The Flash: The Elongated Knight Rises

“So this is me. Rising up. Hopefully without the dying part.”

The Flash takes a back seat as we delve into the continuing saga of Ralph Dibny's transformation from self-absorbed P.I. into a full-fledged hero. Despite a distinct lack of subtlety, I found this episode enjoyable.

In The Flash's absence, Ralph happily stepped up to play the superhero. Why wouldn't he? The media attention, the potential for dates, and the ability to work with law enforcement again must be a heady mix especially for someone who's been disgraced and drummed out of the SCPD. Who needs assistance, advice or even caution when you are "in-dib-structable?" Vibe is forced to rescue Ralph when he discovers he’s not.

I liked the fact that Dibny's response to this discovery is to opt out. It makes him human. I believe it was Mark Twain who said: "Courage is the resistance to fear, the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear." Dibny is a hero because despite his reluctance to charge into danger he can’t abandon the hostages to their fate. He still tries to find a solution, even if that solution is to break Barry out of jail so he can face the "axid" in Dibny's stead. Barry's pep talk may have renewed Ralph's courage, but the desire to do the right thing was all his own. This desire married to Dibny's actions solidified his hero status and the fact that his new-found selflessness coincides with his new super suit and hero name should not be lost on any of us.

Speaking of Barry, our titular character was relegated to the B story for the night. Imprisoned at Iron Heights, Barry tries to do his time like a “normal” human, but he's finding it difficult to sit idly by when he knows he has the ability to make a difference, whether that is stopping a prison revolt or helping a fellow inmate in need. It's not that he doesn't fear death. It's just that he fears the repercussions of his inaction more. That said, he did manage to confirm the cameras were out and to wait until smoke bombs were thrown before taking action. I'm not sure where this is going yet, but I doubt that he'll be allowed to quietly do his time or that Big Sir, AKA Dave, will be able to do much to help Barry in the long run.

While Trickster Jr. is ostensibly the villain of the week, his mother, Prank, is far more interesting. Considering Zoe Clark's introduction comes as she is breaking her son out of prison, we are fully aware she has few qualms about breaking the law. However, her desire to save her son from the life of crime that snared his father is quite apparent. As is, the impression that she helped James Jesse, AKA Trickster Sr., because she was off her meds. While on her medication she is a rational adult who wants what's best for her son. Her speech about making Axel's lunch and sending him off to school while he pined for his father was one of the most honest moments of the episode. It also makes her decision to deliberately stop taking her medication so she could join her son on his murderous escapades heartbreaking in a sick and twisted way. I hope this is not the last we see of her.

My only problem with this episode is that there is very little sub to go along with the whole lot of text we are treated to. When asked if the only reason why Ralph is willing to save people was because he couldn't get hurt he gives us a full-throated "YES!" The same holds true for Barry. We don't have to wonder how Barry feels about being locked up. He openly declares it to Ralph. While there's nothing wrong with this, it is more fun when the show (any show) is a dialogue with the audience and not a one-way conversation.

The only exception is the latest appearance of the Mystery Girl from Crisis on Earth X. It is evident from this and her previous episode that she is aware of Team Flash's identities and that she has sought them out for a reason. Her actions and overall giddiness imply good intentions, but we have no idea what they may be. I still contend that she's most likely Barry and Iris's daughter from the future and submit her writing in the Kryptonian-like script that Barry was using when he first came out of the Speed Force as one more piece of evidence.

I wasn't blown away by the episode, but it was an improvement over last week's speed through, and it did put a smile on my face.

3 out of 5 bedazzled pea coats

Parting Thoughts:

I probably don't need to say this, but the title is a play on the 2012 Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.

Isn't Barry's lightning trail visible to anyone? Didn't the correction officers realize The Flash assisted with the revolt or did they think the prisoners magically decided to return to their cells?

Like Mark Hamill before her, Corinne Bohrer reprises her role from the 1990 version of The Flash.

Prank has bachelor’s degrees in Arts and Applied Sciences as well as a Master’s in Chemistry. Impressive.

Big Sir was played by Bill Goldberg, who many may know from his pro wrestling days. Less well known is the fact that he was once a defensive tackle for the LA Rams.

Does this mean that Harry considers leaf peeping to be fun? I don’t know what to make of that.

If you haven’t been watching Legends of Tomorrow, you won’t recognize Beebo. Your loss.

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Quotes:

Criminal: “First, I want a car. Something eco-friendly, like a Prius."

Dibny: “You can call me Mr. … One second. Guys, this is a huge moment for me. What’s my name?”

Barry: “You are talking to the newest member of the Iron Heights janitorial staff. I’m the fastest mop alive.”

Iris: “I just can’t believe this is our new normal.”

Cisco: “Hey, how about you hook me up with some of that gum?”
Harry: “Why don’t you breach yourself?”
Cisco: “Sounds like an insult.”
Harry: “Kind of was.”

Zoey: “I never wanted you to end up like your father.”
Axel: “Well, it’s too late for that, Mom.”

Dibny: “He’s throwing bouncy balls and wearing a bedazzled pea coat. I got this.”

Cisco: “Is there anything you can’t suck the fun out of?”
Harry: “Leaf peeping?”

Mr. Beebo: “Beebo has an owie.”

Dibny: “Come on, you’re a hero. Slap on some tights, go be heroic.”

Barry: “I used to be someone who saved, and now I’m just Barry Allen. Inmate number 3562.”

Cisco: “Remember, anything in here that looks fun is probably lethal.”
Killer Frost: “Just like me.”

Prank: “Hurry up. I haven’t killed anyone in years.”

Prank: “First of all, great speech. So inspired, it melted my heart.”
Dibny: “Oh, thank you. I worked on it on the way over.”

Dibny: “I’m not dying. Why am I not dying?”

Dibny: “Elongated Man? Please, it’s so literal.”

Barry: “Turns out being in here isn’t so different from being out there.”

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

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