REVIEW: The Flash, S4 Ep04 – Elongated Journey Into Night

The Flash continues to deliver a highly satisfying and comical fourth season, this time bringing us an episode that introduced the DC Comics character Ralph Dibny (Hartly Sawyer), ak.a. The Elongated Man, to the Arrowverse. In addition to providing a fun plot involving a quirky new character, “Elongated Journey Into Night” delivers another comedic subplot involving Cisco confronting his pan-dimensional girlfriend’s father, Breacher, played by none other than Danny Trejo.

Hartley Sawyer as Ralph Dibny

The inclusion of Ralph Dibny into the series adds another wrinkle to Barry’s backstory. We find out that early in Barry’s career, Dibny planted false evidence in order to get a man whom he believed was truly guilty, arrested. This led to Dibny being fired, becoming a private investigator, and eventually finding himself on a bus that turned everyone into a meta-human. Knowing about the man Dibny was, Barry comes into this case with plenty of bias behind him. It’s pleasing to see Barry struggle with his bias and eventually have to rethink his impression on Dibny.

As for Dibny himself, he comes off as obnoxious when first confronted by Barry and Joe, but ultimately has some satisfying and earned character growth towards the episode’s conclusion. As suggested by the episode’s title, Dibny has gained the ability to stretch aspects of his body much like Marvel’s Mr. Fantastic or DC’s own Plastic Man. Unfortunately, he can’t control it too well, though some motivation from Barry in the end does allow Dibny to successfully stretch his arm and grab on to a flying helicopter. The effects used for Dibny’s stretching are competent and were played up mostly for laughs throughout the episode. Considering the episode ends with Barry having a change-of-heart about Dibny and offering him a spot at S.T.A.R. Labs, the tolerable effect shouldn’t be so bad to see in plenty of episodes to come.

Dibny’s involvement and complications with the Central City mayor felt a lot like something out of the film noir genre, but with a meta-human twist. There is a brief sense of an actual mystery even though the truth is discovered fairly quickly with little effort. The story was good enough for a Flash episode that has the sole purpose of introducing this character, plus it was very funny.

Gypsy and her father return home

The subplot of “Elongated Journey Into Night,” focusing on Gypsy’s father hunting Cisco without the use of their respective powers, allowed for even more laughs. Danny Trejo is the perfect choice to play the mean, scary, and stubborn father of Gypsy, and he and Carlos Valdes played off each other well. This subplot eventually collides with the main plot in a way that can be considered a bit convenient, but still very humorous, as we find out Breacher and Gypsy’s world was ravaged by stretching creatures known as Plastoids. Breacher mistaking Dibny for one of these, places Cisco in a position where he has to protect Dibny against Breacher, which ultimately earns Breacher’s respect.

“Elongated Journey Into Night” turned out as another satisfying addition to a very comedic and entertaining fourth season of The Flash. The episode provided plenty of laughs, introduced a fun character who had a satisfying arc, and showed us a flawed Barry blinded by his own bias. Additionally, the episode concluded with Joe finally giving in and telling the team about his baby on the way, and saw Barry putting a name (Devoe) to the person who has been behind this recent plan to bring about new meta-humans. Though, yet again, Devoe’s, or The Thinker’s plan is still not fully revealed, and I remain intrigued.

Next week Caitlin’s recent past comes back to haunt her after receiving a threat from her old criminal boss. This threat will most likely ruin her Girl’s Night with Iris, Cecile, and Felicity. Check out The CW’s official promo for “Girl’s Night Out” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Elongated Journey Into Night” in the comments.