The Flash: 4.14 Subject 9

Now that Barry’s out of prison we finally get an episode complete with the Flash, and it feels like he never left. Subject 9 digs it heels back into the main story, depicting fascinating developments in the DeVoe story arc. The limelight on this occasion is firmly on the supporting cast. Harry and Cecile pair up as “friends of the same age”, which was honestly a great idea. Ralph on the other hand has thus far been known as the funny man. On par with Cisco, his comedic timing has always been the cure for the dullest episodes, and this time he shows he has a deep emotional side too.

The episode starts with Barry walking back into Central City Police Department with a smile on his face, ready to get back to work after being cleared of his crimes. To Barry’s surprise, his boss Captain Singh asks him to take a permanent leave of absence until the rest of the force believes DeVoe is really back. As minor as this was, it was refreshing to see some realism. In a world overrun by Meta humans, people are very sceptical of what they see, so it makes sense that many people question the events of DeVoe’s resurrection.

We learn a bit more about the Thinker, and the relationship with his wife continues to be sketchy. Because of the amount of Metas DeVoe is absorbing, each body he takes over deteriorates faster, meaning he needs to find the remaining four bus Metas as swiftly as possible. What happens when he does is still a mystery, but the wait isn’t killing me...

While the team locate the remaining bus Metas, a buddy system is created to keep an eye on and protect Ralph. This not only generated some much needed comedy between Ralph and Cisco, but moved us to box number 9. A country singer called Izzy who is able to control sound waves is found, and when the name Soundwave was suggested to Cisco, he laughed it off and said, “it would be great if it wasn’t a Transformer”. Perhaps it’s just me, but that was hilarious.

Barry and Ralph attempt to bring Izzy into the fold in order to protect her, and potentially use her to help fight DeVoe. Initially refusing to go, Becky/DeVoe arrives to take her powers and body. Izzy manages, to the surprise and excitement of the team to get the better of DeVoe, which is the first real sign of a weakness. Ralph talks to Izzy and manages to convince her to stay, mainly because the two clearly have feelings for one another, which showed a different side to him.

Barry then enters mentor mode and his fear of failure comes through as he pushes Izzy to the absolute limit, unintentionally hurting her. He seemed to be channelling Oliver Queen’s training style but it doesn’t suit him at all. Then, quick as a flash (he, he!), Iris steps in to remind him of who he is, his roots and that rushing will not help anybody. It was nice to see them clearly distinguishing themselves from Arrow in this instance.

As I mentioned, Harry and Cecile develop a nice friendly relationship. They run into each other and she explains how her new powers are keeping her awake, because she can hear Joe’s thoughts while he sleeps (thinking about, it, where on earth was Joe in this episode?). Harry sets off to make a device that will help. His first attempt is a failure causing him to have a Harry-style man tantrum, which isn’t received well by Cecile. The dynamic here is sweet and I look forward to watching it progress.

Eventually, Harry succeeds and makes what he calls a “Cerebral Inhibitor”, just like Savitar, the main villain from last season, mentioned. This gives the team a huge boost of confidence as they go in search of DeVoe, with the hopes of finally taking him down by attaching the inhibitor. Theoretically this should render his powers inert but this however, is not the case. Instead, during their encounter DeVoe uses Killgore’s powers to deactivate the device. He then summons his flying chair of death, extracts Izzy’s powers and takes over her body, obviously affecting Ralph deeply. Although they lose the battle, they march forward in the war as Cisco discovers that DeVoe’s lair must be in a pocket dimension. Ralph has some excellent progression here; after losing Izzy, Barry finds him in his office, but rather than sulking, he has a new sense of purpose and is determined more than ever to defeat DeVoe.

Considering she only had one episode to win the audience over, I found Izzy to be a very charming character, her powers were different and she added a new feisty dynamic to the team. Also she was a decent love interest for Ralph. Given that, it wouldn’t surprise me if they find a way to transfer her consciousness back which, although I don’t particularly like the idea, I wouldn’t be opposed to it.

Overall Subject 9 was an excellent episode, it had emotion, character development and firmly gets back to the overall storyline. Now the team is fully back in action, with Barry out of prison and only three Metas to find, there should be nothing but positive comments about the show as it heads towards the finale...

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