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The Flash - Lose Yourself - Review

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There have been some clear hits and misses this season, but "Lose Yourself" wasn't clearly in any of those camps to me. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it. The last episode ("Null and Annoyed") was easily one to forget, but the fact that I'm still not sure what to think about this week's show alarms me a bit. Am I starting to lose interest? Is the show just not written as well as it once was? I'm not sure, but I do hope this feeling of uncertainty about my favorite show passes soon.

The Mess That is (was) Ralph Dibney

First, let me give the writers credit for the Ralph Dibney twist. I had no clue that DeVoe would want Dibney's body for the permanent placement of his consciousness. I was sure that DeVoe would want Barry's body at some point, but it makes sense that Ralph's capacity to expand and morph into any and everything would prove useful for DeVoe's ever expanding mental capacity. It was well-played. Was Ralph's over the top and annoying personality what helped throw me off his trail of importance, yep? Do I buy that Ralph was truly an ass because he simply wanted to protect the "only other family he has besides his mother"? That would be a big fat NO!

The Flash creative team went stepping on a decent twist for Ralph by trying to make him into a more honorable guy before he died. We were already given the story that Barry dimed him out and got him fired from CCPD so there was room for us to feel some sympathy for Ralph if we wanted to. No need to make him a deep down inside sappy guy who couldn't bear to live without Team Flash. All of his bitterness and griping could not be credibly attributed to how much he loved everyone. "If I was leading this team", "Mr. and Mrs. Star Labs"- that name calling and whining just oozes love doesn't it? Letting him be the irritant that he was til the very end would have been fine. It felt as if they chose a path with Ralph, then tried to self-correct it with this episode. I just couldn't swallow it. The Ralph-DeVoe we ended up with is much more interesting than that last few DeVoes and definitely more interesting than the real Ralph.

The Mess that is Team Flash

I'm excluding Iris and Joe from this as far as fighting goes. Iris and Joe kicked ass, hands down. Beheading a samuroid and taking a samurai sword to the shoulder are the highlights of Team Flash's father/daughter unit. They fought valiantly with no powers and managed to do more damage to the villain's plans than anyone else, unless I missed something. It is quite possible that I did, so call me out- please. Did anyone else do anything? I truly can't remember, and I've watched "Lose Yourself" two and a half times.

Iris as team leader made some tough and ballsy calls, but a leader also knows when to step back. When Ralph was intent on hurling insults at her and Barry, she should have let Barry put him in his place. Sometimes a good read is necessary, and Ralph needed and deserved one. Not for being wrong about wanting to kill DeVoe, but for his penchant for disrespect and inability to disagree without being disagreeable. Now that he's dead, it's a non-issue, but if it comes up later with another team member or anyone they encounter, if Iris doesn't want to put them in their place, she should let her man be a man and handle it.

If Caitlin and Killer Frost's personality problem is still an issue after this, I'll die. Cisco just seems to be flailing as Vibe, so maybe a trip to see Gypsy is in order. I'd hate to see his character side-lined for a show or two, but the breaks to different parts of the multiverse or split screens with him and the rest of the team would be more satisfying at this point. Harry is becoming Thawne or is he? The end of last week made me hopeful; I'll be interested to see what juicing himself up with dark matter does- in the medical bay with Caitlin and Cisco, it didn't seem to have had any visible effect. Joe is there, but he isn't. Where are his Joeisms? Why hasn't he mentioned Cecile or the baby? Again, maybe he did and I missed it.

I don't know what Barry was doing after he gave Ralph the super sonic punch. He just seemed to shrink away. And once Ralph was dead, he disappeared into himself. I know he feels completely responsible for losing all of the metas to DeVoe and not protecting Ralph, so his feelings are understandable for now. Barry doesn't want villains to die, so his sadness for the loss of Ralph makes sense.

Barry's reaction to Iris doesn't seem out of step either. I've seen some commentary that says he would never turn her away when he's sad or that he didn't comfort her when she was wounded. I can't say that Barry never felt responsible for other deaths around him, but this one was probably so painful because he spent time trying to teach Ralph how to be a hero for others without killing and that very school of thought is what brought Ralph his demise. Iris would have done the thing she always does, tell him it isn't his fault- that he could not have known what DeVoe was up to. The truth is they all knew DeVoe was a dangerous person who was intent on killing Ralph and anyone who got in his way. So Barry wanting to sit with the effects of his philosophy is okay and something a hero has to do alone sometimes; the show did well with their decision to have Barry process Ralph's death in that way.

The Mess that is the DeVoes

Wasn't Marlize just drugged up and taping hostage videos of herself? Is she still being drugged? Is Clifford still keeping her in a time loop whenever he wants or was that just until he acquired the body he needed? Now that he's back to looking like himself, maybe he doesn't have to worry so much about Marlize's wavering. Who knows? What is obvious is the pure love they seemed to once have is long gone.

The enlightenment- I still have no idea what that means. Not even remotely. What does it even mean for Clifford and Marlize? What will they gain? The taking of Ralph and all the other bus metas' powers has been entertaining, but what is the plan ultimately? It's unfolding a bit too slowly for me. They don't have to give it all away, but give us something. Finding the happy medium between good plot pacing and giving all or nothing away must not be easy. It can be done though, because The Flash has accomplished just that in the past.

Other Things I was Thinking as I Watched:

*Does the disconnected feeling I have to Team Flash have something to do with DeVoe's plan? Is Barry being isolated from everyone because he will be the one to find the breakthrough? That would make me happy.

*The hippy forest meta provided a few laughs.

* Killer Frost's quip about being ready to get blood on her jacket as they got ready to fight was eye roll inducing.

*Barry and Iris will be just fine.

*Joe using his detective skills on Harry was very satisfying.

*Marlize, honey you are in an abusive relationship. Wake up please.

*Ralph morphing into Clifford was good special effects!

Well, here is hoping next week's inclusion of Captain Cold helps tilt that episode a little more towards the hits. This one was a bit uneven to me, and after thinking and writing about it I'm still not sure where to put it.

What did you think of "Lose Yourself"? Sound off below. Thanks for reading!

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