This The Flash review contains spoilers.
The Flash Season 4 Episode 14
It’s one step forward and two steps back for Team Flash this week, where the gang figures out a piece of the Devoe puzzle, but at great cost. It’s also a time for the supporting characters to shine, with Ralph, Harry, and Cecile stepping into the spotlight for a while.
It’s no real surprise that Captain Singh put Barry on indefinite leave, but considering Barry is one of the few heroes who is as passionate about his day job as he is about his off-hours gig, it’s heartbreaking nonetheless. From a strictly business perspective, it does make managing The Flash’s growing cast a bit easier, especially as things accelerate toward the most intense part of the season.
Barry seemed to be channeling Oliver Queen this week, with his intense training regime. I’ll be curious to see if this leads to Barry having a heart to heart with either Oliver or Joe on the subject. It seems clear that Barry’s intensity, much like Oliver’s, is due to a real fear for the safety of everyone involved, as well as the mounting pressure of feeling like he personally bears that responsibility in a way that the others don’t. Team Flash has always been a bit more egalitarian than Team Arrow, so I doubt the idea that Barry thinks he’s the one who is really responsible would sit all that well with Iris, Joe, Cisco or Caitlin, who have put so much of themselves into the team and have sacrificed so much for it. Barry and Iris’s differing styles continue to differ, which is not a problem in and of itself, but their communication around the issue doesn’t seem to have improved all that much, either.
This season has struggled with how, exactly to use Ralph Dibney, and this was the first episode that felt like a real success on that front. Dibney’s specific experience as a fellow bus meta and a fledgling hero helped him connect with Izzy, and his making Barry his partner shows an attention to detail and a concern for others that has been lacking until now. Perhaps this is a signal of Ralph coming into his own and being a greater asset to the team as a result.
It’s too bad that DeVoe’s procedure kills ever bus meta that he goes through – Sugar Lyn Beard, in particular, has been fun to watch as both Becky and DeVoe, and we’ve become invested in her story as she progressed toward her own brand of heroism in the episode “True Colors.”
Izzy, our bus meta of the week, was also a rather charming character considering she only had the space of an episode to win us over. Her fiddle of fury was incredibly goofy, but it was fun to watch and even more fun to feel like Team Flash actually had a chance of taking in DeVoe for once. Luckily we have at least a little while longer with actor Miranda MacDougall. Ralph’s feelings for her do make it seem a bit more likely that Team Flash will find a way to bring at least some of those metas back, given the way that romantic pairings seem to insulate some characters from harm.
Cecile and Harry each got some much-needed screen time, with the added bonus of it being together, since Harry finally decided to pursue friendship with someone else his age. After mansplaining pregnancy to Cecile, Harry set about making Cecile a device to dampen her powers and help her get some sleep. Harry seems the most comfortable with Cecile’s powers, which functioned like rapid-fire brainstorming between the two of them. I’m hoping for both a continued trend toward more prominence for Cecile, as well as her pregnancy-induced powers having some role in taking down Devoe.
DeVoe’s relationship with his wife, Marlize, continues to be on thin ice, no matter how much she clapped after his violin solo. Much like Harry, DeVoe lashes out when he’s struggling, but completely unlike Harry, DeVoe is utterly incapable of apologizing and making up for his behavior. Earlier in the season Barry unsuccessfully attempted to drive a wedge between DeVoe and Marlize, but it seems that conversation still planted a seed of doubt for her. She would never betray her husband, but the further DeVoe deviates from the man she fell in love with, the easier it may be for her to leave his side and help Team Flash.