You know what, I am totally cool with the big goofy dumb as nails episodes some times and I guess thats tonight. “The Elongated Knight Rises” despite the character development and the fun experience of seeing Barry deal with prison is a filler for whatever The Thinker has planned. Still, we get to see Ralph continue to grow and become a better hero now and since Barry is currently sidelined all of our other mains are given the chance to prosper. This is where Iris’ previously dumb “we are The Flash” speech actually starts to mean something. If Barry can’t save the city it should fall on his friends and the more responsible members of the Arrowverse at large to fill in the gaps. Vibe, Killer Frost, Elongated Man, all of them have a role to play and a reason to develop into something greater than they are now.
So, Axel is the Trickster this time around and we have brought Prank to the party. As far as villains go having our annual Trickster cameo is nice and all but it feels slightly lackluster in the grand scope of things. Axel does a great job of being flamboyant and goofy and Prank once unleashed is a fun edition, but they are just missing a vital component in Jesse. It doesn’t matter how many villains you have on screen and what they are bringing to the table, there is just something natural and fun about having Mark Hamill as the trickster and the level of energy he brings to the show. It also doesn’t help that Axel’s plan never amounts to anything above trying to goad Ralph into a fight. I mean the city is never in any real sort of danger like Jesse put it in. I mean it was two people, not two hundred. I’m sure Axel will work well with The Rogues fit they ever formally become a thing, but right now he is a second tier villain.
As for Ralph it was a bit of a retread in terms of his plot of discovering the will to fight and be a hero, but Hartley Sawyer definitely makes it sound good. Sawyer does a great job with Ralph’s hesitance after he finds out he can indeed still be hurt, and his reasoning for not wanting to go out into the field. It’s especially great when everyone is giving him shit about being a hero and how he needs to learn better impulse control. As Ralph grows from being the selfish douche he was it makes the backing of those around him that much stronger. What I really hope to see as we move forward is for Ralph to actually stick around and not fall to the wayside like Wally. Ralph has proven he deserves a full time slot on Team Flash.
As for Barry’s adventures in prison, meh. I mean it’s not like there is a whole lot they can do for his character in prison, but what they have done is working. I like the idea of Barry having to fight the urge to be a hero in prison but it still manages to work. The slow mo fight and the smoke grenade lockup were some nice instances of Barry using his power is smarter ways. I just wish we could see more of those types of slow mo fights when Barry is back being The Flash. I do like Barry’s new friend in Big Sir, I mean Goldberg doesn’t really have to do anything besides be imposing and back up Barry on screen. Still I would like to see some character development moving forward for Big Sir as he now plays a bigger role in Barry’s prison arc.
Overall I thought that this was a pretty enjoyable episode. I just don’t know how long Barry being in prison will continue to be an effective storyline.
Final Grade B
+Ralph continuing to mature
+Barry being in prison
-Trickster and Prank not compelling villains
-Don’t know how much drama will be in Barry in prison
-Ralph’s new costume looks good, I really hope he gets involved in the cross over next year
-Hey the girl who I am pretty sure is Dawn Allen is back and she writes in speedforce. neat.
-I love Cisco and Wells triggering Caitlin in a fun new way each week. Makes for a nice bit.