By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Flash.
A Plot: The Makings of a Superhero
Tonight’s episode was really about Ralph Dibney and his evolution into a superhero. When we first met Ralph, he was a selfish ex-detective who was extorting the mayor and didn’t care about anyone but himself. We saw last week that he’s kind of a sleazeball. This week, we saw the first steps towards his evolution into a true superhero. Things seem to be happening at a rather quick pace with Ralph but that’s just because this is a show about the Flash and not Ralph Dibney. If this was Dibney’s series then we’d be spending a half a season or more watching as he progressed from the self-righteous sleazeball into the true blue superhero. As things are now, I think we’re supposed to believe that underneath the slimy exterior Ralph was always a good guy. Just thinking about it, that’s hard to accept but as I watch the show I see that Hartley Sawyer (which would be a great name for a villain or a superhero) is such a charming and charismatic actor that I find myself buying into that concept even though I know it’s a little far-fetched.
I liked that at the beginning of this episode Ralph was on the brink of being as much of an on-the-fence superhero as he was a cop. He rushed into things without thinking about the consequences and his only goal was to catch the bad guy no matter how many innocent people got hurt. Even though I know that’s not how a superhero is supposed to act I still found myself considering his way of thinking. How many lives could be saved if Barry and Ralphed sacrificed just one innocent person in order to catch Mina Chayton? Again, this was the charismatic acting of Hartley Sawyer that allowed me to abandon all pretenses of what a superhero is. For his sake and the audiences, Ralph came around and quickly realized that his methods would be bad for everyone and he began to transform into the superhero we all need in our lives. Jonathan Butler and Gabriel Garza, the two writers on this episode, did an excellent job of playing with our heads for a little but there.
B Plot: The Council of Wells
What seemed like a convenient arc by the writers to reveal the identity of Clifford DeVoe ended up being an interesting dive into the psyche of Wells. We learned at the beginning of the season that his own daughter basically kicked him off of her team and Earth-2 but we haven’t really explored what that means for him. Cisco laid it all out for him and the audience by saying that Wells hates himself. He’s an angry narcissistic jackass who has a difficult time considering the people around him. It took Wells hating three versions of his own self to realize that. I don’t know what, if anything, that will mean for him going forward but it at least reminded the audience that he’s a man who can’t even work well with his own daughter. I can see this as something the writers continue to explore or something that gets abandoned completely going forward. Either way, the Council of Wells came around and managed to find DeVoe
I’m intrigued to see what this means for the rest of the season. This is by far the earliest the team has learned the identity of the main villain. Hopefully, the writers haven’t written themselves into a corner. This was only episode six and this story has 16 more episodes left. I want to spend this season watching Barry battle his biggest foe yet; I don’t want to see a bunch of filler episodes between now and the end of the season. Things have been great so far and they can certainly continue that way or things can go horribly awry.
Thanks for reading!