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THE FLASH Review: “When Harry Met Harry”

By on November 15, 2017

The Flash — “When Harry Met Harry…” Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as The Flash and Hartley Sawyer as Dibney — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW

 

THE FLASH “WHEN HARRY MET HARRY”

 

BY JUSTIN CARTER

 

 

In 2014, Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty debuted an episode called “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind,” wherein the titular duo learn that all the Ricks in the vast multiverse keep in contact with one another and have formed a Council of Ricks because they despise the governments of their respective multiverses, and each of them are their own flavor of intelligent weirdo. I bring this up because if there’s anything to be said about the B-plot of this week’s The Flash, it’s that it basically is that concept.

With the team making no headway on finding out who Devoe is, Harry decides that the best minds to consult are the Council of Wells, a group made up of him and a trio of other Wells: one from a post-apocalyptic world and sporting a bad Australian accent and cybernetic eye; another with a bad Southern accent and who happens to be a playboy/genius; and another with a bad German accent who looks like Steve Jobs with white hair. No surprise, the three alt-Wells are initially bickering at one another and incredibly unhelpful, but Wells Prime gets through to them after a pep talk from Cisco. It all sounds ridiculous, because it is, but there’s something delightful about how committed Tom Cavanaugh is to playing ridiculous versions of himself. Just as Rick & Morty first made it clear that the Main Rick hates the Council of Ricks because being around similar versions of yourself would be insufferable, the same holds true here. Wells Prime accepts that he needs friends outside himself (well, alternate versions of himself) and in return, the Council of Wells does him a solid and helps him nail down Devoe.

The A-plot, meanwhile, concerns Barry and Dibny coming together to actually work on a metahuman case, namely a Sioux woman calling herself the Black Bison who can bring statues, mannequins, and effigies to life to do her bidding. It sounds like a useless power, but it’s anything but, since she’s killing people to get a Sioux necklace back in the hands of its rightful owners. This being Dibny’s first time in the field proper, he’s got a fresh new suit to wear — or rather, a prototype one that’s basically a grey unitard and mask that makes Matt Murdock’s outfit in the first season of Daredevil look cool in comparison. Unfortunately, the real friction between him and Barry comes less from the costume and more by their methods; namely, Dibny is less concerned about saving people in danger and more about catching Bison.

Barry and friends’ Superhero Code means nothing to a guy who’s spent the last couple of years mostly hitting on women and catching cheaters in the act, but all of that changes when a power line falls on a little girl while he tries apprehending our villain of the week. Fortunately, after a pep talk with Barry, he finds himself much more up to the task of saving lives. Which is good, since it leads to a fun sequence wherein he has stretch to save a museum guard from a walking T-Rex that Bison took control of.

The odd couple routine between Grant Gustin and Hartley Sawyer keeps Barry and Dibney’s banter fresh, and there is a real sense that the two of them will have sibling-like squabbles in future adventures. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the opening, wherein they’re both mugged while in casual clothes, but the robber’s bullets rebound to hit him after hitting Dibney. It’s hilarious enough on its own, but Barry’s exasperation at something that’s technically not even Dibney’s fault makes it even better. And it helps that Dibney’s attitude change is coming at a thankfully quick pace so that his quippy dick shtick doesn’t wear out its welcome. Not only does he go see the little girl in the hospital twice and make balloon animals for her, he also does right by Bison in shipping off her necklace to the Sioux.

Overall, a solid episode of The Flash that ends on a surprisingly interesting note. With the Council of Wells having tracked Devoe’s location, Barry and Joe go to the address provided and…the Thinker is a regular guy in a wheelchair, while his assistant is his wife. There’s obviously more to the story than that, but as far as a cliffhanger, it’s a pretty good one.

Additional Notes

  • Over the weekend, it came out that series showrunner Andrew Kreisberg allegedly sexually harassed multiple staff members in his employ, and has since been suspended. As such, it makes Hartley’s playful misogynist trope incredibly uncomfortable, especially when he’s referring to women by their measurements.
  • I guess Thinker’s assistant is known as The Mechanic? And also apparently a real person, when this whole time, I assumed she was another AI.
  • One of the things Bison takes over is a police mannequin armed with riot gear and a grenade launcher, in a moment that’s weirdly satisfying to watch. 
  • One of the Wells who gets a brief appearance is one basically dressed as Gandalf. It’s super short, but now I would kinda love a Flash episode set in a fantasy setting somehow.
  • Good intentions, Dibney, but making animal balloons out of your skin is still incredibly horrifying to see.

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