REVIEW: The Flash, S4 Ep18 – Lose Yourself

As season four of The Flash presses on, the series’ current big bad, DeVoe, grows more threatening and powerful with each episode that airs. With only two bus metas left for DeVoe to take over, including Ralph, “Lose Yourself” tackles an idea that’s practically bean beaten to death within the Arrowverse. “Lose Yourself” has our heroes contemplate whether one would become less of a hero if they were to murder their enemies, and what consequences would that act have on them and their friends as a whole. This time around Ralph is the one convinced that killing DeVoe would be the optimal choice, and Barry does everything he can to convince him otherwise. In addition to this, “Lose Yourself” also deals with Wells forming an addiction to his thinking cap and features a surprising fate for Caitlin and Killer Frost.

Ralph and the last bus meta

The kill-or-don’t-kill debate has always been a point of contention for superheroes. In The Flash‘s sister series, Green Arrow eventually finds a balance as Oliver will often kill the villains who give him no other choice, like Ra’s al Ghul or Damien Darhk. But even that series goes off the rails seeing Oliver question Dinah Drake’s desire to kill Cayden James this season. Much like that series, The Flash puts Ralph in Dinah Drake’s shoes, figuring it would be better for him to kill DeVoe than let him live. This argument begins to get old and frustrating after a while, especially when we the audience end up siding with the obvious solution. Yes, Ralph, and/or Team Flash, should kill DeVoe.

In this season of The Flash, DeVoe has been responsible for the death of numerous people and was also responsible Barry being imprisoned for a while due to him framing Barry for his own murder. Who knows how many lives might have been ruined in Central City while The Flash was out of commission. DeVoe needs to die. In “Lose Yourself” DeVoe becomes responsible for the death of two more bus metas, Ralph and newcomer Edwin Gauss, taking over their bodies and minds. The point is DeVoe is bad, and not only bad, but extremely powerful and near impossible to take down. So, why not just kill him. Yes, maybe The Flash himself shouldn’t do it, because you still need to have those “heroic” sensibilities, but not everyone needs to be Batman or Superman (to a certain extent). Why not have Ralph do it? Remember that time in Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Giles killed that dude before he could turn back into the evil Glory [link]. That was pretty cool. Maybe The Flash should have a moment like that. Until then, there is too much blood on Team Flash’s hands for allowing DeVoe to continue on.

All that being said, “Lose Yourself” is not a bad episode. While the “killing” thing is getting annoying having seen it on screen a hundred times since season one of Arrow, the episode is satisfying and maybe it’s good having DeVoe commit more and more unforgivable crimes so that when Team Flash finally does take him down (without killing him?) his end will be even more satisfying. For some reason, I’m expecting Marlize to be the one to eventually break free of DeVoe’s grasp and take him down herself, possibly sacrificing herself in the process.

This episode’s subplot involving Wells becoming addicted to his thinking cap turned out to be far less preachy than I thought it would. As soon as we have the inclination that something is wrong with Wells, the episode could have easily switched to becoming a “very special episode,” but fortunately it did not. Although, there were still some consequences for his addiction, mainly overloading his mind with black matter leading to his collapse and inability to assist for a while.

No more Killer Frost

The latest bus meta Edwin Gauss provided some funny moments, being a nonchalant hippie with the ability to breach into pocket dimensions. Too bad he’s dead.

Iris West had a bad ass moment fighting Marlize, resulting in her allowing herself to get stabbed in order to get the upper hand.

Lastly, Killer Frost possibly met her end, which was a little sad. While Caitlin is alive, some reaction happened between Frost and DeVoe which may have caused Caitlin’s alternate personality to disappear forever. While this is a little sad, it’s also a bit disappointing as Frost was beginning to become a superhero in her own right. Actually, that makes three people DeVoe murdered in this episode, if you consider Frost as a separate person, which The Flash definitely portrays her as.

Despite the “killing” debate becoming frustrating, “Lose Yourself” was a fine episode. I just hope Barry learns his lesson and either steps up his game against DeVoe or just gives in and ends him once and for all before whatever “the enlightenment” is comes to fruition.