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THE FLASH “True Colors” Review

By on February 7, 2018

The Flash — “True Colors” — Pictured: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW

 

THE FLASH “TRUE COLORS” REVIEW

 

BY JUSTIN CARTER

 

When Barry got sent to jail a month back, it was by running on some very silly and ridiculous logic. So it’s only fitting that for the episode in which he gets let out of jail, we continue to run on that same bonkers train of thought.

After ending up in the metahuman wing of Iron Heights, there was no way that Barry was going to stay locked up in there for long. Fortunately, “True Colors” gets that out of the way quickly by having Barry and the four evil bus metas — Black Bison, Kilgore, Dwarfstar, and Hazard, in case you’ve forgotten — work together to bust out before Amunet can come and sell them off.

The rest of Team Flash, meanwhile, deal with trying to bust Barry out on their own after Cecille reads Warden Wolfe’s mind and learns of his duplicity. It’s another plot where Ralph gets to shine, since he realizes that he can use his body to shapeshift into whoever he wants with enough concentration. I don’t know if that’s a power the Elongated Man can do in the comics, but given that everyone on this show learns they can do something new every other week, it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Scenes where a character has to pretend to be someone else are always delightful for me, and I enjoyed watching Ralph pretend to be Wolfe while letting his square self shine through.

Ralph’s able to keep the disguise going long enough, but an earlier meeting with an old friend in the episode plants doubt in his head about his position on the team. The life of a fired cop turned hated PI isn’t an easy one, and enough people have walked out of his life to convince him that he’ll be abandoned if he screws up the plan to save Barry. The logic here is a scattershot — he’s gotten on their nerves enough times to where they could’ve told him to get lost if they really wanted to — but it’s also a very natural fear when so much is at stake. Similarly, it’s nice that of all the people to get through to Ralph about his worries, it’s Killer Frost. With Barry out of the slammer, it feels like Ralph’s origin story has a hero has wrapped up, and now it’s time to see him in complete action with the other heroes.

But before we get that closure, we have to watch Barry and the other bus metas get out of Iron Heights. And it’s not that it’s bad, per se; it is admittedly a bit strange how Hazard, Kilgore, or Bison don’t seem to get that Barry is the Flash until Wolfe tells them so, despite being told he’s a speedster earlier in the episode and having seen the Flash up close several times in their earlier appearances. The banter between the five of them is sharp, even if it feels like Kilgore is hamming it up even further with his timely joke about doing “legal crime” via the stock market. I’m even willing to accept that Hazard has had a change of heart about her powers in recent months, despite the fact that the show may as well have a neon clock counting down over her head.

No, the problem with the breakout is just that it feels like a firework that doesn’t get to go off because it’s overshadowed by two other fireworks. Once they get to fresh air, they’re immediately greeted by Wolfe and Iron Heights guards, then Amunet shows up and ready to take her property back by force, and then Devoe shows up to hijack the powers of the bus metas and steal Hazard’s body just like he did with Brainstorm back in December. This all comes at a fast clip without any real room to breathe, and the show could have saved time just by combining one of these roadblocks for the metas together. Added with Barry’s decision to stay in jail again despite Cisco and Caitlin’s rescue attempt, I was ready to just declare this chapter in the prison plot a complete waste of time.

And then, Dibny comes into the courthouse holding Barry’s appeal as Devoe. Not only that, but both she and Cecille manage to make Marlize look like a complete fool in front of the judge. As I said at the top, the logic of this is all very shaky; Central City may have had people come back from the dead in the past, but those people never (presumably) had an autopsy and funeral. It’s a credit to Danielle Nicolet, Neil Sandilands, and Kim Englebrecht that the three of them were able to sell the absurdity of that situation as well as they were, because it is so astoundingly silly that I couldn’t help but respect the audacity the writers had doing it.

Thus concludes the “Barry in prison” arc for this season. I won’t say I miss it, but I did mostly enjoy the effort to flesh out Ralph beyond being comic relief. Now that Devoe is snatching up bus metas to collect their powers for whatever end, it looks like we’re gearing up for one heck of a showdown — if the team can keep Ralph away from him, of course.

Additional Notes

  • Marlize gets a very interesting plotline wherein she’s beginning to doubt her husband more and more, but then he drugs her to make her more complacent at the episode’s end, and it’s dropped. I’m not sure how I feel about the image of him — or I guess ‘her,’ since he’s in Hazard’s body now? — dancing with a drugged up woman while their romantic song plays.
  • “I don’t pay me enough for this.” Katee Sackhoff isn’t in the episode much, but I appreciate how even she’s getting annoyed with the nonsense she finds herself in whenever a Team Flash member is involved.
  • The show is taking a two week break, and then it’ll return to show us a country music singer with a deadly power. See you then!

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