FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 4x14- "Subject 9"

The Flash (4x14) - "Subject 9"
Written by:         Mike Alber & Gabe Snyder
Directed by:       Ralph Hemecker

We open at the Police Station and it doesn’t take too long before we deal with the biggest long term problem of Barry being framed for murder.  People will still think Barry murdered DaVoe and that makes him a liability to the Central City Police.  So Singh has suspended him indefinitely. Good thing Iris still has a job… I think. Here’s a preview of this week’s Unanswered Questions: When was the last time Iris did anything journalism related on the show?

But Team Flash have bigger fish to fry, namely DaVoe is now killing the bus metas and taking their powers and he has already taken out at least five (possibly six judging by the end of last week’s episode.) That means they have to find and protect the remaining bus metas from him if they have any hope of stopping DaVoe. 

Fortunately, they have an ace in the hole in the form of Ralph and he’s come through on two levels.  First by being on the team and not out in the wild where DaVoe can just up and eat his brain and in the more immediate sense he’s got some clues for the meta-hunt.

They found the lost and found box from the bus and it just so happens to have a demo disc from our guest meta for the week: Hungry up and coming country musician, Izzy Bowin.

This allows them to not only get the plot for the week going but to take a shot at country music, (for the record since the worst episode of this show was the musical episode maybe the producers and writers shouldn’t be taking any shots at anybody else’s music.)

So let’s check in with the DaVoes, they too are on to Izzy and have been for a while.  Clifford had been waiting for Izzy to gain more of a handle on her powers but since Clifford’s expanding power set seems to be killing Becky Sharpe’s body even faster than his previous bodies he’s going to have to make his move now.

At the Busted Saddle Saloon, Barry and Ralph meet up with Izzy and she’s less than impressed with their “you’re in great danger” approach.  Also, she doesn’t seem to have much to worry about since her powers are control over soundwaves and short of master magnetism that’s a power that is pretty much as good as it gets.

After a check in on a Harry and Cecile C-plot about Cecile not being able to sleep because Joe’s brain is too loud when he’s asleep. The guys try to talk to Izzy again, this time they suit up and a “You’re in great danger” speech is quite a bit more convincing by suited-up superheroes.

It’s a good thing they showed up in the suits because Thinker is here and looking for Izzy and a fight.  The boys are not up to the task but Izzy’s powers are (like I said, control over sound is an underappreciated power set) and they chase the Thinker off before returning to STAR Labs with Izzy in tow.

Back at the lab, well Izzy’s not going to listen to them about the danger’s she’s in despite what she’s just seen because of course she is.  She’s about to get her big break and that’s way more important than not having her brain eaten and body stolen.

But surprise! Ralph manages to whip out a pretty-good inspirational talk with the slow uplifting music and everything.  So it’s time for a training montage, with a nice callback to a commercial from the 80s that I assume at least half the audience missed:

Meanwhile, that C-plot with Cecile and Harry has found its way into the A-plot since it seems in his efforts to help Cecile sleep at night Harry developed the cerebral inhibitor that Savitar mentioned last year.  But there’s a problem, Izzy’s bailed out because Barry did what he always does wrong, he broke out Oliver’s playbook and pushed too hard.

Cisco tries to find Izzy but DaVoe’s already there and shuts him out.  Hard.  Which leaves it up to Ralph and Barry.  Of course, the big problem with giving the Thinker additional powers is that that he figures out how to use them better than bus-metas ever did.  He uses Dominic’s telepathy to give Barry a minor aneurysm and Kilgore’s technopathy to destroy the cerebral inhibitor and defeats Ralph and Barry before taking Izzy’s body and powers and leaving.

Definitely not a good week for the team.  But there is a bright spot, Cisco’s finally figured out how DaVoe’s chair travels using pocket dimensions which means he is one step closer to tracking him.  In the wrap up we get some more growth for Ralph, most of the last few episodes have been about the team accepting Ralph but Ralph returns the gestures by giving Barry a business card welcoming him into Ralph’s detective agency.

Nothing to special happened this week but still it was a solid episode that highlighted more or Ralph’s growth from buffoon to someone more like his comic counterpart and that’s welcome.  Seeing the Thinker growing as a threat was welcome as well.  Sure we already knew DaVoe was collecting powers but now we’ve seen what that means for Barry and company and we are left to wonder what the remaining powers are and how they will aid DaVoe’s quest.

DaVoe’s parting line and the teaser for next week suggest next week will something of a stand-alone so it was a good place to leave things so we have some time to wait while not going into another two week hiatus. 

So while it wasn’t special it got the job done, and that’s just as important to me as blowing the audience’s mind with some gigantic spectacle.  (Considering what I know about next week’s episode I wonder if those words will come back to haunt me very soon.)

Three Things We Learned This Week:

1)      Barry’s been suspended indefinitely.
2)      Harry developed the cerebral inhibitor Savitar mentioned.
3)      We probably won’t be seeing the writers or producers of The Flash at a Toby Keith concert any time soon.

Three Unanswered Questions:

1)      Did the cerebral inhibitor fail or is it possible they’ve damaged DaVoe and not know it yet?
2)      Is the Mayor singling Barry out simply part of a crackdown on perceived corruption or was this a plot thread for down the line?
3)      When was the last time Iris did anything journalism related on the show?

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