The Flash: Elongated Journey Into Night

"Good people don't destroy lives and call it noble."

This week's episode took a darker turn. We had a murderous mayor's run for re-election, a corrupt cop turned inscrutable investigator, and a brazen breacher demand the death of his daughter's devoted (sorry, I couldn't help myself). Why did this episode feel like it was doing its best Arrow impression?

A new week = a new bus-meta. Enter Ralph Dibney. Unlike previous metas, Barry and Joe know Dibney. He is a former police officer, now private investigator dick, that Barry helped drum out of the CCPD. Needless to say, there is no love lost between them and Dibney is less than forthcoming when the bus meta investigation leads to his door.

Barry has always been impulsive, but usually, that impulsiveness errs on the side of leniency. Here we have him label the bus-metas "villains". He also demands that Dibney be locked up in the Pipeline on the off chance he'll use his powers to do harm, which is more in keeping with a certain emerald archer than Barry. It's not that Dibney is a saint. He planted evidence, perjured himself and blackmailed The Mayor, but it's Barry that needs him to be the villain. If he's not, then Barry may be what he accused Dibney of being – someone who destroys lives.

The Mayor doesn't seem to have a problem destroying people's lives either. He cheated on his wife and rather than come clean he tries to steal the photographic evidence and kill Dibney. The Mayor also has no problems with collateral damage.  He arranges for a bomb to go off in an office building just to get to Dibney and tells his goons to kill Joe and Barry even after they promise to help him. The Mayor's behavior seems more in line with Star City than Central City.

Even the comic relief is darker. Gypsy's father comes to Earth-1 to kill Cisco and "free" his daughter as he has before. Really? And Gypsy couldn't have given Cisco a heads up? Speaking of, I love Gypsy and Cisco, but they went from Cisco flirting and Gypsy blowing him off to being in a full-fledged relationship in 0 to 60 and we never got to see what brought them together. Is it too much to hope for that we get a flashback or two? In spite of all that, Breacher's 24-hour manhunt was hilarious.

The only truly light part of the episode (pun intended) comes from Joe's slow meltdown over Cecile's pregnancy. Unfortunately, it's too little and kinda lame. And please, please, please tell me that Barry asking if Joe will run for mayor was to lay the groundwork for the "kissing babies" joke and not a precursor of a mayoral bid.

Our stories converge when Dibney meets with The Mayor to "take his blackmail back," and Breacher mistakenly believes that Dibney is a Plastoid, one of the beings that attacked his Earth. Luckily, Cisco comes to Dibney's defense, winning Breacher's very grudging respect. Dibney helps Barry save Joe and capture the Mayor, and all is right with the world. For now.

What do we know?

Barry now knows his enemy's name is DeVoe. Given the Flash-back you would think he knows how to stop him – a cerebral inhibitor, but I doubt it. The driver of the meta-bus drowned in his bathtub, but they are still searching for 12 metas. Huh? Dibney is not going to join his fellow bus metas in Iron Heights. Is this still part of The Thinker's plan? And who, pray tell, wants Caitlin to "come back soon?"

This was a well-crafted enjoyable episode. It just didn't really feel like a Flash episode.

3 out of 5 IOUs

Parting Thoughts:

How could they destroy The Matrix poster! I'm sure there were other collectibles I would have been upset about, but they were destroyed too quickly for me to see. Bad Breacher. No biscuit.

The special effects in this episode were movie quality. I found myself equally curious to know how they had Dibney's face slide into his hand and how Dibney could possibly breathe that way.

When Barry offered to train Dibney it felt like he was getting his inner Oliver Queen on, again. That hasn't worked out so well for Oliver, or the people he's trained.

Cynthia and Josh. Need I say more?

As many of you know the title is taken from the Eugene O'Neil play entitled Long Day's Journey Into Night. It's the semi-autobiographical story of the day in the life of a family cursed by guilt and recrimination. Barry, I'm looking at you.

Cecile is the one that's pregnant. Why wasn't she part of the celebration?

Does this mean that breachers can sense each other or is this just Josh's particular gift?


Joe: "There's no warmth. No glow. And I ain't no damn Lite-Brite. You're wasting time."
Barry: "Glowing and irritable."

Breacher: "You look like someone I once sent my daughter to kill."
Harry: "I get that a lot.

Cisco: "Went for the compliment. Did not stick the landing."

Harry: "Have fun storming the castle." (one of my favorite quotes to one of my favorite movies EVER)

Dibney: "Deceased. Hey. That's one less U I owe."

Dibney: "I'm silly putty?"
Caitlin & Barry: "No."
Harry: "Kinda."

Caitlin: "Drink this."
Dibney: "What is it? I don't just drink stuff. My body is a temple."
Caitlin: "Clearly. Drink it."
Dibney: "I want to know what it is."
Caitlin: "It is 17% alcohol."
Dibney: "You should have led with that, sister."

Dibney: "I'm back. I look like a Hemsworth."

Dibney: "Classic Barry Allen. Enters room and accuses wildly."

Breacher: "You're a steadfast Warrior who would fight the fiercest of enemies to protect your friend and the only person I love."
Cisco: "With my dying breath, sir."
Breacher: "I know that, but I still hate you.

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, and anything with a cape.


Billie Doux said...

Nice review, Shari. You made me laugh out loud twice. And it's one of *my* favorite movies ever, too. :)

I'm not sure how I feel about Dibney. He sort of comes across like a poor man's Jim Carrey. Allrightythen!

Shari Houtman said...

Let me guess. The first sentence and Bad Breacher no biscuit. That 2nd one was just for you. And you're right he looks like he could be Jim Carrey's younger brother or heaven forbid son.

Patryk said...

At least Barry noticed that he was mostly projecting his own case of husband accused of murdering his wife on Dibney's case and that they also now break the law by being vigilantes with their private prison. :)