Katie Yu/The CW
January 16, 2018 at 11:31 PM EST

The Flash

TV Show
run date
Grant Gustin, Danielle Panabaker, Candice Patton
The CW
Current Status
In Season
We gave it a B-

In court, Cecile rests her case without mounting a defense. Um. Yeah. I would not advocate retaining Cecile as your defense attorney should you find yourself accused of a crime in Central City, particularly because her closing argument consists of “Barry sure is a good guy,” which isn’t terribly effective.

And then Barry receives a text, stands, and tells the judge that someone needs his help and he’s got to go. The judge blusters, but Cecile says there’s no law requiring Barry to be present for closing arguments. The judge warns Barry that he’s required to be back for sentencing. Soooo the judge assumes that Barry will be found guilty and require sentencing? I’m not a lawyer, but can you say mistrial?

Anyway, Barry bailed on his trial because he got an SOS from Caitlin, Cisco, and Wells, who’ve been tracking a new meta whose radioactivity has been sickening people all over the city. Neil Borman, a.k.a. Fallout, doesn’t know he’s been doing it, and he’s about to go nuclear — literally. Barry whisks the police out of harm’s way, but Fallout’s radiation burns Barry, too, and it’s too hot for Barry to self-heal.

Wells and Cisco realize that they need Killer Frost to cool him down and convince Caitlin that it’s not just when she’s scared or angry; she can call on her chilly side at will, particularly when every living thing is about to be blasted by a Hiroshima-size explosion.

“Puppies are going down,” Cisco shouts, and Harry joins him for, “because you didn’t want to show up for work!” They congratulate themselves as her eyes glow, and by the time Cisco opens a breach to the scene, she’s fully Frosty and hits Fallout with a layer of ice. But he melts it and blasts her away.

In the end, Barry runs circles around Fallout to create a vacuum, and at Wells’ suggestion, Cisco opens a breach to send the blast to Earth-15, a dead planet. It’s excellent teamwork, and in the end, Barry drops to the ground with radiation burns on his face. But why was Cisco not also burned?

Back at STAR Labs, a still-healing Barry catches a TV report announcing that he’s been found guilty of first-degree murder. But he’s still got a chin-up attitude and tells his team, “That doesn’t mean that DeVoe beat us.” I…think it does, Bare. He and Iris head back to court for sentencing, which in any real legal system wouldn’t happen the same day as the verdict, for goodness sake.

On the way there, Iris tells him that that just like his father was Barry’s rock, Barry is hers. “I’ll be strong for you.” Then Barry spots DeVoenic stepping through a door next to the courtroom and follows him in.

DeVoenic refuses to tell Barry what his larger plan is and remains a smug prat about how much smarter he is than Barry. Barry warns that he’s going to figure a way out of this and will come for him. DeVoenic is unconcerned.

At his sentencing, Barry speaks the words from his Speed Force return: “Your honor, I’m innocent. I didn’t do this. I didn’t kill anyone.” Oh, man, Barry’s ravings better pay off in a big way when the team starts to examine them.

Before delivering the sentence, the judge pontificates about Barry’s awfulness for betraying the city’s trust. Meanwhile, Singh gives a press conference praising the Flash’s selflessness in saving the city. It’s an effective crosscut: The judge says Barry was unmoved and inhumane, while Singh praises the Flash’s bravery and heroism. Singh presents the CCPD Award of Valor to the Flash at the same time that the judge sentences Barry to life without the possibility of parole.

And then we cut to Iron Heights Penitentiary, where Barry’s escorted to his cell in chains. He takes a seat on his cot and spots graffiti on the wall: HENRY ALLEN WAS HERE. Barry’s rock is with him, even as he hits rock bottom.

Wall of Weird:

  • The Trial of the Flash is a well-known comics story line from the 1980s, although this episode deviated sharply from the plot, in no small part because Barry’s trial for killing the Reverse-Flash ran for two years in the comic, while this trial wrapped up frustratingly swiftly. It didn’t need to stretch for the rest of the season, but this was laughably quick from start to finish. And then there’s Barry’s maddeningly placid, lamb-to-the-slaughter acceptance of his fate. Sure, trust your friends, your abilities, and the rightness of the universe, but don’t surrender without a fight.
  • Fingers crossed that Caitlin will start to exercise true agency over her Killer side now that she knows she can embrace the cold at will. Like Barry, her helpless passivity wasn’t a good look.
  • Think we’ll see Fallout again, despite Tracy’s search for a way to neutralize him? You’ve gotta feel a little bad for a meta who doesn’t know he’s a meta.
  • Cisco can hack ankle monitors. Good to know.
  • I hereby nominate Iris for the line of the night: “They say the first year of the marriage is always the hardest, but I never thought my husband being on trial for murder would be one of the challenges.” Truer words, sister.
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