“Should’ve gone for a steak, pal, cause it’s the last decent meal you’re getting for the next five to 10 years,” says Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer) to a bank robber who Ralph’s trying to stop in season four episode 11 of The CW’s The Flash.
As the episode begins, Barry (Grant Gustin) is still in prison for the murder of Clifford DeVoe, a crime he didn’t commit, and he’s locked up in the same cell his own father spent 16 years in. There’s a riot going on in the prison and Barry, not wanting any of the guards to get hurt, uses his super speed to end it. Of course, he does it so fast that no one can tell it was him.
In another part of town, Joe (Jesse L. Martin) is negotiating with a bank robber who’s wearing a bomb vest. At the same time, Ralph uses his stretch powers to grab the hostages and move them to safety while Joe keeps the robber distracted. Ralph, wearing his hero outfit, confronts the robber and tries to talk him down. He takes the bomb vest off him and the robber detonates the bomb, but Ralph’s able to use his abilities to absorb the blast.
At S.T.A.R Labs, Team Flash is not too happy with Ralph’s reckless and cocky attitude during the attempted robbery. Iris (Candice Patton) points out that he could’ve gotten hurt, and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) mentions that others outside the bank could have been injured or worse if he hadn’t been able to absorb the blast. All Ralph is concerned about is coming up with a new cool superhero name.
In the courtyard of Iron Heights, Barry’s stretching his legs when he’s tripped by an inmate and falls. The leader of the three inmate thugs tells his two buddies to pick him up. He tells Barry he splashed water on him and Barry apologizes, not wanting any trouble. The head thug is about to punch Barry when the warden comes walking up with guards and tells Barry his 1:30pm visitor is waiting to see him.
Iris visits Barry and he reassures her they can and will get through this. He asks about how everyone else is doing and she quickly brings him up to speed about Ralph and his cockiness. Barry tells Iris not to worry about it and admits to her that he used to get cocky when he first started.
In another part of the prison, Axel Walker (Devon Graye) aka The Trickster Jr. is in the medical area for eating some bad pudding. The nurse knocks out the guard and reveals herself to be Axel’s mom, Zoey Clark (Corinne Bohrer). She’s shown up to break him out of prison.
Joe meets with the warden about the escape and sees Barry mopping the floor. He asks him how Barry is doing and the warden tells Joe that Barry is a model inmate, just like his father was. Joe gets permission to talk to Barry and he quickly tells him about the case. Barry offers to speed vibrate himself out and help catch Trickster and then he’ll speed vibrate back, but Joe says no and to keep his head down and be careful.
Over at the villain’s lair, Axel and his mom are arguing. Seems she wants him to hightail it out of town with her, but he just wants to become the Trickster again and attack Central City to impress his dad who escaped two years ago and is still MIA. Axel sees highlights on the news of Ralph’s heroics and decides to target him and take down Central City’s new hero.
Axel, wearing a new, ridiculous Trickster outfit, hijacks a broadcast signal and puts himself on television. He calls out “Stretchy Man,” a nickname the press gave Ralph, and throws a red ball which is really an explosive that destroys a nearby car. Ralphs watches along with Team Flash at S.T.A.R. Labs and asks Cisco to breach him there.
Ralph confronts Trickster and takes the explosive ball blast and a shot from a weird gun with no problem. However, when Trickster shoots some pink acid at Ralph it hits his knee and burns him badly. He screams out in pain. Cisco breaches back as Vibe and blasts Trickster with an energy blast. He then grabs Ralph to make an escape through the breach.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin tends to Ralph’s knee as Cisco and Harry (Tom Cavanagh) tell Ralph the acid is a special mixture that Axel came up with. If it had been a normal human with no meta powers he had hit with the acid, it would have burned right through the leg.
Back at Iron Heights, the same three inmate thugs go after Barry again but this time they’re stopped by a very large inmate named Big Sir (Bill Goldberg) who knocks them out and winks at Barry who says thanks. Later, Barry approaches Big Sir and asks him why he helped him and Sir tells Barry that his dad helped him once so he owed him.
Back at the villain’s lair, Zoey decides to help her son and is acting way more crazy and homicidal than earlier. Axel notices and asks her about it, and she admits she stopped taking her meds so she can be his partner in crime. The two come up with a new plan on how to lure out Stretchy Man to finish him off. Axel does another broadcast showing himself and Zoey as game show hosts who have two unwilling hostages to play the “Wheel of Death.” He claims that if Stretchy Man doesn’t come to save them in one hour, he’ll dump the pink acid on the poor souls.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Ralph has quickly recovered but is still shook up and says he can’t do it. Caitlin calls him out and asks if he only wanted to play superhero when he thought he couldn’t get hurt. Ralph admits that’s the truth. He walks out but as he leaves, he gets an idea.
Ralph stretches himself through the bars in Barry’s cell and tells him he’s going to break him out. Barry asks what’s going on and Ralph reveals the news on the Trickster. Ralph figures Barry can go and do his “Flash stuff” and be back before any guards notice he’s gone. Barry asks Ralph why facing Trickster is different for him than other bad guys, and Ralph tells him about the acid attack.
“I’m not fearless like you are,” says Ralph. “Ralph, I’m not fearless. I wake up every day in this cell and I feel like there is nothing I can do to help anyone. I mean, that terrifies me. I used to be somebody who saved and now I’m just Barry Allen inmate number 3562. Having the ability to help someone but do nothing…that is a far worse death than anything Trickster has for you. But rising above that fear and saving those lives, that’s a greater life. So, rise up. I don’t think it’s a stretch for you,” says Barry.
“You really believe I can do that?” asks Ralph. “Yes, you just need to believe it yourself,” answers Barry.
It’s just the pep talk Ralph needs. He returns to S.T.A.R. Labs to tell the team he’ll face Trickster.
Thinking Ralph is sitting this one out, Cisco aka Vibe and Caitlin aka Killer Frost head to Trickster’s lair which Cisco was able to track down. They head in to save the hostages while Harry goes up on the roof where the acid is stored to find a way to neutralize it. Vibe and Frost begin to untie the hostages who it turns out are really Trickster and Zoey (aka Prank). They are able to turn the tables on our heroes and capture them with some power-reducing cuffs. (Okay, why do the bad guys in Central City have power reducing cuffs?! First Amunet and now Trickster who just got out of prison. C’mon!)
With Frost and Cisco tied to chairs, Trickster and his mom prepare to drop acid on them. Ralph shows up in his new superhero outfit that Cisco made for him to take Trickster on. Trickster shoots more acid at him, but Ralph is able to dodge it and makes himself a human slingshot and takes Axel down. Zoey tries to release the acid and Ralph, seeing no other way to save Caitlin and Cisco, stretches himself over them, keeping his friends from being hit by the falling acid. Ralph quickly realizes that he’s not feeling any pain and the acid isn’t eating through him because Harry managed to neutralize it in time.
The following day at S.T.A.R. Labs, Ralph sees the news has renamed him “The Elongated Man” after something he said in an interview. He isn’t too fond of it, but Caitlin and the rest of the team like it so it will stick.
Back at the prison, Barry sees Big Sir being attacked by the same three thugs and goes to help. Making sure he’s out of view of the cameras, Barry uses his speed to get two of the thugs to knock themselves out by repositioning them and then takes the leader on himself. A few good punches and he’s down. Barry helps Sir up and sees he’s all right. Later, Sir tells Barry that his dad saved his life by knowing he needed surgery and making sure he got it.
Iris visits Barry again and tells him what happened with Ralph and how he saved Caitlin and Cisco. Barry’s not surprised because he knew Ralph had it in him all along. Iris begins to get upset that she can’t touch Barry. When no one is looking and out of the view of the cameras, Barry vibrates his hand through the glass to touch Iris’ hand.
In the final scene, Cisco and Ralph are at Jitters to celebrate his victory and both realize they have no money on them. A young woman pays for their coffees and starts to jabber on about passing it forward and helping your fellow man. She says bye and sits down elsewhere. Cisco asks why Ralph didn’t hit on her and he reveals he thought she was too smart for him. As they walk out, the young girl looks at them, smiling, and goes back to writing in her notebook. She’s the same young waitress who was at Barry and Iris’ wedding who told Barry to remember to say “I do.” As she writes in her notebook, the camera moves to show she’s writing the same symbols that Barry was writing on the walls when he first came out of the Speed Force.
The Flash Season 4 Episode 11 Review:
Funny, quirky, and uneven, season four episode 11 titled “The Elongated Knight Rises” has more of the humor that was present in the show during the first season but also gets too silly and goofy, almost becoming camp which the show has never been. The ridiculous outfits that the young Trickster and Zoey wear in the second half of the episode look like something from the 1960s Batman television series, and their mindless plot to kill Ralph simply because he’s the new hero in town is uninspired.
The switching back and forth between the comical antics of Ralph struggling to define himself as a hero and the bleak and violent life of survival in the prison with Barry makes the episode feel jerky and off balance.
The best scene in the episode is between Barry and Ralph in prison when Barry gives Ralph the much-needed pep talk to find the courage to take on Trickster and save his friends. Gustin and Sawyer have solid chemistry together and play off each other wonderfully. This scene also shows just how much Barry has improved as a mentor to an up-and-coming hero.
With Barry making a new ally in prison and the young mystery woman with her Speed Force symbols notebook keeping tabs on Team Flash, it should be interesting to see how the gang get Barry out of prison and take down the Thinker.
More on The Flash Season 4:
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 1 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 2 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 3 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 4 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 5 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 6 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 7 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 8 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 9 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 10 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 12 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 13 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 14 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 15 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 16 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 17 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 18 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 19 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 21 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 22 Recap