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– by Mark Cook

Last week’s episode wasn’t much to write home about.  Dwarstar was the meta-of-the-week while Barry wanted to break Big Sir out of prison.  The warden did catch Barry leaving on a hidden camera, so this looks to lead Barry on a prison break, but who will he be bringing with him?

Iron Heights’ Meta Cells — Warden Wolfe has apparently been holding any captured metas in a special area in the prison.  All the metas include Barry and the other captured individuals who were connected to DeVoe on the bus.  So Iron Heights has been around for awhile I am assuming, yet there is a secret meta wing?  Not only that, but why did Team Flash stop keeping the captured metas at STAR Labs?  Weren’t they curious as to what type of facility outside of STAR or ARGUS could hold such individuals? The warden then gets a cut of the profits by selling them to Amunet.

Dibny’s New Trick — Cecile uses her new powers in order to read the mind of the prison warden as to what his plans will be. Dibny learns that he can now shapeshift as well as elongate.  The team wants him to meet with the warden in order to call off the deal with Amunet.  Dibny changes into Warden Wolfe in order to meet Amunet where he loses his changed form.  He easily escapes (Amunet is a horrible shot.  Does she ever hit anyone?).   Captain Iris decides that the best option is to send Caitlin and Cisco into Iron Heights to get Barry.  Not Wells because he is checking on Jesse.  Maybe he should bring her back.  They clearly need either she or Wally’s help. They refused to get Barry out before and “wait”, yet now have decided that they must break him out. Dibny doubts his abilities again and it takes a chat with Killer Frost in order to bring him back.

Barry Rallies The Troops — Barry lets the other metas (the individuals he helped capture) know that Amunet sells other metas to the highest bidder to be used as weapons.  They all immediately decide they would never do that and need to escape.  That was easy enough.  They don’t want to be weapons for someone else, which makes sense, yet let’s not forget that they all did terrorize the city for a couple episodes.  As they are walking through the tunnels under the prison, each villain is talking about what they will steal when they get out, and Barry tells them that the Flash will apprehend them again.  He may want to take them to a different facility. As the group finally breaks out, Barry (who can move faster than the human eye) isn’t fast enough to evade Warden Wolfe’s meta ankle monitor he is shot with.  Rather than the others use their powers while they can, they stand in shock when they find out Barry is the Flash. They quickly turn on him, but are taken out in an awful “action” scene that knocks them out.  This leads to…

The Return of DeVoe — Looks like there is trouble in paradise as the new DeVoe has now begun reading his wife’s mind, much to her dismay. She sees the current situation as an unseen obstacle and DeVoe claims he doesn’t know what to do at the moment because his mind is so powerful, with so much information in it…alright…DeVoe’s wife fixes his chair as he continues to read her mind.  DeVoe eventually shows up at the prison and he takes the life of all of the metas and Warden Wolfe.  He not only takes their lives, but can apparently take over their bodies as well, which he does with Hazard.  This was an odd choice for me.  Why her?  So he created them on the bus just to kill them and steal their abilities? This leads to Cisco and Frost showing up immediately after DeVoe leaves and Barry tells them that he is staying in prison.  He only wanted to break everyone out so Amunet couldn’t sell them. Got all of that?  On top of that, DeVoe has now taken the body form of Hazard, which is somewhat confusing. DeVoe is clearly targeting only the metas on the bus, which means Dibny will be a target as well.

To quote my friend Michael Connally, “A show is only as good as its villains.”  I agree with this statement, which is why I am having an issue with this season.  Amunet and DeVoe aren’t strong villains.  They just don’t captivate my interest like Reverse Flash or Zoom.  Am I alone in this thought? (Kronx, I know you will have some good insight!) The villains don’t have to be speedsters, but have to create a sense of intrigue that makes you want to know more about them, and also love to hate them.  I find Amunet and DeVoe…meh. At the end of last season, Barry was in the future and saw the machine Cisco created in order to stop DeVoe.  Has he forgotten this already?  Maybe he should tell Cisco to get started on it. This season has been extremely jumpy and this episode was the epitome of that.  Rather than these instances being twists, I find myself stopping the show to try and process, then figure out what exactly is going on.  Dibny ends up changing forms again, but this time to the original DeVoe as he enters to courtroom to the shock of everyone.  This leads to the approval of Barry’s appeal and grants his freedom.

What did you think of this week’s episode?  I may get some backlash for this, but I would rather watch Season 4 of Arrow (that’s saying a lot…) than Season 4 of The Flash at the current time. What is your take on the season as a whole?  Leave your thoughts in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!

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

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