The Flash S4E17, Review – Null and Annoyed

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As the search for the last two bus-Metas ramps up, the DeVoe’s perfect marriage has begun to fall apart. Directed by Kevin Smith, this episode’s Meta hunt doesn’t follow the boring formula as it has in the past.

Clifford’s body is failing once more; by his estimation, it may be another week or two before he needs to find a new host. Marlize is eager to develop a way to sustain Clifford’s current body and eagerly gets to work. Instead, as she heads to work, she realizes Clifford has been drugging her in order to get her to go along with his plans. It’s the revelation I’ve been hoping for; maybe she’ll finally be able to get away from him! There is a moment of hope before Clifford appears again, looking tired and sad as she declares her discovery. It turns out this isn’t the first or even the second time Marlize has come to this conclusion. Quickly enough, Clifford makes sure she’s drugged into complacency once more. Marlize is a brilliant and formidable villain on her own– to have Clifford quiet her down is depressing.

For team Flash, Barry and Ralph are on their own as they try to find one of the bus Meta’s, nicknamed Null. Harry is doing his best to help with the Thinking Cap, but it’s of little use when it comes to locating her. Meanwhile, Cisco is preoccupied with Breacher’s sudden appearance regarding his diminishing powers. He wrangles Caitlin into helping him find a cure, and to keep Breacher from hurting him. After a lot of testing and forced bonding between Cisco and Breacher, the truth comes out that his loss of power is due to old age. It’s a difficult pill to swallow, but Breacher takes it in stride and offers Cisco his job as he settles into retirement. We’re left not clear on Cisco’s choice. After losing Wally, I hope we don’t lose Cisco as well.

Now that Barry and Ralph have developed into a working pair, I think Barry is a little more serious than previously portrayed, and that truly sticks out next to Ralph. On the search for Null, Ralph is in rare form as he jokes around in their investigation. Barry feels Ralph is irresponsible and benches him for acting so brash after a confrontation goes wrong when they first meet Null.

Iris quickly calms Barry down, rationalizing Ralph’s behavior and asking Barry to look at it from his eyes. She doesn’t mention the heart to heart she’s had with him, but Barry also seemed to forget how depressed Ralph has been after their last meeting with DeVoe. While Barry tries to apologize, Ralph explains it’s his way of coping. He’s scared for his life and humor is his way out of feeling oppressively depressed and stressed. It’s enough for Barry to ask for his help again before facing Null. It’s good he trusted him because, without Ralph’s out of the box plans, Barry would have met his demise against Null’s gravitational powers.

Null’s storyline seemed to come second to the overlying plot in this episode. She got a few throwaway lines, but nothing to let us get to know her like previous Metas. Considering all the storylines they had to connect in this episode, I see why she played second fiddle.

The most intriguing part of the plot didn’t come until the end. Harry places his cap in Thawne’s old lair and activates Gideon. He greets the computer AI, noting a lot has changed since they last spoke. Talk about a cliffhanger! Now they have my attention. Most of what happened this episode seemed to be overshadowed by the last reveal! If this whole season is leading up to Thawne’s return, that’ll be quiet the development.

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