Catching Up: The Flash Episode 414, "Subject 9"

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Flash 414 Subject 9 - Izzy Bowin, The Fiddler

After a brief hiatus that felt like an eternity, THE FLASH is back, in an episode that is both good and still very critiquable.

Having realized that the body-hopping Devoe (now played by SUGAR LYN BEARD) is targeting all of the metahumans  created on the bus that got swamped by dark matter, Team Flash has created a "buddy system" to keep tabs on Ralph Dibny (HARTLEY SAWYER), aka The Elongated Man. But that still leaves them with four more metahumans to track down.

Enter Izzy Bowin (MIRANDA MACDOUGALL), aspiring country singer who's about to hit her big break. When we're introduced to her, she's performing Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood's "Something Bad About to Happen." Ralph and Barry (GRANT GUSTIN) have tracked her down, and try to convince her that she's in danger because someone wants her for her powers. Having severe trust issues, Izzy strikes out with a blast of sonic waves akin to ARROW's Black Canary, only not originating from her vocal chords. This allows her to get away.

So the next time they find her, Ralph and Barry go as Flash and Elongated Man, with Vibe (Cisco Ramon, played by CARLOS VALDES) in tow. During this meeting, Devoe appears, and uses all of his (her?) collected powers to defeat the three heroes. Surprisingly, however, Izzy's sonic attack weakens Devoe, sending him into retreat. Realizing they may have found an edge over Devoe, they convince Izzy to come back to S.T.A.R. Labs, where Barry plans to train her to better use her abilities.

But Izzy's plan is merely survival, which stands in contrast to Barry's plan to make her a hero. The team give her a violin to use as a focus for her ability to manipulate sound as a weapon, as Ralph and Barry stand in as targets for her to hit. But Barry pushes too hard when it comes to having her hit moving targets, and Izzy gets hurt in the process. Having had enough, Izzy sets out on her own to confront Devoe. Flash and Elongated Man rush to help her, but Devoe has already established an impenetrable force field between them. This is not going to end well for the newly christened Fiddler.

Parallel to these events, Harrison Wells (TOM CAVANAGH) has been trying to befriend D.A. Cecile Horton (DANIELLE NICOLET). He even refers to her every time he greets her that way, like it's her name: "D.A. Cecile Horton." He learns that her recently acquired mind-reading power has been causing her to lose sleep, because Joe apparently dreams loudly, so he develops an unweildy helmet to dampen her mental abilities, but it's too bulky to be comfortable so she still can't sleep. Wells gets agitated and deals with the failure as he usually does, with a fit of rage fueled largely by his failed interactions with his daughter, Jesse, on Earth 2. However, he does come up with a much smaller, lighter version of the device, with which she is delighted. And when they discuss how it works, and how it could work, they simultaneously come up with the idea for the Cerebral Inhibitor, the device Savitar hinted at in Season Three as a weapon they used against Devoe. (You'd have thought the team would be working on building such a device the entire season, since they had such a lengthy heads up!) 

But there are apparently still some bugs in the device, because this isn't the end of the battle with The Thinker -- who's suddenly a lot more fallible in his plans than he was earlier in the season, causing his wife (KIM ENGELBRECHT) to question whether or not he is losing his cognitive abilities. Might the accumulation of all the different powers be diluting his brains ability to focus on just one power, super speed thought?

Also, Barry, now out of prison, tries to return to work at CCPD, but is put on indefinite leave by Captain Singh (PATRICK SABONGUI), due to distrust among some of the officers and the city's newest politician, Mayor Van Buren (KENDAL CROSS, CAPRICA). Now unemployed, Barry finds work with Ralph in his private detective business.

"Subject 9" has a few flaws in it, beginning with the rather unimaginative title. Even a simple "The Fiddler" would have been better than the generic one. However, what's more troubling is the way the series is chewing up and spitting out these new-yet-classic Flash villains as The Thinker absorbs their powers and takes over their bodies. I still miss Becky Sharpe aka Hazard, and it seems that almost all of the bus metas are going to be used up before the season closes. (Ralph better stick around!) Also, the relationship development between Ralph and Izzy makes me ponder who really moves the fastest on this show, Ralph or Barry.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0