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THE FLASH: The One Where Barry Goes to Prison

The Flash’s tenth episode (“The Trial of the Flash”) was definitely harrowing—and not simply because some guy ended up a walking ball of radiation, almost taking down the city. Things bounce around from bad to even more bad, heartwrenching, and frustrating. I may have shouted at the TV a time or twelve. Who’s counting?

Here’s the thing: Barry does the noble thing, and it ends up with him in jail. While I liked his mid-courtroom discussion with Iris (her sweet sentiment made me aww, “I would rather run forever with you than stand without you.”), I also felt like there could’ve been a way around it. Asking to speak to the judge in chambers, for instance. It felt frustrating more than gutting. That said, The Mechanic is amazing, and the actress was absolutely flawless. When she was on the stand, every word was believable. She switched gears on the fly, and dropped the act in the hallway with Iris masterfully.

I found the initial scene between her and New DeVoe intriguing, and I honestly wanted her to stay awkward and unsure just a touch longer. His speech was simple: “See past this body. See past these eyes. See me. … I am nothing without you.” I wanted him to be more passionate, but I think that’s a character choice. But Kendrick Sampson does a masterful job of controlling his face expressions, modulating his tone, and minding the emphasis he places on words. It’s no small thing to so precisely emulate a previous performance, and he’s selling it rather well.

Some of my favorite lines, as per usual, belonged to Cisco/Harry: “Puppies are going down, because you didn’t want to show up for work.” And Harry, “All good news is good news. No news is miscommunication.” He has a point. The whole no new = good news has not met with my friend Anxiety. No news often means panic. But I digress.

I should mention the prosecutor, too—Mark Valley (who I loved on Once and Again, as well as Human Target). His character is not nuanced, but certain is his convictions and his words. Cecile does her best against him (a nice touch to get her front and center, showing off her skills), but sadly, the “facts” are on the prosecutor’s side. That said, I wish that the show hadn’t set up Cecile to fail, given the plot arc. She’s supposed to be this stellar attorney, but kept landing on her face. Repeatedly. It irritated me.

I really enjoyed Joe and Ralph’s teamwork this episode, and holy cats, Ralph is an excellent character. He helps Joe, willingly and happily, until he sees Joe standing on the brink of something he won’t be able to come back from. The speech he gave Joe was absolutely poignant, powerful, well-delivered, and perfect. It was a moment that made me proud of him, and he’s not even real. So thanks for writing such compelling characters, Flash team. *wink*

The contrast between Barry’s sentencing and The Flash being given an award by the police department was well done. It wasn’t nuanced, but it didn’t have to be. It was effective. Seeing Barry end up in jail was so strange, because even though he once broke time, Allen does try and do good. I’m looking forward to seeing how Team Flash does without its center and how Barry (eventually) gets out of jail.

Curiouser and curiouser.

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