The Flash recap: 'Lose Yourself'
Team Flash suffers a major setback.
The Flash has felt like it’s been in a bit of a holding pattern since the back half of the season began. Sure, there have been some good episodes (“Run, Iris, Run” and “Enter Flashtime” spring to mind immediately), but the overarching story, which mostly concerns DeVoe and the search for the remaining bus metas, has lacked a sense of urgency and hasn’t been entirely compelling. However, things are starting to look up after tonight’s episode “Lose Yourself,” in which many devastating and heartbreaking things happened — the most important one being the death of Ralph Dibny at the hands of DeVoe.
Team Flash begins the episode searching for Edwin Gauss, the last bus meta, as Barry and Ralph argue about whether or not they should kill DeVoe. Obviously, Ralph is all for it, but Barry reminds him that’s never the answer because there’s always another way for people with their abilities. This disagreement continues to rear its head until they eventually stumble onto Edwin and discover that he has the power to create and travel to pocket dimensions.
With the help of a manic Harry, who has developed an addiction to his Thinking Cap (which he’s obviously and secretly powering with dark matter), they’re able to track Edwin to a hippie commune. As soon as they find Edwin, who himself is quite the hippie, one of DeVoe’s Samuroids appears and attack them, stabbing Killer Frost in the process. This little attack is more than enough to convince Edwin go with them and hide in the pipeline.
DeVoe’s attack also adds fuel to Ralph’s fire about killing DeVoe. Ralph is so heated up that as soon as he finds out that Edwin’s powers accidentally took him to DeVoe’s lair once, he tries to break him out of S.T.A.R. Labs so Edwin can take him there and he can make “the tough call” to end DeVoe once and for all. Barry knocks Ralph out before he can leave with Edwin, and when Ralph wakes up a few hours later, Barry finds out why Ralph is so intent on killing DeVoe. It’s not because Ralph is scared for his life; it’s because he’s scared of what DeVoe will do to Team Flash, which he views as his new family. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this kind of sentimentality from Ralph, but it definitely feels earned and makes what happens to the character later on even more heartbreaking. Barry appreciates Ralph’s concern but points out that the team, too, must have a say in how they’re protected and the last thing they would want is for Ralph to throw away all of this personal growth in killing DeVoe in order to save them.
Meanwhile, Joe confronts Harry about his addiction because his behavior reminds him of his addict ex-wife. In disappointed yet caring dad mode, Joe tells Harry that he can’t force him to stop using the Thinking Cap, but suggests that Harry consider how he’s been treating his friends. (Harry got pretty aggressive with Cisco when he thought Cisco took his cap). Harry takes those words to heart and takes a break from using it for a minute. (Next: You can’t win)
Even though Barry wasn’t a fan of Ralph’s “Kill DeVoe” plan, he did like the other part which involved using Edwin’s powers to invade DeVoe’s pocket dimension lair. So, the Flash, Cisco, and Killer Frost suit up and travel to DeVoe’s lair with the super tuning fork that mimics Izzy’s powers that Harry built for them. Unfortunately, all they find there is a hologram of DeVoe because while they were breaching into his lair, DeVoe and Marlize were breaching into S.T.A.R. Labs.
With most of the powered members of the team trapped in DeVoe’s lair without a way back, it’s up to Iris, Joe, Harry, and Ralph to hold down the fort. This was quite possibly my favorite part of the episode. Iris heads to the Cortex and dukes it out with the Engineer. She allows the Engineer to stab her so she could knock her out and then use the Thinker’s chair to bring her friends back. Needless to say, seeing Iris kick some ass brought me so much joy. Meanwhile, Joe takes care of DeVoe’s samuroid, and I’m super disappointed we didn’t get to see him duke it out with the samuroid; Harry runs to the Time Vault to pump more dark matter into his brain and ends up electrocuting himself; and Ralph runs to the pipeline to confront DeVoe. Unfortunately, DeVoe manages to absorb all of the imprisoned metas’ powers and transfers his mind into Edwin’s body.
Even though he’s by himself, Ralph manages to subdue DeVoe by transforming his own hand into the super tuning fork and attacking DeVoe. He has a chance to kill him, but doesn’t and instead cuffs him. Unfortunately, DeVoe uses the powers to disable the cuffs right as Flash, Vibe, and Killer Frost show up. DeVoe makes quick work out of all of them, and then transfers his mind into Ralph’s body, killing Ralph in the process.
With all the talk of Ralph’s life being in danger, I should’ve seen his death coming, but I’ll admit that I didn’t. I assumed Team Flash would’ve found a way to save him and live to fight DeVoe another day. But alas, that’s not what happened. Even though I’ve been on the fence about Ralph since the beginning, his death does feel earned and it is a shame to see him die because not only is he dead, but his body will now also be used to hurt Team Flash, which is the last thing I would’ve expected.
Ralph’s wasn’t the only loss Team Flash suffered in tonight’s episode. Something definitely seems up with Harry after he regains consciousness post unintentional dark matter electroshock therapy, and more importantly, Caitlin touched DeVoe during the fight and lost her powers because DeVoe had already absorbed Melting Point’s abilities. That’s probably the saddest development in the entire episode because Killer Frost was part of Caitlin and she cared about her, and Killer Frost cared about Caitlin as we learned in “Enter Flashtime.” Again, I’ve been on the fence with the whole Caitlin/Killer Frost dynamic and I’m surprised by how sad I am because of Cailtin’s loss; the shot of Caitlin looking at the post-it notes she and Killer Frost left for each other really hit hard.
What makes “Lose Yourself” one of the stronger episodes of the season is that something of consequence actually happened. In the past few episodes, it was hard to become invested in the search for the bus metas because the show didn’t give us a reason to. Either the characters were underdeveloped or, and more importantly, we actually had no idea how they fit into the story since DeVoe’s ultimate goal still remains shrouded in mystery. But in tonight’s episode, losing Edwin had a catastrophic effect on the rest of the team, and gave DeVoe a leg-up because Ralph’s body is the only that can handle the burden of his growing intellect. It’ll be interesting to see how Team Flash recovers from this major setback.