With Lose Yourself, Flash essentially tossed up a season saving Hail Mary. Whether that’s enough to fully turn the season around is unclear, but at least it’s heading to overtime now.One of the biggest struggles this season has been the shaky and inconsistent characterization of Ralph Dibny. One week he’s the class clown, the next he’s mopey and broody before becoming the snarky would-be comic relief again. This week we got another take on Ralph — hardcore Punisher Ralph. With DeVoe being such a problem, Ralph questioned why killing him wasn’t a good idea.
Up to this point, The Flash hasn’t had a ton of main villains who’ve killed people throughout the season. It lends credence to Ralph’s question and brings up a sticking point with Jessica Jones’ first season. Sure, there’s the moral high ground, which along with $5 can get a cup of joe at CC Jitters, but is Ralph wrong? As Lose Yourself played out he wasn’t and it’s always tricky when the heroic stance conflicts with the sensible one.
Edwin Gauss (Arturo del Puerto, Fear the Walking Dead) is the last meta running free and his portal power makes him especially useful. Gauss was a hipster making for an interesting field trip for Barry, Ralph and Caitlin. Why is Ralph always paired up with Barry? Caitlin never gets any time to hang with Barry one on one this season.
Lose Yourself had to play catch up on the forgotten members of Team Flash. Joe had an intervention of one with Harry, who was turning into Gollum with his thinking cap. This was a good thing as Harry was becoming increasingly like HR and getting goofier. I prefer Harry far snootier.
Caitlin also got a bit more attention as she’s been working on a Killer Frost cure. But from her appreciation of her humor and thrill from getting notes from KF, which oddly makes this Caitlin’s most stable relationship since Ronnie, it doesn’t seem like she wants to ditch her alter ego.
Iris is fine as the leader of Team Flash, but I don’t understand how she and Barry are paying their rent. He’s fired from the CCPD and Iris must have a strong telework setup with her reporting gig we never see her do. I wish so much of Iris’ character wasn’t 100% focused on Barry. Instead of shoehorning random metas, it’d be nice to see her on her day gig sometimes.
Harry’s whipped up a sonic scepter that will stop DeVoe with one shot and kill him with the other. This naturally led to Ralph and Barry getting into a blow up over taking DeVoe out. The writers didn’t do a great job of explaining why Ralph was wrong and unintentionally supported his case as he wants to kill DeVoe to save Team Flash.
Hearing Ralph try the ‘If I were in charge of the team (that I joined five weeks ago)…’ was a bit much for a character who previously never expressed any interest in being a hero. This serious Ralph actually was far more engaging than the other versions, but it felt a little too late. It was oddly satisfying watching Barry knock Ralph out. I was shocked at the Gingold drink Easter Egg as I just assumed the writers had no idea about anything related to Elongated Man from the comics.
Barry did decide Ralph’s plan to have Gauss transport them to DeVoe’s lair had merit so he took Killer Frost and Vibe with him. This was the first clue something was up as Ralph has tagged along on EVERY mission. DeVoe outsmarted Team Flash and invaded STAR Labs to get to the other metas under Team Flash’s care.
DeVoe killed the other metas while Iris battled a suddenly League of Assassins card carrying member Mechanic and Joe fought the Samuroid. But Ralph returned from fighting a mega dinosaur just in time to get the drop on him and decided not to kill him. Before Barry can finish patting him on the back, DeVoe breaks the color coded handcuffs. That’s when Cisco tech gets too sophisticated for its own good. Devoe holds off Barry long enough to take over Ralph’s body and seemingly killing him.
Not that The Flash hasn’t killed off supporting characters before, but there’s a lot of episodes left in the season and I’m already coming up with ways that Ralph is still alive. At least now we know why DeVoe spared him for last as he transformed back to his original form. But what about the energy device he got from Harry maxing out his thinking cap? That’s a mystery for next week.
Team Flash failed completely in stopping DeVoe from killing 12 people. That’s not something they’ll be talking about at the next crossover. And DeVoe even managed to cure/rob Caitlin of her Killer Frost ability so it was a double loss for the team. A bummed Barry goes to clean out Ralph’s office and has one more shot of Gingold for the road. I had to Shazam the Darkest Hour by Lyves. That was a pretty great song for this moment.
File Closed: Lose Yourself took The Flash back to a darker direction with Team Flash failing miserably making for a surprising resolution to the bus metas and putting some urgency back to this season.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW