THE FLASH Season 4 Episode 21 Review: Harry and the Harrisons

THE FLASH has a peculiar habit of slowing down right before its season finales. Instead of zeroing in on Barry’s struggle the last two or three episodes before the end often focus on guest stars whose connection to the main plot is tangential at best. In the past, we’ve had Gorilla Grodd, Black Siren, and Captain Cold all pop by to lead the team on a merry chase; this year we got Amunet Black. 

The problem with Amunet is she has neither a compelling motive nor an eye- catching skill to keep your attention. She’s a card carrying villain who at her most threatening is still only able to control one very specific type of metal. Her reluctant team- up was also a little bizarre in that it led otherwise reasonable individuals like Barry and Iris to claim Amunet (who has engaged in everything from drug trafficking to selling people in slavery in past appearances) still had a good heart deep down. I’m not sure if the writers felt they had to justify Team Flash working with a criminal by saying she wasn’t completely immoral, but it felt completely out of left field based for the character. 

The only real bright spot to her reappearance was how it inspired a desperate Caitlin to make a deal with the devil for the chance of getting her powers back. Her character is far more interesting when she’s allowed to be selfish and somewhat untrustworthy; they’re traits that stands out in a team of bleeding hearts like the STAR Labs crew. More than likely her sketchy behavior will amount to nothing — after all, Killer Frost wasn’t even able to earn her lethal before being retooled into a grumpy heroine — but even so, it’s the only substantial thing she’s had to do all season, and I’m willing to take what I can get. 

One change I’m more hopeful will stick is Iris reopening her blog. Although she mentioned wanting to go back to writing a few episodes ago, this was the first time we saw her pursue a story since her admission, and I was pleasantly surprised at how it played out. This episode hearkened back to the early days of the show, where Iris was often tracking down leads to prove the world Flash existed, while Barry vainly tried to keep the existence of metahumans a secret. It makes sense that Iris would, years later, argue for the public’s right to know about DeVoe’s plan, despite Barry being uncomfortable with the transparency. It’d be nice to see the community on Iris’s blog used for more than just tracking DeVoe as well; unlike a Gotham City or Metropolis, Central City often feels like a generic urban location with no real sense of what the local culture is. This would be an easy way to help get the city develop a personality beyond “always in danger." 

As for the titular “Harrisons”? The less said the better. Tom Cavanagh has shown himself to be a very capable and gifted performer during his time on the show, but you sure wouldn’t know it looking at the cringeworthy collection of unfunny clich├ęs and bad accents he employed in the new Council of Wells. 

Worse still, Cisco was made into a punching bag throughout the whole ordeal. Not only was he shushed incessantly and derided for being useless, there was a very tasteless moment where Cisco physically cowers when Harry raises his hand out of fear his teammate will strike him for the council’s failure. It’s hard as a viewer to put any stock in the emotional insight Harry’s supposedly gaining when he continues to blatantly bully someone he claims is a friend. Futhermore, His ultimate “revelation” that DeVoe is having marital troubles seems like such a comparatively minor development in the plot that it makes being forced to sit through Wells’ one man show even more irritating. At this pace, it looks more and more like we may not see any Marlize fallout until the finale, which is a disappointingly rushed conclusion for the year’s worth of build up her betrayal got.

Written by Kaitlin Roberts, THE FLASH Beat Writer

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