Airing in the UK on Sky 1 later this year
Writers: Lauren Certo & Kristen Kim
Director: Phil Chipera
Previously on The Flash!
- Extra-dimensional Nazis! Barry and Iris got married! DeVoe jumped bodies! Barry got framed for murder! And from here on in, spoilers!
Essential Plot Points:
- Barry is questioned, released on bail, Cisco immediately hacks his parole bracelet and he goes back to work. The others are getting close; figuring out why DeVoe’s plan is shaking down as it is.
- Barry makes it clear the chances of him being found guilty are high. And he won’t run.
- Joe runs down Ralph and asks for help. He admits he failed Barry’s dad but won’t fail him and enlists his help to prove Barry’s innocence.
- DeVoe’s wife is understandably not entirely okay with her husband’s entirely new body. DeVoe reaches out to her with real eloquence and love and they reunite in a moment that is both massively creepy and very romantic.
- Barry’s trial begins and the opening prosecution statement is worryingly good.
- Elsewhere a friendly man walks into his local bank. His skull flashes green briefly and as he leaves everyone in the bank passes out…
- Back at the court house the prosecution continues and it is VERY not good for Barry. Fingerprints, DNA, the restraining order, the knife.
- Joe and Cisco are called away to the bank. It turns out it’s even weirder than it first looked; nothing was stolen, no one’s dead but it’s clearly a metahuman case. The lieutenant asks Joe if he’s okay. He also admits he’s been called as a witness. For the prosecution.
- Weirdly, Lt. Singh actually ends up helping Barry. He explains that in the job interview, Barry talked about helping the victims more than catching criminals. He expressly describes Barry as ‘one of the good ones’.
- It’s a nice moment, right up until the prosecution cites every single one of the times Barry pushed his luck. In the space of two minutes he turns it around, and suddenly, it’s all looking bad for Barry, yet again.
- Outside the DeVoe house, Ralph and Joe get photos of Marlize and her ‘new’ boyfriend.
- Cecile lays it out at the courthouse; it’s a plea deal or he goes to prison. Barry refuses to take the stand because if he does he’ll have to lie.
- Cecile retorts; why not tell the truth.
- All of it.
- Back at STAR Labs, Cisco and Wells are trying to clear up the security footage from the bank. Caitlin works out every victim was suffering from radiation poisoning. And if they don’t find the meta, the amount of radiation he’s putting out could devastate the city.
- At the court, Marlize, DeVoe’s wife, takes the stand and is giving an Oscar worthy performance. Ralph and Joe arrive with the photos and hand them to Cecile.
- The Judge allows the photos and Cecile goes in for the kill. Only to have it turned back on her yet again. Marlize claims her relationship with Dominic was begun with the blessing of her late husband. Which is, of course, true. Kind of.
- Cecile pushes Barry; now’s the time. Barry won’t do it.
- Iris confronts Marlize. She drops the act and admits that there are bigger problems than Barry. She leaves.
- At STAR Labs they pick up a radiation spike from the meta. Vibe and Wells head over and discover a nuclear waster transporter has triggered the sensors. What they don’t see is that it’s being driven by their meta…
- At the court house, Iris is DONE. She stands, announces ‘Barry Allen is the’
- And Barry races over, embraces her and explains why it cannot happen. They’re moving so far no one else can see them. Barry explains what he’s doing, tells her what he’ll do and Iris asks how he can go through with this. He smiles, says ‘My dad went through this’ and kisses her.
- Then he sits down, Iris states his innocence and sits down.
- Joe and Ralph are at the DeVoe house. Joe asks Ralph to break in and he spots carpet fibres from Barry’s loft. Joe is going to frame Marlese.
- And Ralph, seedy, mildly corrupt, Ralph refuses to let him do it. He lays everything out for Joe, everything that will happen to him. Because Ralph’s been there too and he knows it’s not a road Joe West should walk down.
- And then Ralph unlocks the door, and leaves Joe to decide whether or not he’s going to do it.
- And Joe looks at the door, closes it and leaves.
- At the court, Cecile rests the defense. They’ve got nothing. It’s just a matter of time now.
- Elsewhere Fallout steps off a bus and begins to glow. Everyone round him, for a block or so, collapses from radiation sickness.
- At STAR, the alarms go off. Fallout is already at 3000 Rads. At 10,000, he’ll go nuclear.
- At the court, Cecile swings for the fences with her closing statement. As she does so, the alarm reaches Joe and Barry. Barry stands, apologizes and asks to leave. No one is happy but without any legal recourse to keep him there, Barry’s allowed to leave.
- The police throw a cordon around Fallout and immediately begin to feel the effects of being near him. Barry rescues them all and tries to talk Fallout down. The moment he does, it starts to injure him too.
- 7500 rads. And counting.
- At the lab, Cisco and Wells figure it out. They need to cool him down. They need Killer Frost. They psyche Caitlin up, Killer Frost begins to manifest and they deploy. Frost freezes Fallout and he immediately shrugs it off and takes her down.
- 8000 rads and counting.
- With no time, Barry creates a vacuum around him to contain the radiation. Fallout is going critical and Barry is right there.
- 10,000 rads
- Wells orders Cisco to breach the energy to Earth 15, a dead Earth where it won’t do any harm. He does, Fallout collapses and Barry, singed and bleeding picks himself up. He’s just saved the city.
- And it doesn’t matter because, at the court, Barry is found guilty.
- At STAR, Caitlin explains that Fallout is being treated and Barry’s own radiation burns will shortly heal thanks to his own metahuman metabolism.
- And then they see the news story about the verdict. The others are crushed. Barry does what he can to put a brave face on it for everyone.
- Joe and Iris accompany Barry to the court. Barry sees DeVoe sneak in and Barry ducks out to confront him. DeVoe brags that Barry is barely able to comprehend the scale of his plan. DeVoe taunts him over over his own newfound abilities too and Barry vows that he’ll find a way out and will take him down.
- As the Judge gives his verdict, we cut between him and Lt. Singh presenting Central City’s Award of Valor to The Flash.
- Barry is sentenced to life in prison. He’s escorted to his cell and locked in. And then he sees it, carved into the wall.
Looked at one way this is a really good episode to launch into the second half of the season. It escalates the DeVoe plot, puts Barry in some serious jeopardy and sets up a major new direction.
Looked at the other way, it’s half that and half what feels like an arbitrary metahuman plot for half of the episode.
Let’s examine what doesn’t work first, and it’s all Fallout. Not that he’s bad, he’s actually really odd and interesting, but because the episode has no idea what to do with him. His sudden escalation from well-meaning fissile dude to throwing radiation bolts at Team Flash is very janky and there’s a nagging sensation that this should have been a two part story. A meta who doesn’t want to be a meta, and isn’t aware of their powers, is a track none of the Arrowverse shows have spent much time on and it’s a good one. If we’d had more time with Fallout we could have understood his humanity and been presented with the interesting dichotomy between powers and power user.
Instead? Green glowing guy. Nuke lasers. Shuffled off stage at the end of the episode.
The really frustrating thing too is that so much of what we do get of him feels like its in in the way. The ridiculous moment with the waste truck is just there to mark time and it make the two smartest people in any room Caitlin isn’t in look needlessly dumb. Worse still, it makes the episode look dumb, especially as we’ve cut away from the court case to go there.
And the court case plot is hurt by this. We sprint, headlong, through the entire thing in an episode. Which is good from an arc point of view but means the episode is almost as breathless as Barry is by the end of the fight with Fallout. There’s still some good stuff there, especially the moment with Iris in the center of the courtroom, but it feels rushed not fast and that’s not good for anyone.
On the other hand, there’s a laundry list of great moments this episode. The scene with Ralph and Joe at the door is our favorite but pretty much all of Team Flash get some spotlight time. Best of all, the episode again centers Barry and Iris and their new found maturity. Barry in particular is great here, Grant Gustin showing us the fundamental goodness of the man and the subtle bravery of accepting something terrible because the alternative is much worse. Plus that final sequence is just a hammer blow. Brilliantly put together and it’s great to see Patrick Sabongui get more to do as Lt. Singh.
So, all in all, there’s a lot to enjoy here but for the first time in a while, the show does fall over it’s own feet a bit. Hopefully Barry’s new surroundings, and the changes everyone will have to make, mean it’ll break stride again soon.
- The fact the Central City PD are massively unhappy about questioning Barry is a smart touch that gives the episode some extra emotional weight..
- OUR FEELINGS, JOE. ALL OF OUR FEELINGS.
- Kim Engelbrecht is fantastic this episode. Terrifying, driven and cold.
- The prosecutor’s boxy, 1940s Leo McGarry looking suit is EPIC.
- NOSE WIGGLE! RALPH NOSE WIGGLE!
- Ralph being a crumpled, damaged, fundamentally good man is so great.
- Cisco and Wells having the same frustration mannerisms is adorable.
- The fact that Caitlin keeps the Killer Frost leather jacket nearby for when she’s needed is very cool. Ha! Ha! It is though.
- The legal proceedings in this episode are…yeah. They’re…let’s go with yeah. In fairness they do mention the discovery phase which is more than most folks do. Incidentally, discovery is when one side asks for documents pertinent to the case from the other, and the other responds by sending them EVERY DOCUMENT IN THE BUILDING with what’s relevant hidden in the middle.
- So Wells and Cisco step out of a hole in space, one of them clearly holding a gun and the nuclear waste truck, which is COMPLETELY UNGUARDED, just….stops as they flag it down? Really? REALLY?!
- And they don’t think to check the driver? At all?!
- Fallout blasts The Flash because he…can? Or is it accidental? It’s unclear.
And the Random:
- Oh hi Mark! Mark Valley is a DC veteran having starred in the very fun and much missed Human Target. He was also a small but pivotal part of Fringe.
- Lauren Certo wrote Vixen, Arrow: Blood Rush, Freedom Fighters: The Ray and several other episodes of The Flash including ‘Girls Night Out’ and ‘Rupture’.
- Kristen Kim co-wrote this episode and ‘Girls Night Out’ with Certo as well as working as story editor on Code Black.
- Phil Chipera has a vast body of work including previous assistant direction work on The Flash, Van Helsing, Hell on Wheels and much-missed in these parts Poltergeist: The Legacy. This was his first directing credit and he ACED it. Good job, Phil!
- ‘I am doing what is best for my husband, Mrs West-Allen. The question you should truly be asking is what are you doing for yours?’
- Ralph’s entire speech to Joe is far too long to drop in here but it’s perfect.
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