The Flash on trial. Recent events have plucked the Scarlet Speedster from Star City and landed him on the bench of a courtroom. Team Flash suffering from Barry’s choice to turn himself in for the supposed murder or Clifford DeVoe. The hammer will come down, but what shall the verdict be?
The Flash -“The Trial of the Flash”, Episode 10, Season 4
Airdate: Jan. 17, 2018
Written by: Lauren Certo and Kristen Kim
Directed by: Phil Chipera
What You Need To Know:
The Flash has gone a step forward this season, and that was one big step After marrying Iris West, Barry Allen knew his life wouldn’t be the same. In the last episode, we saw the capture and arrest of Barry, for the supposed murder of Clifford DeVoe. Barry knew a life where he was a convict wasn’t safe for his friends or his wife, so he didn’t run. In this episode, viewers are given a new experience. The Flash is incapable of helping or being saved, he is on trial for murder, allowing viewers to see not only the physical downfall of a hero but the emotional downfall of Barry Allen. Choices are what truly build this season, and what has really brought this episode to what it became. A heroes life isn’t always about saving the day…it’s about knowing when to stop.
What You’ll Find Out:
Okay, so this episode starts out pretty much where the last left off. Barry has given himself over. DeVoe, now in Dominic’s body, has gotten away with framing the Flash, all is NOT okay. Team Flash is yet again left “Flash-less”. We see a turn for the best when Joe West’s girlfriend, now fiance, Cecille Horton steps up and becomes Barry’s attorney for the trial, defending in this case. Cecille was brought into the show last season, as sort of a ‘Joe-West-feels-lonely-so-here’s-another-woman-for-him’ character. Not that that is a bad thing, but it seems to be a trend. Filler characters brought in to fill other character’s uselessness and make them seem more relevant. Joe has always been a big support system for Barry, but Barry now has Iris’s heart, and she has become that sort of emotional builder he really depends on. Joe became the father-figure who didn’t really have a place, much like how Iris felt but hey, at least Iris sustained the close relationship with Barry. Joe needed someone, and Cecille was it. Cecille hasn’t gotten much, so when she broke the news to Joe a few episodes back that she was pregnant, we were all surprised, I’m sure. She now had a purpose bigger than filler for the filler content. She was the mom! Cecille stepped up in this episode and became the legal support Barry NEEDED in this situation. I for one found it very sweet and caring of her to take the case on for Barry.
The trial, of course, starts pretty heavy on Mr. Allen. DeVoe’s wife attends, of course, because her husband was supposedly killed. Marlize became the center antagonist of sorts in this episode. Not so much that she battles anyone, but more she was the key foundation to being the plaintiff. We also discovered she wasn’t fully behind DeVoe’s plan. We saw a woman devoted to her husband, in fact, it’s a relationship most should aim for…not the villainous, psychopathic ways but the true romance and connection. But in this episode, we saw her show that, personally, she wasn’t out to get Flash. She wasn’t backing DeVoe per se for the pleasure of taking down the Flash. She wanted to be supporting, loving, caring for her husband. Twisted relationship? Sure, but pretty solid.
With this week’s focus on a grimmer, solid tone, one that should have worried viewers, we got more from Ralph! YAY!…right? Ralph entered and has filled the role as comedy relief, but no longer. The Trial of the Flash, while the trial of the flash isn’t going on, occupies Joe and Ralph as key characters. Joe, as well as most of Team Flash, are mourning over the fact Flash in being judged unfairly, but Ralph grows further beyond his comedic ways. He helps Joe cope with the fact his son (who is dating his daughter…) is on trial, and almost helps him plant fake evidence in the home of Marlize and DeVoe. Ralph really grabs this moment, as a man who has been no doubt in jail or on trial before, and shows Joe at one moment, one scene in this episode, that the right thing can quickly turn into the wrong this. We see Joe trying to bring justice with logic and you know…fake evidence…planted by a police officer. But Ralph gives a rousing speech. Pep talks seem to have become an important thing for the characters in The Flash, but they are necessary when the characters are truly struggling. Ralph reminds Joe what could happen if he is caught. He’d lose his badge, his family, his life. He’d lose his dignity, and most likely make things worse for Barry. Ralph grows into a model character in this moment, grasping at Joe and eventually making Joe refuse to even step foot in the villain’s house. I think it will be fun to see what they do with Ralph after this episode (seeing as the outcome doesn’t really go the way most shows go in situations like this) because he will have to become the bigger hero he has been working to be.
Radioactivity isn’t fun…especially when it’s a meta walking around killing people. Team Flash is burdened not only with the trial but with a meta-human that radiates a…radioactive aura. I personally feel this little side-quest-like problem wasn’t essential to the story. If instead we got a little more between Barry and Iris, and Joe and Barry, as well as the rest of the team, I feel it would have truly added more weight to the already heavy situation. But a superhero show has to have a baddie that shoots energy from their hands in order to be qualified. Without complaining too much, of course, I will move along and say it was fun to see more Ralph and Cisco action, even if they didn’t get much…you know, action. Like mentioned before, side characters need side-stories for them to be essential in one way or another. Not much to be said on this, seeing as it had no draw to the actual story nor the characters but it was fun, I guess. Let’s also remember, crime doesn’t stop just because the Flash isn’t out there, and if it were a criminal out there wreaking havoc, it would have made more sense. But the fact that this random man walking around killing people was put in as a major plot device for Team Flash isn’t as enticing.
The trial of the flash, or Barry Allen actually, is actually an interesting one, and honestly not what I was expecting. The Flash seemed to be lacking a lot in the last season, but this season is really proving to be worth the time spent watching it. Writers tend to go the same ways with these situations. Get the hero in trouble, make everyone realize he’s not the bad guy, and let him go, making everything okay. Well, not this time. We see the Cecille take the reigns and defend Barry, trying to prove he is innocent…like any good attorney would. But we really get more on the plaintiff’s side. We see this random attorney in favor of the death of DeVoe and trying to bring down Barr Allen, and as Barry knows, all evidence points towards him. I personally feel the writers could have maybe loosened a BIT on Barry, maybe given him SOMETHING that made the whole case’s outcome not ignore the fact he might be innocent. But I also understand this is the fall of the Flash, the turning point that we needed in this show. Every now and then in drama/action shows, we’ll get a twist but how often do we really see everything fall to the ground at once? Not often, so getting to witness Barry emotionally refusing to fight, refusing even Iris’s attempt to tell everyone to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, is certainly an interesting and very depressing turn. Depressing in a good way though…wait, is that possible? It must be because I know I was entertained.
Barry even considers telling everyone he is the Flash. He reconsiders his options and takes into mind the fact that he COULD have a life is he told everyone he was the Flash. He knew they’d understand he was framed, that he would find this Thinker and stop him. But at what cost? Living in fear than normality and safety will be lost? Loved ones constantly in peril?
Everyone needs support. We can’t do anything alone, even if we know it just cannot be helped. Barry knew the stakes when he first told Iris he was the Flash. He knew the stakes when he asked her out when he asked for her hand in marriage…he always knew. And he took it upon himself to be sure that none of those around him got hurt because of him. He knew a life in prison was better than a life being hunted, a life where Iris could be hurt, where his friend could be killed. What kind of life would he be enabling? Barry has grown in maturity since the first season of Flash and watching Barry endure through this knowing the outcome and knowing the Flash MUST fall. Watching him sit through Cecille trying to save him from condemnation, watching Iris march in like it’s in her hand. The Flash is Barry, and Barry is the Flash. This was his choice, this was HIS time. Barry left the trail due to problems, which seem endless, in Star City…but he knew what the outcome would be.
The Flash makes a daring save, defusing the human atom bomb, while Cisco opens a breach into a supposed dead world, filtering out the radiation. I am pretty sure the guy makes it out okay, but who cares about him right? Coming out with only minor burns, Barry survives another day. But his days are most certainly limited at this point.
What Just Happened?
Barry Allen is condemned, and sentenced to life in Black Gate penitentiary for the murder of Clifford DeVoe. Iris’s attempt to free her husband from condemnation thwarted by Barry himself. Team Flash has followed Barry through thick and thin…this time through reporters and journalists begging for a story. Barry accepts his fate, but he wasn’t going out without a few last words. We see Barry excuse himself and meet with Clifford DeVoe. Clifford was scarce up until this point in this show, well, sort of. Barry urges Clifford to tell him why he was doing this, why was he attacking him and his family? This is yet to be explained by Clifford, but he keeps it a mystery for Barry and the viewers, which is more entertainment that we got with even Savitar.
We end this episode with probably one of the most heavy, emotional good-byes we have seen. Though it was not truly a good-bye, it was for the team and for Barry. On one side, we see the judge calling Barry out for his actions. On the other side, we see the police captain at Star City police awarding the Flash a plaque, for honor and sacrifice. Barry is truly a superhero you can use that old coin philosophy on. One side is loved and encouraged, the other condemned and jailed. The same coin, but one side must land. The two sides telling us who Barry truly was, and who he was framed to look like really was the impact we needed to end this episode. I myself was surprised he was sent to prison for life but looks like he’s going to be staying there.
Final Thought: Emotional impacts are so important, and this episode hit that perfectly, square in the middle. A heroes downfall in so important, mostly for those around him. A hero is always brought up to be the best, then falls and finds a way to overcome. But when the hero himself loses hope and chooses what he deems fit, it really shows the humanity they hold, it humanizes them and really brings out the fact even they know, sometimes the choice isn’t what they want, but what needs to be done. This episode became the verdict of something many weren’t expecting…but the fact the Thinker is keeping Barry and Team Flash in the dark, as well as the viewers, is a great sign that this is working. Kudos to the writers on this amazing episode, I am hoping to stay this enticed!
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