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THE FLASH “Lose Yourself” Review

By on April 18, 2018

The Flash — “Lose Yourself” Pictured (L-R): Hartley Sawyer as Dibney and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW –

THE FLASH “LOSE YOURSELF” REVIEW

 

BY JUSTIN CARTER

 

There are five episodes left in this season of The Flash, and an “all is lost!” moment was primed to go off sometime soon. However, when they inevitably do, the important part to consider is how hard that moment lands. This week’s “Lose Yourself” is sort of…all over the place, simultaneously doing not enough but paradoxically also too much to bring Team Flash to its lowest point before they come back together and finally defeat Devoe.

It must be said that this episode really comes in with one hell of a sucker punch. At first, it feels like another Bus Meta of the Week episode with the appearance of a stoner hippie named Edwin Gauss who has the ability to fold into pocket dimensions and is dubbed by fellow hippies as the “Folded Man.” Initially it seems like a largely lighthearted affair that has some decent gags, such as Flash, Vibe, Elongated Man and Killer Frost gearing up for a fight only to find it’s Gauss just popping in to mail something off. Even the sudden appearance of the Samuroid coming in to stab Caitlin doesn’t seem to be much more than a blip on the radar, until things get considerably more sullen. Devoe traps Frost, Flash, and Vibe in his lair while he and the Mechanic are in STAR Labs, and everything hits the fan.

See, Dibney has decided that his Problem of the Week will be that he wants to kill Devoe, while Barry argues that they’ve got enough of an advantage with their meta powers to bring him peacefully. It’s an incredibly flawed view by Barry–his wife literally shot and killed Savitar at the end of last season, not to mention that Devoe has proven time and time again he has the ability to outsmart Team Flash, so killing him may as well be the one thing he likely doesn’t expect of them. Ralph’s japes at the team’s ineptitude are more right than the show is maybe willing to admit, and his intentions for stopping Devoe are more noble here than last time: he wants to protect his found family.

Once he and Devoe face off, it’s immediately clear what’ll happen to Ralph: he’s going to spare the madman and talk to Barry about really becoming a hero long enough for it to sting when Devoe does his thing and takes over his brain. It’s the show paradoxically doing a lot and simultaneously not enough; Ralph has been a polarizing character all season. At his best he was tolerable; Hartley Sawyer injects a lot of charm into his alter ego, but struggles with the jackass trope Ralph was saddled with. It’s a strange choice to have him get nobbled a week after he was chided by everyone for his bad jokes, and the final send-off he’s given — Barry cleaning his office and leaving a shot of Olive Branch on his desk — doesn’t feel as earned as the show wants it to be.

Ralph’s not the only one who gets got by Devoe and the Mechanic this week, as both Gauss and Null and Melting Point are summarily killed off once the pair begin their assault on STAR Labs. It just feels so inexplicably sudden after the big deal that was made about how Melting Point could help out, seeing him just taken down without even a real attempt feels like a wasted opportunity.

“Lose Yourself” can’t help but feeling rushed; there’s a lot going on in this episode, even in the margins. Along with the sudden death of the Bus Metas, Harry’s addiction to his Thinking Cap is finally being addressed, and he ends the episode with his intelligence lowered after hopping up on dark matter. Caitlin ends up losing her powers after Devoe –now having Melting Point’s powers — shuts down Killer Frost, and so soon when an earlier scene in the episode establishes that she and Frost have something of a rapport where they leave notes for each other. These moments needed more room to breathe than they ultimately had, and while the speedster is known for being fast, these are things that shouldn’t have been rushed.

Additional Notes

  • We briefly get to see Joe fight Samuroid and that frankly is a scene that should’ve been included in this episode.
  • There were four samurai swords used in this episode, including one used by the Mechanic during her fight with Iris, which was awesome. (Though I don’t really get why Iris needed to let herself get stabbed to get close to Thinker’s chair.)
  • Now that Thinker has Ralph’s body, the first thing he does is morph into his original face, which is more than a little creepy to see.
  • Did anyone else forget that Thinker and Mechanic actually have some master plan for the rest of the world? Because until the last moments of this episode, I completely forgot.

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