Welcome back to Flashcaps, where we review previous seasons of the CW’s The Flash.
written by George Hatch
This week, The Flash takes a trial run at being a legal thriller.
Spoilers under the cut.
The Plot: Barry’s on trial for the murder of Clifford DeVoe. He’s found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. In the B-plot, Team Flash tracks down Fallout – a meta who’s emitting dangerous levels of radiation and who might actually blow up (they should have just given him some RadAway). Joe and Ralph try to dig up dirt on the DeVoes, and Ralph talks Joe out of making the same mistake he did all those years ago.
The Good: On the whole, this was a good episode. Barry’s acceptance that he can’t stop this; Joe going right to the edge of being a dirty cop; Iris’ desperation to save her husband, leading to her nearly announcing to the entire court that Barry’s the Flash; and Barry bringing Iris into “Flashtime” to really hammer home why she can’t. Even the B-plot with Fallout is good, and a little different. Just a guy who doesn’t know he’s poisoning people or even that he’s a meta at all. Captain Singh’s defense of Barry, as useless as it turned out to be, shows that even the incidental characters want to defend him.
Oh, and unless I missed it, Ralph wasn’t sexist at all this week. Progress!
The Bad: Of course, the actual trial is dogshit. First of all, it shouldn’t have been happening this quickly. The defense controls the speed of the process in order to assure due process, and Cecille should know better than to enter the trial portion without an adequate defense or three in her back pocket. She would have had numerous character witnesses to refute the idea that Barry’s a cold-hearted killer, including Ralph to show he’s a straight arrow (no pun intended, Oliver) now because of Barry’s influence. Furthermore, the idea that Barry – as skilled a CSI as there ever was – would make so many forensic mistakes in a murder he’s supposedly been planning for weeks now is something any halfway decent lawyer could use to establish reasonable doubt. Finally, the amount of leading questions and speechifying the prosecution does would leave the judge no choice but to declare a mistrial.
…What? I know stuff.
In the end, this could have been easily fixed. Instead of immediately having the trial, it could have been Internal Affairs asking questions, leading up to Barry being remanded to the custody of the state (which he should have been anyway, since this is a murder investigation and he has left the country unexpectedly in the past) and still going to jail to await his trial. Cecille came out of this episode looking incompetent, and you should never do that to Cecille Horton.
Like I said, I liked this episode overall. But the decision to rush the trial in order to hit narrative beats really does the heroes a disservice and makes me wonder if Central City is even more corrupt than Gotham.