– by Mark Cook

(Image Courtesy of DC Comics.)

The Flash returned this week with a bit of a twist to the usual “meta of the week” format.  This week’s meta introduced viewers to a classic supporting character from the comics: The Elongated Man.  Ralph Dibny made his first appearance in May of 1960 as a new supporting character for The Flash.  For me, this is a welcome introduction because I remember my dad reading this comic to me when I was younger (he still has the original from 1960). I also enjoyed the inclusion because they are once again relying on the source material.  Will he be a consistent character for the team, or a one-and-done?  Read on to find out.

(Photo Courtesy of The CW.)

The Elongated Man — Ralph Dibny was a crooked cop who is now a private investigator, and is clearly a con-artist in his new role.  Viewers find out that he was on the bus that was struck by the blast.  This presumably means that The Thinker will be after him at some point.  Could he be the key for the team to get closer to The Thinker?  If so, can Barry and the team actually work with him?  Next we are treated to why there seems to be so much tension between Barry and Dibny, which was because he planted a knife at the scene of a murder, then lied about it under oath.  I did enjoy some of the witty banter from Dibny.

He could be an interesting contrast to Barry as long as they keep a good balance and don’t make him too over-the-top, which could lead to him being annoying.  Dibny’s character shows through as he was blackmailing the mayor in order to have a nice pay day.  The mayor did not want his wife to learn of his affair.  He sends his men to kill Dibny, and anyone who gets in the way, including Barry and Joe.

After he helps them save Joe, Dibny is asked by Barry to be a part of the team and to let them study his powers.  Could he be taking over for the vacant roles left by Julian and Wally? There was also a nice nod to “Plastic Man” which DC acquired in 1956, yet the original editor for The Elongated Man (Julius Schwartz) claimed he was unaware of.  A key moment comes at the end when it is revealed that DeVoe (The Thinker) was a client of Dibny’s, which triggers a couple flashbacks for Barry when he recalled the name mentioned.  Another important part about the flashback from last season when Barry was speaking with his future self was when it was revealed that, “Here is where we used the cerebral inhibitor to defeat DeVoe.”  Wait for this to come into play in future episodes.

(Photo Courtesy of The CW.)

Gypsy and Breacher — Gypsy’s father makes his way into Cisco’s apartment during an intimate moment.  It was awesome to see Danny Trejo cast as her father, Breacher.  The introduction of Breacher comes because he is not only her father, but Gypsy’s boss, and he also doesn’t feel Cisco is fit to date her.  He even goes as far as telling Cisco that he will hunt him for 24 hours. At the conclusion of the episode, Breacher still doesn’t like Cisco, but he does respect him as a warrior.  This part of the episode was alright, but didn’t seem completely necessary until…

(Photo Courtesy of The CW.)

Dibny and Breacher — Dibny looks to turn over a new leaf as he meets with the mayor for his blackmail money, but refuses to take it while still giving the mayor the pictures of his affair.  This does lead to him getting shot, but his new powers help him survive.  As The Flash arrives, so does Breacher in order to attack the two.  We find out that Breacher’s home planet was destroyed by Plastoids (who Dibny obviously resembles).  Cisco intervenes as the mayor takes Joe hostage.  Barry reveals his identity because he needs Dibny to reach the helicopter with his powers.  I was fine with everything aside from Barry revealing his identity.  It did have the impact for Dibny to trust him, but seemed odd that he would so willingly reveal who he is to someone he doesn’t care for, and let alone has a history of blackmailing people.

It’s early, but so far I am not the biggest fan of The Thinker.  I do give the writers credit for taking the show in a different direction, but I would like to see more the of core Rouge’s Gallery Members.  I did enjoy how this week picked up a bit.  Dibny was an interesting addition to the episode and it didn’t quite follow the exact meta of the week format we get for extended times. I am looking forward to seeing how last season will connect with this season. What did you think of this week’s episode?  Do you hope The Elongated Man becomes a consistent member of Team Flash, or should he be used like many of the other metas?  Are you excited for The Thinker, or would you like to see another villain?  If so, who?  Leave your comments in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!

The Flash returns next Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on The CW.

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