THE FLASH 4.09 Review “Don’t Run”

Don't worry, fam. Iris is just as annoyed with Oliver and Felicity as we are.

Read the previous review here
This post contains spoilers for The Flash.

It’s Christmas time in Central City, and Team Flash has some tough lessons to learn. Iris has to learn how to make the difficult call when she has multiple loved ones on the line, and Barry, bless him, has to learn that he’s not always the smartest man in the room. The ride to these realizations has a few great character moments, and, more importantly, lets the best villain The Flash has seen in a while really stretch his legs.

Both Barry and Caitlin get kidnapped pretty early on in “Don’t Run”, but the motives behind their kidnappings couldn’t be more different. Cait goes off on her own after Dibney and the boys make her feel like she’s lesser than Killer Frost, but Amunet swoops in to show her otherwise. It’s a Christmas miracle! Or, more accurately, Amunet needs Caitlin to fix a Meta that she shot, so she doesn’t have time for this weird confidence lapse.

When the first go missing, Iris tries to have the best of both worlds. She tells Cisco and Dibney to have the satellites track both Caitlin’s cold and Barry’s speed, which leads to a meltdown both in the systems and among the team. Harry’s the one to call her out, bringing that patented Wells wisdom in the coldest (and most exceptional) way possible. At the end of the day, Iris knows her new husband can take care of himself and focuses all of the team on Caitlin and her charming new friend.

While the team is trying to get their Doctor back, Barry manages to get out of DeVoe’s trap with relative ease. Because he’s still a young hero who’s full of hubris, he’s dumb enough to believe that was the end of their little tiff, and that he and his family would be able to celebrate Christmas. The Thinker presents so many fascinating options for The Flash, but mostly it’s just nice to have a big bad that’s not trying to outrun the fastest man alive. DeVoe’s super-human brain can see outcomes that Barry’s can’t even fathom, and it’s nice to be at a mid-season finale and not know where the rest of the season’s going to take us with its primary arc.

If it seemed like Amunet let Caitlin go a little too easily, that’s because that’s exactly what happened. The DeVoes were her buyers, and they needed Dominic’s unique powers to transfer Clifford’s consciousness. We’re going to save the Get Out vibes from an old white dude taking over a young black man’s body for his evil plots for later, but the nose-scrunchy moment did not go unnoticed. It’s a shame to be losing Neil Sandilands as The Thinker, but Kendrick Sampson appears to have charisma in spades. Tone deafness of the swap aside, it will certainly be interesting to see what Sampson does with the character moving forward.

A midseason finale needs a villain win, and “Don’t Run” ends in just that. Barry Allen will go to jail for a murder that he didn’t commit, like his father before him. Yes, that reference would have been infinitely better if Mark Hamill played Henry Allen and not The Trickster, but we can’t all be perfect. Clifford going after Barry and not the Flash is oh-so-diabolical. It also sets an interesting tone for the rest of the season. Team Flash has to outsmart the most intelligent person in their world, and there are a lot of questions revolving around how they’re going to pull that off.

Thankfully, we’ll have a lot of time to think on it! Team Flash won’t be back in our lives until next year, so get those fan theories going. In the meantime, you know what to do if you had thoughts on the episode.

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