Airing in the UK on Sky 1 later this year
Writers: Judalina Neira & Sam Chalsen
Director: Chris Peppe
Essential Plot Points:
- Joe and Cecile are at home. Joe is building a crib, Cecile is…having an argument with someone who doesn’t seem to be in the room. She can hear his thoughts. She’s a telepath now!
- They do the sensible thing and get her checked out at Star Labs. Caitlin figures out that its latent dark matter in her system being activated by the chemical changes caused by the pregnancy. They reassure her and Harry yells at them all for not being able to get Barry out of prison yet. They imagine the horrible things he’s going through and…
- Turns out he’s using the Speed Force to cheat at cards.
- All is going well until the former Mayor Bellows provokes Big Sir. Barry goes to check on his colossal buddy and gets the truth from him;
- Big Sir (We know he’s called Dave but it just…fits him so well) gives Barry a file of newspaper clippings. Big Sir was accused of shooting a security guard during a botched robbery. When Barry, who lets not forget is a CSI, punches holes through the case, Big Sir admits the truth. There was another guy. He just fitted the frame so he got the time.
- In the outside world, Kord Industries’ new research center is being unveiled. It’s metahuman proof a dozen different ways and the Mayor assures everyone that no one is breaking into the building anytime soon.
- At that exact moment, it vanishes.
- And, unseen, a bald man in the crowd picks up the newly shrunk building, puts it in his pocket and walks away…
- Joe is joined at the crime scene by Cecile and Cisco. Cecile can’t turn her powers off and is having the time of her LIFE. Cisco finds footage of the thief, apparently making a car appear from nowhere, and gets to work. Meanwhile Joe gets a call from Barry. He asks the team to research Big Sir’s case. The team aren’t exactly thrilled but Harry points out this is the one thing Barry has asked of them since going away.
- In prison, Barry gives Big Sir the good news. Big Sir is doubtful to say the least. He tells Barry hope is the most dangerous thing in prison.
- Joe and Cisco get a positive ID on the suspect; one Sylvert Rundin. Rundin makes a run for it and, during the ensuing battle, attacks Cisco and Ralph, shrinking them to minute size.
- Back at the Lab, it becomes clear Ralph can’t stretch back to normal size. Iris tries to ping Ray Palmer but can’t get through. She does make contact with Felicity though (Continuity!). They figure out that Rundin stole some of the dwarf star alloy Ray uses to power his suit. Worse still; his ability allows him to shrink the space between atoms as well as the atoms.
- The good news is, Rundin looks more and more like the actual perpetrator of Big Sir’s crime. As Harry gets to work on some equipment to return Cisco and Ralph to normal size, Iris suggests Cecile and Joe see a counsellor.
- It doesn’t go super well. Joe admits that while he swore never to lie to her, her powers make him feel like he has to…
- In prison, Barry gives Big Sir the update and he still refuses to believe it’ll pan out. Barry talks to him, telling him the story of how long it took to get Henry out of prison. Big Sir talks about a small Chinese village he’d love to visit, where the monks all take a vow of silence.
- Iris, because she’s a genius, uses the scale model they built lost year to map out Savitar’s ‘murder’ of her to give Ralph and Cisco a safe environment. Harry shows up with Cisco’s bazooka which he’s turned into an ‘embiggener’. Instead of…well…embiggening them, it causes their cells to begin to explode. They have ten hours to live.
- Back in prison, Barry chats to Big Sir and is pulled aside by the Warden who tells him Big Sir has more blood on his hands than he’s told Barry…
- Cecile confides in Iris that she’s worried about Joe being pushed away by her new powers. Iris tells her that if she wants to get closer to Joe she needs to focus on what he’s thinking not what he’s feeling.
- Cisco chats to Harry who admits he’s stricken with guilt over Cisco and Ralph. Cisco, because Cisco is amazing, gives Harry the key to fixing them; they need to be back in Rundin’s line of fire.
- Rundin, meanwhile, is at Weather Services Air Field admiring the new stationary airships. Team Flash arrive and Ralph and Cisco ride into battle on Cisco’s drone. Rundin THROWS CARS AT THEM and then embiggens a bazooka and takes out the drone.
- With seconds left before Cisco and Ralph go nuclear, Harry goes to Plan B; He goads Rundin into shooting him but has Cisco and Ralph in his pockets. They embiggen, Iris hits Rundin with an inhibitor collar and Joe shows up to make the arrest. Rundin admits he did kill the security guard but refuses to confess on the record.
- They give Barry the news and he apologizes to Big Sir for letting him down. The big lug tells him that isn’t the case and it was good to feel hope again. Joe consoles his son, telling him to keep it together.
- And Barry, waiting for the right moment, picks Big Sir out of his cell and runs him to the small Chinese village he always wanted to visit. He leaves the big man with a note:
- SOMETIMES YOU DO GET THE MOVIE ENDING
- Cecile and Joe reconcile, Joe admitting that her powers make him feel vulnerable. Because they’re adorable, they share their fears and are brought closer together.
- In prison, Barry is BUSTED. The Warden hid another cell right by Barry’s cell and he has photographic proof of who Barry truly is. The Warden drugs him and sells him to Amunet Black.
This is, for the most part, one of the best episodes of the season. The delightfully goofy premise is well realized, some surprising people get stuff to do and the overall arc is moved along in some massive ways. Dwarfstar is a surprisingly nuanced villain (We loved that he’s a ‘collector’) and has real presence and menace. Better still, his presence in the episode ties to the arc plot, the meta of the week plot and everything else while still being accessible to new viewers. Plus, Cisco and Ralph are great fun shrunk down.
But what really impresses here are three performances. Grant Gustin’s newly grounded, calm Barry gets a lot to do this week and the episode is all the stronger for it. Barry’s idealism running headlong into the realities of prison life feels real and complex in a way this show sometimes hasn’t been and Gustin does great work with everything he’s given.
Also impressive this week is Tom Cavanagh whose Harry is rapidly becoming one of our favorite parts of the show. The spiky, abrasive genius actually rather likes the people he’s working with and that new found vulnerability, along with how far ahead DeVoe is, makes him a complicated and sympathetic part of the show. Previous Wells’ haven’t fared too well on The Flash but we honestly hope Harry makes it past one season.
But MVP this episode is Bill Goldberg. He’s a calm, steadying note for the prison scenes and instantly likable. Plus, he and Gustin land the complex, realistic emotional heart of the episode very well.
It’s not all good news. Cecile’s new found superpowers feel both slightly half baked and intrusive, although we suspect they’ll pay off further down the line. Likewise, the ambiguity of Big Sir’s guilt is especially odd given its unresolved. That being said, the ending is strong and the voice of the episode so charming, you can just about look past it. Plus, next week everyone’s favorite Goth Nanny is back! All in all a rock solid entry in one of the show’s strongest seasons to date.
- The interplay between Team Flash remains delightful.
- Bill Goldberg turns in the work of his career this week as Big Sir. He’s a massive, charismatic presence and we’d love to see him back.
- The Lego set returns! Complete with Flash colored space man!
- Harry’s development is becoming one of the most interesting parts of the show. His gradual connection with the team, grudging friendship with Cisco and frustration at being outsmarted is great.
- The way this season is using DeVoe is a welcome change of pace. He’s a shadow cast over these last few episodes rather than a presence and all the more intimidating for it.
- The final fight, where Sylvert is using expanding vehicles as melee weapons is great fun.
- ‘Embiggening’ must surely be a tip of the hat to brilliant Marvel comics character Ms Marvel, who coined the term to describe her size and shape-changing powers.
- Cecile’s telepathy is fun but starts to feel like its getting in the way pretty quickly.
- So…did Big Sir really kill someone? Because if so shouldn’t Barry have asked about it?
And the Random:
- Sylvert Rundin (also known as Sylbert Rundine) is actually an Atom villain, introduced in the classic run written by Gail Simone and drawn by John Byrne.
- Sylvert is played by Derek Mears who is one of genre TV’s go to ‘big scary looking chaps’. He’s been in True Blood, Sleepy Hollow, Agents of SHIELD and was the Bruidian Ambassador in The Orville episode ‘Cupid’s Dagger’.
- Mayor Bellows was last seen in ‘Elongated Journey Into Night.’ He’s played by Vito D’Ambrosio who of course originated the role as Officer Tony Bellows in the original The Flash TV show.
- Chris Peppe has directed for Almost Human, Criminal Minds, Agent Carter and directed the pilot episode of Eureka.
- Judalina Neira has written for Do No Harm, Hit The Floor and The Flash.
- Sam Chalsen has written for The Flash and Sleepy Hollow
- ‘3 11 3 25. Bulbasaur.’
- ‘Why are you still thinking about Bulbasaur?’
‘HE’S THE CUTEST ONE OF ALL!’
- ‘GORILLA PRISON IS WORSE!…they throw their scat at you…’
- ‘This is the team that got Barry out of a pan temporal Speed prison and we can’t even get him out of a County Jail?!’
- ‘Never trust a moustache.’
‘I have a moustache.’
‘No. YOU have a sexy goatee.’
- ‘Did you get that from Shawshank?’
‘Nope. I got that from being in PRISON.’
- ‘Do you mean figurines?’
‘YES. YES he DOES.’
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