“You may not care about losing who you’ve become, but we do. We like Hero Ralph, please don’t take him away from us,” says Barry (Grant Gustin to Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) who’s hell-bent on stopping DeVoe, even if he has to kill him, in season four episode 18 of The CW’s The Flash.
As the episode begins, Ralph and Barry are searching for clues in the bus the metas were riding in when Barry came out of the Speed Force. They’re trying to find the last meta, Edwin Gauss (Arturo Del Puerto), and search as they argue over killing DeVoe. Ralph thinks they should be willing to stop him no matter what it takes, and Barry tries again to convince Ralph that part of being a hero is always finding another way to stop the bad guy. Ralph remembers Gauss when he sees where he was sitting because Gauss paid for his bus fare.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Harry (Tom Cavanagh) shows Team Flash the new tool he created to stop DeVoe. It’s a device he calls the Sonic Scepter which Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) says is really a powerful tuning fork. Hit it on the ground and the sonic waves will blow DeVoe up against the wall. Two hits and he’s dead. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) is concerned about Harry who’s acting manic and seems to never be without his thinking cap.
After the meeting breaks up, Iris (Candice Patton) asks Caitlin what she’s working on. Caitlin tells Iris she has found out what activates Killer Frost to come out by monitoring her brain. Dark matter is in Caitlin’s adrenaline glands so when she’s sacred or angry, Frost comes out. Caitlin can now get Frost to come out by just giving herself a shot of epinephrine. Caitlin tells Iris she can’t wait to tell Frost what she’s discovered. Iris asks if they talk to each other and Caitlin admits they leave each other notes.
Harry tells the gang that Edwin’s power is that he has a pocket dimension, like DeVoe, and can travel similar to Vibe. Joe asks Harry about using the thinking cap and Harry assures him he’s fine and there’s no problem.
Team Flash, with Harry’s help, is able to locate the recent areas Edwin used his powers. They split up to try to find him. Barry, Ralph, and Caitlin check the woods and come upon a hippie commune. They ask the group if they’ve seen Edwin and show his photo. One man tells them yes and that they call him the folding man because he folds in and out of everywhere.
Barry and Ralph go off one direction looking for Edwin while Caitlin heads out in the opposite direction. (This is just dumb. If this were a horror movie, Caitlin would be the next victim!) Barry and Ralph argue again about killing DeVoe and Ralph is adamant they need to be willing to do whatever it takes to stop him. Barry responses once again by saying there’s always another way.
Caitlin yells to the guys she has eyes on Edwin who runs really fast even though he’s not a speedster. Barry speeds over and knocks him down. They tell him they’re not the police and are here to protect him from someone very dangerous. Edwin’s relieved and asks if the Samuroid is with them. Just then a samurai sword is thrust through Caitlin’s shoulder from behind, followed by the robotic Samuroid tossing her. Barry uses his super speed to take apart the Samuroid and races over to catch Caitlin before she crashes into the trees. “Caitlin!” yells Ralph, concerned for her. Barry tells Ralph to meet them back at S.T.A.R. Labs with Edwin. He then speeds off carrying a wounded Caitlin.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Ralph suggests to Caitlin that she should rest but she says she’s fine and almost healed. Barry tells her that when she passed out she got cold and her Frost healing powers went to work. Ralph’s more determined than ever to kill DeVoe and after arguing with Barry again, visits Edwin who’s digging the pipeline and the snacks Ralph brought. During their chat, Ralph learns Edwin once used his powers and ended up in DeVoe’s lair. This gives Ralph an idea.
Cisco (Carlos Valdes) is gluing his model of the USS Enterprise Starship together when Harry comes in yelling for his thinking cap, believing Cisco took it. Cisco tells him he didn’t take it and Harry destroys his model and actually grabs Cisco and puts him up against a wall. Joe enters telling Harry that Cisco didn’t take his cap but that he did. He believes Harry’s addicted to it and that he can’t keep him from using it. He wants Harry to see what he’s doing to the people he cares most about. Joe gives Harry back the cap and leaves. An upset Cisco walks out leaving Harry feeling terrible about what just happened.
Ralph wants Edwin to power him to DeVoe’s lair and he’ll handle the rest. Barry shows up in his Flash suit thinking it was DeVoe and wants Ralph to stop. Ralph won’t back down and takes the Sonic Scepter and puts it inside himself. He then stretches his fist to punch Barry, but Barry uses his super speed to duck the punch and punch out Ralph instead.
Ralph wakes up in the medical bay and Barry attempts a peace offering. Barry tells Ralph he understands that Ralph is afraid of DeVoe, but he has to rise above it. “You are a moron. I am not afraid of DeVoe and what he might do to me. I am afraid of what he might do to you and Iris and Caitlin, Cisco, Joe, Harry, Cecile… DeVoe has taken out everyone who has gotten in his way and Team Flash will always be in his way,” says Ralph. “This was never about protecting yourself,” says Barry beginning to understand Ralph’s real motivation.
“I know killing DeVoe would be throwing away everything I’ve done to become a hero but aside from my mom this team is the only family I have ever had. I would throw myself in a furnace to keep them safe. DeVoe cannot have them, they are mine,” says a determined Ralph. Barry assures Ralph that the team likes Hero Ralph and doesn’t want to lose him.
Barry explains to Team Flash that part of Ralph’s plan was a good one: the idea to use Edwin’s power to get to DeVoe and use the scepter to capture him. Everyone’s in. Harry, Iris, and Joe will stay at S.T.A.R. Labs to keep Edwin safe while Barry, Vibe, and Killer Frost will go capture DeVoe.
The Flash, Vibe, and Frost arrive at The Thinker’s lair only to discover that DeVoe isn’t there. Instead, they are facing a hologram. Turns out DeVoe knew they would try to get to his lair so he set this up and can now attack S.T.A.R. Labs. Marlize (Kim Engelbrecht) wields a samurai sword and goes up against Iris with her power gun. Joe takes on another Samuroid robot and Harry runs to power up his thinking cap to come up with new ideas on how to stop DeVoe from winning. Harry enters his private chamber and asks Gideon to increase the dark matter in his thinking cap. (He lied to Cisco who made him promise not to use dark matter.) Harry overloads the cap and it explodes. He passes out.
DeVoe goes after Edwin who’s in the pipeline, but Ralph is there blocking his path. DeVoe uses one of the other metas he absorbed to bring back the T-Rex skeleton to chase off Ralph. It works briefly until Ralph enlarges his hand and knocks out the T-Rex. When Ralph gets back to the pipeline, DeVoe is now in Edwin’s body.
During the fight between Iris and Marlize, Iris lets Marlize stab her with the sword so she can get to The Thinker’s chair and activate it to get Barry, Vibe, and Frost back. It works and Marlize and the chair disappear.
Ralph faces down DeVoe and uses the Sonic Scepter against him. It works and knocks DeVoe across the room. Ralph knows one more strike from the scepter will kill DeVoe. Instead, he puts the power-reducing cuffs on him. The Flash shows up and is proud of Ralph. Ralph tells Barry he thinks he’s ready for the kind of life Barry was talking to him about before. DeVoe uses that moment to disable the cuffs and knock Barry off his feet. As Barry lies on the ground stunned and helpless, DeVoe uses his powers to transport himself into Ralph’s body, killing him. Team Flash watch on the monitors as Ralph’s body drops to the floor along with Edwin’s.
Vibe opens a breach and goes through with Killer Frost. Barry’s finally able to get up but before he can use the scepter DeVoe blasts him with power, knocking him across the room. DeVoe blasts Vibe before he can do anything. Frost creates an icicle and starts to stab DeVoe, but he touches her and says, “Melt.” That causes her to change back to Caitlin before sending her up in the air and crashing down to the ground.
Later, Barry feels terrible and takes off wanting some alone time. Joe asks if he should go after him but Iris says she thinks she knows where he’s going.
Caitlin asks Cisco to get Harry because she thinks something’s wrong with her. Cisco and Harry examine Caitlin and Cisco realizes she touched DeVoe and he used one of the meta’s powers he absorbed to untangle her DNA from the dark matter. Caitlin no longer has any dark matter in her. Killer Frost is gone. Caitlin glances over at the post-it notes she and Frost have been using to communicate. She’s both surprised and a little sad.
Barry’s in Ralph’s old P.I. office boxing things up and cleaning out things he knows Ralph wouldn’t want people finding. Iris shows up and tries to talk to Barry, but he shuts her down. He says he appreciates what she’s trying to do but right now he alone needs to clean out Ralph’s office. Iris leaves. Barry continues to box things up until the office is empty. He downs a shot of Whiskey and then leaves the glass on Ralph’s old desk. As the sun is setting and he’s about to leave, Barry turns and says to the empty room, “I’ll keep them safe.”
The Flash Season 4 Episode 18 Review:
Dramatic, action-packed, and heartbreaking, episode 18 titled “Lose Yourself” sees the tragic and preventable death of Ralph, a hero who was just coming into his own. The episode also saw the loss of Caitlin’s chilly alter-ego, Killer Frost. This was a powerful and heavy episode with two stand-out performances as well as the exit of the best character to be introduced to the series this season.
Hartley Sawyer, who has added much needed humor into the show and has wonderful chemistry with Grant Gustin, delivered his strongest performance in this episode. The scene where Ralph tells Barry just how much Team Flash means to him and that he’s willing to become a killer to protect them shows just how far he has grown as a person and a member of the team. It’s truly sad to see this character come to such an unfitting and undeserved end.
Danielle Panabaker steals every scene she’s in episode 18. Panabaker nails every scene from Caitlin’s conversation with Iris about the cute little notes she and Frost leave for each other showing their growing friendship to when she gets stabbed by the samurai robot to when she realizes she no longer has any dark matter in her. The scene where she looks at the post-it notes is truly touching.
With the death of Ralph, Killer Frost vanishing, and DeVoe seeming to have everything he needs to set about his great plan, it doesn’t look good for Team Flash. In fact, it just might be their darkest hour.
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 11 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 19 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 21 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 22 Recap