After last week’s epic, action-packed DCTV crossover, The Flash midseason finale was a slow, slow burn to a mind-blowing twist in “Don’t Run.” While there were many coincidences, sometimes it’s difficult to know if it’s just a matter of a lot of convenient occurrences or if there’s something greater going on. In this case, it was a perfect game of chess. The pieces were moved according to plan.
Before chaos ensued, Team Flash was able to have a little fun. Star Labs was decked out for the holidays. Perhaps a little bit too much silver as it looked like a tinsel factory exploded all over the lab. Festive times, though Ralph’s personality continued to rub the team members the wrong way. His over-the-top antics and humor needs to be toned down slightly. It’s grating to watch.
Coming off the high of finally getting married, Barry and Iris opened their wedding gifts. In a much needed honest moment, Iris fumed about Felicity’s inconsiderate interruption and co-opting of the wedding into her own. Given the potential stakes of not saying their “I Dos,” I was glad to see Iris vent about it. The seemingly insignificant moment of opening their gifts would end up being pivotal to the final moment of the hour.
Both Barry and Caitlin were captured by their foes. Coincidence? Barry was attacked by The Thinker and his flying chair in the middle of the street. This was weird and a little surprising that there wasn’t any publicity about it. I guess in Central City weird stuff happens all the time? Both of the flying chair scenes were ridiculous, especially the second one with The Thinker and The Flash flying through the air and crashing into buildings. Perhaps, that will factor into how Barry can save himself later.
Meanwhile, Caitlin was taken by Amunet in order to save a guy’s life. At first Caitlin refused to help, but ultimately she agreed to try and save him. In another coincidence, the guy, Dominic, was a Bus Meta and a telepath. Working together, Caitlin and Dominic were able to escape with help from Ralph and Cisco.
Harry helped Iris see that she had to chose to allocate Team Flash’s resources to find either Caitlin or Barry. In a difficult decision, she felt Barry was better suited at the moment to help himself and the team was able to find Caitlin at the right time.
Barry used his powers to manipulate The Thinker into believing he escaped and DeVoe released the force field around him. For one brief moment, Barry outwitted The Thinker. Or did he? DeVoe’s plan is complicated with multi-faceted threads that will be nearly impossible to untangle. Nothing is what it seems and instead it’s much, much worse. In the end, Barry was saved by his suit’s floatation device (Thanks, Cisco!) and DeVoe crashed into the water.
With Barry and Caitlin back home and with their Star Labs family, they were relieved and put the troubles behind them and went to Joe’s house to celebrate Christmas. Caitlin even invited Dominic to join them. Ralph made amends by (breaking into) decorating the West home for Christmas. All was right in their world with DeVoe gone and Amunet contained even if she was still out there.
All was not right. Instead, everything played out according to DeVoe’s plan. Everything that happened was orchestrated by him from Amunet taking Dominic, using Caitlin, getting Barry away from his team, and saving his own life.
The Thinker had the power he needed to transfer his mind into Dominic’s telepathic brain. DeVoe’s body was deteriorating and he found a young, strong body to transfer his powers to in order to live and continue his plan. As the midseason finale ended, The Thinkers’ plan remains a mystery, but we did learn two important things:
First, DeVoe said, “Let’s bring about the Enlightenment.” What that enlightenment is or how he plans on doing it, remains unknown. Oddly, the use of the word, “enlightenment” could be either reassuring or terrifying. Given DeVoe’s need for control and his actions, it’s more likely the latter.
Second, whatever DeVoe is planning, he needs Barry out of the way. He carefully set up Barry for his own murder with the restraining order, the “wedding” gift knife, and having his body left in Barry and Iris’ house. Does he have a reason to hate Barry? Or is this all part of what he wants to teach Barry?
DeVoe got the best birthday present in taking over Dominic’s body, while Barry and Team Flash will have a Christmas to remember after Barry’s arrest. Barry’s thought of “Don’t run,” was a mature and significant given his marriage to Iris and his past actions. Though, I’m not sure why he didn’t use his super-speed to clean up the murder scene. If you have those powers, why not just dump the body far, far away?
When The Flash returns next year, we’ll find out how Barry gets out of this mess. While the hour itself was very slow and didn’t feel very eventful, in the end, it all paid off with DeVoe’s body transfer and Barry’s arrest. The Thinker has proven himself to be the most dangerous foe the team has faced and perhaps one that they can’t beat.
May your Christmas be brighter than Barry Allen and Team Flash’s ended up being!
Rating: ★★★★ Very good