The Flash’s 11th episode (“The Elongated Knight Rises”) was rife with chaotic fun. It was always a big question mark of how they’d handle Barry being in prison. It does feel a bit weird that Wally didn’t come back, but Ralph stretches onto the scene. I swear, I cannot see Hartley Sawyer without seeing a young Jim Carrey—and I love it. When he’s quippy, compassionate, or full of fear, Ralph is a startlingly pure character, honest in his pursuits. It’s his ability to be vulnerable—especially with Barry—that makes him unique. There’s an unexpected innocence about him, as he emulates emotions we’ve all felt: the feeling we can’t do something. Sure, he may not know what Kryptonite is. And yes, he’s kind of a fame whore. But he truly tries to do better, to be better. That’s all anyone can ask for.
Now, Axel Walker as The Trickster (Devon Graye) was over-the-top, which is to be expected. And I enjoyed his teamup with Prank (Corinne Bohrer – an extremely nice touch/tip of the hat to the original Flash show), his mom. I’m not entirely sure that I’m okay with her throwaway line about going off her meds for him, because I don’t think that’s respectful of people who have mental illnesses—and who are on meds. That’s a tricky web to step into, and I wish it hadn’t happened. (To discuss the finer points of why that was a bad idea would take forever.)
I laughed a lot during this episode, surprisingly. At Cisco and Harry yelling the name of Caitlin’s childhood bully to conjure Frost. At Ralph dismissing Axel, “He’s throwing bouncy balls and wearing a bedazzled peacoat.” I mean, Stretchy Man ain’t wrong. At Cisco shouting, “Not today, Satan.” And oh my god, don’t even get me started on the BeeBos. (Anyone who watches Legends knows why that’s funny. It was a great detail. And now I hope that they show up on all the related shows, like a furry version of superhero Where’s Waldo?)
Obviously, Barry is stuck in prison. To Iris, he’s entirely optimistic. He has faith. He’s stir crazy, but not truly cagey or desperate. He’s clearheaded enough to give Ralph a really great pep talk. And he makes friends with someone whose life his dad saved, Big Sir (played by Bill Goldberg, who you may recognize from the WWE). While I wasn’t a big fan of the stereotypical prison enemy brawl and subsequent troubles, I did find Sir an interesting character. I look forward to getting to know him better. And if someone doesn’t sneak in a Prison Break reference, I’m going to be very sad. I’m just sayin’.
It was sweet, and only a touch cheesy, that Barry phases through the glass to hold Iris’ hand. They seem to keep each other steady, even keel. It’s a solid relationship, despite Iris whining that she doesn’t like their “new normal.” Well, Iris, try being the one in prison. Pretty sure that’s no picnic.
Lastly, we’ve got to talk about the random girl in the coffee shop, wearing an Oregon Trail shirt, babbling adorably, and—oh my god, is she me? Because I’m pretty sure I’ve been there, done that. Well, except for the hieroglyphics/symbol language. *grin* Do you remember her, though, from the crossover? She’s the caterer who was nervously chatting up Barry. Her awkward sweetness and obvious geekery interest me. I can’t wait to find out more about her, given that she keeps popping up out of nowhere, seemingly fangirling.
Stay frosty, kittens!