The Flash “Don’t Run” S4 Ep9 Review

Looks like Team Flash is in over their heads. A team member captured and held hostage, while the hero himself is playing cat and mouse with the dubious Thinker. Iris is put to the challenge when everything depends on her, and her choice of who Team Flash should save. Caitlin, or the Flash?

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The Flash -“Don’t Run”, Episode 9, Season 4
Airdate: Dec. 5th, 2017
Director: Stefan Pleszczynski
Writer: Sam Chalsen and Judalina Neira

What You Need to Know:
The Thinker and Team Flash have been introduced, and so the battle began. This season started off with the introduction of Clifford DeVoe, or the Thinker, and his wife/assistant. Slowly their story began being told until we learned that Clifford and his wife both strive for greater things, no matter what it costs them to do so. Well, in this episode we see the biggest tests for our heroes. With Wally gone, Jesse pre-occupied, and Elongated Man still trying to find his place…things aren’t looking great.

What You’ll Find Out:
More information is received in this episode of The Flash on the Thinker and his wife. We see more of his wife’s sentiment, her watching her husband suffer through these psychotic plans of his in order to learn, but she stays supportive nonetheless. DeVoe on the other hand, while accepting his lover’s sentiment, is now obsessed with The Flash. Barry found Clifford DeVoe a few episodes back, and that is when DeVoe broke the eggshell. He was the Thinker, and he had plans for Barry Allen. Barry left confused, now seeks any way to bring down DeVoe…without publicly shaming himself. DeVoe was a dedicated teacher and citizen under the law. Barry is conflicted over his thoughts on what he should do, and how he should approach it. I enjoy seeing Barry dedicated to taking down a villain which is not a speedster, finally. Though one who can run at the greatest of speeds can’t logically have many enemies that thwart him unless they match his speed or even best it…this shows the Thinker proves to be a formidable villain, and in this episode, he also proves one does not need legs to capture the fastest man alive.
This episode begins with the happy, arguing family that is team Flash. Though not everyone was happy.

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Banter and jokes are needed for certain characters to be essential. The newly introduced Ralph Dibney acts as this comedy relief. Introduced as a major character who had potential, it seems now that he is thrown aside to be the monkey in the middle of people who matter. He decided to throw jokes and quips about Caitlin Snow, who has come and decided to embrace the Killer Frost inside of her. Ralph states Killer Frost was more fun than Caitlin Snow…who now feels insecure and unsure. Cisco is protective of his friend and urges Ralph to stop. But of course, of all things an episode may start with, getting the drama and feelings aside help build up for the upcoming action and situations ahead.
The episode may start out with banter among friends or allies, but all comes to a halt when DeVoe and Amunet make their move which turns the episode into one of the best of the season. Before the Flash and The Thinker come face-to-face yet again though, a new development in the story comes in to play. When the fairly new villain, Amunet, decides to capture and hold Caitlin Snow hostage, asking for help with a medical test, the story takes a turn away from the scarlet speedster. Amunet threatens Caitlin’s life, sending Team Flash into a frenzy, trying to figure out how to save her. If that weren’t tricky enough, DeVoe decides to make his move, and capture the Flash. Ensnaring him in a speedster-proof prison of his own design, Barry tries his hardest to set himself free but fails. Iris is devastated to find this out, but it all must come down to her. Iris’s character has grown so much along these many episodes of the Flash. A personal feeling I myself have towards her is that she needs to learn how she can contribute to this show. Now that she has been Wed to the Flash, she has a more prominent role and a reason for being around more. Though before, it seemed like she merely stood around to look pretty and present problems for Barry.
But Iris truly becomes the hero in this episode, of sorts. Iris is bared with the burden of choice. Her fiance’ captured and being held by the Thinker. And Caitlin captured and threatened to be killed. Iris shines in this episode as a character whom many could possibly relate to in life. A character burdened with a choice of decision, one that could mean the downfall of the city’s hero, or the death of a friend. Both options unacceptable but neither impossible. One of them must come to be in the minds of the young woman and she has the final say.

With the city unprotected, Elongated Man (whoops, I mean Ralph Dibney, the almost-kinda-Elongated Man), and Vibe know they must step up in place of the lost hero of Central City. Wally is absent after his leave, leaving audiences somewhat disappointed. Wally West is Barry Allen’s best friend and protege’. In the Flash tv show though, he is a measly side-character with no enticement or excitement in his character. He is brought across blandly, and then takes a break from the hero business. While it is disappointing to see Wally so under-used, the show is named “The Flash”, not “The Flash and Kid Flash”.

Enough of the heroes, how about the villains?
The debut of Amunet was an exciting one. She rolled with the heroes well and posed a significant threat. But her return in Don’t Run was a meek and bland one. When Amunet attacks, Team Flash is on top of handling her ASAP. Though her nonthreatening remarks and lack of real skill in her own power, Team Flash loses Caitlin and retreats to Star Labs instead of facing the threat. Wait…what? Oh, I said that right. The threat of a woman who controls metal against a man who can stretch anything he likes and a man who can open portals and force push anytime he likes. So…maybe it was a good idea to hold off on an epic battle? Maybe so, seeing as the real meaning behind this scene wasn’t to praise the two heroes, it was to get Amunet and Caitlin together…because Amunet needed a favor.
Amunet seems to be a good character builder for Caitlin. Hesitant to operate on this mysterious man Amunet has also captured, Dominic, because she doesn’t have the correct tools, Amunet threatens her. Operate or die. Caitlin breaks and decides she would like to live, so she decided she will try though knowing the odds were not in her favor. Though, before anything major can happen, Dominic’s mysterious character blossoms as he and Caitlin devise a plan to escape. Dominic reveals he was a meta-human, he was affected by the Particle Accelerator explosion four years ago and his intellect was heightened. In the attempt to escape, using Dominic’s heightened intellect, they find a way out. But Amunet was one step ahead. She re-captures the two and kills the-…oh, wait sorry no. She does NOT kill them but instead gives Caitlin a rousing pep-talk.

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Amunet reveals that before she became this famous businesswoman, she was a stewardess who was constantly being sexually harassed by pilots, but then, the accelerator explosion changed that and she was “powerless no more,” and she got her revenge on the pilots. She tells Caitlin this to point out that unlike her, Caitlin was special before she got her powers, and that she knows Caitlin can figure out how to save Dominic’s life — or else, of course, she’ll end up dead like Amunet said. Nice pep there, Ams!
Joe and Harry’s characters are the supporting leaders of Team Flash. The Dad Duo, of sorts. They take it into their hands and decide to break into DeVoe’s house, looking for Barry. Of course, Barry isn’t there. They look at their options but decide that scouring the city is a moot point. Joe breaks this news to Iris, while Harry explains that their meta-seeking satellite can’t track both Caitlin and Barry at once. Iris feels the weight of this situation and realizes that only one choice can be made. But Iris knows her husband and knows he can handle himself. Caitlin wasn’t as capable, (though as Killer Frost she very much IS) they decide they must track down Caitlin.

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Success! Vibe and Elong-…sorry, RALPH, find Caitlin’s location. Soon before though, Caitlin was supplied with old medical equipment, allowing her to finish this major operation on Dominic. But this also allows her to get a one up on Amunet. Caitlin catches her off guard and runs with Dominic fresh out of operation. Amunet, like most villains, didn’t stay down long after Caitlin attacked her, but luckily Vibe and RALPH were there to save the day. This honestly should have been a great moment in Caitlin’s favor. Amunet captured a powerful meta, but Caitlin LET herself be rescued by her friends. Granted it was about time Vibe and Ralph got some action, but Caitlin could have handled herself if she really wanted to escape that badly, right?

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Then to the other half of the story. Barry and DeVoe. DeVoe, one of the most threatening and despising villains since the devilish Reverse Flash. He pleases with every episode he endures. His struggle to find a new body after he and his wife find out his current body is failing is an intriguing plot-line and very interesting to watch as it unfolds. The writers have done well with The Thinker so far, and I hope they continue to please. As for The Thinker in Don’t Run, his motives were obvious but again, interesting to watch play out. DeVoe captures Barry Allen, and Amunet captures Caitlin Snow, who is forced to operate on a mysterious man. The viewers are left wondering why, but it all comes together soon enough. DeVoe constantly tells Barry he is on a quest, leaving Barry blind to his actual intentions, why had he truly captured him? Barry is curious about his new adversary but The Thinker is too smart to let Barry in on his plan. But, apparently, The Thinker isn’t smart enough to know the Scarlet Speedster can phase fast enough to seem completely invisible to the naked eye. When DeVoe goes to open to force-field holding the Flash, Barry makes his move, fizzing out into sight and attacking the Thinker. Barry attacks DeVoe, who teleports them into the air, where their fight happens. Thankfully, Barry manages to escape from DeVoe without killing himself, leaving DeVoe angry, but understanding. His true motives are still unknown…but the Flash served his purpose for the time being…now it was all falling into place for DeVoe, but nobody knew it.

This episode ties up with a happy reunion of heroes at Joe West’s house for a Christmas party. Dominic Lanse arrives as a surprise guest of Caitlin’s. He introduces himself to team Flash and they continue their happy festivities. But it doesn’t stay happy long. Barry and Iris’s apartment alarm goes off, and Barry speeds to see what is going on. Unfortunately, he is met with a trap. Barry finds a body, multiple knives through the chest. A phone call follows, and Barry answers a familiar voice. Dominic Lanse, Amunet’s patient that Caitlin operated on. The Thinker was always two steps ahead, and this time it cost Barry his normal life. DeVoe’s old, diseased body lied before Barry, looking to be murdered…while Dominic reveals himself to be Clifford DeVoe in his brand new meat suit. Barry is surprised of course, then the police barge in, making the situation worse. Barry wants to run, very badly. But through this season he has been struggling. Struggling in life, wondering if a normal life was possible, with his wife, with future children even. But Barry saw this moment and knew what it would mean to him if he ran. He knew it would mean a life on the edge, a life of being the Flash, and a life of being a considered criminal. So he made the choice…
“Don’t Run.”

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So what just happened?:
The Thinker is always stating how intelligent he is, and in this episode he proves it. Capturing Barry so Amunet can get Caitlin Snow to perform what needed to be done on Dominic Lanse so DeVoe would have a new, healthy and heightened body was pure genius. The writers sure must have had fun writing this episode, because I know we as viewers enjoyed it. The Thinker transferred himself into a new body, a body that had a heightened mind like his that wouldn’t overpower or sicken the body like his old one. The Thinker was brilliant, too brilliant for a normal human being brain and body. He needed a meta such as Dominic to transfer into, which was an amazing twist. Though to say goodbye to Neil Sandilands’ Thinker is sad, I know I enjoyed his just plain evilness, I think it will be fun to see our new Kendrick Sampson take the reigns of Barry’s most dubious and formidable threat yet.

Rating: 8.5/10
Final Thought:
The Flash started lacking last season to some extent. Same story, same results. But this season has brought back the cheery yet mysterious values that Flash used to hold. CW is getting its game back with this season of The Flash. New twists, new villains, finally more episodes leaving us wanting more have returned. Only complaint would be Iris, again. She is looking to be the clingy, annoying character that is important to the hero and story but is unfavorable and unliked by everyone else. Iris needs to step it up, getting fans interested in some way would be a good choice for the writers or kill her off. Savitar should have done that job, but we’re hoping it doesn’t HAVE to end so brutally for the character. Maybe Impulse will happen someday, but until then Iris will still be seen as unneeded and not helpful in the show. But hey, we’re glad Barry is happy…


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