Catching Up: The Flash Episode 606, "License to Elongate"

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Flash 606 License to Elongate

It's an episode that is, once again, centered on a team member other than the tituler Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) -- and this time, I'm not even complaining.

"License to Elongate" finds Barry preparing to mentor Ralph Dibny (HARTLEY SAWYER) to become the protector of Central City in his absence, planning to do so at a special press conference where Ralph will get a special symbol for his suit. Meanwhile, Ralph has a lead on his missing person's investigation, so Barry decides to tag along. Up until this very point, the Ralph we have seen has been played for laughs -- but tonight, in Ralph's world, we see a very different side of him: competent.

Dressed to the nines to infiltrate a gala attended by some of the most notorious bad people in the world, Ralph and Barry get caught up in a plot to utilize an orbiting satelite to rain down fire on any target in the world. The villain, Remington Meister (CARLO ROTA), is right out of the James Bond adventure, GOLDFINGER. In fact, not only are many of the story elements out of that film, but they're self-acknowledged as such, which keeps that element of geek fun that is the hallmark of some of the better episodes of THE FLASH.

In this environment, we find Ralph well-prepared for things he has to encounter. Where Barry wants to just super-speed through the place to find what they came for, Ralph has to teach Barry to approach things with finesse. And here this was supposed to be an opportunity for Barry to teach Ralph a thing or two. The student has, indeed, become the master. When Barry finally does use his powers, he sets of a metahuman detector, which in turn gets Ralph captured as well. It's Ralph's ingenuity that rescues the two of them, saves the day -- and prevents Washington DC from being incinerated.

Of course, there are also the subplots to contend with. We'll start with Cecile Horton (DANIELLE NICOLET) using her metahuman empathic powers to help the newly awakened -- and presumed dead -- Chester P. Runk (BRANDON McKNIGHT) ask out the girl of his dreams. But things go terribly wrong, as all of Cecile's deductions are way off base. Are her abilities finally fading, gained during her pregnancy? Or were the powers never really hers, and belonging to the baby (who is presumably in a day care somewhere). 

More interestingly (and let's be honest, any other subplot would be) is the interaction of Harrison "Nash" Wells (TOM CAVANAGH) and Central City Citizen intern, Allegra Garcia (KAYLA COMPTON). Wells has shown Team Flash the underground passage to where The Monitor is hiding out, but the way is loaded with Eternium, which prevents Flash from vibrating through it, and is also very reactive to impact. Wells says he needs to flood the zone with ultraviolet light in order to make the Eternium glow and see where he can safely dig around it. Thus, Allegra's powers come into play, although she is reluctant to use them for fear of becoming like her villainous cousin who weilds the same power set. Harrison convinces her that it is her choices, not her powers, that determines who she becomes, and she lights the place up.

Weirdly enough, we in the audience see very little Eternium glowing in the aftermath of the burst. It's almost like Wells is looking at the Eternium for some other purpose than digging around it. We theorize that the pattern looked almost like a map, left behind by The Monitor, rather than protection of where he is hiding.

One thing that does worry us, however, occurs when Elongated Man is passed the torch from The Flash. Ralph promises to the press that he will protect Central City -- "with my dying breath." That sounds a bit foreboding, and I hope it was just meant to be dramatic. Because before the credits roll, Ralph may have just made his last exhalation!

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0