The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. That definitely fits Team Flash this season, as they continue to struggle behind to find the metahumans, find DeVoe, and find some way to maybe defeat him. Those plans take a step forward this week as the team confronts DeVoe. But things don’t really go in the hero’s favor, because of course, they don’t with a couple more episodes left in the season.
Turns out the last bus meta could not be found because he’s a hippie that lives out in the woods most of the time with others but also has an ability to access a pocket dimension. Which of course, is something DeVoe would want because then they could create those portals they already do but without the need for the big floaty chair. If Thinker is a hundred steps ahead of the team, as the team keeps alluding, why did they not find this Edwin Gauss/Folding Man long ago? Why did they need Team Flash to find the guy so then they could show up to take him? Oh, that’s right, because the writers wanted to drag this stuff out painfully across twenty-something episodes.
Ralph has been a major annoyance this entire season, fluctuating back and forth between jerk and joke and hero. While this week doesn’t take away from the times he’s been an anchor dragging episodes down, he takes a huge step this week. Barry and Ralph’s argument about whether heroes kill villains or not, which leads to a brawl where Flash takes him down, eventually leads to the revelation that Ralph is willing to throw away being a hero to take down Thinker in the name of protecting the rest of Team Flash. He calls them his only family, outside of his mom, and that he’s willing to do anything to save them. It’s a big moment of development for the character, one that could have been more earned if it had happened earlier instead of after the flip-flopping that has happened. Sadly, it’s also a moment too late.
That insanity part mentioned before? Well it comes in half-way through the episode as Team Flash is divided with Flash, Killer Frost and Vibe using a pocket dimension to go to DeVoe’s lair only to find out that it was a planned trap that lets DeVoe and Marlize snake into Star Labs to get the Folding Man, Null, and Melting Point and in the end Ralph. After some pretty great fights between Marlize & Iris, Ralph and the T-Rex skeleton again (though the CGI was a bit buggy) it all came down to Ralph vs Thinker. Ralph doesn’t kill him, but it turns out that this would have been the right choice perhaps as the villain breaks free of the meta-human cuffs and takes over Ralph. Now Thinker has full control of every single bus meta power and has killed & taken a member of Team Flash. Turns out, in the end, to be two members as Thinker also used Melting Point’s powers to take Caitlin’s powers, meaning Killer Frost is gone.
As anyone could have predicted weeks ago, the Thinking Cap has gotten its hooks deep into Harry as he’s gone into full addiction mode. Using the cap all the time for everything backfires as he tried to maximize its use during the big fight and it seemingly fries his brain. Not much is said about this but it looks that it might have left him in a spot where his intelligence is not a tool anymore. This has been a rough season for Harry as the show seems uncertain of how to really use him anymore, which in a way makes sense after writers have had to spend four seasons trying to do different versions of the same character somewhat. Hopefully, this doesn’t take him down some dark path, but it seems very likely that it will.
Things picked up greatly this week, as things finally moved forward, but not forward enough. To this point, we still have no clue what Thinker’s overall plan fully is. Sure all the meta-human powers were gained (it only took a better part of a year to do so for some reason) and Neil Sandland is back to playing the character now that he has Ralph’s abilities to alter his shape. It seems that there is some plan to create some bomb to destroy things to bring about “the enlightenment,” whatever that means. There are still a couple of episodes to go so this will be dragged out across them till the finale. After a really long dragged out season where the super smart character was made to look anything but with how long things took for him to accomplish, here’s hoping the last episodes are like this one and at least exciting.
A slog of a season, especially the middle parts, has led up to this point where at last some huge action and character movement has finally begun. At last, the Thinker truly felt like a threat as the character was proven to be steps ahead of the heroes, something that wasn’t panning out previously. While he was annoying before, the loss of Ralph is sure to be a huge blow to the team as will the loss of Killer Frost to both the team and very much so to Caitlin who had just become used to having her around. With only a few episodes left, the series has a lot to do to at least make the season a half-way decent one overall.
Score: 8 out of 10