The Flash recap: 'True Colors'
The Flash stages a perfectly fine prison break in “True Colors.” Picking up where last week’s episode left off, tonight’s episode opens with Warden Wolfe presenting his metahuman collection to Amunet Black, who decides she wants to buy all of them — especially Barry because he’s a speedster (Wolfe omits the fact that Barry’s the Flash). Being sold on the black market is the last thing Barry wants, so he starts planning his escape.
Barry sciences the hell out of two batteries he stole from a guard and creates an acid that he uses to free himself and the other bus metas — Kilg%re, Becky, Dwarfstar, and Mina — from Iron Heights’ metahuman wing. Sure, Barry would prefer not to team up with the villains, but he has no other option. Using the acid once more, Barry opens a grate in the floor and they all escape into the sewers.
It doesn’t take Team Flash too long to figure out something fishy is going on at the prison. Wolfe tells Iris and Cecile they can’t visit Barry because he’s in solitary confinement after getting into a fight. But Cecile reads his mind and learns what’s really going on at that prison. So Team Flash sets about trying to find a way to save Barry before he falls into Amunet’s clutches. Conveniently, Ralph accidentally learns that his powers also allow him to shape-shift, and Team Flash decides to put that ability to use.
As has been the case with the past few episodes, “True Colors” is partially concerned with fleshing out Ralph’s development as a hero. At the beginning of the hour, Ralph receives a visit from a shady old friend who tries to lure him into some less-than-honorable scheme, but Ralph says no, prompting the friend to hurtfully accuse Ralph of always letting his “friends” down. That really sticks with Ralph, and he spends most of the episode worried he’s going to end up disappointing Team Flash. This show is always at its best when it’s focused on what it means to be a hero, and that’s why Ralph’s story in this episode ended up being its strongest and most compelling aspect. It felt like it actually mattered.
Despite his fear of failing, Ralph agrees to shape-shift into Warden Wolfe and organize a meeting with Amunet in order to call off the metahuman sale. Watching Richard Brooks plays Ralph as Wolfe led to several laughs — something this show has not been lacking at all this season. Unfortunately, Ralph still doesn’t quite have a handle on this ability; his powers start failing as soon as he meets Amunet, and he’s forced to flee the scene before being captured. (Next: The Thinker makes his move)
Given this recent setback, Iris decides that their best course of action is be to have Cisco, Caitlin, and Ralph breach into the prison and free Barry; however, Ralph, discouraged from his most recent failure, decides to sit this one out because he’s worried that he’ll let them down again. Obviously, this means it’s time for our weekly Flash pep talk. This week, however, the show does something different and enlists Killer Frost to deliver it. Killer Frost’s tough and lazy pep talk was a welcome change of pace that made the beat not feel as redundant as it would have if anyone else had done it.
Meanwhile, Barry and the metas make their way through the sewers. Forcing Barry to team up with his enemies could’ve let to some interesting dynamics, but the script doesn’t take advantage of all of the possibilities of this setup. Sure, there’s some mildly humorous evil-y banter between the bad guys, but that’s about it. That being said, I did enjoy how the show handled Becky, the meta who can control luck. Unlike the rest of her villainous compatriots, Becky vows that she’s done using her powers for evil, and we even see her take care of Barry after he hurts his hand. It’s yet another reminder that Becky stands out from many of the show’s villains-of-the-week because she has an actual personality.
Eventually, Barry and the metas reach the prison yard where Wolfe is waiting for them. He reveals Barry is the Flash in an effort to turn the metas against him, but thankfully Becky, the most powerful one, has Barry’s back and uses her powers to save him from the metas, Wolfe, and Amunet Black. But this victory is short lived because the Thinker shows up, drains the life (and maybe powers) out of all of the metas, and transfers his consciousness into Becky’s body: a very welcome development because Sugar Lyn Beard is one of the show’s best guest stars. However, the Thinker doesn’t stop there. He also kills and drains the life out of Wolfe, too, a move that horrifies the Thinker’s wife Marlize.
Speaking of Marlize and the Thinker: One of the things that made “True Colors” feel rather muddled is that it wasn’t exactly clear what it was trying to do with the Thinker and Marlize. At the top of the episode, this villainous couple basically go through the same thing Joe and Cecile did last week with regards to Cecile’s mind-reading powers: The Thinker is freely using his powers to probe Marlize’s mind, and she doesn’t like it and tries to protect herself from it. That unwillingness to share her mind, however, antagonizes the Thinker, and after taking control of Becky’s body, he drugs Marlize in order to make her more compliant. It’s horrifying development that’s not entirely surprising given the Thinker’s arrogance, but it makes me worried that the Thinker will eventually murder his wife. I really hope that doesn’t happen because one of the most interesting things about this messy arc is that Team Flash is facing off against a married couple and not just a solo baddie.
While the DeVoes’ marriage has grown toxic, Team Flash earns its first win in its battle against them. Ralph uses his new powers to shape-shift into the original DeVoe and wheels himself into the courtroom on the day of Barry’s appeal in order to clear Barry’s name. I’ll admit it’s a rather easy but clever way of freeing Barry that I definitely didn’t see coming. Everyone’s elated to have Barry home, but Barry can’t stop worrying about what the Thinker has in store — not only for the rest of the bus metas who are out there, but, more importantly, for Ralph.
After the success of Arrow, Barry Allen (a.k.a. the Flash) gets his own CW treatment in this comic-themed spin-off.