This article contains spoilers for the Flash season 4 episode – the Elongated Knight Rises.
Tonight’s episode of the Flash jumped back and forth between a Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) story and a Barry (Grant Gustin) story. It starts with Ralph stopping a rather hapless bank robber with hostages and a bomb strapped to his chest. He demands an eco-friendly car, an airplane and a salad because he’s watching his carbs. Ralph sneaks the hostages away and then confronts the bomber, using his body to contain the blast and saving the day. Then he acts goofy on television and gets tagged with the name Stretchy-Man. Meanwhile Barry meets a few folks in prison who don’t like him, he also meets Axel Walker (Devon Graye), the second Tickster who seems to have gotten a hold of a bad pudding. And we get an introduction to Big Sir (Bill Goldberg). Iris (Candice Patton) comes to visit Barry at 1:30, which she plans to do every day.
The pudding gets Axel take to the infirmary where his mother Zoey Clark (Corinne Bohrer) is waiting to bust him out. She was Prank to Mark Hamill’s Trickster now and in the 90’s Flash series. Once out, Axel wants to do something to get his father’s attention, so he goes after the Stretchy-Man and Ralph has no problem dealing with the exploding bouncing ball or the cardboard tube with ninja stars in it. But the Acid water gun hurts him… badly. Vibe (Carlos Valdes) has to come and pull him out. This shakes Ralph badly as he had thought he was indestructible. Barry at one points stops an inmate uprising and at another point gets jumped but Big Sir saves him. Turns out that Henry Allen had saved the big man when his appendix burst and no doctors were on site. Henry convinced the warden to let him operate and saved Big Sir. He returned the favor by saving Henry’s son.
Later Big Sir gets jumped by the same guys and since the cameras were taken out, Barry could use his powers to save him. Bonding the two men. And back in Central City Zoey has gone off her meds so she can help Axel. They take hostages and threaten to melt them with the acid, as demonstrated on a Beebo doll, if ‘Stretch Armstrong’ doesn’t come to play their game. Cisco has a new suit ready for Ralph, but he refuses to go. He’s afraid and doesn’t want to die. So, Vibe and Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) go in his place while Harry (Tom Cavanagh) tries to make the acid inert. Ralph goes to try and break Barry out of Iron Heights to save the day, but Barry knows he can’t go and gives Ralph a very good talk about rising up and overcoming fear.
When Killer Frost and Vibe are taken and Harry can’t take out the Acid, Ralph returns just in time to go help. Iris gives him his new suit and channeling his best Ash Williams, Ralph says, “Groovy” and then goes and saves the day, which included him trying to shield his teammates from the acid, but to his luck Harry had gotten it fixed to not hurt him. Ralph again talked to the media and told them his name isn’t stretchy-man and accidentally named himself the Elongated Man. Which everyone figures will probably stick. The episode ends with Cisco and Ralph going for coffee yet neither brought their wallet, but the strange girl from the wedding who talks too (Jessica Parker Kennedy) much steps in and pays. She again talks to much and they eventually leave. We cut to her sitting at a table smiling and writing in a journal the same symbols Barry was writing in the season premiere. Could this be the written language of the future?
This was a good episode with a lot of fun comedic beats and putting Elongated Man up against the Trickster worked very well. It was nice to see Ralph take that final step into becoming a hero and starting to be accepted by the rest of the Team… not completely accepted, but he’s getting there. Also it’s interesting to see Barry as the mentor with him. With the Big Sir story being introduced, there is a good chance that Barry will be in prison a few more episodes, which I didn’t think they were going to do, but it makes sense. But I would still expect him to be out sometime in the 14th episode. It was nice that the brought back Bohrer to play Prank, thought I wish Hamill could’ve appeared as well. It’s obvious that they’re just borrowing the name Big Sir as he doesn’t seem to have any powers, is of normal intelligence and his first name is Dave and not Dufus.
I know this season the writers wanted to bring back the humor, but the show seems a bit schizophrenic when jumping back and forth between Barry in prison and Ralph protecting the city. But it looks like we’re going to get another episode of that with next weeks Honey, I Shrunk Team Flash episode, as the team tries to help clear Big Sir’s name.