5 Point Discussions – The Flash S4.17: “Null and Annoyed”

by Sage Ashford

Gypsy’s father Breacher turns to Cisco for help!  And one of the remaining metahumans being hunted by DeVoe is found. Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.

1. Danny Trejo is back to play Breacher for another episode, but the tone of this one is a bit different. Though the character always has a bit of comedy to it, as Breacher is basically Batman run through as many ridiculous 90’s comic tropes as possible, it looks like the character’s journey has come to an end. He seeks Cisco out because his powers aren’t working properly, and he acknowledges Cisco’s talent at dealing with metahuman super-science. After a few tests, they realize that the problem is essentially that he’s…old. Caitlin surmises that his body simply isn’t able to produce the immense amount of energy it would take to use his vibrational blasts.

That’s a unique place for this to go, as it suggests that all these characters will eventually be forced to have their journeys come to an end…if they live long enough. The conflict for this is Cisco being unwilling to simply tell Breacher why his powers are fading, going far enough to even lie to him about a cure just so he can have a chance at seeing his girlfriend Gyspy again. In an otherwise solid story, this was the only false chord for me: Breacher literally spends half his time hunting down criminals, and the other half talking about the criminals he’s hunted down. Why would you risk throwing him back into the field when he’s not operating at his best?

Still, by the end things wind up in a fun enough direction, as Breacher is actually smart enough to retire…but also offers Cisco a job working for the organization he and his daughter Gypsy are apart of! Hopefully this isn’t a way to write Carlos Valdes out of the series, but if not I can’t imagine the significance of bringing up this storyline. If Cisco’s actor isn’t leaving then of course the character isn’t.

2. Bethany Brown wasn’t given much to the role of Null, because at this point the series is so busy wrapping up the main plot and each character’s sub plots that they don’t have adequate time to develop their villain, but she was still likable. She managed to outsmart our heroes several times, even if a few of those times didn’t really make much sense. But while she wasn’t around much, I imagine that we’ll be seeing her again…since Melting Point is on their side I can’t help thinking the way this story eventually goes is all the remaining metas work together to take out DeVoe.

3. The hero lesson Barry had to learn this week was hard to take seriously. After spending half the episode trying to teach Ralph to be serious and come up with proper plans to take down DeVoe and capture the remaining metahumans being hunted, Barry eventually gives up and takes him out of the field. But after Null manages to pull a fast one on Barry and escape even after The Flash catches her, Iris suggests that maybe he should try and learn from Ralph.

Mind, the beginning of this episode features Barry and Ralph training in an intense VR session against DeVoe, barely managing to get the drop on him…only for Ralph to drop all pretense of trying to capture DeVoe and instead start cracking jokes at the end. His actions nearly get Barry injured when Null gets the drop on them, and by the time Barry puts him on the shelf the entire schtick has worn thin. But somehow the answer here isn’t to get better and make better plans…but to derp around in hopes that things will go well?

4. Though we didn’t get much focus on it, the real meat of this episode is what happens with Marlize and DeVoe. Their once loving relationship has now completely fallen apart, as Marlize discovers her husband has been abusing the happiness-inducing tears of the Weeper in order to keep her docile, combining that with his ability to mind wipe to keep her from remembering that he’s been forcing her into doing whatever he wants.

The twist doesn’t seem obvious at first, but the creeping horror just continues to grow until Marlize finally realizes the truth. She attempts making a message telling herself to escape, only to discover something much worse…she’s already figured out the truth once before. And always just as DeVoe discovers she’s wise to his ruse. We never learn just how many times he’s done this to her, but it’s definitely turned Marlize completely into a sympathetic character. And that sucks, because it was great to have a husband-wife villain pairing, but Thinker’s villainy has sunken to depths that even Marlize wasn’t willing to go, and now we’re again back to having just one megalomaniac threatening the city again.

5. The other twist of the episode is Harry relying on the original Wells/Thawne’s super secret room to charge his thinking cap…along with the return of the futuristic AI that Thawne brought with him to the past, Gideon. It’s weird just how many tools Team Flash has available to them that they typically just ignore, but as we enter into the final stage of this season the pieces are finally beginning to fall into place for the end of the Thinker. He might be smarter than all of them put together…but he’s probably not smarter than a computer from ten centuries in the future he doesn’t even know they have.

The Flash is airs on The CW, Tuesday nights.