As they say, it’s darkest before the dawn. Well it got pretty dark tonight and doesn’t look like it will be getting better for the team. “Lose Yourself” was a definite step up in quality in comparison to last week, and even though we don’t know DeVoe’s end game is we are all the closer to it as he has captured and taken over all of the bus metas. This definitely puts our team in a dark place, but now they have the added motivation to not only defeat DeVoe, but find a way to undo all of his control on Ralph and the others. It’s simple really at the end of the day, Barry constantly talks about saving everyone he possibly can. Well, now is his chance to prove just how much of a hero he can truly be, becoming the symbol Oliver has always told him he can be.
First off lets start with the weakness of the episode, the first fifteen to twenty minutes of the episode. Yes, I realize we had to get The Folded Man into the pipeline for the purpose of the entire back half of the episode. I mean there were definitely some nice funny moments with Folded Man dropping off his mail, or his heart to heart with Ralph about how he travels. All of this material is well and good in an entirely different, meta of the week type episode. But, with what transpired in the back half it just ended up feeling out of place int terms of actually growing the characters. Take for example Ralph, he was basically two different characters this week the pre Folded Man and post Folded Man. While the back half truly elevated Ralph into one of the best characters in the entire series, I just ended up wishing we got to see more of that Ralph.
Speaking of Ralph, man was he a great character for most of the season. I mean sure there were some hiccups in his character arc, but at the end of the day Hartley Sawyer was awesome as Ralph. I mean granted this was his episode tonight, but all of his important conversations with Barry, Caitlin, and The Folded Man all just worked on such a good level that you could see and understand where that development was coming from. Ralph wanted to save his family, the first true one he had ever known, and at the end of the day following Barry’s rules and trying to be the man that family wanted him to be got him killed. It sad, he died the hero he always wanted to be but at the same time left massive scars on those who love him the most. It’s definitely satisfying though to finally see Ralph be taken over by DeVoe and I was looking forward to Sawyer playing a bad guy, however having Neil Sandilands back in the saddle is a welcome surprise.
As for the rest of the team, pretty much everyone had a good arc tonight. I loved watching Barry convince Ralph that killing isn’t the answer to their problems, even more so when his words unfortunately led to Ralphs death. It was a beautiful and sad moment watching Barry pack up Ralph’s office, you could see the pain and Grant Gustin did a great job is the large and smaller moments tonight. The conversation at Star Labs and that final packing up being the standouts. I mean I know the team will probably find a way to save Ralph considering how much tv I have watched in my life, but the weight of those moments felt permanent and that helps sell everything.
Caitlin and Joe also had really nice arcs tonight as Caitlin finally learned to accept Killer Frost only to lose her due to The Thinker having Melting Point’s powers. I don’t really want Caitlin to be powerless as it will make her a less important member of the team, but I think there are some upsides in terms of character development. Joe however was a stand out, I am guessing that is because he really doesn’t get anything to do anymore but having confront Harry about his addiction to the cap was a highlight of the episode. Of course you have to hit rock bottom before you change and now it looks like Harry is truly at the bottom.
Overall it was a really strong episode and I am looking forward to finding out exactly what this enlightenment is all about.
Final Grade B+
+Excellent work by Hartley Sawyer and Grand Gustin
+Exciting and heartbreaking end
+Good material for secondary characters
+Cool fight scenes
-First half of the episode feels out of place with the rest of the material
-Yes, Iris vs The Mechanic was a cool fight, but who doesn’t want to see Joe fight a samurai robot.
-I realize Barry drinking the alcohol was supposed to be symbolic, but its still dumb when you know how quickly he metabolizes it.
-Stupid pet peeve but seriously, just ask Gideon about DeVoe.
-Just when you think Captain/Citizen Cold is gone he still manages to come back somehow. I really think Wentworth Miller is just bored or they actually promised him a Rogues season finally.