After a very impressive midseason finale for Supergirl, The Flash kept pace with another strong episode. If we ignored the Crisis on Earth-X crossover, The Flash has had two of its best episodes of the entire series. Don’t Run accomplished a ton in 44 minutes and the season has benefited from The Thinker being a threat from the onset not just at the 11th hour.
Don’t Run had some dark moments that were offset well with some of the classic humor we’ve come to associate with The Flash. Gypsy’s Christmas gift to Cisco was really funny
I also appreciated Iris at least being a little ticked off at Felicity for hijacking their wedding. Seems like Oliver and his new bride needed to go a little better than an espresso maker as an apology for playing wedding copycat. There were quick moments, but it was already encouraging to see how the writers are handling Barry and Iris as a married couple. Getting store credit since people bought the same thing on a registry is a wedding rite of passage. And the line about Rory and the fire sale was great too. More than any other couple on the CW, Barry and Iris make sense and act like real people.
Caitlin got her own storyline as well as Amulet Black forced her to heal newly created meta telepath Dominic (Kendrick Sampson). We get a little of Black’s backstory. This is a far more subtle nod to what’s going on in the headlines than the norm for the show. I was glad to see Katee Sackhoff return so quickly. She brings a larger than life comic book scene chewing villain presence and has a blast in the role.
It was nice to see Iris have to make a tough choice and be the leader of Team Flash. While she clearly is not working a full-time job any more, this is the direction the show needs to take Iris if she’s going to sit in the ‘main chair.’ Side note, this Microsoft Surface product placement is getting out of hand.
The only problem though was the lack of Wally. He just came back and now he’s gone again when having a second speedster really would have been useful. What was the point of him coming back only to not just be on the sidelines but to not even be around. It’s clear the writers rushed him to be Kid Flash for fan service, but had no clue what to do with them beyond that point.
Ralph again got the short end in terms of validating his purpose on the show. If Season 4 has had any questionable decisions, it’s giving him such a prominent role. Or at least this take on the character. Elongated Man with the personality of the comic version would be a lot of fun and so far the show’s version hasn’t proven worth the journey to make him likeable.
Don’t Run didn’t disappoint with The Flash/Thinker confrontation. Hopefully I wasn’t the only one who got a serious Attack of the Clones vibe with Flash hanging on to Thinker’s chair in the night skyline. And I loved that Cisco’s ridiculous life raft mode actually came into play.
I’m a little bummed this episode marks the apparent end of Neil Sandilands’ tenure this season. He brought a terrific arrogant air to The Thinker. Sandilands’ performance completely justified the decision to move on from a speedster main villain again. But Sampson quickly asserted himself this episode. He made Dominic a sympathetic innocent bystander and smoothly conveyed DeVoe using Dominic’s body. That was impressive in such a short period of time and I’m looking forward to seeing how Sampson further handles the role going forward.
The last minute twist was terrific. DeVoe keeps assuring Barry he won’t ever see his plan coming and framing him for his ‘death’ certainly qualifies. This was a great cliffhanger for next season as Barry will ironically be in the same place his father wasted so many years of his life.
Don’t Run capped off The Flash’s first half very strongly. The Thinker is already making a case for the series’ second best villain. With the rest of the season to go I won’t bet against him.
Rating: 9.8 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW