License to Elongate dials down some of the emotional tension that’s been building so far this season. Initially it seems the switch to more of a lighthearted episode seems like a bad call, but it makes for a smart break in what’s about to be a run of four increasingly less cheery outings as Crisis is fast approaching.
As usual for this season Team Flash isn’t stuck all over each other and have their own subplots going. Iris was barely in the episode while Cisco had a blink and you’ll miss it cameo.
Nash needed an artifact and wanted Team Flash to fetch it for him, but ended up settling on partnering with Allegra. This was a little worrisome as Team Flash doesn’t need any new super-powered sidekicks. Nash casually revealed to Allegra that Barry was The Flash and spilled all kinds of info on The Multiverse. This seemed out of character for a guy who’s so far been heavily into secrets. But from his thoughtful look later it’s likely Nash’s daughter on his Earth wasn’t Jesse, but Allegra.
Chester finally has his abilities in balance so he’s able to join society again. With his new lease on life, he’s ready to finally express his interest to his crush. Naturally she’s not black as only Joe is apparently interested in black women in the Arrowverse. The season has been so good about avoiding goofy subplots, but Cecile helping Chester out definitely got cozy in the silliness aisle. Still, Frost consulting The Book of Ralph was pretty funny. And I did thoroughly enjoy Chester’s line about holding up like Alderaan on a bad day.
Cecile is worried she won’t succeed at being a meta attorney, which felt like a random give Cecile a tiny subplot kind of issue. She definitely needs to try again with the business cards.
For the big subplot, Barry wants to officially recognize Elongated Man as Central City’s hero in waiting. Barry wants Central City to get prepared for a world without The Flash. Much as I love Ralph now, Elongated Man is a significant step down from The Flash in the powers department. It seems like Frost would be better served as the protector of the city since her powers are more useful.
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In the interim, Barry helps Ralph’s investigation on Sue Dearborn as they crash an underground villains gala to bid on a weapon of mass destruction. It’s a very tongue in cheek homage to James Bond right down to the femme fatale, villain with an accent and impeccable clothing (Carlo Rota) and Ultraviolent as they deadly bodyguard.
I’m still of the mindset of acknowledging you’re shamelessly ripping off something doesn’t make it any better, but this was done so obviously it was hard to get too worked up about it.
Ralph didn’t make much headway in his Sue investigation, but his calm and steady approach proved to Barry he made the right choice in naming him his successor. That’s got a cool comic book nod to it as Barry probably would have chosen his other best friend Ralph to fill in for him instead of putting the burden on Kid Flash. Ralph finally gets his EM emblem badge and in a nice moment Ralph and Joe give Barry the Medal of Honor as a means of recognizing The Flash publicly.
The ending was a tad weird with Ramsey showing up to attack Ralph randomly. It seemed like a better opening sequence than a cliffhanger.
While hardly the season’s strongest episode the mix of humor and continued look to Crisis made for another solid episode.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW