By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Flash.
A Plot: The Elongated Man
So Ralph Dibney is a proper superhero now. They grow up so fast. I wasn’t sure how the writers would handle Barry being in jail. Truthfully, I completely forgot about the possibility that Dibney could take center stage for an episode or two. This was a good move. For all his faults, Dibney is still a charming character for reasons I’ve yet to figure out. The dirty-cop-turned-dirty-private investigator-turned-superhero arc is working for me. Maybe it’s because we’ve seen so many people gain metahuman powers and become villains that it’s refreshing to see someone use their powers for good.
I also liked the return of the younger Trickster. I was hoping it would also signal a surprise return of Mark Hamill but that didn’t happen (being Luke Skywalker is busy work). This would have been an easy fight for Barry but it was more of a match for Dibney. That was a solid narrative move. This episode was important for Dibney’s growth but you can’t have that without adversity. Bringing him to the brink of quitting only to learn what it truly means to be a superhero was trite but it still worked in this case. Much like the way I like his character, I can’t explain why such an overused story worked so well for me but it did. I don’t want Barry to stay in jail for long but while he’s there I’m glad we have Elongated Man to fill the void.
B Plot: Prison Rules
It turns out prison Barry is just as delightful as regular Barry. I wasn’t sure where the story would go from here but I’m glad it didn’t involve the Scarlet Speedster being down over his current predicament. That’s just not the Barry we know. From the very beginning, he’s taken his lumps and kept his head up. Whether it was his dad being wrongfully imprisoned or the times he’s had to let Eobard Thawn go knowing it would always inevitably lead to the death of his mom, Barry has always been a bright beacon of light. No matter what, the writers can’t let go of that because it’s what makes him an inspiring superhero. No matter what, he doesn’t go dark.
As for the actual story, I think it’s fitting that the goodwill of his father, someone who also never gave up hope and who inspired Barry, saved his life tonight (not that it really needed saving). Barry made an ally in prison by doing nothing other than being the good son of a good man. That’s a story I like watching
Thanks for reading!