With Barry behind bars, team Flash is left to rely on Dibny for their Central City saving needs. He’s not exactly the worst replacement, but a startling injury leaves Dibny second-guessing his role on the team.
Dibny is sarcastic, flirtatious and a bit cocky. He’s not the same shady character we were first introduced to, as he has now embraced his superhero side, but he still needs to grow. For team Flash, there is no other choice but to rely on Dibny. Neither Wally or Jessie will return, and Cisco and Caitlin’s talents are better utilized off the field. Dibny is nearly indestructible and seems to enjoy filling Barry’s shoes and saving Central City. He’s a fun guy to watch work, mostly because he feels indestructible.
The future seems bright for Central City, even as Barry sits in Iron Heights. That is until Axle is freed from prison by his mother, Prank. The two are dangerous; their style is just as wild as Trickster, and they only want to push their performance even further. Dibny confronts Axle without caution, thinking he’s indestructible to any weapon being thrown at him. It’s not until he’s attacked with acid does reality set in.
The acid quickly eats through his skin, and while physical attacks usually don’t bother Dibny, this is different. While the acid isn’t typical– it’s something not even Harry has encountered– Dibny’s mortality is too much for him to handle. He can’t bring himself to challenge Axle again, too afraid to die rather than keep Central City safe. It’s frustrating for the team, but they know the realities of fighting crime isn’t for everyone.
In desperation to keep the city safe, Dibny tries to break Barry out of Iron Heights so he can get back to being Central City’s protector. But Barry is committed to seeing his sentence out, and instead provides Dibny with much-needed advice. Barry has always been an excellent role model; he’s selfless and aside from last season, has been incredibly optimistic. Dibny is learning from the best and speaking with Barry has a profound impact on his view of being a superhero.
The change of heart comes not a moment too soon. With Axle and Prank putting on some sick show, using hostages as the featured torturees, Cisco and Caitlin are forced to step in and try to save the day. They get captured almost immediately, and without Dibny stepping in they would have been killed by an acid bath. Coupled with Harry’s relentless work in disabling the toxic properties of the acid, Dibny can capture both Axle and Prank and win the hearts of Central City as the Elongated Man.
Within this universe, the Flash stands as the superhero standard across the board. He’s selfless and works hard to keep the peace and refrains from killing his enemies. While at first Dibny ranked Barry at the bottom of his list, now having his approval means a great deal to him.
As Axle and Prank took on Central City, Barry remained mostly unaware of just how bad it had gotten. Being left in the dark bothers him, but not enough to distract him from keeping his head down and remaining out of trouble. It’s nearly impossible in Iron Heights, as any little action can be seen as a tremendous insult to someone else. It’s utterly depressing, seeing Barry go through the motions and push himself to the next day. There’s little hope he’ll be released from Iron Heights legally, and there is still the concern of Devoe’s plans. The only highlight of his stay is learning Henry Allen’s history at Iron Height’s. We know little of how he conducted himself in prison, but just as Barry hoped, his dad was still a great guy.
When ‘The Flash’ doesn’t follow the same formula of having a Metahuman to focus on, the episode is much more entertaining. Seeing Dibny’s transformation into the new hero of central with Barry’s guidance is a highlight of the otherwise depressing storyline of watching Barry retreat into himself as he deals with the harsh realities of prison.