By Taylor Gibson

The Flash S.4 E.18 – Lose Yourself

At the end of last week, I projected that all hell would break loose this episode. In my non-braggadocio, I told you so fashion, allow me to say “I told you so,” because ish hit the fan!

Differing Opinions

Ralph and Barry visit Bus 405 to look for dark matter or additional clues. A few moments pass before Ralph jokes again about finding something without value to the current objective. Barry and Ralph have differing opinions about whether or not to kill DeVoe. Barry says that people with their abilities always have an alternative. After their discussion, the dark matter detector pings and shows a heated silhouette of the man who occupied the seat. Near the conclusion of their investigation, Harry requests they return to Star Labs.

Harry reminds the team that the only power to harm DeVoe was Izzy’s sound waves, so he unveils a harmonic device called the Sonic Scepter (which in essence is a tuning fork). Since there is no tech involved, its Kilgore proof. Additionally, he says he’s created an algorithm that may be able to predict DeVoe’s next location.  Harry is noticeably jovial, which catches Joe’s attention and generates suspicion. DeVoe’s location alarm sounds off, so Barry, Cisco, Ralph, and Killer Frost head out. They prepare for a battle, but instead, a harmless, whistling man named Edwin Gauss appears. The squad’s presence surprises him, and he falls back into the portal.

Iris gives the team a quick briefing. Edwin generates his own unique pocket dimension, which DeVoe needs to replace his throne’s ability. Little ole jovial Harry comes strolling back in and tells the team that he’s able to isolate Edwin’s pocket dimension signature, so the team prepares to follow leads. Before they depart, Joe feeds into his intuition and asks Harry about the cap. Harry temporarily quiets Joe’s suspicion by telling him he hasn’t used it in combination with dark matter. Joe fakes like he’s going to leave, but doubles back and sees Harry entering the Time Vault.

Harry storms into Cisco’s work space asking the whereabouts of his thinking cap. He completely flips his sh– and pins Cisco to a board. Joe emerges with the cap in hand and tells Harry that he’s addicted to its power.

There’s Always Another Way

Barry, Ralph, and Caitlin head to the last signature generated by Edwin. People at the camp confirms he lives there.  As they search the campsite, Barry and Ralph re-engage in their differing opinion of killing DeVoe. Caitlin interrupts and tells them shes chasing DeVoe, so Barry uses his Flash abilities and runs him down. Before gathering any info, the Samuroid Ninja appears and stabs Caitlin in the back, so Barry scoops her and runs to Star Labs.

Preliminary testing shows that Caitlin appears to be fine, and Edwin agrees to stay in the pipeline in the meantime. Ralph isn’t cool with how comfortable the rest of Team Flash operates and makes sure they hear his opinion. They tell him to stick to the script, so he goes and hangs out by the pipeline. Ralph and Edwin make small talk over a can of chips as Edwin rambles about his experiences in and out of pocket dimension. While listening, Ralph realizes Edwin visited DeVoe’s lair and ask if he can get them back there.

Ralph sneakily influences Edwin to transport him to DeVoe’s lair to kill him, but Barry catches them in the act. In the midst of confrontation,  Ralph ingests the Sonic Scepter and tries to attack Barry, but Barry uses his speed to outmaneuver his attack and smacks him with a haymaker. Ralph awakens and Barry offers to make peace, yet remains stern in his views of NOT killing DeVoe.

Chaotic Showdown

Ralph’s idea leads the team to discuss launching an invasion on DeVoe’s lair. Everyone readily agrees, so Barry grabs the Scepter, recruits the help of Cisco and Killer Frost, and walks through the portal. As soon as Barry sees DeVoe’s throne, he uses the scepter, but it doesn’t work on a hologram. Meanwhile, DeVoe travels to Star Labs and uses Kilgore’s ability to incapacitate their tech systems.  Systematic lockdown traps Harry, Joe, and Iris in the speed lab, but Iris uses a Cisco-rigged device to blast free.

Joe engages in a battle with Samuroid and quickly beheads him with his own blade. Iris departs to tackle her task of securing DeVoe’s throne but is greeted by a showdown where Marlize (equipped with a samurai sword) quickly disarms Iris’ gun. With no other options, Iris sacrifices herself to draw Marlize close enough to send her teleporting with the throne, which also returns Barry, Killer Frost, and Cisco.

DeVoe tracks Ralph down to the pipeline where Ralph runs from a dinosaur skeleton employed by DeVoe. Once Ralph creates enough separation, he turns around and punches Skeletaur into a pile of pieces. Upon returning to the pipeline, Ralph sees that DeVoe has transferred himself into Edwin and has siphoned the other metahumans.  Ralph angrily tackles DeVoe through a portal and continues battle. Initially, Ralph suffers a psychic like attack and cedes control, but unveils his secret weapon – Remember when he ingested the scepter when scuffling with Barry? Well, he preserved its footprint in his chest and recreates his own to disable DeVoe. Barry arrives for what he believes will be the moment Ralph kills DeVoe, but Ralph snatches DeVoe to his feet and tells Barry that he is ready to rise to the occasion. The victory is short-lived because DeVoe Kilgore-hacks his way of the power dampening cuffs, disables Barry, and siphons Ralph.

Cisco summons his last bit of power to breach to the battle, and Barry phases out of the gravitational weight summoned by DeVoe. Barry uses the Sonic Scepter, but DeVoe (now Ralph’s likeness) thwarts the blast and flings Barry aside. After that, he easily deals with Caitlin and Cisco and leaves Barry with the words “you were an excellent teacher.”

While all the chaos occurred, Harry looks for some unknown object and randomly finds his thinking cap.  Afterward, he commands Gideon to increase the cap’s dark matter intake to maximum capacity and exposes himself to electrocution. Although this happens, the audience is left no clue of its significance, and hope that Harry will save the day quickly fades.

What Now?

Left in the silence of defeat, Barry dashes away from the team. Iris believes she knows his destination and prepares to pursue. Caitlin enters and tells Cisco she needs Harry’s help because something is wrong. Her tests return normal, but she feels something is different. Cisco realizes she touched DeVoe and determines that DeVoe used Melting Point’s ability to neutralize her Killer Frost ability.

Iris tracks Barry to Ralph’s office. Instead of whooshing around to collect Ralph’s belongings, Barry does it at normal speed and asks Iris to back off. Upon completing cleaning the office, Barry grabs one of Ralph’s adult beverage bottles and pours some out (dead homie style) while vowing to keep Ralph safe before taking a swig for himself.

Continuing the theme of alcohol, Marlize and DeVoe toast to their overwhelming success.  DeVoe reveals that Ralph’s body is immune to the stress of his ever-expanding mind, AND uses his morphing abilities to return to Clifford’s original image. But wait there’s more! – DeVoe also took a sample of the dark matter Harry used to fuel his cap.

All things considered, every indication points downward. As a fan, I haven’t felt this hopeless since Zoom dragged Barry through the city like a rag-doll.  DeVoe seems to have executed his plan to perfection from every angle leaving Team Flash little to nothing at their disposal. At least the ending episode teaser shows us that Captain Cold will make an appearance next episode. Let’s hope his overly sarcastic jokes and flair for melodrama can knock off the cold feeling of this episode. Tune in for the pick-me-up next Tuesday at 8 on Atlanta’s CW!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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