By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Flash.
A Plot: Elongated Man
Tonight’s episode featured the introduction of Elongated Man, a superhero who first appeared in a 1960 issue of The Flash. While he was given more of a sketchy background in tonight’s episode that may set him up as an anti-hero, in the comics he is a legitimate superhero who was a member of the Justice League. Tonight’s episode suggested that Elongated Man, aka Ralph Dibny, would be joining Team Flash, so his legacy as a superhero should remain intact despite his altered origin story. I like that the writers are possibly adding another member to the team after the exits of Julian, Jesse, and Wally. As has been pointed out many times, the show was getting speedster-heavy in both the villain and superhero sides. Adding a new metahuman who doesn’t have speedster powers freshens things up a bit. This also addresses a point I’ve been making for a while that too many metahumans on this show get their powers and become villains. It’s always been too illogical for me to believe that almost every person affected by the particle accelerator or dark matter became a villain. This show needs more people who got powers and then dedicated themselves to doing good with those powers (and those people all need to have something other than speed powers).
B Plot: The Hunted
I’ve been looking forward to this episode ever since I heard Danny Trejo would be in it and I was excited about it when I heard he would be playing Gypsy’s father. I assumed he would be playing the role of the tough dad who intimidated Cisco and I was not disappointed. Kudos to the writers for taking this age-old trope and turning the dial on it up to 11. Normally, with this story, we get a dad with a firm handshake who says something like, “If you hurt my baby I’ll hurt you.” It’s rare for us to get the dad who literally commits to spending 24 hours hunting the boyfriend. Trejo has always done a great job as an intimidating character actor and he shined tonight from the moment he came on screen. I particularly liked the moment in CC Jitters when he simply told Cisco he was going to hunt him and then began counting down from ten. I also liked that the writers resisted the urge to give this a totally happy ending and instead made it clear that Breacher, Trejo’s character, still hated Cisco. Let this be a lesson to every aspiring screenwriter: if you’re going to go with a tired trope then make it crazy and have fun with it.
C Plot: Joe’s Glow
Tonight’s third subplot was the pregnancy carryover from last week. It didn’t take up much screen time as there were only two mentions of “Joe’s glow” and then the celebratory reveal at the end. Two things stood out to me with this subplot: It was almost totally glossed over so it didn’t distract from the rest of the story at all, and Wally’s absence at the end was obvious to me. I wondered last week if we would be getting some screen time with Wally as he ventures off to a new city but his not being around to learn he’s getting a new sibling tells me that Keiynan Lonsdale wasn’t around for filming at the moment. Hopefully, we get some more answers to this soon.
This felt like a filler episode to me but it was so tightly written by Sterling Gates and Thomas Pound that it still felt like it was exceedingly important to the story. I liked that they used this hour not only to introduce a new superhero to this series, which was the main point of this episode but also to use that new character to clue Barry into the existence of DeVoe. The writers of this series are usually good at focusing every aspect of the story, even the mundane parts, towards advancing the main plot and tonight was no exception.
Thanks for reading!