The Flash S4E4, Review – Elongated Journey Into Night

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A ghost from Barry’s past has come up on the radar as, you guessed it, one of the new Metahumans. His presence is more than a nasty reminder for Barry, and has him rethinking their stance on how they handle criminals. Meanwhile, Cisco has the painful task of meeting Gypsy’s father and handle his outrageous test.

Ralph Dibny use to be a cop when Barry was a rookie, but after planting evidence at a homicide, he was kicked off the force. Disgraced, he now works as a private investigator with a target on his back. He’s not the classiest man, and other than being an annoyance seems rather harmless. Barry and Joe stop by his office for a quick visit to gather more information on the bus hit with dark matter. Their first meeting is over pretty quickly, as Barry isn’t believing any of his smooth talk.

That is until Joe and Barry exit the building and catch Dibny stretched out along the side of it from the roof. Literally, his body stretched out like a toy! Being threatened by two guys to be thrown off the roof has stimulated his Metahuman powers, and he’s turned into Stretch Armstrong. Barry can’t let a Metahuman suffer alone, and brings Dibny back to the labs where Caitlin tries to help him regain control. Every action has his body stretching and melting, a gross sight that Joe can hardly stomach watching.

Helping Dibny is the last thing Barry wants to do, and as he faces past issues, he’s reminded of how the team operates today. While Dibny had broken the law to have a man put away for murder, Barry hasn’t exactly been following the law either. They have to bend the law, skipping a trial and going straight to jail, to protect Central City. Dibny isn’t a bad guy; like Barry, he wants to see justice served when the law isn’t on their side. Caitlin also drills it into his head that as Metahumans they’re all on the same playing field. They know how their life can be turned upside down when powers manifest, together they support each other through the changes. Barry can’t look at Dibny as someone from the past, but as someone who is trying to make a better future.

Cisco hasn’t been much help with Dibny, as he has his own crisis. He’s dealing with Gypsy’s dad, Breacher, who is a fantastic dad that terrifies just about everyone who he encounters. He has an outrageous test to see if Cisco is worthy of his daughter. It’s a unique version of hide-and-seek where neither uses their powers, but if Beecher locates Cisco, he’ll be dead. Harry is sort of in his corner, and while he doesn’t give the most inspiring pep talk, he at least helps Cisco survive a few hours escaping and evading Breacher’s advances.

We soon find out Dibny has a target on his back because he crossed Mayor Bellows. He has pictures of him with his mistress, and Dibny is blackmailing the Mayor to have them destroyed. Bellows wants him dead and is doing a decent job trying to get that done. Initially, Joe and Barry want to help Bellows, but after he tries to have them killed that went out the window.

In the end, once Dibny is stabilized he tries to repent and let Bellows off the hook but is only met with a gunshot as an answer. Being able to stretch his body has him resistant to gunshots, as he quickly shoots the bullet out as a booger and isn’t harmed at all. For some reason, Breacher shows up, thinking Dibny is a creature who has destroyed his world. Cisco sets him straight and protects Dibny from any further harm, impressing both Breacher and Dibny.

During the scuffle, Mayor Bellows manages to kidnap Joe and fly off in his helicopter. But with Barry out of energy, and Cisco unable to use his powers to get to Joe, it’s up to Dibny to stretch himself into the skies. It’s a strange use of powers, but Barry manages to run up his arms and rescue Joe.

It’s a happy ending all around; Cisco has won Breacher’s respect to date Gypsy, Dibny has found a new purpose to help Team Flash, and Joe gives the biggest announcement of all: Cecile is pregnant.

During the episode, Barry muses that all Metahumans must be evil from this batch affected by the dark matter. Dibny is one of his least favorite people, and the Metahumans they’ve met thus far have been up to no good. It’s a statement that shows how one-sided Barry views most ‘villains,’ but thus far everyone has had a justifiable backstory of why they’ve turned to evil. I didn’t expect Barry to have such a narrow view, primarily when he works outside the law and one of his favorite people is Oliver Queen. Maybe that’ll change in the future.

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