The Flash S4x4 “Elongated Nights Journey Into Night” Review (Spoilers)
This week’s Flash opens with us getting a pretty personal look into Cisco’s life and his relationship with Cynthia. The episode starts with the two of them in bed joking and flirting, but when Cynthia goes to the restroom that all takes a quick turn when a breach opens and none other than the legendary Danny Trejo steps through. We find out that the man who came through the breach is Cynthia’s father who goes by Breacher. The story between Cisco and Cynthia’s father at its core is the cliche “Scary dad sizes up his daughter’s boyfriend” trope and it was probably one of the more forgettable aspects of the episode. The Breacher character was overacted and poorly written which instantly turned off my interest in the character and that entire storyline.
This episode we are introduced to the third passenger on the bus, Ralph Dibny or as comic fans will recognize him, The Elongated Man. I spent the entirety of this episode thinking that this characterization acts more like Plastic Man than he does Elongated Man. This version of Dibny is a crooked cop who is someone from both Joe and Barry’s past and who holds a tight grudge against Barry specifically. The CW version of Dibny was actually pretty annoying, childish, and immature he was basically a completely different character. By the end of the episode, Barry offer’s himself up to Dibny as a sort of mentor on how to control and use his powers. It doesn’t in any way escape my notice that Wally is almost instantly replaced on the team with another member let alone a white guy. As a positive, I will say that Hartley Sawyer played the character fantastically and the effects team did a fantastic job of bringing his powers to live action.
One of the biggest things that I’ve been noticing in the last couple of episodes is the lack of Iris. The first episode started out with what seemed like a promising direction for Iris’s character because we got to see her feel fleshed out and like a real character. However in the episodes to follow its like we’ve gotten to see less and less Iris and less and less of how she feels and what she is doing. It’s like Iris just pops up inside the Star Labs meeting space whenever something is happening. What happened to her reporter storyline? It would just be nice for the CW and the showrunner to actually follow through on the promise that Iris would get a real storyline and get some real growth.
In the final minutes of the episode, Dibny name drops someone named DeVoe which causes Barry to recall instances from past seasons where the name has come up. It seems we are inching closer and closer to Barry finally taking a glimpse at the man…or the floating space chair behind the curtain. Hopefully, in the next couple of episodes, Barry learns of the Thinkers identity and learns that he has some sort of plan.
Overall this episode of the Flash was pretty boring and forgettable. This season seems to be trying its hardest to balance humor and seriousness and more often than not its missing the mark. The comedic writing is coming off a bit forced and out of place at moments. This seasons lackluster depictions of villains also isn’t exactly helping to remedy the shortcomings of last season. Season 4 of the Flash is gonna have to step it up if its gonna regain its spot as the top comic book show, bits, and pieces at the end of episodes aren’t gonna cut it. The Flash more than any of the current CW shows has the potential and the cast of characters to return to that compelling and interesting storytelling that wons o many people over in its first season.