5 Point Discussions – The Flash 4.13: “True Colors”

by Sage Ashford

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1. A chance argument with an old friend of Ralph’s leads to him developing a new power: shapeshifting. I’d never thought about it before, but having absolute control over one’s cellular structure probably SHOULD grant the ability to resemble other people at will. This is a major boost in power for Dibny, and while I appreciate that he has some growing pains with what’s probably the highest-level power he’s going to get, I do wish it hadn’t come with a sudden dip in confidence.

This week Ralph becomes consumed with doubt after being told that he always lets his friends down, but I feel like we just did a “Dibny loses faith” story with the story of Trickster and Prank. Why revisit that well so soon? This could have been the perfect opportunity to see him have fun with his powers for once. Instead, this story just continues the process of making Killer Frost more like Occasionally Violent, Mostly Helpful Frost after she had to give him a pep-talk near the end.

2. If you were wondering how Barry was going to get out of being sold to Amunet, this week has not one, but TWO potential solutions for you. When Iris comes for her usual visit with Barry, she brings Cecile along to discuss their case. With Cecile’s mind reading powers, she learns the warden plans to sell him and the other metas the Thinker’s created to Amunet Black. From there, Team Flash makes plans to free him using Ralph’s new powers.

In the meantime, after Warden Wolfe shows Amunet all the metas he intends to sell to them, they make plans to break out over being turned into weapons for someone else’s benefit. Their escape is easily one of the best parts of this episode. As a CSI, Barry’s supposed to be portrayed as smart but he’s often forced to play second fiddle to super-geniuses like Caitlin, Cisco, and Harry. Stripped of them, he’s forced to work on his own and does a pretty sweet McGyver impression to break himself and the others metas out of their cells. He’s also a natural leader, maintaining a steely cool while he around a group that’s half full of people who’ve tried to kill him fairly recently, leading them out of the anti-meta part of jail and into somewhere they can use their powers.

3. Ralph blows his cover when attempting to meet Amunet as Warden Wolfe, but it’s not exactly the biggest surprise. His personality doesn’t exactly lend itself to his new stealthy powers, and combined with already present doubts he falls apart. When the deal gets ruined, the team is forced to try and attack the deal directly, and that’s where things get a little ridiculous. There’s so much apprehension about the having to do a direct attack, even though they’ve got Killer Frost, Vibe, and Elongated Man working together. That’s like, half a Justice League team already! As much as I love watching Team Flash and their journey as superheroes, there’s no point if they’re all going to be this helpless when Barry’s not around.

4. There’s trouble in paradise for the villains, as the divide between the loving DeVoes turns into something more permanent after a very gross twist ending. DeVoe’s been creeping his wife Marlize out since he took over Dominic Lanse’s body while trying to continue their romance as if nothing had changed. This episode, he takes it over the edge–much like Cecile, he’s been abusing his new telepathic powers to read his spouse’s mind. But unlike Cecile, the rapid increase in powers has amplified an already controlling nature within, and he refuses to talk things out with his wife. Instead, he keeps pushing her, even as his plan starts to go further and further off the rails.

Just as Barry’s escape plan goes awry, DeVoe arrives on scene. He incapacitates all of the guards long enough to steal the powers from all of the bus metahumans, and transfers his mind from Dominic into Becky. He kills Wolfe and vanishes, none of which had been apart of his plan up til now. It’s a particularly sad moment for Becky, who had experienced quite a bit of growth since being captured, and has a really awesome moment where she takes out Amunet, Warden Wolfe and his guards, and all the bus metas after Wolfe rats Barry’s identity out to the metas.

It was pretty clear that Marlize and Clifford’s relationship wasn’t going to lead anywhere positive, but I was hoping their twisted love would at least keep them united even into their end. Instead, Marlize’s desire to keep her husband from reading her mind leads to him drugging her into submission by the end of the episode. It’s sad, but Marlize has always been following DeVoe’s dreams rather than trying to achieve her own, so one supposes it was only a matter of time before she got burned for being in his way.

5. This episode is a mostly solid until the tail end. Ralph takes advantage of his shape-shifting abilities to appear at Barry’s next trial as the actual DeVoe. The problem is, this raises like a billion different questions, because the body of Clifford DeVoe IS dead. His body should’ve been delivered to someone for an autopsy, that report would’ve had to have been officially signed and would’ve been shown in trial. Did the DA just talk about a bunch of circumstantial evidence to get Barry placed in jail?

Ugh. Well, silly or not Barry’s out–something else that works against DeVoe’s plans–and now he’s free to try and figure out whatever the Thinker’s goal is. But they’ve also realized that at some point DeVoe will settle on another meta to take their powers: Ralph Dibny, another person present on the bus when Barry exited the Speed Force. Uh-oh.

The Flash airs on The CW on Tuesday nights.

Sage Ashford

A writer with way too many hobbies, Sage can often be found catching up on the latest anime, or reading a stack of comics between Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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