Switching Things Up Isn’t Always For The Best
Unfortunately, the plots that stay away from The Thinker in any way that we got last week could not last for long. The DeVoes’s are not a huge presence in the episode but as usual, they weigh heavily over everything as the team is back to slowly finding the bus metas. A new one named Matthew Kim (Melting Point) makes his power/DNA switching debut to make things a bit stranger for Team Flash. Bouncing Barry’s powers to Iris, causing both to adjust to what the other usually does, was an interesting development. Giving both of them a chance to reflect upon what they have lost over the last year or so.
Barry has lost his freedom, his job and now his powers while Iris lost feeling like she was part of the action after choosing to just take a seat behind the scenes and lead following the Savitar situation and Barry’s disappearance. With everyone just about getting powers or abilities on the team or around the team as of late, it makes sense that Iris feels a bit out of place, and misses the days where she was running around as a reporter or just helping out the team in the past. Effectively this episode gave Iris the chance to re-prove that she can handle being out in the field and can be fearless when needed.
One big critique of the metahuman threat of the week this season is that they feel very weak. Numerous times the metas that are popping up as of late are just so easily toppled within the third act of the episode. They are just generally an action distraction in the episode alongside all the other things that are dragged out to do with the DeVoe storyline. This series truly needs a bit of a refresh without some huge overarching big bad dragging it down, to do more with the other heroes and villains in bigger development ways. Metahumans of the week felt so much more impactful back in the first season and part of the second season.
One perk is seeing Iris tap back into her journalistic roots and what is her destiny (as shown by future issues and from the comics) by writing about the Flash again. Perhaps a return to the newsroom is on its way for her. Also, Matthew Kim agreeing to stick around to help use his powers against DeVoe seems like a win for the team, but with quite a number of weeks (including another long month break for the show) to go before the finale, anything could happen. Including DeVoe getting his hands on the guy.
Obsession Thy Name is Harrison Welles
Harry is a man obsessed. Wells keeps seeking ways to find, defeat or outthink The Thinker so that they can finally defeat the villain. None have panned out so far, but this latest decision to recreate the Thinking Cap that gave DeVoe his great intelligence is definitely the most out there. Despite this Wells being from Earth 2 and not being Thawne in disguise like season one, it’s understandable why Cisco is wary of using Dark Matter with the device to make Harry smarter. They don’t need another DeVoe running around using his brains to do awful things to others.
While Cisco eventually comes around to help Wells and the cap helps when Iris is in trouble against the latest meta threat of the week, the guarantee that things won’t take a dark turn isn’t there. He did figure out the names of the last two bus metas at last, so maybe that will help. Though likely not with how things are going in Team Flash’s favor lately.
A Dead Man Returned Still Makes No Sense
To solve the prison plot that the writers seemingly didn’t know what to do with, they had Ralph shapeshift into Clifford DeVoe and trick the court into believing that Barry didn’t really kill anyone. This comes up again this week because Barry can’t get his job back just yet, with the Mayor suddenly wanting to meet the DeVoes to talk about what happened after seemingly weeks of Barry being out of prison. It doesn’t happen on screen, but this plotline continues to drag things down. If the courts and others were so convinced to let Barry run free, why is the mayor still trying to get in on it all? And no one has checked in on the DeVoes before now since Ralph has been hiding in the basement for awhile scared? None of it makes any sense and really just needs to be let go.
Thinker’s shadow loomed over the episode but only dragged it down a bit as the character development moments for Barry and Iris and others helped keep the episode afloat. The metahuman threat felt weak, but most of them have this season as they are just too easy to defeat too quickly. Another month break is really not going to help when this season has already felt very dragged out, it’s time for the show to start wrapping up some plotlines and quickly.
Score: 7 out of 10