The Flash Null and Annoyed review S4 E17
I’d love to know why The Flash writers were so intent on making Ralph Dibney so vital to this season. Null and Annoyed was another episode that lived and died horribly thanks to the forced efforts to make Fetch Stretchy happen. It seems so long ago that I was really excited and invested in this season.
The Flash is starting to run away as the worst of the main comic book TV shows this season and it’s running out of episodes to turn it around.
A big reason for that is this silly notion that Flash needed to be a goofier show. The first two seasons had the right mix of humor, drama and action. Season 3 got a little too dark at times and this season has gone the other direction. It’s definitely been a change for the worst.
This time, it was Barry who had to learn an invaluable lesson from the goofball Ralph. It was just a few weeks ago he was moping over his potential girlfriend The Fiddler becoming the new host body for DeVoe. Now, he’s cracking jokes and stressing the need to improv. Ralph is such an insufferable character. Or at least this version of him.
The Flash writers haven’t done the best job of translating great characters from the comics onto the show, but Ralph is my lock for the worst. Team Flash had a spot for a more lighthearted guy, but Ralph too often comes off like a sleazeball who annoys everyone around him. Whether it’s imitating Joe or being oblivious to everything around him, Ralph just seems way too clueless. Imagine if the writers put this kind of effort in developing Wally last year or remembering Caitlin at all this season.
Janet Petty aka Null (Bethany Brown) has the powers to make objects lose their mass and float. Brown seemed to have a lot of fun in the role and Null came off like a credible Rogue. Anyone else get a Cardi B vibe from Brown’s performance? Since Kevin Smith directed this episode, he worked in a cute Jay and Silent Bob cameo.
Too much of this episode felt like slapstick. Barry and Ralph go over their plan to arrest a perp right at his front door. Maybe the weirdest segment of the episode was when Flash caught Null as it raised a ton of questions.
Why would Null just so happen to have lock pick? Is she randomly tossing cars in the air as an escape route and if so, for what? Why can’t the fastest man alive get the guy in the falling car and catch her??? And didn’t Cisco make Barry an inflatable raft mode?
There wasn’t a lot of help from the other subplot, which saw Breacher return asking for Cisco’s help to get his powers back. Turns out old age can burn out powers. Danny Trejo is always enthusiastic in any role. Ordinarily he and Breacher’s silly subplot would have been kinda fun, but with Ralph around the show already has a surplus of bad comedy. Now Cisco has to consider taking Breacher’s job and spending more time with Gypsy or staying behind with his buddies.
At least the DeVoe storyline had some interesting advancement. Marlize learned that Clifford has been slipping her Weeper Mickey’s to keep her compliant. And as she saw a previously recorded message, realized this wasn’t the first time she’s discovered him. This was a tragic reveal and clashed mightily with the tone of the other subplots.
I also hate this direction for their subplot as this seems the clear loophole and avenue for Flash to beat DeVoe. And I wanted to see a bad guy and wife actually not turn on each other for a change. It’s still way too hard to take DeVoe seriously when he goes from pint-sized Becky voice to Country Strong Izzy.
File Closed: Null and Annoyed got one part right as it was another frustrating installment in what’s rapidly becoming Flash’s most disappointing season.
Rating: 4 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW