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R.I.P. Ralph Dibny, Cold Wedding and Barry is…human? The Flash 4×19

So if you didn’t know I now write weekly reviews of shows I enjoy so…yeah keep reading and beware spoilers ahead.

The Flash Season 4 got off to a great start after that gut-wrenching cliffhanger dropped on us at the end of Season 3. The ‘fandom’ however has felt underwhelmed as the season has progressed, possibly due to the long wait on discovering what the ‘Enlightenment‘ is.

Episode 19 was centered around Barry being urged to grieve by his Flash friends and family, and its effect on the fight against The Thinker. However, with him feeling guilty about Ralph’s death and his apparent arrogance regarding dealing with death (considering the many deaths he has dealt with) this took some time but he finally gave in and began the grieving process thanks to therapy.

We got our screens graced with Earth-X heroes and villains again and they did not disappoint. Citizen Cold got ambushed by our team Flash in combat with Siren X (who is incredibly overpowered wow) while still on Earth-X, and consequently saving his ass to be taken to Earth-1. Their intention was to outsmart Devoe by importing a hero from a different Earth…which his highfalutin brain also predicted. But what he didn’t predict was Barry’s emotional constraints. Barry’s feelings of guilt and sadness due to Ralph’s death has triggered him in a PTSD-esque way in the field and is helping diminish his ability to fight Devoe.

While Barry’s freezing in the field caused some anxiety and confusion among viewers, the writers are reminding us that Barry Allen is still human and death is death. Using the inspiring Leo Snart to relay this, no matter how many deaths you’ve experienced, it will always take a toll on you and you must grieve to healthily carry on with your life.

However, the twentieth episode is next week and it’s as if we haven’t made much progress towards the plot. There have been too many unnecessary side stories and plot holes. Firstly, why is Barry faster than the speed of sound and Siren-X’s sound waves are able to knock him down if he’s able to see it coming beforehand. We were promised that Barry Allen would come out of the speedforce smarter and faster so we’re kind of lost as to where Mr Barry’s intelligence has gone post-speedforce vacation.

Next, if Devoe is such a threat why was Wally often pushed to the side and not used to the full capacity? At this point Wally should be in full attendance and helping figure out a plan to defeat Devoe instead of the team thinking inside the box.

My theory is that in the process of Devoe gaining the smarts from Thinking Cap, he has damaged the part of his brain responsible for feelings. As we see the story of Barry’s destructive feelings paralleled with Devoe’s, Devoe is lacking feelings for his wife Marlize which could result in her switching sides and creating a losing battle to Team Flash’s advantage.

Another story paralleled which hints at this theory is Harrison Wells’ memory loss. After promising Cisco that he would not use dark matter in his Thinking Cap, Harry used Gideon to pump over the max limit of dark matter into his cap, resulting in brain damage and loss of intelligence (obvs not what we want right now Harry). This is proof that dark matter infused Thinking Caps have adverse consequences for the brain and Devoe’s problems are definitely coming to head.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate Siren-X’s powers. Is she a whale on land? A missing alien thing from A Quiet Place? That sonic ability was wonderfully shown however it would be great to see her powers used on someone at her damage level because, Citizen Cold really? You were going to die. While on the topic of the Earth-X guests, say woot-woot if you’re excited about the Cold-Ray wedding.

Overall I’m glad we saw Barry start to get over Ralph’s death because, in my opinion, Ralph took up an unnecessary amount of screen/story time this season which has resulted in shortened stories of people I’d rather see (#BRINGBACKWALLY). Hopefully next episode we will see a move forward in Team Flash’s favour.

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