The Flash Review by Henry Tran

The Flash 4.09: Don’t Run

The Flash 4.09: Don’t Run

Written By:
Sam Chalsen and Judalina Neira
Directed By:
Stefan Pleszczynski

Writers of television shows (and movie sequels) strive not to repeat themselves. At least, the good ones do. Provide the main characters with new challenges to face and handle, and hope that such adversity will lead to some semblance of growth. In a sense, that hasn't really been possible since the writers room in season one of The Flash set the bar so high. The past two seasons have seen the writers of this show repeat themselves ad nauseum, even as there is the appearance of minor differences from that stellar first year. The writers were too reliant on speedsters as villains who were always trying to one-up Barry in terms of speed (which made his assertion that he's "the fastest man alive" in the opening show concept narration something of a false conceit). Season four has brought on the non-speedster villain in the Thinker, and so far, the writers still appear to struggle in writing even decent Big Bads for Barry to battle.

 


 

That's both on the writers and the actor playing the Thinker. The writing somehow makes it so that the actor underplays his role as a professor with a debilitating physical malady, who was struck by the particle accelerator explosion and resulted in an expansion of his intellect. How threatening can a person who outthinks his more physical opponent be? I give it to the professor: His misdirection ploy does blindside. There had to be some connection between Amunet kidnapping Caitlin in order to save a youth who was one of the twelve on the bus from the season premiere, and the larger overall arc, but the episode stalled itself in getting to that point.

 

There were distractions all over the place: Cisco and Ralph Dibny squabbling over the fact that Ralph is a socially inept jackass; Iris having to "make the tough call" as team leader in choosing who the team should rescue from peril; the obfuscated true purpose of why Amunet is even needed. I do enjoy Katee Sackhoff as an actress, but her fey British accent still grates on me, and her character isn't as dangerous as she, or the writers, thinks she is.

 


 

The episode, in effect, stalls altogether, until the final revelation, which is rather complicated. DeVoe pulls a body switch, forcing all of his consciousness and intellect into the young telepath that Caitlin was forced to perform delicate surgery on, and leaving his dead shell of a body at Barry and Iris' loft for Barry to find. The body was stabbed by a knife that was among the wedding presents that Barry and Iris received. Barry is arrested for the murder of DeVoe by the Central City police before he can clean up the crime scene and get out of there. He definitely could have done it before Captain Singh and company even busted into the loft, yet he doesn't for reasons. It's obviously clear that he didn't kill DeVoe, and yet, the writers want us to buy the whole parallel between Barry and his father, who was framed for the same kind of crime.

 

Again, this isn't a sign of good writing. It's a sign that the writers can't come up with new and fresh ideas. The cliffhanger then loses all or most of its power. The Flash doesn't function well as a courtroom drama, which is apparently coming soon when the show returns next month. And we know very little about Brainstorm, the new Big Bad. Using the Thinker for all of eight episodes doesn't seem like the best or most economical depiction of a somewhat iconic Flash villain. Is this a change of course, or are the writers still stuck in the muck with no conceivable way out? My money's on the latter more than the former.


Our Grade:
C+
The Good:
  • The Thinker’s plan is pretty clever, all things considered
The Bad:
  • Amunet is a terrible villain and Sackhoff’s accent is somehow even worse
  • The writers seem to be squandering the benefits of a non-speedster Big Bad thus far

Henry Tran is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @HenYay

The Flash by - 12/7/2017 11:05 AM112 views

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