The Flash, Season 4, Episode 18, “Lose Yourself”
After weeks of endless wheel spinning, The Flash finally gained some traction and moved plot like they stole it. By the time the dust settled, Team Flash was down a man, and The Thinker was at the pinnacle of his powers. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of The Flash:
What’s the scoop: Barry and Team Flash mobilize to find the final bus meta, an off-the-grid hippie type named Edwin Gauss. Gauss is nicknamed The Folded Man by his commune buddies, thanks to his ability to enter and exit pocket dimensions with ease. They find Gauss and save him from a robo-samurai. When Ralph takes a break and shares his chips with Gauss he discovers that Gauss can enter DeVoe’s pocket dimension which is a game-changer for Team Flash.
Meanwhile in B-plot Land: Joe West hasn’t had a bunch to do lately, and he definitely had some pent up dadding he needed to uncork. Given that Harry has been acting like a sugared-up three year old lately, he seemed like the best target. As we all know Harry is obsessed with this Thinking Cap. It has proven useful in locating DeVoe, and with the construction of a supercharged tuning fork the team can use against DeVoe. However, Harry is acting distracted and manic, and using the helmet for the most menial tasks. Joe has seen this before in the guise of his addict ex-wife, and scolds Harry accordingly. Harry promptly ignores the lecture and infuses the helmet with dark matter, which has been established as a big no-no.
What about the action: All of this Ralph character building comes to a head, and felt a little like a bit you’d find on The Walking Dead. After all, this is the guy who chose to hide in the basement and eat snack cakes while Iris, who gained Barry’s powers for about a minute, went out to save the innocent just two episodes ago. Suddenly, he confesses that he isn’t afraid for himself despite being hunted by DeVoe; he’s afraid for Team Flash, who now he considers to be family, and is afraid of what DeVoe might do to them. The show has been laying the groundwork for this Ralph revelation, but it still felt a tad forced. Like The Walking Dead, a secondary character having an epiphany only spells doom. Team Flash’s plan to ambush DeVoe backfires when they discover DeVoe’s lair is empty. DeVoe breaks into STAR Labs at the exact moment Barry, Cisco and Killer Frost leave. The remaining members do their best in a decent three-piece action sequence, that sees Ralph evade a T-Rex skeleton, Iris battle The Mechanic, and Joe take down a robo-samurai. In the end, everything goes terribly wrong. DeVoe steals the powers of Gauss, which means he doesn’t need the chair. Then, with Barry incapacitated, he takes over Ralph’s body in what is supposed to be the tear-jerking scene of the season. With Barry still immobile, DeVoe thanks Barry for all the training and mentorship he gave to Ralph, because DeVoe’s new host is exactly how he needs him.
What’s next: DeVoe has a tube of dark matter and a bad attitude. I can’t imagine anything good can come of this.
Last impressions: The writing staff did surprise with the timing of Ralph’s demise. You knew it was coming, you just didn’t expect it to happen with this many episodes left in the season. All the bus metas are gone, Team Flash is at its lowest point and even Caitlin is regretting having her wish of losing her Killer Frost powers. So now it’s simply a matter of DeVoe launching the second stage of his evil plans which will either break Barry and the team or help them rally and finally beat The Thinker.