This article contains spoilers for the Flash season four episode – Elongated Journey Into Night.
The fourth episode of the fourth season of the Flash may be my favorite of the series so far. And I think Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer) is going to be a great addition to the cast. This episode was filled with Easter Eggs and funny moments, including a nod to the 1990 Flash series, a dig at stretching heroes and a perfectly timed sight gag. The episode starts with Mayor Bellows (Vito D’Ambrosio) running for re-election and talking about how he used to be a cop, which he was on the other Flash series. Then we see Barry (Grant Gustin) and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) go up to Barry’s lab and we see Barry has pulled down his mother’s case and put up the 12 Meta Human grid Cisco (Carlos Valdes) made up last week at S.T.A.R. Labs. There is a moment that Barry acknowledges his mothers case is solved and he’s moving on. The driver of the bus that was hit by Dark Matter when the Flash returned from the Speed Force, was found dead. Checking his things leads them to a former cop turned detective, Dibny, who has an unpleasant past with Barry. Dibny denies being on the bus but we soon learn he was when to thugs come and dangle him off a building only to have him stretch to the ground unwillingly. They take him to the lab and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) comes up with something to help control his powers.
Dibny’s office is blown up with Barry just getting Iris (Candice Patton) out in time. They find out that Dibny is blackmailing Mayor Bellows, who in turn was trying to pay him off but is now just trying to kill Dibny. As this goes on, people keep commenting about how Joe is “glowing”, which he denies and we see the tension between Dibny and Barry grow. Back when Barry was a rookie, Dibny was a detective and found a knife that would put a killer away, except Barry proved it wasn’t the right knife and Dibny lost his job for planting evidence. Meanwhile… if all that wasn’t enough, Gypsy (Jessica Camacho) is there for a date when her father and boss, Breacher (Danny Trejo), shows up to hunt Cisco. Harry (Tom Cavanagh) offers up some helpful advice occasionally but isn’t in the episode much because Cavanagh is directing it. Caitlin points out to Barry that he should be nicer to Dibny since both of them know exactly what it feels like to suddenly discover you have powers and your whole life has changed. Dibny meets with Bellows, gives him the photos and declines the payment… taking back the blackmail. Breacher pops up, mistaking Dibny for a Plastoid, the creatures that destroyed his Earth… Breacher blasts Barry away but Vibe steps in front of Breacher and convinces him that Dibny is not a Plastoid. Then Dibny helps Barry rescue Joe from the Mayor. Breacher is impressed by Cisco and won’t kill him, still hates him, but won’t kill him. Barry offers Dibny a job, which is a little light on the details at the moment, but part of it is teaching him to use his powers. Barry offers him the name, Plastic Man, which the both hate and decide to leave that up to Cisco. He tells Barry that a guy named DeVoe sent him after the mayor… and Barry makes the connection of who is behind everything. And then we get the classic nose twitch and “I smell a mystery” line from Dibny. Oh… and Joe finally tells Barry that Cecile is pregnant.
That’s 3 of the 12 metas found and the first non-villain. Sawyer is a perfectly cast Dibny in both mannerisms and look. For long time Flash fans, I don’t think the show could’ve handled it better. There were some really funny moments and the interaction between him and Barry was really enjoyable. There was also a lot of fun moments between Cisco and Breacher… who we learn is really named Josh and Gypsy is really Cynthia. I look forward to seeing how they move forward with the Elongated Man. Will he get the name? A costume? And will we meet Sue? It’s also interesting to see them move the Thinker story forward without him appearing this week.
Next week’s episode is Girls Night Out and we get both the Bachelor and Bachelorette parties. It looks like Barry gets something to make him drunk and Iris has to kick some butt. I’m guessing we’re getting a week off from the Thinker storyline as it would be too coincidental if a character Caitlin was dealing with while Barry was gone just happened to be on the bus that day.
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