The Flash S.4 E.17 – Null and Annoyed
It’s only right that The Flash return with a bang after a month-long intermission. This episode delivers in every way possible by depicting a balanced amount of action sequences while continually introducing plot intrigue. Long story short, a lot went on, so bear with me as I navigate through the longest recap of the season thus far in non-chronological fashion.
In preparation for DeVoe, Team Flash builds a simulator to help Ralph practice a plan where he morphs into a duplicate Barry. Ideally, this will confuse DeVoe into not knowing who to drain, but Ralph takes the plan lightly and jokes his way through the simulation. This agitates the other team members, particularly Barry.
Harry uses the Thinking Cap to try locating the 2 remaining bus metas, but distractions prevent him from properly focusing. In the process of relaying his frustration, he sits on a hidden whoopie cushion – another Ralph antic that isn’t fondly received. Although the 2 remaining bus metas identities are known, further action is required to locate them.
Breach of Power
Breacher – Gypsy’s dad in case you’ve forgotten – breaches into Star Labs and demands Cisco’s help. He proceeds to explain that he was bounty hunting and his vibing powers failed as he was about to deliver the final blow to Crucifer, so he needs Cisco to “fix” him.
Cisco begins testing Breacher to determine what’s stopping his powers. Breacher says that when Cisco fixes him, he will give Gypsy more time off to visit Cisco. Breacher leaves, so Caitlin uses the free moment to tell Cisco that Breacher’s powers are failing because he is old. Cisco doesn’t have the heart to tell Breacher the truth, so he gives him some pills that temporarily fix the issue.
Cisco wants to make small talk with Breacher so he grabs a bottle of tequila to break the ice. He finds the empty pill bottle and vibes it find out that Breacher left to face Crucifer. In battle, Breachers power have gone null, so Cisco appears and escorts Breacher to safety. He then tells Breacher the truth about his powers not returning and the conversation ultimately ends with Breacher saying “I hate you” before leaving.
DeVoe, now parading around in the likeness of Izzy the country singer, tells his wife that his current host body will only last about a week. DeVoe began constructing a chair modification to prevent this and requests his wife’s engineering expertise to finish the job while they find the remaining 2 [or 3] bus metas.
Marlize starts working on the chair modification but accidentally breaks her mug. She starts the process of cleaning the mess, but notices a fluorescent blue substance within the spill and runs a chemical analysis to determine what it is. Ultimately, she traces the substance back to The Weeper and records a video to remind herself that DeVoe is drugging her. She goes to save the file but sees a video with the same name already exists. Apparently, this isn’t the first time she has recorded [virtually] the same video. DeVoe discovered this in the past and has wiped her memory “countless” times to hide the truth because he felt that her sense of humanity would block them from reaching their goals.
After Marlize recovers from her forcibly induced love coma, she eagerly seeks to return to work. It takes a couple of moments to sink in but we (as the audience) realize her ensuing conversation with DeVoe plays out in the exact fashion from earlier in the episode, thus revealing how he has kept her in this repeating cycle.
Null and Void
Two security guards struggle to unload a heavy cargo box, so they leave it unattended while fetching a dolly to help move it. While away, a metahuman arrives, touches the box to make it weightless, breaks it open, and steals a crown. Joe, Barry, and Ralph arrive to investigate and surmise they are likely looking for a person with super strength.
After the investigation, Iris finds about 17 aliases for Janet Petty, so Harry uses the Thinking Cap to pinpoint her location. Ralph and Barry depart to the location for follow-up. The address belongs to Ralph’s sheisty investigator friend, so he morphs into Joe to bully the information out of Earl. Earl claims to know nothing of Janet’s whereabouts but accidentally reveals some expensive jewels when Ralph-Joe pins him to his desk. Janet (A.k.a. Null) drops in from her hiding place on the ceiling, touches Barry, and basically turns him into a balloon.
Didn’t See That Coming
The helium effects don’t last very long and Barry comes crashing down to the ground shortly after reaching Star Labs. Ralph continues to crack jokes, so Barry snaps and tells Ralph he’s benching him for his lack of seriousness. A location ping dings from the Star Labs computer, so Harry preps Barry of a plan where he runs so fast that he remains invisible while approaching Null.
Barry zips in and slaps power dampening cuffs on Null before she could see him coming. Just like she didn’t see Barry coming, Barry isn’t ready for her backup plan of having an innocent person free-falling towards the ground, which forces Barry to run up a building and save a man while she picks the cuffs and gets away. Harry is absolutely furious about failing to predict the actions of yet another metahuman.
Barry wants to make amends with Ralph and finds him chillaxing by the metahuman containment cells. In conversation, Ralph reveals that his dad left he and his mom when he was 10, so he started cracking jokes to ease their fears. Hiding or creating jokes became his mode of operation to deal with fear. Iris rings over the intercom and says she found Null, so Barry invites Ralph to get back in the game.
Null crashes a big time jewelry party to rob the patrons. One lady refuses to part with her sapphire necklace, so Null makes an example out of her by hitting her with the helium effects. Barry and Ralph pull the woman down and try to apprehend Null, so she uses her power to de-gravitize the building. Barry responds by rushing everybody outside to safety, but Null is able to sneak a move and send Barry high into the atmosphere. With no other options, Barry tells Ralph to improvise and do something “Dibny-esque,” so he extends and clamps the power dampening cuffs on Null’s ankles then inflates himself into a large landing pad to soften Barry’s fall – in true Ralph fashion.
Barry congratulates Ralph on a job well done, and thanks Ralph for teaching him that solutions can be fun and improvisational. Cisco hangs behind in the cortex for a moment, so Breacher swings by to tell Cisco that he’s now retired and offers his job at the collection agency. He proposes that if Cisco wants to see Gypsy more, what better way to do so than by working with her as the new Breacher.
Harry walks alone through the hallway and enters the Time Vault. He places the Thinking Cap on a charger-like docking station and heads to the control panel to summon Gideon. We hope he has good intentions, but this scene generated the eerie, distrustful feeling that was commonly associated with the original Harrison Wells.
Ralph’s childlike antics may have overthrown Cisco’s reign as the show’s king of comedic relief. Meanwhile, Cisco has to make a serious decision that would essentially require him to leave Team Flash. DeVoe seems to have a control issue at hand concerning his wife’s trust. Lastly, Although, Team Flash has another bus meta safely in their clutches, its apparent DeVoe has no plan of letting that last for long. Based on clips from last night’s ending teaser, IT’S. ABOUT. TO. GO. DOWN next episode, so be sure to Tune in at 8 to Atlanta’s CW!