By Mario Wario
Warning: this article contains light spoilers for season 4, episode 10 and 11 of The Flash.
Holy speedster, Batman! Central City’s favorite runner has been accused of murdering Clifford DeVoe! But back at DeVoe manor, The Thinker is alive and well by enjoying his new, good-looking body and having a thrill knowing that he framed Barry so easily. As a added bonus, his new body houses a power that should give Professor X some competition in the telepath fantasy football league. Will the Flash be the next Richard Kimble and go on the run to clear his name? Unfortunately, “The Trial of the Flash” was not The Fugitive, as it brought nothing suspenseful, but delivered something of a mess, like the Wrongfully Accused film.
But before going all Gordon Ramsay, I would rather focus on the positives first: for instance, Kim Engelbrecht’s performance was once again solid. As for Marlize, no one in Central City should take her head on. Like her husband, this character finds ways to use whatever situation she encounters to her advantage. It was lovely to see in this episode. It should be noted that she’s still not comfortable with Clifford’s new body, but her loyalty to her husband shouldn’t be questioned. And while the writers do deserve some credit in developing this character, it’s the actress that is bringing Marlize to life right now. Engelbrecht’s passion to present someone as strong and sometimes sinister is great!
The other positive in this episode is the dialogue between Ralph Dibney and Joe West. We get to see Ralph contribute to Team Flash by using his own past experience as an example, so Joe wouldn’t do anything drastic against the badge he swore to protect. It was a great moment for the two, but more so for Ralph. He became likeable. Of course, what helped was the acting of Hartley Sawyer, as he never went too crazy with his goofy antics, which made his scenes so much better to sit through.
Now to the fun part (not really): for instance, let’s talk about the trial, since it wasn’t correct. A trial of this size will usually go longer than a day and as for the fake judge, let’s just say that what he does on-screen would allow a lawyer to push for a mistrial instantly. Then we had a member of Team Flash interrupting the court with no consequences (which did nothing to the main story but provide a new Flash ability for plot convenience) and unless stated, all cell phones should have been put away. Overall, it was painful to watch, especially for someone that has studied law for a little bit.
Meanwhile, what’s up with Cecile? She was defending Barry, but everything she did screamed of being a rookie. She is Central City’s district attorney, so where was her experience from being a DA? Speaking of which, shouldn’t she be prosecuting someone, not defending anyone?
The other problem has to be the two storylines fighting for attention. Instead of focusing on the trial itself, since that was the major threat to Team Flash, the episode decided to squeeze in a minor subplot, that provided zip to the Barry Allen trial story. Basically, we got a new metahuman called Fallout (which is being played by Ryan Alexander McDonald) who is unaware that he’s exposing people to high levels of radiation. There’s some complexity to this character, so it’s a shame that he didn’t get his own episode instead of competing with another story. By the way, the people exposed to Fallout’s radiation levels will probably have some health issues soon. As for Barry, we were presented with someone not wanting to run from the law, nor do anything crazy, and that may help him beat the murder charge after this episode. I do wish that the show had taken a different route with Barry that wasn’t so dull or predictable. But let’s see where this plot goes.
Lastly, not having Neil Sandilands around sure felt weird. For instance, Sandilands had a way to bring The Thinker to life, which made him downright scary. I will, however, give the new Thinker (played by Kendrick Sampson) some time before making any judgement.
As for “The Elongated Knight Rises” episode, it was, as you guessed it, the Ralph Dibney show. This was a chance for him to shine and to show the world (and the viewer) that Elongated Man can save the day without the Flash being around. As such, I expected the humor to follow him for every dialogue and it did. However, with the two minor villains already being crazy (which I will touch upon in a bit) plus adding up the Dibney-centric scenes, it sure felt as if I was watching the 1960s Batman television show. And while I praised Hartley Sawyer’s performance in episode 10, he overdid it with his scenes that went Jim Carrey extreme. At least Dibney got a new suit that does look better than his first one. His story in this episode was ok when looking past the humor and the bad special effects.
As for the campy villains, we have the Axel version of the Trickster (being played by Devon Graye) and Corinne Bohrer’s Prank, who is reprising her role from the early 90s Flash TV series. It’s always nice to see The Flash make a nod to the first show. However, as I pointed out already, with this duo being nuttier than your typical nutty bar, plus adding in Dibney’s antics, the humor went off the charts. Yes, if I must, it was over 9,000. And while I will give the writers some credit in trying to lighten up the mood, it just fell flat. Nothing came across as being funny. So far, it looks like the writers are still having trouble finding that right balance when mixing two subjects together: being funny while being serious.
Speaking of serious, we got to see Barry trying to adjust to his new life—still trying to be a good guy by not relying on his power too much, even if a few inmates were causing trouble. You know, trying teach the new guy a lesson, so he will need some protection. Thus, we were introduced to a fellow inmate who was a friend to Barry’s father. Now it should be noted that this friendly guy is being played by wrestler Bill Goldberg. Overall, it’s cool that Goldberg made his Flash debut, and I did like Grant Gustin’s performance as someone still trying to have a positive outlook on life, even in this dire situation. But again, I just wish that the writers had gone with something different, rather than seeing the Scarlet Speedster in jail. I felt the same way about not seeing the DeVoes in this episode.
Oh, if you are wondering, Kid Flash has been MIA in these last two episodes. He’s off doing other things with another team, so I will leave it there. Lastly, everyone else that I did not mention did a fine job in their performances. The action scenes were decent but nothing special.
So, as you can see, both episodes had their fair share of problems, but luckily the good material did enough to make these two episodes watchable. Just hopefully next week’s episode is better.
The score for episode 10 and episode 11: 3/5
Want to discuss episode 10 and 11? Just click here to head over to the FoCC forum. Until next time, see you all later!