This post contains spoilers for The Flash.
Check out our previous review here.
Shows that find themselves in twenty-plus episode arc territory don’t strike gold with 100% of their episodes. If a given season is good it will typically have a few all-star eps, a few more good ones, and a lot of hours that are just okay. Some writers clearly go in knowing this, crafting their episodes in a way that doesn’t keep people bored or confused for too long. There’s a lot to play with when you consider filler arcs and side plots, and sometimes those little moments can hold some of the best moments in a season.
Those moments are often critical to character development. In the DCTV universe they build up the relationships that give the heroes reason to do what they do, sprinkling in a healthy helping of drama. And then there are episodes like “True Colors”.
If you’re just joining in on the fun, Barry Allen landed himself in Iron Heights after being framed for the murder of his current arch nemesis, Clifford DeVoe. Being the upstanding hero he is, Barry refuses to use his powers to break out of prison, but that’s all tested when Warden Wolf reveals that he’s a big ol’ creep and intends to sell Barry and a few other Metas to Amunet to be auctioned off to crime lords. Backed into a corner, Barry leads the team of Metas (all of which he personally put in Iron Heights) in an escape plan, while Team Flash tries to tackle the problem from their side of the bars.
The Flash has seen a strange amount of new powers cropping up in its side characters lately. First Cecile can read minds, and now Ralph can morph into whoever the hell he wants. At least it’s just a short leap to believability with Ralph; nobody what the hell is happening with Cecile yet. The Elongated Man’s new power set could open limitless doors for Team Flash, but a buddy from his past shows up in the beginning of the episode and gives him the yips. Ralph does his best to imitate Warden Wolf to get Amunet to delay the deal, but no dice! This makes twice in a row that Little Ralphie gets one boo-boo (this time a mental boo-boo) and calls it quits. Damnit, Dibney!
To Stretch’s credit, his mediocrity leads to one of the few shining moments in the episode: Killer Frost. Dibney’s afraid they’re going to leave him after a couple of screw ups when Killer Frost has literally kidnapped and tried to kill them. Being on Team Flash is complicated, okay? Frost’s snappiness is enough to bring Ralph out of his own head, but he doesn’t join the rest of the team in the prison-yard showdown. He has a date with a court room.
But first, that showdown. Barry and the rest of team make it out of Meta-dampener range, but Wolf is there to head them off. Before he can react, Barry is slapped with another Meta-dampening ankle bracelet (superhero shows are weird), but that’s not all. For reasons unknown, Warden Wolf doesn’t reveal Barry’s identity when trying to sell him to Amunet. For plot purposes, he chooses to do so when the rest of the escaped Metas are about to attack him, turning them on Barry instead.
After a heart to heart with Barry, Becky (Hazard) decides to defend him against the rest of the escapees. She gets a shining moment or two before DeVoe comes to crash Wolf and Amunet’s Deal of the Day party, but her face turn is short lived. Marlize developed a new chair for her husband, and this one’s got new tricks! Contextually we can assume he’s merely knocked out the remaining Metas, but Warden Wolf is dead, and Clifford DeVoe abandoned Dominic Lanse’s body to instead take over Becky. Where’s Dominic now? We don’t know. Is Becky going to be okay? That answer will probably come when we find out whether Dominic survived The Thinkers inhabitance of his body.
Don’t worry boys and girls, there’s more weird! Turns out that the writers needed to have Clifford DeVoe inhabiting a woman’s Body to wrap up their arc for this episode. Why a woman? Well, because the optics of a man giving his wife some unknown complacency drug are unacceptable, but it’s totally okay if it’s a lady doing it to another lady! (It is not.)
After all is said and done in the yard, Barry decides to return to Iron Heights. Having broken out only to get the other Metas safe, there’s no other choice to make. It’s all very noble, outside of the fact that it lasts about three seconds before we return to a court room where Cecile brings Ralph in to talk to the judge. His yips are gone after his chat with Killer Frost, and his wobbly shapeshifting ability is now strong enough for him to fake out a judge. Master has given Barry Allen a ridiculous storyline. Barry Allen is free!
“True Colors” has a lot of good intentions and nearly no good execution. Shout out to the ladies who held the episode up on their back, and here’s hoping next week goes back to being fu-weird instead of convoluted, mostly-bad-weird. If you have thoughts on the episode, you know what to do!