Previously on The Flash, “Crisis on Earth-X, Part 4”
“Don’t Run” proved to be a somewhat satisfying hour for a mid-season finale, even though the ending twist was apparent almost immediately.
On the same night that Caitlin is abducted by Amunet (Katee Sackhoff), Barry is ambushed on the street by The Thinker and taken back to his lair. As team leader, Iris has to decide which rescue attempt to give priority because they’re wearing their resources thin. Never mind the fact that this wouldn’t be an issue if they hadn’t sent Wally off again, but whatever. Cisco’s vibes are no match for The Thinker’s mental blockers, and after weighing their abilities against each other, Iris decides Barry has a better chance on his own and directs the team to focus on Caitlin.
This time, Amunet doesn’t require Killer Frost’s muscle; she needs Caitlin’s medical expertise. Amunet’s latest meta-human acquisition, Dominic Lanse (Kendrick Sampson), a bus meta, put up a fight and got one of her metal shards lodged in his head for his troubles. Amunet needs Caitlin to operate in order to save him so she can deliver him to the buyer in perfect condition. With her powers dampened by some of Amunet’s tech, Caitlin and Dominic attempt to escape using his mind-reading ability but they’re quickly caught. Caitlin uses the successful surgery to try another escape, and this time she and Dominic are breached away by Cisco.
Meanwhile, The Thinker taunts Barry, teasing that Barry will never be able to out maneuver him. Barry can’t appeal to Marlize either, as she once again demonstrates her loyalty to her husband and whatever they have planned. Barry eventually escapes (after yet another tour of his city while a villain whips his ass), but his problems with The Thinker have just begun.
The West-Allen family and friends Christmas party is interrupted when the security alarm at Barry and Iris’ loft is tripped. Barry speeds home to find blood and a dead DeVoe on the floor. Dominic, Caitlin’s plus one for the Christmas party, calls Barry’s cell phone and reveals he’s actually The Thinker’s consciousness inside Dominic’s body. Barry knows he’s been set up. The murder weapon most certainly has Barry’s fingerprints on it because it was one knife out of set, which he and Iris received as a wedding present. The police were tipped off, and as they bang on Barry’s door, Barry considers running. As the Speed Force crackles through his body, Barry instructs himself: “Don’t run.” He’s promptly arrested by Singh.
Up To Speed
No matter what Olicity fans say, interrupting someone else’s wedding so you can get married too is simply rude. It was a dick move. People who were unbothered noted that they were correct and cited Iris and Barry’s non-negative reaction as proof that the act wasn’t a big deal. Well, the first few minutes of “Don’t Run” cleared up how Iris AND Barry feel: they think it was pretty shitty, too. Iris makes a sarcastic remark about the double wedding after she and Barry noted that their gift from Felicity and Oliver was something not on their registry. Barry sat the box firmly in the “return pile,” along with the 40 stolen toasters Mick Rory gave them. Now you would think folks wouldn’t have a problem with WestAllen’s completely normal and understandable reaction to an act that is considered, almost universally, fucked up. But they do and they think Iris’ remark was purposely done to pit the two women against each other. For the love of all that is holy and sane, people, please back away from the fandom. Shippers who lose all common sense ruin it for everyone.
Even though the outcome was predictable (there was yet another mention of DeVoe’s body deteriorating; and he promised Marlize despite what he looks like, he’ll still be him), the ending raised the stakes going into a winter, month-long break. Just like, “Therefore I Am,” this episode held a more mature tone, despite Ralph still being the worst.
Caitlin’s feelings of insecurity after learning the team gets along with Killer Frost was a surprising development, and a long overdue deeper dive into how Caitlin and Killer Frost can co-exist.
Barry’s decision not to run shows a maturity the character has pretty much lacked for two seasons. Not only could Barry have ran, moved the body, and cleaned up before the cops even busted through the door, but he could have run back in time to stop it from happening. Instead, he realizes the advice he gave Marlize about losing everything that’s good and positive about her marriage isn’t worth whatever DeVoe has planned. She insisted she could and would do the hard thing in order to preserve her marriage and wondered if Barry could say the same. In that moment, when he puts his hands up and accepts whatever fate awaits him, Barry did just that.
Not calling the body swap is understandable, but considering how they’ve already figured out that DeVoe purposely created the bus metas by pulling Barry out the Speed Force, and since they know Dominic is now the second bus meta Amunet has tried to sell, it’s baffling how the team failed to figure out the Dominic-Amunet-The Thinker connection.
I’m not so woke that I have a huge problem with The Thinker stealing the body of a Black man to act as his life support, but after last week’s Nazi-fest it does feel tone deaf at best and gross at the worst.
Leave your brief thoughts on the episode below and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast.
The Flash S4E9 Review Score
The Flash – S4E9 – “Don’t Run” | Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Keinynan Lonsdale, Hartley Sawyer