[Review] The Flash Episode 4×04: “Elongated Journey Into Night”

Welcome back to Flashcaps, where we review previous seasons of the CW’s The Flash.


written by George Hatch

Before we dig into “Elongated Journey Into Night”, I need to make a small note about my criticism of last episode’s pacing. Apparently last season was so unrelentingly dark that a decision was made to keep this season light and humorous, which…okay, yeah, I can definitely see that. Any season which gives us Barry Allen unironically cosplaying as Chris Gaines is way too dark and needs to take a step back. My criticism about lighthearted content and slapstick in the wake of horrifying and grisly murders still stands, though.

Spoilers under the cut.

On with the episode. This week’s fare brings us the introduction of Ralph Dibny…who was listed as one of the dead in Season One. But we’ve had a Flashpoint since then, so apparently he was resurrected. Ralph, even before we meet him, is not the same character he is in the comics. It’s telling that even before we meet Ralph, Barry and Joe instantly dislike him due to their shared history. When we meet him ourselves, he’s amazingly sexist, a glutton (Barry even tries to fat-shame him at one point; what the hell, Allen?), and lives like he’s allergic to clean things.

He’s also an entitled prick who believes life owes him because he screwed up. See, Ralph once planted evidence in a murder investigation because he was sure the husband murdered the wife. Barry exposed him and Ralph was kicked off the CCPD. But instead of accepting what he did was wrong, Ralph falls further and further from grace by, among other things, blackmailing the Mayor of Central City with saucy photos of an affair. This also happens to give us the plot of the episode, as the mayor’s corrupt as fuck and orders Dibny’s execution. I’ll have more to say on Ralph in later reviews, because hoo boy is there a lot to talk about, but I will say that in terms of “compromised hero with a heart of gold”, Hartley Sawyer does a good job making it work.

The rest of the episode is focused on Cisco, Cynthia, and Breacher, Cynthia’s father. Breacher, played by the legendary Danny Trejo, is there to hunt Cisco in order to make sure he’s worthy of his daughter. It goes about like you’d expect: Cisco runs scared, Harry convinces him he’s got more than superpowers, Cisco sets a trap from which Breacher easily escapes. It’s all pretty amusing, but the ending when Cisco has to face off against Breacher to protect Ralph is well-earned, far more earned than Ralph’s second chance.

Some quick hits to close things out:

  • Barry suggests that maybe Ralph was right to manipulate evidence. What. The. Actual. Fuck. Have the showrunners not yet learned after three seasons that the ends do not always justify the means? This is making me unreasonably angry, so I have to move on.
  • When Ralph sneezes, his face explodes. But he’s somehow able to pull it together before he gets the stabilizing agent. That’s a big plot hole.
  • Plastoids destroyed Breacher’s homeworld. Plastoid is an old Daredevil villain. I don’t know whether it was a reference or a coincidence, but a Flash/Daredevil crossover would be interesting, wouldn’t it?

That’s all for this week. Next episode, it’s time for a bachelorette party! This should be fun, and by fun I mean excruciatingly painful if the IMDB score is anything to go by. See ya next week!

PREVIOUS | NEXT

Seasons 1-5 of The Flash are available now on Netflix. George Hatch can be found stretching his writing muscles on Twitter at @Raeseti.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.