The Flash, Season 4, Episode 4, “Elongated Journey Into Night ”
There’s no denying it now, The Flash is now an hour-long comedy. The introduction of beloved DC character Ralph Dibney, the Elongated Man, and his subsequent addition to Team Flash erases any last vestiges of the mopiest timeline. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of The Flash:
What’s the scoop: Team Flash’s investigation into the busload of metahumans leads them to Dibney (Hartley Sawyer) a onetime dirty cop who is now a small-time private investigator. Barry and Dibney have a history. It was a young Barry who cost Dibney his career after Barry discovered the detective planted evidence and lied about it in court. So when Joe and Barry come knocking around his office, he was less than helpful. It didn’t take long for Dibney to discover his powers, as two goons hung him over the roof of his building before Joe and Barry could reach their car. Dibney does his rubber band thing for the first time and his secret is out.
Meanwhile in B-plot Land: A recurring theme on The Flash is that the multiverse is conspiring to keep Cisco from getting laid. It started when Cisco’s barista squeeze ended up being a hawk person involved in a love triangle that stretches back to ancient Egypt, and has continued with his current girlfriend, Gypsy. This time Cisco is mere moments away from doin’ the deed when Gypsy’s interdimensional bounty hunter boss and father, Breacher (Danny Trejo), shows up to give his version of the “so you want to date my daughter” speech. Breacher announces he’s going to hunt and kill Cisco, and if he’s able to survive he will be worthy of dating his daughter. So, the rest of the episode Cisco is running in and out of STAR Labs, with Trejo mean-mugging the whole way.
What about the action: Team Flash takes Dibney to STAR Labs to help him with his powers. Barry’s not enthused about the idea, but Caitlin takes pity on him (which if history holds, start your couple naming now) and comes up with a formula straight from the comics, that helps Dibney stabilize his stretching. It turns out Dibney is blackmailing the mayor for stepping out on his wife. A few shouting matches later, Barry shows some real self-realization. After bending the law as well as the rules of time and space, that throwing out the rule book is sometimes the only way you can help people. It comes to a big showdown where the Dibney and the Cisco plots combine. Dibney has a back-alley exchange with the mayor — who is dirty, and trying to kill Joe, Barry, and Dibney — when Breacher shows up believing that Dibney is a plastoid alien that took over his planet. Cisco, in full Vibe regalia, stands up to Breacher, and defends his friends. Dibney does his part to save the day by stretching his arm out a few hundred yards to grab a helicopter. The VFX team clearly had a lot of fun with Elongated Man effects, and Dibney’s 1940s mannerisms and smart mouth fits into the show’s new, more humorous outlook.
GIF quote of the week:
What’s next: Joe let everyone know about the baby, much to their delight. Cisco found out Gypsy’s no-so-mysterious real name. Caitlin is being haunted by her choices of the last six months. Dibney has joined Team Flash, and will be mentored by Barry, which should provide a rich mine of odd couple situations for the writers. Most importantly, Dibney was mentioned he was hired by a man named DeVoe, who has been name-dropped by Flash’s rogues a few times before.
Last impressions: Now that the shock of The Flash‘s turn for the funny has worn off, it’s easier to let go and just enjoy the ride of this new tonal direction. Dibney is a fine choice to enhance the comedic bent, because his attitude will test Barry’s patience and his powers make for some good visuals – especially if they make Dibney more like the name-checked Plastic Man, than Elongated Man.