– by Mark Cook

After its mini hiatus, The Flash returns as DeVoe (in his/her third bodily form) tracks down the other members of the infamous bus.  This episode focuses on Subject 9 who has the ability to…control sound with her violin…Will the remaining half of the season begin to pick up, or will this be an episode we can do without?  Read on to find out.

Barry’s Leave of Absence — Barry returns to the PD only to be put on leave because no one believes DeVoe is actually alive and well since they live in a city full of metas.  The explanation is that everyone believes in fake news and social media now. Couldn’t the same be said about someone framing Barry?  They have worked with Barry for years, so why are they so quick to think that DeVoe isn’t real yet they wouldn’t think that Barry was possibly framed? Once again, poor execution for a side-story.

The Next Bus Meta — Izzy Bowin is the meta this week.  She is a country singer who not only Team Flash are trying to find (all because of a CD they found…), but so are the DeVoe women.  Izzy can control sound, often through music, in order to create molecular shrapnel.We do find out that the dark matter DeVoe absorbs when taking over bodies quickly depletes the host body, which is why he has to move on to the next.  This would be even more reason to just take Barry as a host.  He could recovery much quicker.  DeVoe has had the opportunity, but has never done so.

The Key to Beating DeVoe? — In one of the few “action” scenes, Flash, Vibe, and The Elongated Man arrive to warn Izzy when DeVoe arrives.  She easily uses one of her new powers to slow down the heroes.  Now let’s not forget that Barry has moved faster than sight on at least two separate occasions, but could not move fast enough once DeVoe triggered Cisco to shoot a vibe at Ralph, which then tangled him around Barry.  This is where the writers have backed themselves into a corner.  There are plenty of holes at this point…Anyways, Izzy uses her sound blast to hit DeVoe which looks to unsettle/hurt her.  Her wife quickly teleports in to get her.  Wonder how she did that?  Barry decides to not only train Izzy, but reveals his identity to her.  Does anyone not know he is The Flash?  I seriously feel like he has revealed his identity to everyone, aside from the one time in court that could have actually proved his innocence.  When in doubt, take the mask off.  Izzy and Ralph create a strong bond, so the writers could have just had him reveal who he was rather than Barry as well.  Training takes off rather quickly for Izzy.  They want her to focus her powers through the use of a violin even though it looked the exact same as her previous uses. They look to be taking a page from Arrow by having the extremely rapid training for an individual to get them caught up with the rest of the team even though it took others a couple seasons to have a grasp on their powers.

Trouble In Paradise? — DeVoe’s new body is quickly deteriorating and taking the sound shrapnel from Izzy accelerated the process. This creates quite the tension between DeVoe and his/her wife.  I feel like this would have more of an effect if DeVoe was in his original body because we had seen the dynamics of their relationship earlier in the season.  Now that he has changed bodies twice, it doesn’t have the same impact because outside of being called DeVoe, and having his “powers”, it doesn’t feel like the same character.  The writers had already developed DeVoe and some of the metas from the bus, then they used the body of one character and the personality/mind of another character and it just hasn’t translated well.

Harrison Wells Returns — Wells returns, and he is trying to make a device for Cecille so that she can control her powers.  In doing so he decides to name it The Cerebral Inhibitor, which then triggers Barry’s memory of his conversation from last season, knowing that it will lead to DeVoe’s downfall.  So I am assuming the only reason Cecille gained her powers through her pregnancy was in order to tie this all together.  Now, this could have been something of a twist, but wasn’t because if you watched the end of last season, we knew that The Cerebral Inhibitor was going to be created.  I think that is why some of this season has been so anticlimactic.  We didn’t know the details, but we knew the inhibitor was going to be created to defeat DeVoe before the season even began.  Flash and Dibny go to get Izzy since she left to find DeVoe (Cisco can’t go because while vibing, DeVoe somehow threw him over a table and Caitlin must take care of him…must be the new concussion protocol).  This brings us to our next “action” scene where DeVoe gives Flash a brain aneurysm while Izzy puts the inhibitor on DeVoe.  It fails for the time being, and DeVoe uses his chair to take over her body (good thing they trained her). Dibny’s interaction with her at her demise was good, but didn’t carry much weight since we didn’t know Izzy outside of this episode. Quite the Invasion of the Body Snatchers we have going here. Three more metas to go (including Ralph).  DeVoe has had plenty of chances to get Ralph as well, why hasn’t he/she done so?  She has to know that is him behind the mask.  Well, we have an idea which direction the next couple episodes will possibly go: find meta, take meta, fix inhibitor.

The action is once again lacking.  The only way a show like this can be successful without a handful of quality action scenes is by providing a strong, compelling story, which has not been accomplished.

Is it me or does the story seem a bit of a mess?  Would you have liked a slower, more progressive reveal of DeVoe’s character or do you enjoy the early introduction and incorporation across the entire season?  Leave your thoughts in the usual place, and thanks for reading!

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

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