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THE FLASH “The Elongated Knight Rises” Review

By on January 24, 2018

Flash — “The Elongated Knight Rises” Pictured: Hartley Sawyer as Dibney/Elongated Man — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW

THE FLASH “THE ELONGATED KNIGHT RISES”

 

BY JUSTIN CARTER

 

An episode of The Flash devoted to Ralph Dibny, the in-progress Elongated Man, was always going to be silly. Hartley Sawyer is at his best when he’s playing the character in a slapstick manner, and even if you find him particularly grating (I know that some certainly do) there is still something undeniably funny about him, perhaps enough to make you forget that your feelings — at least some of the time.

“The Elongated Knight Rises” definitely lives up to its title, as Ralph finds himself going up against something of an archenemy: the millennial Trickster, broken out of jail by his mother Lucy Clark, who went by the nickname of “Prank” back when she and the original Trickster were together. (Mark Hamill’s Trickster is never seen in the episode, but given that he voiced the Joker for decades, you can just say that Prank is just his live action Harley Quinn.) Lucy, played by Corrine Bohrer, who played Prank in the 1990 Flash series, is initially not up for her son continuing the mantle of her husband; all she wants is for the two of them to be a family again, and even tries to guilt trip her kid by reminding him of all the times she made his lunches and took care of him while daddy played supervillain. But then she decides to stop taking her meds and get back into her Prank persona.

No, really, she turns evil and kill-crazy the moment she stops taking her meds for her son, and it’s as jarring and alarming as it sounds.

With Barry in the pokey, it falls to Ralph to protect Central City, and he’s not doing a bad job at it, but he could definitely be doing better. His stretchy body has him walking on airs and thinking he’s invulnerable, since he can smother bombs with his stomach. The first encounter between him and Trickster, where he casually shrugs off a mini-bomb and shuriken, is pretty funny, but he quickly decides the hero life isn’t for him when Trickster’s homemade acid turns out to actually hurt him. It all goes exactly the way that you’d expect, right down to the reveal of his new costume and official superhero name. But the various gags involving Ralph and his body actually do work, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy seeing him in a jacket and goggles as opposed to his former drab leotard. He’s still got a way to go before he’s completely ironed out his flaws, but he’s made progress thanks to new threads and a pep talk from Barry.

As for Barry, his arc in prison doesn’t really amount to anything beyond making a quick friend and an even quicker enemy. The friend, known as Big Sir, is played by former WWE star Bill Goldberg. The formidable prisoner takes a liking to Barry because Henry saved his life in prison. There’s not much to really say about Goldberg beyond the knowledge that he’s playing an established DC villain, which is sure to pay off down the line. But you could also excise this and Barry from the episode completely, and nothing would really change.

“Elongated Knight Rises” gets the job done when it comes to getting Ralph on track and feeling like a real member of Team Flash, and that’s all you can really ask for. Come Barry’s release from the slammer, he’s sure to be a good asset in bringing down Devoe. As an episode of The Flash itself, it’s charming enough to be worth watching, provided Ralph’s previous episodes didn’t sour you on the character.

Additional Notes

  • I continue to enjoy how Cisco and Harry bring Killer Frost out of Caitlin. This time, they just say the name of her childhood bully, and the eyes come out. This week, we also learn Frost has her own credit card, and I would love to know how that process went.
  • Ralph has no idea what Kryptonite is, to the shock of everyone else, so he either wasn’t told about everything in the wedding, or just forgot it. (Both are honestly probable.)
  • Oh hey, the mystery girl from Crisis on Earth-X is back! And she’s writing something that looks similar to what Barry wrote when he came back from the Speed Force…
  • Credit to the writers for answering why Barry wouldn’t break of out jail right away with the very obvious answer being security cameras.
  • The lack of Wally feels even bigger here. I get that he’s heading over to Legends in about a month, but why not bring him on his original show for as long as possible?

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