The Flash recap: 'Elongated Journey Into Night'
Raise your hand if you’re digging Gypsy and Cisco’s adorable relationship. How cute was he when he asked her real name? Cisco can do no wrong in my book, but when you extend him a little romantic story line, I’m happy to report that he radiates a different kind of charm. Of course, that all crashes and burns when Gypsy’s scary-looking daddy (the ever-intimidating Danny Trejo) shows up and threatens to kill Cisco on the spot. Talk about ruining the moment.
After suffering through another one of the mayor’s press conferences, Barry pulls Joe away to report some news on the bus that received the dark matter remnants from The Flash’s return to Earth. Research shows that more than 900 people were on that exact bus that day. Oh, and the bus driver is dead. Coincidence? Of course not. Barry agrees with Wells: The samurai, Barry’s return, and the exact positioning of the bus is all connected.
Barry and Joe head to S.T.A.R Labs, where they meet a menacing man in black who claims that the facility is poorly guarded. Meet Breacher (Trejo), everyone! Cisco brought Gypsy’s dad to see where he works and to meet his personal assistant, Barry Allen. Cisco’s pleading eyes melt Barry’s annoyance enough for him to give Breacher a tour while Cisco figures out how to make his girlfriend’s father like him.
Wells gives some advice: Talk to the guy. Take him to get some coffee and find out what they have in common, besides a love of Gypsy, of course. This plan ultimately backfires, causing Breacher to admit why he came to this Earth in the first place. He wants to hunt Cisco like an animal and kill him because Cisco is not good enough for his daughter. He gives him a 10-second head start, warning Cisco not to use any powers to try to escape this world. Let the games begin!
While Cisco hides in the air ducts of S.T.A.R Labs, the rest of the team checks the coroner’s report from the bus driver’s file. Sifting through the photos, Barry notices an IOU from a guy named Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer). Iris pulls up a picture of the guy and notices that Barry seems uncomfortable. She also notes that Ralph is handsome like Oliver Queen.
Excuse me, Iris, but no one is as handsome as Oliver Queen. He is the bar at which handsome is set.
It seems that Barry has some history with Ralph, but we don’t learn that story yet. First, Barry and Joe pay Ralph a visit at his private detective office, ask him about the bus, and leave when Ralph doesn’t cooperate. Immediately after the door shuts, another couple of brutes come in to shake things up. They are bad guys. How do I know? Because they hang Ralph upside down from the roof asking him for something. Luckily, Ralph doesn’t fall. Instead, he slowly stretches like caramel down to the asphalt below as Joe and Barry watched slack jawed. Clearly Ralph was lying about not being on the bus that day.
Back at the lab, Wells runs some tests and discovers that Ralph’s cells are elastic now. He can literally stretch like Mr. Fantastic. The only problem is that his limbs aren’t springing back to normal. The long Silly Putty-like arms and legs aren’t nearly as disgusting as when Ralph sneezes and his entire face falls off his skull. Kudos to the visual effects department over at The CW for a job well done on this guy. His smarmy personality makes it all the more entertaining!
Caitlin figures that she can find a cure if she gets some of Ralph’s DNA from prior to the bus ride. Barry and Iris head to his office to find something, but not before Barry has a minor argument with Caitlin regarding Ralph’s demeanor. Barry anticipates that he will start hurting people, as the other two metas did, and he wants to lock Ralph up. Caitlin refuses.
Over at the office, which has been thoroughly trashed, Barry clues Iris in on why he can’t stand Ralph. He explains that Ralph was the lead detective when Barry was a junior CSI. Ralph planted evidence a lied in a big case. He was eventually thrown off the force. Barry simply doesn’t trust him. Iris finds a hair brush, which will work for DNA, and then screams when she sees a bomb in Ralph’s desk drawer. Barry vibrates them both down through the floor, which I didn’t know was a thing, and races them out to the street as the building explodes.
Joe and Barry approach Ralph, walking over extended limbs, and relay the information that someone is trying to kill him. Joe wants to know why he’s been calling the mayor, but Ralph declines to answer, so Joe and Barry make a trip to City Hall to find out.
Caitlin whips up a concoction for Ralph to drink that should help him regain his normal body. He drinks and within seconds, his arms and legs zip back to their original form. Caitlin explains that Ralph can basically think about what he wants to be and his cells will just listen. Ralph smiles, thinks about his belly, and BOOM! Instant six pack! (Recap continues on next page).
Back at the mayor’s office, Barry and Joe lean on the mayor to set the record straight. There’s only one reason for anyone to be calling Ralph, a private detective. The mayor concedes. He cheated on his wife and Ralph has photographic evidence. He’s trying to make everything go away and begs Joe to just let him handle it. After Joe and Barry leave, the mayor instructs the two thugs who hung Ralph over the edge of the building to just finish the job already.
Barry confronts Ralph for blackmailing the mayor, and Ralph reminds Barry that he wouldn’t have to resort to such lengths if Barry hadn’t cost him his job so many years ago. He claims he’s not a dirty cop, but he is doing a dirty thing at the moment. Barry and Ralph continue the heated argument, and then Barry punches Ralph directly in the nose. Ralph’s head absorbs Barry’s entire fist and I almost lose my dinner. Disgusting.
While Barry picks his hand out of Ralph’s sinuses, Cisco decides to trick Breacher. He traps him in a force field and does a happy dance of victory — until Breacher pulls out a knife and cuts said force field. Cisco runs for his life. The game is still on.
Everyone is stressed, especially Barry. Joe tries to talk it out. Why does Ralph get under Barry’s skin? Barry wonders if he really did destroy a good man’s life, but Joe reminds him that he didn’t make Ralph blackmail the mayor — but like all metas, maybe Ralph does deserve a second chance.
The doorbell interrupts their conversation, and Barry is surprised to see two cops (guess which ones) through the peephole. When they step inside, guns are drawn, but Barry is able to catch all the bullets before they hit Joe. He also knocks out the two cops, noting that they’re the ones on the mayor’s detail. Guess who just discovered who the real bad guy is?
Speaking of the mayor, Ralph decides that he doesn’t want to blackmail the mayor anymore. He comes clean but is unable to leave due to a scary-looking man in all black who just so happens to be shooting fire from his hands. Why is Gypsy’s father trying to kill Ralph instead of Cisco now? Because he saw footage of Ralph in the lab and concluded that he is one of the Plastoids, who destroyed Breacher’s planet.
Clear as mud?
The Flash arrives, trying to protect Ralph from Breacher’s fireballs. The mayor holds Joe at gunpoint and makes him get inside a helicopter. Suddenly, Vibe shows up to protect Barry and Ralph, promising Breacher that if he has a problem with The Flash, then he has a problem with him. I have no idea where Gypsy is at this point and I feel a little concerned that she has neither helped Cisco nor talked to her dad.
Once Cisco calms Breacher down, everyone freaks out that there’s no way to help Joe. The Flash looks at Ralph and wonders if he can stretch his arm up to the helicopter. Ralph hard passes, laughing when The Flash says he knows he can do it. Then Barry pulls off his mask to show Ralph that he trusts him. Also, now’s the time to do something good to prove he’s not a dirty cop. STRETCH!
Ralph flings his arm up to the helicopter, grabs it, and watches as The Flash speeds up his noodle arm to save Joe. That’s when Joe decides to tell Barry that Joe is going to be a daddy again. CIGARS FOR EVERYONE!
Back at the lab, Breacher reminds Cisco that he hates him, but the respect is there. He’s a steadfast warrior who will fight the fiercest of enemies (read: Breacher) to protect the ones he loves. Then he calls for Cynthia — Gypsy — to join him, and Cisco chants her name over and over. We even learn that Breacher’s name is Josh, which isn’t scary at all!
What is scary is the scratched message on Caitlin’s apartment door. “We miss you. Come back soon.” #creepy
At the end of the day, Barry offers Ralph a job. He wants to study Ralph’s powers and train him. No, his cool superhero name will not be Mr. Plastic, and yes, Ralph’s lead on the mayor’s case was from a man named Mr. DeVoe. Barry experiences a few flashes in his memory of the name. Ralph smells a mystery, and I can’t decide if I’m excited or potentially annoyed the Elongated Man is going to be around for the near future.
After the success of Arrow, Barry Allen (a.k.a. the Flash) gets his own CW treatment in this comic-themed spin-off.