The Flash: Null and Annoyed

“It's been almost a year and where are we?"

While Null may have lived up to her name, this episode was more enjoyable than it had any right to be. Most of our heroes may have been annoyed, but I wasn’t.

I need to come clean. I don’t have anything against Null AKA Janet Petty. I’m a big fan of her particular brand of snark, and I can appreciate her love of bling. It’s just that any meta with any power set named Janet Petty would have worked just as well. Even her ability to escape Barry had little to do with her meta powers. Yes, her “getaway” car was held aloft by her powers, but it was thinking outside the box (this week’s other theme) and the ability to pick a lock that sealed the deal.

Null did succeed in adding to Barry's frustrations. Barry’s answer to the mounting chaos caused by DeVoe is to impose increasing levels of structure. In his mind, he can keep everyone safe if they will only follow his lead, all evidence to the contrary. Ralph has other ideas, but Barry is oblivious to the fact that Dibny is responsible for almost all of the progress in locating and capturing Null. Barry’s frustrations with DeVoe are masked by his annoyance at Dibny. He views Dibny's jokes as a sign of irresponsibility instead of the defense mechanism that it is. If Dibny can't be serious and start acting like him then maybe he shouldn't be in the field at all.

Iris is forced once again to make Barry see reason. Dibny is never going to think like Barry, but that doesn't make his approach less valid. She reminds Barry that in his absence Dibny managed to save the day on multiple occasions and maybe Barry needs to have a little faith. Barry follows her advice and after a brief heart to heart pulls Dibny off the bench. Barry’s faith in him is rewarded when Dibny manages to capture Null and save Barry’s life in the process (giant whoopee cushion notwithstanding).

Harry is not doing much better than Barry. Harry may have discovered the identities of the remaining bus-metas but locating them proves far more difficult. His annoyance has the rest of Team Flash tip-toeing around him. Janet is finally found but manages to evade capture. Harry accepts all blame claiming that Null is the second meta to escape the dampening cuffs. The cuffs may keep metas from using their powers but have no effect on lock picking. Oblivious to logic and desperate for a solution, he ventures into the Braille room and re-enables Gideon. I don’t see any scenario where this ends well.

Annoyance does not begin to describe Marlize's attitude towards her husband. Her feelings of love and rejuvenation evaporate upon discovering that not only is Clifford drugging her but that the need to do so was part of his plan since the beginning. Her realization that he has been altering her memories repeatedly convinces her of what viewers have known for months. Clifford is a monster. This knowledge comes too late as DeVoe combines The Weeper's tears and Dominic's telepathy to mind wipe her once more.

Cisco’s storyline doesn’t fit neatly into our “annoyance” theme although Breacher is probably annoyed enough for both of them. Except for Breacher holding Cisco by the neck as he asks for Cisco’s help, Cisco’s world was progressing along nicely. Breacher may not like Cisco, but he’s willing to concede Cisco has his uses. And if he can bring back Breacher’s vibe blasts, then Cisco might be worthy of his daughter after all. There’s just one teeny-tiny problem. Breacher’s inability to blast is due to age and not illness or an enemy’s attack. Cisco, not wanting to be the bearer of bad news not to mention valuing his life decides to tell a little white lie and fake a vibe blast or two. That Breacher, thinking himself cured, would return to crime fighting surprised no one but Cisco. He is forced to mount a rescue mission and come clean about Breacher’s lost abilities.

This leads to the unexpected. Breacher retires and asks Cisco to take his place at the Collection Agency. It’s an opportunity for Cisco and Gypsy to work together on a permanent basis. Of course, it would also mean leaving Team Flash. I am so not good with that! Regardless of the decision Cisco makes, I doubt he will disappear before the season finale. So we won’t have to say goodbye just yet.

There may have been multiple annoyed characters and a potentially sad exit, but this episode was not without levity. The guest appearance of Jay and Silent Bob and Ralph’s impression of the Baddest Dad Cop quickly spring to mind. We also had Barry falling from the ceiling, a well-timed shove, knife humor and recurring fart jokes just to ensure all bases were covered.

So what do we know?

DeVoe has a week before his current body goes bye-bye. With six episodes left I'm going to go out on a limb and say at least one bus-meta meets their maker next week (I'm looking at you, Edwin).

Team Flash now have three out of the four remaining bus-metas although Null is not exactly a willing participant. Will the addition of Melting Point be enough to defeat The Thinker? Could be but somehow (Reminder: six episodes left) I doubt it.

After a season of mirroring the West-Allens and the DeVoes, I believe that if Barry and Iris are The Flash, then Clifford and Marlize are The Thinker. The repetition and play on the phrase “I am nothing without you” reinforces my suspicion that The Thinker can only defeat Team flash with Marlize at his side, which is why I still contend that Marlize will renounce the dark side and assist Team Flash by the end of the season.

My only remaining question is will Dibny's ability to think outside the box prove equally useful?

3 out of 5 Antimatter-histamines

Parting Thoughts:

Null is an actual character from the DC Comics with the same power set. However, in the comics, he is white and male.

The crown Null stole was from Kahndaq Dynasty. This is at least the second mention of the Kahndaq Dynasty which sounds like a particular royal line of rulers. In the comics, Kahndaq is a country and not a family.

Did I mention Jay and Silent Bob?


I get why Cisco would use his "sunlight ray" (for lack of a better term) on the would be vampire. However, when it didn’t work, why didn’t he vibe blast him? Cisco’s blasts work just fine.

Morena Baccarin reprises her role as the voice of Gideon. Is the voice of Gideon on the Waverider different because each iteration of Gideon has its own voice or did Rip choose from a limited number of options?

Quotes:

Dibny: "Over here Doc Ock. Turtle Power."

Dibny: "We'd make a fortune. An improv group made of superheroes? We could take it to Washington. We'd be the DC Comics."

Breacher: (grabbing Cisco by the throat) "I need your help."
Cisco: "Little bit of a mixed message here."

Dibny: (as Joe) "I am Detective Joe West. The baddest... dad cop you've ever come across."

Harry: "Your cells should return to normal right about..." (Pushing Cisco out of the way. Barry falls) "now."
Dibny: "Two for the landing but a perfect ten for the thud noise."

Harry: "This useless piece of trash. This... useless... It's like I'm so dumb I can't even come up with a synonym for this useless piece of trash."

Caitlin: "You do realize you're just making this worse. "

Marlize: "Please don't forget. He's lying to you. He's drugging you. He's a monster."

DeVoe: "I love you. But you are nothing without me."

Dibny: "You came here to suck the fun out of being benched."

Barry: "Just do something Dibny-esque."

Joe: "Ralph, why did a scared-sounding Earl Cox call me and say he was clearing your tab?"
Dibny: (smiles then shrugs) "I have no idea."

Gideon: "Good evening, Dr. Wells. It's been 1,078 days since we last spoke. How can I be of service."

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

No comments: