Monday, July 15, 2024

The Flash Does Body Horror

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In “Elongated Journey Into Night,”  The Flash introduces an old acquaintance of Barry’s and deals with Cisco and Gypsy’s relationship.

The episode begins with our B-storyline as Cisco is having the time of his life with Gypsy, whose real name she wants to keep a secret. Their grown-up time is interrupted by Breacher (Danny Trejo), who starts shooting laser beams at Cisco. Before he could actually kill him though, Gypsy interrupts and identifies the man as her father.

At the CCPD, we see Mayor, a former cop, doing interviews for his reelection campaign. Meanwhile, Joe is a bit moody and yet glowing after receiving the news that Cecille is pregnant which he is choosing to keep to himself. Barry tells him that the man who was driving the bus that got hit with dark matter has drowned in his bathtub, which increases their suspicion of someone pulling the strings on this season.

While examining the belongings of the bus driver, Barry recognizes a card from one Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer) with whom he has a sour history. For the sake of keeping the audience on our toes (as if), Barry only tells us that Dibny was a dirty cop who got laid off the force. They decide to visit Dibny as there is some evidence he was on that bus that day.

We pay a visit to Ralph at his current workplace as a private detective and, from first impressions alone, he is not only a dick but one of those compulsory straight white males who hit on crying women. His meeting with Barry is not particularly pleasant as the sparks of rivalry come up again. In the end, he says he was not on the bus. As soon as Barry and Joe leave, two henchmen arrive and hang him from the rooftop to shake him up. However, his legs start stretching all the way to the ground with Joe and Barry catching it — hey, why don’t we say his superhero name is Mr. Convenient or Convenient Man?

Somehow, they bring Dibny to STAR Labs where things get worse: his arm gets elastic as well and then his face sort of falls out when he sneezes. While the CGI for the legs was not particularly sharp, the effects for the face were nice enough to elicit a comedic reaction. It’s nice to see The Flash trying out the body horror that the Fantastic Four movies have tried (especially the last one), but with a much smaller budget.

Caitlin suggests she may be able to stabilize his cells’ polymerization if she can get her hands on Dibny’s DNA from a time before he got exposed to the dark matter. Barry is still reacting to his own feelings towards Dibny and says he should just be locked up. Thankfully, no one agrees with him, and Iris is able to get Barry to go with her to Ralph’s office.

Barry finally explains to Iris that Dibny had planted evidence in a case where a husband might have stabbed his wife and then he was thrown off the force when Barry disproved it. Iris finds a bomb in the office, but they escape as it goes off. Joe tells the team that Dibny has contacted the Mayor’s office several times lately but, when questioned, Dibny denies anything incriminating.

Caitlin synthesizes the serum that can get Dibny back to his normal self. And then, quite relatable actually, he gives himself abs. At the CCPD, Barry and Joe meet with the Mayor, and he tells them Ralph Dibny is blackmailing him for money as he has pictures of the Mayor’s affair. As he leaves the office, the Mayor orders his henchmen to “take care of” Dibny, Joe, and Barry.

As he returns to STAR Labs, Dibny finally goes off on Barry for getting him fired as he believed he was putting a guilty man away. He doesn’t feel bad about blackmailing the Mayor because he is just trying to make ends meet and the Mayor has a lot of money to spare.

Joe and Barry get together for some beers and conversations on the moral ambiguity of their actions. The henchmen arrive and try to kill the duo, but of course, Barry prevents anything major from happening.

As the two storylines will meet soon, let’s revisit the Cisco part of the episode. So, basically, Breacher is not a very warm person, being even worse when it comes to Gypsy’s boyfriends. Despite Cisco’s attempts, he simply can’t connect with him. So, Breacher decides to hunt Cisco throughout Star City for a day without either of them using powers. Cisco tries some elaborate plans to escape, but they all fail. When Breacher catches sight of a video showing Dibny’s elongated form, he swears he will kill him because apparently, Dibny reminds him of a creature called Plastoid which destroyed his planet and so he will prevent them from doing it to Earth-1. And that’s what you missed on Glee.

Seeing as Dibny would be the next target after them, Joe and Barry go after him. We see Ralph meeting with the Mayor to get the money from the blackmail. Before he goes through with it, he changes his mind as what Barry told him about being dirty got to him. Despite the chance to simply walk away, the Mayor tries shooting Ralph, but the bullet doesn’t do any damage. The Flash arrives to help Dibny out, but so does Breacher, shouting “DIE, PLASTOID, DIE!”. He shoots laser beams at Flash which, I guess, incapacitate him. Cisco arrives in time to confront Breacher into not killing Dibny, which works.

However, the Mayor ended up kidnapping Joe while all of that was going on. As the writers needed Dibny to have a heroic moment, they decided that after the attacks, Barry would not be able to run fast enough to jump from a building into the helicopter where the Mayor is holding Joe. Not only that, but Cisco can’t breach him up there because “the event horizon would rip the helicopter apart” or whatever. So now it is up to Dibny, who throws his hand all up in the air, catching the helicopter, and forming a bridge for Barry to run. Upon entering the helicopter’s cabin, he takes the gun from the Mayor, and Joe finally tells him that Cecille is pregnant.

After the Team celebrates the pregnancy, it is time for Breacher to leave as he has gathered respect for Cisco now. Before that, he reveals Gypsy’s name is Cynthia, which amuses Cisco. As a preview of the next episode, Caitlin arrives at her apartment with a carving on her door that reads “We miss you. Come back soon”, so, yeah, we meet Amunet (Katee Sackhoff) in a week. Capping off, Barry meets with Dibny to offer him a place on the team. Before leaving, Barry asks him who told Dibny to look into the Mayor in the first place, and he says it was some guy named DeVoe. The revelation prompts Barry to flashback to two different season three episodes that mentioned DeVoe aka The Thinker.

Next week, it’s time for a bachelor and a bachelorette party which will get messy as Killer Frost decides to come out!

Images Courtesy of The CW. 

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