REVIEW: The Flash, S4 Ep10 -The Trial of the Flash

The Flash‘s mid-season finale, “Don’t Run,” concluded with Clifford Devoe inhabiting the body of the telepathic meta-human, Victor, and framing Barry for his murder. All evidence, including Devoe’s lifeless body found in Barry’s apartment, points to Barry being the murderer. Now it’s time for Barry go on trial for his apparent crime. “The Trial of the Flash” not only aims to show just that, but also introduces a new meta-human dubbed Fallout, who causes radiation sickness, and also sees Joe West and Ralph Dibny attempt to get some dirt on Devoe’s wife, Marlize.

This trial is not looking good

For the most part, the subplot of this episode about Fallout not being able to control his meta-human abilities felt like an afterthought. As if the episode included a villain-of-the-week because that just what the show has to do. Although, as the episode progressed Fallout’s predicament becomes tied with that of Barry’s. Barry is eventually forced to leave his trial before judgement is placed, in order to stop Fallout, along with Cisco and Killer Frost. This certainly didn’t help Barry’s case whatsoever, but considering the mountains of evidence against him, Barry leaving his trial doesn’t add much fuel to the fire.

While the trial served as the episode’s main thread, the more interesting element of this week’s episode involved West and Dibny. The two go on a bit of a side quest, as Dibny is commissioned to utilize his private investigator skills in order to get some dirt on Marlize and place her in a bad light for the jury. Unsurprisingly, their first plan backfires as Marlize has a pretty good, albeit odd, reason for being seen kissing a man that is not her husband. While it’s not explicitly stated in the episode, it may be reasonable to surmise that getting caught kissing in front of an open window by Dibny’s camera was another piece of Devoe’s plan. He would be smarter than that.

West and Dibny’s quest gets a bit more compelling as West decides to throw caution to the wind and plant damning evidence against Marlize at her home. Dibny, who has been in a similar predicament before, becomes the voice of reason and warns Joe of the consequences of his potential actions. Fortunately, Joe does not go through with it, maintaining his innocence and keeping his hands clean, after hearing Dibny’s wise words.

As for Barry’s trial, it’s over pretty quickly. True life cases like this can take months to complete, but this is television so I won’t complain that Barry was found guilty and sentenced in what seemed like a day or two. Even though Barry had a great lawyer on his side, the evidence against him is still too damning and Barry’s only defense would be admitting he is The Flash and blowing the lid on who Devoe is. Barry maintains his cool throughout despite the possible tribulations he may face, and even prevents Iris from blurting out his secret identity to the court. If you thought Barry learned every possible speedster ability there is, think again, as he developed a new ability that allows him to move so fast that both he and a person he touches, Iris in this case, can appear as if the world has paused around them. Whether this ability will be utilized later in the season is unclear, but it would be nice if it was and we received some payoff.

The real villain-of-the-week

“The Trial of the Flash” concluded with Barry found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. This status in Barry’s life was actually hinted at in season one’s finale when Barry first intentionally traveled back in time and saw glimpses of himself in prison, as well as a first sighting of Killer Frost and the development of The Flash museum, though we haven’t gotten that far in the timeline yet. Barry being found guilty definitely wasn’t a surprising turn of events, considering the evidence and the strong case by the prosecutor played Mark Valley (Fringe, Human Target). What was surprising and a bit coincidental was Barry finding himself in the same prison cell his father was in. While this was a huge coincidence, hopefully seeing his father’s name will give Barry some hope in his current predicament.

“The Trial of the Flash” was a decent return for the series, but didn’t supply us with any shocking revelations. Personally, I would have liked to get to know more about Devoe’s plan of “enlightenment” hinted at in “Don’t Run,” but there is still a lot of the season to go. Guest star Mark Valley did a good job at playing a believable prosecutor assigned to prove Barry’s guilt. Joe and Dibny’s side quest served as a strong and compelling character moment for Joe. While I didn’t care much for this week’s meta-human problem, I cared even less for the use of Killer Frost, who is knocked out almost immediately into battle with Fallout. Also, what could probably be the biggest piece of evidence that proves Barry’s innocence would be the the fact that Devoe’s stabbed wounds were received postmortem. While it would be interesting to see Devoe think his way out of this piece of evidence, it’s doubtful we’ll be seeing this come up any time soon.

Next week Barry will continue to acclimate to prison life while Dibny, a.k.a. The Elongated Man, will have to prove himself to be a real hero as The Trickster returns to Central City. Check out the trailer for “The Elongated Knight Rises” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “The Trial of the Flash” in the comments.