The Flash Recap: Tiny Giggles Can't Cover Up a Bigger Season 4 Problem

Flash Recap

Toward the close of this week’s The Flash, Harry couldn’t help but wonder: What if the team’s tussle with a newly discovered meta was yet another part of The Thinker’s bigger plan?

In fact, many a recent episode has invited us to puzzle over that possibility. But if there is some epic “a-ha” moment on the horizon — one that tees up a dazzling montage that details how A led to be to C to D… and so on — I’m kinda ready for that reveal right now, versus any later.

I was not among the people crying for a “lighter” Flash in the wake of the Savitar-centric Season 3… and yet here we are. Getting episodes such as this one, where the crime wasn’t so much introducing a non-blue Kree who can shrink things (sorry, shrink the space between things’ molecules), but how little was done with such an inherently fun visual concept. Even while taking its episode title directly from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, near-zero effort was made to be innovative with wee Cisco and Ralph’s plight. No toothpicks as spears, no dashes through forest-like backyard lawns. Even the LEGO set into which the fellas were deposited stayed static and underutilized. (Ralph using a LEGO fig’s hollow head as a bedpan would have been funnier than forcing Caitlin to carry him to the toilet.)

That said, Ralph as “gum” stuck to Iris’ shoe was very amusing.

As for Cecile’s sudden and barely-explained acquisition of telepathic powers: Danielle Nicolet was highly entertaining, employing her comedic chops as a mom-to-be who can read minds left and right. But when all was said and done, that was… to what end, exactly?

And then you (still) have Barry locked up at Iron Heights, the famously ominous prison where the only intimidating-looking fella turned out to have been BFFs with Henry Allen, and as such is suuuuper-cordial to the new guy. Barry this week even enlisted Team Flash to prove that Big Sir was innocent of shooting dead a Mercury Labs security guard years ago. And when they failed to elicit a confession from the actual killer, Sylbert Rundin — aka this week’s meta villain! — Barry busted out his speedster powers to whisk his new friend out of the hoosegow and across the ocean (I know geography!) to the small village in China he wished to call home.

Alas, Barry’s impulsive use of his powers was recorded by a hidden camera that was recently installed outside his cell by Warden Wolfe. Wolfe uses this valuable intel to relocate Barry to the meta wing, where the speedster is now poised to be auctioned off by Amunet.

So, adopting Harry’s thinking for a messy moment here…. We know that Amunet sometimes hawks her metas to DeVoe. Could it be that — stick with me! — DeVoe framed Barry for murder so that he’d get imprisoned and meet Big Sir, get wrapped up in the convict’s innocence project so much that he shows off his speedster powers, and then winds up for sale via Amunet? (And even if I have that right, we come back to: why? If DeVoe needed a speedster at his disposal, couldn’t he have captured Barry 10 times over before now? Or Wally? Reminder, we still have no idea what The Thinker’s master plan is.)

I’m babbling, grasping at straws to find the silver lining in what started out, a small eternity ago, to be an interesting Big Bad arc. But when your villain adopts a less-menacing look and then vanishes for weeks in a row (along with his deliciously voiced wife), all while the titular hero is rendered inert… it’s a struggle.

What did you think of “Honey, I Shrunk Team Flash”?