Airing in the UK on Sky 1 later this year
Writers: Sterling Gates & Thomas Pound
Director: Alexandra LaRoche
Essential Plot Points:
- Barry is in Iron heights. Which is in the middle of a riot. As it’s subdued we see him cut a dash into the wall. He’s marking the days.
- Out in the world, Joe is negotiating with a bank robber. As Joe distracts him, Ralph rescues the hostages, confronts the villain and…
- Realizes he hasn’t chosen a name yet.
- He confronts the bomber, rips the bomb off him, the guy detonates it and…Ralph gets some MAJOR heartburn.
- Ralph gets major credit, returns to STAR Labs and gets an earful from everyone about going off book. But what does he care? He’s invincible!
- In prison, Axel, the son of the Trickster (Continuity!), attempts to befriend Barry but he isn’t interested. He does give Barry some good advice about who to avoid, which does very little good. Barry is saved from a beating by the governor. Barry has a visitor, Iris. They have a few minutes together and then visiting time is over.
- The Trickster meanwhile is taken to the infirmary with stomach cramps. Where he’s rescued…BY HIS MOM!
- Joe takes the case and the governor lets him have a moment with Barry. Joe correctly identifies the woman who broke Jesse out; Prank, the original Trickster’s partner. Iris asks Ralph to go beat the grass and see what he can find.
- Prank and Axel arrive at a Clark’s Toy warehouse. Axel is all in favor of going to get his dad but Prank comes clean; she never wanted him to end up like his dad. And, worse, the original Trickster broke out of prison a year ago and doesn’t care enough about his family to come rescue them.
- Axel sees Ralph on TV and makes a choice; he’s going to MAKE his dad notice him…
- In prison, Barry is rescued from an attack by Big Sur, a colossal, silent inmate who seems to want to protect him..
- The Trickster demands ‘STRETCHY MAN!’ face him, Ralph does so and handles everything the Trickster throws at him until he’s hit with a new kind of acid. Ralph screams, panics and is rescued by Cisco. The Trickster flees and Ralph struggles to come to terms with the fact he isn’t indestructible after all…
- The Trickster returns home to find his mom has stopped taking her meds to help her son. She’s decided it’s time to bring Prank officially out of retirement.
- The Trickster and Prank launch ‘Wheel of Misfortune’, their new quiz show. The ‘contestants’ are hostages and the ‘prize’ is an acid shower. One they demonstrate by killing a Beeboo toy. The MONSTERS.
- They gear up. Cisco even gives Ralph a new suit. Cisco gets their location and gives Ralph a new suit. Ralph, horrified by the fact he can be hurt, quits. And decides to break Barry out.
- Barry sets Ralph straight and gives him the courage he needs to do the job.
- At the lab, the team prepare to roll out and bring Killer Frost out of Caitlin to help.
- In prison, Big Sur explains to Barry that his dad saved his life when his appendix burst. Barry thanks him, leaves him be and Big Sur is jumped by the thugs he saved Barry from earlier.
- Cisco and Killer Frost go to the lab, rescue the ‘hostages’ and are ambushed by the Trickster family. Iris arms up ready to go get them, when Ralph returns. It’s his time.
- In prison, Barry finds Big Sur being jumped. The cameras in the area are off and, at last, he gets to cut loose with his powers a little bit. The Flash is back. Briefly.
- At the ‘game show’, Harry makes it to the roof to neutralize the acid. As he does so, the Trickster and Prank get ready to kill Cisco and Caitlin and…
- Ralph in a BADASS new suit smashes through the ceiling. It is in fact so good, even Prank compliments him on it. And then triggers the acid shower.
- Ralph sacrifices himself to save Cisco and Caitlin, screaming in agony until he realizes that the acid isn’t working. At the last possible second, Harry worked out how to counteract it. Later on, Ralph inadvertently names himself the Elongated Man.
- Later, Iris visit Barry again and he vibrates his hand through the glass, without breaking it, so they can hold hands. Awwwww…
- At the coffee shop, Ralph and Cisco bicker over who’s paying until…the mysterious waitress from Barry and Iris’ wedding pays. And babbles about causality. And as they leave smiles and writes strange symbols in a notebook…
This is a definite step up from the slight stumble of last week. The Trickster is a good choice to bring back, and especially to match against Ralph. Their informal styles mesh well together and it means that when things get real, and they do, it’s all the more shocking. Hartley Sawyer is great throughout this episode but his screams of agony when Ralph gets hit with the acid are the key to the episode. This really is dangerous, he really is doing it anyway. He really is a hero.
Outside that plot though the show struggles a little. While Bill Goldberg is a nice addition as Big Sur its impossible not to view the prison plot as marking time a little. We know the payoff is coming but its not going to be here for a while so here’s hoping the prison scenes get more of a structure to them soon.
That aside, there’s a lot to enjoy here. Cisco and Harry are great together, Iris as de factor team leader is really working well and Caitlin is surely mere weeks from extracting vengeance on everyone who treats her and Killer Frost like a light switch. The show can survive, can thrive even, without Barry, as these scenes show. That’s no knock on Grant Gustin, he’s great, but so is everyone else now. Hopefully next week will be a bit more team focused. And even if it isn’t, if it’s as fun as this episode we’re on a winner.
- It’s a little touch, but Trickster 2.0 having a selfie stick is massively fun.
- Cisco and Wells getting each other’s references is adorable.
- The Kryptonite joke.
- BEEBOO CAMEO!!!!
- SECOND BEEBOO CAMEO!
- Army of Darkness joke!
- Cisco getting a little teary when Ralph mentions that he has a good tailor is really touching.
- Caitlin’s ‘…WHAT?!’ face too.
- Hartley Sawyer! Who is continually fun but this week really steps up in a big way. Ralph is arguably the most normal of these characters. He’s a little rubbish, a little corrupt, completely aware of his failings and flaws. And he’s a hero anyway. Good job, buddy.
- Always nice to see Axel back.
- Why is visiting time in TV shows always 2 and a half minutes long? Barry’s 1.30 appointment was done by 1,33,
- So Team Flash establish that Prank is the heiress to the Clark Toys fortune and…have no idea where she’s hiding? And…don’t….think to check…every building she owns?
And the Random:
- That’s a really nice shot of Fallout in the opening reap. Shame they did so little with him.
- Surely it’s only a matter of time before Killer Frost and/or Caitlin kick off about the increasingly mean ways Cisco and Harry are triggering the transformation?
- Big Sur is played by former NFL player and professional wrestler Bill Goldberg. Goldberg’s a surprisingly good actor and this is one of the rare occasions where he gets to prove it. His previous work includes Universal Soldier II (We wouldn’t recommend it), and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (…actually this is quite fun) as well as a recent guest turn as coach Nick on The Goldbergs.
- Corinne Bohrer! Who played Prank back in the original series! She’s GREAT too, like a dialed down Harley Quinn. She’s previously played Lianne Mars on all-time classic Veronica Mars, Sylvia Tardio on all-time classic Joan of Arcadia and three separate appearances on Murder She Wrote as three entirely different people as well as a flotilla of other great work.
- Alexandra LaRoche has previously directed for The Dead Zone, Eureka, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash and she does great work here as ever.
- Sterling Gates is a prolific comic writer turned equally prolific screenwriter. He’s written for The Flash, the upcoming Spider-Man cartoon, Supergirl and more.
- Thomas Pound has written for The Flash, Private Eyes, Bellevue, Motive and more.
- ‘Catching you won’t be too much…OF A STRETCH’
- ‘My cells are completely POLYGAMIZED!’
- ‘Ralph this guy is dangerous.’
‘He’s wearing a bedazzled peacock coat and throwing bouncy balls. I GOT THIS.’
- ‘Nice suit, fallout boy.’
- ‘BURN STRETCHY MAN, *BURN*!’
- ‘Not today, Satan!’
- ‘Were you only doing this because you thought you couldn’t get hurt?’
‘Yeah! Why the Hell else would I do this?’
- ‘I…elongate, man!’
- ‘Did my dad call you Big Sur?’
‘Nope. He called me Dave.’
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