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Confronting Difficult Truths on THE FLASH

The Flash’s 17th episode (“Null and Annoyed”) had some poignant moments, humor, and a lot of WTF. From the Ninja Turtles to Willy Wonka to From Dusk Till Dawn, the references were plenty. And while the central storyline served as a vehicle for character development (Barry’s—because of his recognition of Ralph), I was super excited to see Kevin Smith (who also directed) and Jason Mewes Jay and Silent Bob onto the scene for the briefest of moments.

Nerds aside, Bethany Brown was so much fun as Null. I would’ve honestly liked to see more of her. She was witty, ruthless, and loved sparkly things. She was, until Ralph, a really smart criminal—using multiple identities in the past, preparing for possibilities during her heists. I kind of wanted to know more about her background. (Although, I would adore a secondary villain who was greyer. But DeVoe has some many different shades, there’s probably not enough time to do that.)

The Cisco and Breacher storyline gave those two a chance to shine. Danny Trejo is always awesome, but his banter with Carlos Valdes is always full of fire. Cisco trying to “fix” an unfixable problem—through lying and anti-histamines—was hilarious and also relatable. There are always tough conversations in life, sometimes with people who terrify us, but it’s important to have them. It was incredibly weird seeing Breacher in casual wear, but the A+ Khaleesi reference cracked me up.

You know what didn’t crack me up? Barry’s frustration with Ralph. Sure, it came from a place of insecurity. And sure, Barry is a champion worrier. However, at one point, Barry lamented that Ralph doesn’t think like him. And, uh, Barry isn’t always the greatest decision-maker, so. *pointed look* I did like the conversation those two had at the end of the episode. The show excels at heart-to-hearts. I maybe awww’d when Barry told Ralph, “It means you’re a great hero.”

Now, we’ve got to talk about DeVoe and his awful version of Groundhog’s Day involving his wife. It’s one thing to manipulate someone once, but to put her through that a number of times? That’s some serious coldness. Kim Engelbrecht was brilliant and heartbreaking, especially during the confrontation scene and what led up to it. She says so much with her eyes. But DeVoe has slowly become an unforgivable human, one who emotionally violates a woman he professes to love: “And I love you. But you are nothing without me.” That line made my jaw drop. There’s something so sinister about the calculating manner in which he plays this game, a strange cat-and-mouse of emotional torment. Does he intend to keep her in that loop forever? The show’s treatment of women, in general, has veered into questionable territory for me—especially given the DeVoe/Mechanic of it all.

Lastly, what the frakkin’ hell is going on with Harry? I have QUESTIONS. So many questions. That was not a twist I saw coming. Race you to next week, darlings.

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Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.