The Flash: 4.18 Lose Yourself
Erm, eh, no way, wait, oh come on, really!
All these and more were some genuine expressions I had while watching this episode. Several past instalments have fallen flat due to poor story progression, especially regarding the hunt for bus Metas. This episode is a real game changer; ok, we still have some hugely unnecessary bickering between Barry and Ralph, but all the bus Meta’s are finally found and, for the cherry on the cake, Team Flash is delivered a blow that feels very impactful.
Speaking of the bickering, last week was about taking situations seriously *yawn*. Lose Yourself focuses on that most tired and overused trope: the morality of killing a villain *double yawn*, with Ralph wanting to kill DeVoe, and Barry refusing to allow it. Typically speaking, superheroes don’t kill; it’s the number one rule and main problem people had with Man of Steel. It’s the expectation going into anything involving a superhero, so the fact that so much time is devoted to it, just seems wasteful. The situation is not helped as Harry creates a device that will do just that: kill DeVoe.
The final bus Meta is found in this episode. Edwin Gauss, a hippie who can create pocket dimensions similar to DeVo - only Edwin is better at it. This introduces the idea that Team Flash may well have the element of surprise on the Thinker, being able to transport into his lair and use Harry’s tuning fork thing. Speaking of Harry, his developments seem added on for no reason. I like the idea of the addiction to the Thinking Cap, but it was heavily rushed and glossed over to muh more emotionally shattering moments.
The best elements were the character developments, specifically of Caitlin / Killer Frost and Ralph. We learned that Ralph doesn’t fear DeVoe, more that he can take away what he now considers to be his family. Also not only was the emotion pouring out of Hartley Sawyer, but the sentimentality is something heavily unexpected from this character. It felt earned and makes what happens later, much more heart-breaking. We also learn about a sisterly connection between Caitlin and Killer Frost, each leaving Post-it’s around for the other to find. The past few episodes (most notably Flashtime) have really addressed the close bond between these two, doing so very well, which again makes later actions more impactful.
The team decide to invade DeVoe’s lair and what followed was fantastic. The fight sequence between Iris and Marlize was superb; it was especially enjoyable that Iris appeared human. Any other show would have made her an honorary Ninja, but here the fight felt authentic. Joe’s run-in with the Samuroid was a tad dull; not only did we not get to see the fight but the outcome was highly unbelievable. Ralph’s encounter with the T-Rex skeleton had some fanatic effects which led to him “defeating” DeVoe.
I say "defeat" because it seemed DeVoe allowed himself to be captured in order to get close enough to Ralph to take his body, which he does. This was hugely unexpected, emotional and heartfelt, which was amplified after learning that Caitlin no longer possesses her alter ego after touching DeVoe. It’s a huge blow to Team Flash that, although disheartening, opens up new and exciting possibilities in story and character developments, especially now that DeVoe has all 12 bus Meta’s as he always planned. Having control of Ralph’s body and powers allows him to morph back to his original form, which should be a nice change of pace from all the body hopping.
On several occasions, we have seen Barry blaming and beating himself up for a death or failed mission. However, when we see him packing Ralph’s belongings, it’s the first in a long time that it actually felt genuine, possibly because this is the first time in a very long while that the show has actually lost someone significant.
It will be interesting to see how the season proceeds with the fallout of the loss of Ralph and Killer Frost. Previously, it was implied that the bus Metas die after an encounter with DeVoe and, as much as it would be brave and commended - certainly by me - to leave it that way, I am highly expecting to see Ralph fight again, not to mention Killer Frost returning. There are still plenty of episodes remaining to not only develop the characters, but really delve in to DeVoe’s master plan. The pot has indeed been stirred and I cannot wait to see what happens next.