The Flash, Season 4, Episode 12, “Honey, I Shrunk Team Flash”
With Barry cooling his heels in prison and DeVoe in parts unknown, the season arc is pretty much on hold. So, to kill the time, this week’s Flash went back to the familiar formula of making episodes that are straight-up comedies. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of The Flash:
What’s the scoop: Despite Harry’s best efforts to keep everyone on task, Barry’s case has hit a wall and Team Flash is distracted at every turn. Even Barry is aiding the distraction by asking his friends to look into the case of the prisoner who helped him out last week. It appears he was railroaded and Barry wants to exonerate him. As fate may have it, their prime suspect also happens to be one of the metas from the bus who has the ability to shrink tall buildings in a single bound.
Meanwhile in B-plot Land: Joe’s life isn’t stressful enough that he’s pushing 50 and going to be a dad again, now as a side effect of dark matter exposure and pregnancy, Cecile has gained fairly strong telepathy, which stresses Joe out and pretty much annoys everyone else. But it adds to the funny factor so we’re just supposed to roll with it.
What about the action: Once again with Barry out of action and a villain who isn’t exactly physical, the action sequences were limited. Most of that space was devoted to an array of shrink-related sight gags (Ralph gets stepped on like gum, see Cisco stumble around the Lego model of last year’s showdown with Savitar). Despite a few stumbles here and there (and the threat of Cisco and Ralph exploding in a Harry cure attempt gone south), Team Flash eventually gets their man, but he refuses to cop to the crime that would exonerate Barry’s prison buddy.
What’s next: Barry’s good intentions backfire on him. Knowing Big Sir is innocent, Barry gives his buddy the “movie ending” Barry promised by whisking him to a village in China that is Big Sir’s personal Zihuatanejo. Barry incorrectly assumes that he’s fooled the cameras once again. Unfortunately for him, the shady warden has installed a camera fixed on Barry’s cell and discovers Barry’s alter ego. For the second time in as many weeks someone (this time Barry) is waylaid by spiked pudding, and Barry is placed in a meta-proof cell. The warden calls meta trafficker Amunet looking to strike it rich.
Last impressions: While we prefer these comically driven episodes to the mopiest timeline of recent seasons, these overtly funny episodes are best in small doses. The impact of this episode is eroded by the fact we had a madcap Ralph-centered episode last week. These back-to-back comedy episodes make it feel like The Flash‘s creative team has only about 15 episodes worth of DeVoe story, but 20-plus episodes to fill, so we’re seeing last season’s arc of Arrow unfold where the main villain goes MIA for weeks at a time, while the heroes work on ultimately meaningless side missions.