoming weaker and weaker by the week. Barry’s prison plotline was wasted, the fallout feels slightly hollow, and not even the action of the episode makes up for the very weak plotting that is going on. At this rate, it’s really time to wrap things up.
Score: 6 out of 10