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THE FLASH “Null and Annoyed” Review

By on April 11, 2018

The Flash — “Null and Annoyed” Pictured (L-R): Hartley Sawyer as Dibney and Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW

 

THE FLASH “NULL AND ANNOYED”

BY JUSTIN CARTER

 

Now that The Flash has returned it’s time to kick the final episodes of the season into high gear. That means a table-setting episode to set the dominoes into place so they can fall in time for the finale. However the introduction of three tonally unique plotlines to serve that end only make the whole thing seem scattershot.

Despite the fact that his life is on the line, Ralph is leaning into his trademark humor to mask his fears about being abducted by Devoe, which is grating on everyone’s nerves, including mine. I get the “well meaning jokester” personality they’ve given to the Elongated Man, but there’s such a thing as stretching that trope too thin. At times, it feels like he’s regressed into the man he was at the start of the season, and that Ralph was divisive, to say the least. Hartley Sawyer has natural charm that got him through those earlier episodes, but this week’s improv and practical jokes range from bad to straight up annoying. (Also, having another jokester with a heart of gold while Cisco is around just feels like overkill.)

Certainly not helping is our Meta of the week named Null, who has the ability to make objects and people float into the air like they were balloons, something Barry learns firsthand when he’s sent floating onto a roof and has to be tied to a string so he doesn’t go sky high. Null as a character is just…there. She’s much like Peekaboo in that she’ll probably show up in a future episode and you’ll remember she exists. Beyond making a car with a passenger float high into the air before crashing down, there’s nothing about her that really screams “evil” in the way of other Bus Metas from earlier in the season. It feels like there’s a greater sense of immaturity with her guest appearance, perhaps best encapsulated when Ralph’s solution to save Barry from becoming scarlet roadkill is to become a whoopee cushion to catch him.

Yeah, really.

Elsewhere, Cisco goes through a storyline of his own with Caitlin when Breacher shows up asking for help with his dwindling powers. The answer is actually simple: Breacher’s an old dude — in one of the show’s funnier moments, Cisco takes a look at his age on a computer screen and is shocked at the (undisclosed) number. Despite Caitlin’s protests, he decides to keep it secret from Breacher until the interdimensional cop decides to go up against a vampire from another dimension named Crucifer. There’s something…weirdly bleak about this storyline; it feels like it would make for a decent full episode to help Cisco and Breacher bond more for the reveal to hit as hard as it wants to. As it stands, my main take away from the plot is that I do want Cisco to go universe-hopping with Breacher for a bit to that dragon farm, and maybe try being a Breacher on his own.

And then there’s the Devoe family. Namely, Marlize is starting to realize that something is amiss in their neon home base; she’s wising up to him using the Weeper’s tears on her to make her docile and complacent while also using Brainstorm’s abilities to wipe her mind every time she’s found out. The specific number of times she’s discovered her husband’s trickery is never given, but it’s an unsettling number regardless. It’s rather dark to see Marlize’s tear streaked face watch a recording of her past self telling her future self that her brain has been wiped multiple times, and even more so at the end when Devoe’s successfully done it again.

All the pieces are in place for everything to hit the fan at the end of the season. “Null and Annoyed” could’ve been better at getting us hype for Team Flash’s showdown with the Devoe Duo, but what’s here isn’t all bad. Unlike Ralph’s jokes.

Additional Notes

  • Harry’s thinking cap is finally starting to fritz out and affect his behavior, and now he’s found Thawne’s version of the Gideon AI. That can’t be good.
  • “I saw my reflection in my knife.” “Is…is this your first time seeing yourself?”
  • Seriously, what would a dragon farm be like? I’m with Cisco on this one, get your Khaleesi on, Breacher.

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