When DeVoe assaults an A.R.G.U.S. facility to complete his Enlightenment Machine, Barry (Grant Gustin) realizes the only way he can stop him is if he allows Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) to accompany him into the facility. Still shaken by Ralph’s death, Barry isn’t sure he wants to risk any more of his friends’ lives and considers taking on DeVoe solo.
The Flash Season 4 Episode 22, “Think Fast,” was the first really good episode of the series we’ve had in a while. There was only one drawback, but even with that it still delivered an entertaining and inventive story building up a fair amount of anticipation for next week’s finale, just as a proper penultimate episode should.
The best episode of the season by far has been “Flashtime,” so it was no surprise that the writers succeeded it because it brought the concept of Flashtime back as Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin utilized it to stop DeVoe. The resolution was inventive as the team found a way for Cisco and Caitlin to move around on their own in Flashtime, helping Barry save DeVoe’s hostages. The uniqueness of Flashtime again allowed the show to think outside the box with how the hostages would be saved. It allowed the team to fully work together as Barry, Cisco and Caitlin each had a specific job to do in order to stop the hostage’s explosives from going off and get them out of there. It was a lot of fun seeing the trio work together and even coming up with a way for Caitlin to provide help without her Killer Frost powers.
The Burdens of Responsibility
With their plan made, Barry was once again put in the role of a teacher as he had to teach Cisco and Caitlin how to operate in Flashtime. This once again brought up Barry’s problems with being a mentor as he feels responsible for Ralph, not to mention the other bus metas they tried to help, dying at the hands of DeVoe. Flash has brought this problem up a lot in recent weeks to the point where its become a bit repetitive; however, there was a nice subversion here as they quickly took the focus away from Barry and onto Cisco as he revealed he places himself wholly responsible for everything that’s happened this season. As he said, it was his idea to get Barry out of the Speed Force, he pulled the trigger on the gun, he didn’t do enough research beforehand, all of which ultimately led to the creation of the new meta-humans.
It was a great moment for Carlos Valdes as he displayed a lot of emotion during this scene and showed Barry how ridiculous he was being. It allowed Cisco to step up to the plate and remind Barry he was being rather single-minded by making the problems they faced more about him instead of thinking how the others were impacted. It was definitely one of Cisco’s most powerful moments of the season.
“This Is Bad Comedy”
The one major drawback was the use of Harry as the comedic source. With his dwindling intelligence, Harry is becoming more of an annoyance than a dreadful warning over the fate of mankind should DeVoe accomplish his Enlightenment. Simply put, Harry was not funny. The reliance on Harry to sell the comedy didn’t work right from the beginning. Whether it was Harry falling over chairs, forgetting names, or not finishing basic sentences, it got old fairly quickly. Similarly, Joe’s storyline with Cecile also did not provide many laughs and seemed way too campy. A newfound power Cecile had was pure empathy to the point where she would take on someone’s whole personality and mannerisms, right down to their speech patterns and how they’d react to any given situation. This element got overplayed pretty quickly as Danielle Nicolet dialed up the campiness to eleven, giving a very stereotypical depiction of a stoned deliveryman and how Joe usually reacts to weird circumstances. These two storylines detracted hugely from the trio’s plan to stop DeVoe. I would have preferred more exploration into how Cisco felt responsible for beginning DeVoe’s plan, as well as more Flashtime action. The comedy hampered the tension by going overboard instead of focusing on the danger the world was in now that DeVoe was so close to achieving his goal.
The two most noteworthy developments leading up to next week’s finale are Marlize joining the team to stop her husband and DeVoe gaining access to the Time Vault and beginning the Enlightenment. How Flash will save the day is anyone’s guess, but I bet he’ll somehow restore Ralph and the other metas back to life, possibly with Marlize’s help.
What I hope from Marlize, though, is some exploration into her own culpability for what has transpired. The beginning of the episode reminded viewers just how much Marlize was able to keep DeVoe’s violent impulses in check as he ruthlessly killed dozens of guards, whereas he’d previously take measures to avoid as much loss of life as he could. Marlize has been a willing participant in all his plans, so hopefully there will be some accountability instead of consequences being swept cleanly under the rug for her arc.
We just have one more week until the season ends, finally concluding what I feel has been a fairly mediocre and lackluster season.
What did you think of The Flash Season 4 Episode 22? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!