Catching Up: The Flash Episode 410, "The Trial of The Flash"

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Trial of the Flash

This is one of those episodes of a superhero show where I wish I had open and free access to Bob Ingersoll. Bob's a comics fan and a lawyer, so don't let anyone tell you that the hobby stunts your education. Bob used to write a legal analysis column for comic book and television plotlines, whenever they'd get into the courtroom weeds. I wish I had been watching THE FLASH with him last night, as Barry Allen was put on trial for the murder of Clifford DeVoe, because while the body of DeVoe was definitely found in Barry Allen's home, and the two had had conflicts in the past, I don't see how the court ever established motive.

Nevertheless, that's where we are in the series. The Thinker -- Clifford DeVoe -- has found himself a better body in Dominic Lanse aka Brainstorm (KENDRICK SAMPSON) and has transplanted his consciousness into it. His discarded body was left as a corpse to frame Barry Allen (GRANT GUSTIN) and send him to prison, getting him out of the way for a much grander plan.

Cecile Horton (DANIELLE NICOLET) has taken a leave of absence from her position to act as Barry's defense attorney, standing off against prosecutor Anton Slater (HUMAN TARGET star, MARK VALLEY). Meanwhile, Joe West (JESSE L MARTIN) has persuaded Ralph Dibny (HARTLEY SAWYER) to use his sleazy private investigator techniques to dig up dirt on DeVoe's not-quite-widow, Marlize (KIM ENGELBRECHT). When they catch her in a kiss with Dominic, they think they have an edge against her -- forgetting that this isn't the 1950s, and people can have branching relationship structures.

The one thing Barry won't do in court is testify. If he did, he'd have to lie and perjure himself, because he won't let anyone know he's The Flash. He won't let Iris do it either, when she tries in one very awesomely filmed scene, after she has a tense confrontation with Marlize. Barry's prepared to go to jail rather than let his friends and family become targets. And with all the evidence pointing to him (really, really needed Bob on this!) all indications are that he's going to Iron Heights.

Meanwhile, Central City is under a Flash-level threat in the form of Neil Borman (RYAN ALEXANDER MCDONALD), another metahuman who is giving off radiation. He's completely unaware of his ability, and the radiation he's giving off is growing exponentially, to the point he could reach a Hiroshima level event. After Harrison Wells (TOM CAVANAGH) and Cisco Ramon (CARLOS VALDES) are unable to handle him, even with help from Caitlin Snow's alter ego, Killer Frost (DANIELLE PANABAKER), Barry has to excuse himself from the court proceedings in order to save the city, setting the stage for a unique contrast of speeches at the episode's climax, as Captain Singh (PATRICK SABONGUI) praises The Flash at the same moment Judge Hankerson (KEN CAMROUX-TAYLOR) is condemning Barry Allen.

THE TRIAL OF THE FLASH is an excellent juxtaposition of the light-hearted and the serious, a balance the series has achieved with great aplomb and continues to maintain. It also contains some excellent character development for Ralph Dibny when Joe gets desperate enough to plant evidence at the DeVoe home, and Ralph pulls from personal history to dissuade him. It was a great moment for Ralph, whose going to have to step up in the coming episodes as the hero of Central City in the Flash's absence.

THE FLASH is a nominee in this year's readers' poll for Best Serial, and GRANT GUSTIN and HARTLEY SAWYER are both nominated for Best Actor in a Series. Voting is open through the end of January 2018. Go here to make your voice heard in selecting the winner of this year's awards.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0