I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; Ralph Dibny is quickly becoming the best character on this show. Seriously, if The Flash wants to actually name Elongated Man as Star City’s official protector/new show lead, I’d be okay with it.
We get a perfect Dibny episode this week as Barry tags along with Ralph on his continued search for Sue Dearbon. Now that we know who he’s searching for, this case just officially became the most exciting (side) plot of the season. Barry thinks he is coming along to keep an eye on Ralph and make sure he makes it to the ceremony where The Flash will name Elongated Man city protector. In fact, this is a chance for Ralph to impart some classic Dibny wisdom about finesse and being yourself.
The case takes them to a high society gala that is, in fact, the cover for an illegal arms auction. Yes, they’re going full Bond and they never shy away from acknowledging it. Danielle Panabaker directs her second episode of the series and does a fantastic job setting the tone of the episode. Spy gadgets, over the top villain speeches and a femme-fatale named January Galore – we’re in Ralph’s world now and for some reason, Ralph’s world is exactly like James Bond’s.
We learn very early on that this is not a world Barry is comfortable in. After a failed attempt to coax information out of Remington Meister during a game of mahjong, Barry abandons subtlety and searches the building Flash-style. This immediately gets him and Ralph captured and subjected to the obligatory villain speech.
We get the amazing, “Do you expect me to talk?” “No, I expect you to die,” exchange made even better by Ralph immediately calling it out as a Goldfinger ripoff. Then, Ralph is able to use his explosive cufflink to short circuit the unnecessarily elaborate laser gun.
Of course, the conflict ends with the villain starting a countdown to launch a satellite missile to destroy the entire city. Cue another Bond villain line. And of course, Ralph is able to stop the launch with almost no time left on the clock. The spy tropes are handled really well here and make for a fun encounter.
The other femme fatale backing up Remington is none other than Ultraviolet, who has quickly been released from prison by the powerful group she works for. This episode pays off several storylines that have been building up all season.
Nash Wells’ mission to find the Monitor pairs him up with Allegra, whose UV rays can help him dig through Mar Novu’s safeguards. Nash ends up telling her all about the multiverse, the impending crisis and the fact that Barry is The Flash. As a budding reporter, what will she do with the information? We also deal with her reluctance to use her powers and end up like her cousin. Nash is able to help her through this hesitance and reveals that he might be hiding a past that relates to her.
And FINALLY, Chester P Runk is awake! He gets some great scenes nerding out around Star Labs and dealing with the fact he is legally dead. Unfortunately, his return is mostly used to help Cecile deal with her identity crisis after leaving the DA’s office and setting out on her own. This ends up being an interesting arc for Cecile and they are taking her character in a great direction, but it was an anti-climactic return for Chester P. Luckily, the stage is set for him to play a role later in the season…
This is definitely Elongated Man’s episode. Ralph gets multiple times to demonstrate why he is a different hero than The Flash and why that is a good thing in many ways. He also gets plenty of classic one-liners, Bond moments and a pretty sweet Elongated Man emblem. His presence is even felt in Chester and Cecile’s storyline as Frost quotes the Book of Ralph, “when asking someone out, just be yourself.” This makes it a great moment when Bloodwork appears at the end to attack Elongated Man.
The episode also does a great job helping Barry learn something about himself. Ralph tells him that Barry Allen is just as important as The Flash. He even arranges for Barry Allen to receive the Medal of Honor from Star City PD for everything he’s done for the city. In the past, The Monitor has stated that The Flash must die. Nash Wells has stated that he has a way to save Barry Allen. Now, this episode spends time reminding us that there is a difference between the two. It will be interesting to see how things play out as we take one step closer to Crisis…