The Flash S04E13 “True Colors” REVIEW

The Flash S04E13 “True Colors” REVIEW

0 comments 📅07 February 2018, 15:14

Airing in the UK on Sky 1 later this year
Jonathan Butler & Gabriel Garza
Director: Tara Nicole Weyr

Essential Plot Points:

  • The Warden introduces Amunet to his own, off the books, powers block. Built on the remains of Iron Heights and crammed full of metas like Becky Sharpe, Sylvert Rundin…and Barry Allen.
  • Amunet is delighted and buys every single meta he has.
  • Ralph goes to his office and finds Earl Cox asleep on his couch. Earl is a PI, former colleague of Ralph’s and has a big score. Ralph isn’t interested and Earl tells Ralph he’ll let his new friends down and to call his old friends when he does.
  • Cecile and Iris visit Barry in prison. The Warden lies to them about Barry being in an altercation and…CECILE’S TELEPATHY TO THE RESCUE!
  • They fill the team in; they have to get Barry out before he’s sold at midnight.
  • And then Ralph comes in. He explains about Earl and, as he describes him…he becomes him.
  • Ralph FREAKS OUT. But Iris figures it out; they can have Ralph change into the Warden and get Barry out.
  • In the Meta Wing, Barry and the others are trying to figure out how to escape. They’re watched by the DeVoes. DeVoe is weirdly amused by the fact this puts a wrench in their plan. Marlize is  FAR from happy. DeVoe tells her it’s not what they’re going to do, but what Barry is going to do…
  • Ralph is having trouble changing into the Warden.Cisco gets him to focus and it works, briefly, but the strain is too much and Ralph passes out.
  • Barry, meanwhile has been going full Macguyver and short circuits the doors. He leads the other metas in an escape through the ruins of the old prison.
  • Back at the Devoe’s house, Marlize hums a melody to herself to block DeVoe’s telepathy. He takes it pretty well. If creepily.
  • Ralph, as Wolf, makes contact with Amunet’s people. Joe walks him through it.
  • Barry stops his escapees from killing a workman.
  • Back at the deal, Amunet smells a rat. Ralph almost lands it but can’t hold the other man’s shape. He makes a run for it and gets away. Amunet contacts Wolf who assures her everything is fine. He’s lying to her and launches a full search.
  • Team Flash are out of options and Iris tells everyone to prepare to break in and get Barry. Ralph, ashamed of his failure, backs out.
  • With one door between them and freedom, the prisoners get to work breaking through while Becky bandages Barry’s wound. The two bond.
  • Caitlin tracks Ralph down at his office. he’s drunk and insists that he doesn’t want to talk. Caitlin, because no one in this show deserves her, brings Killer Frost out. She gets Ralph to admit he’s terrified that everyone will leave him, because everyone always does. And this time, the people leaving are actually friends. The first ones he’s ever had. KF points out that she’s kidnapped AND stabbed members of Team Flash and they still haven’t given up on her. Ralph thanks her, She responds that if she ever goes ‘full villain’ Ralph can give her the pep talk and that gives him an idea…
  • The prisoners get out, their powers return and they thank Barry for his help. The Warden arrives, they confront him and the Warden outs Barry.
  • The prisoners turn on him and all seems lost until…Becky comes through! She stops the others, only for Amunet to show up.
  • And Becky takes her down too!
  • And then DeVoe shows up and deactivates their powers using his chair. He begins downloading each of them and Barry, powerless, sprints towards them,..only for DeVoe to download into Becky’s body! Horrified, Marlize watches DeVoe kill the Warden and then teleport away.
  • In a rare moment of bad timing, Frost and Cisco show up and try and break Barry out. He refuses to go with them. He speed runs back to his cell just as the alarm is raised and returns to his sentence.
  • The next day, Barry’s appeal is a disaster. They have no new evidence, nothing to offer until..
  • Ralph as DeVoe appears! Barry is cleared!

  • The Welcome Home party is EPIC. Until Barry puts something together. DeVoe could have entered the meta wing and taken the powers of every Meta. The only ones he took were the metas created in the bus incident.
  • And they know a Bus Meta. Ralph.
  • At the DeVoes, Marlize is disgusted by the irrational and cruel choices Clifford has made DeVoe senses that she’s blocking her thoughts again and drugs her, then dances with her…


Well, that escalated quickly. Under six weeks after going to prison, Barry’s out again and the DeVoe plot is front and centre. They’re both pieces of good news but the road to them is pretty rocky.

The prison break first off. Using the various bus metas is a nice arc plot beat and Sugar Lyn Beard’s Becky is flat out great. She’s tough and genuine, kind and brave. She’s the sort of character in other words that Doctor Who likes to kill early and The Flash borrows from that playbook. The payoff, Barry, powerless, a half second away from saving here is beautifully set up and agonizing to watch. The idea of Becky as the villain of the piece is fantastic too. Here’s hoping she gets more to do than DeVoe’s last body.

This is all funbut the resolution is deeply weird and rushed. We talk about this in more detail below but Ralph’s solution is not even remotely practical in the short term. Hopefully there’ll be some further payoff to this but we’re prepared to admit we may be expecting a bit much.

Elsewhere the episode impresses though, largely because Hartley Sawyer is front and center. Ralph is rapidly becoming one of the show’s best ever characters, as is Killer Frost who he gets a great scene with here. Richard Brooks deserves a pat on the back too for managing to be both deathly serious and goofy in the scenes where he’s playing Ralph playing Wolfe.

Despite that though, the episode feels like it drops a step. An incongruously mean fat joke at the top of the first act, wasted cameos from Paul McGillion and Katee Sackhoff and that weird ending all bring it down. Still at least the band’s back together.

The Good:

  • Cecile’s telepathy paid off!
  • Caitlin finally gets to trigger her own transformation!
  • The best Killer Frost scene we’ve had so far. Plus it’s a neat mirror to Ralph and Harry’s own stories. This year, a vast amount of the show is about broken, cautious people realizing they get to be heroes too.
  • The ‘everyone leaves’ speech. OUR FEELINGS, RALPH, ALL OF OUR FEELINGS.
  • Katee Sackhoff is, as always just an absolute joy. Who knew ‘Goth Evil Mary Poppins’ would be her jam?!
  • Ralph Dibny, emotional heart of the show!

The Bad:

  • The random fat shaming of Earl is awful. It’s terrible writing, it’s cruel and makes Ralph sound terrible. Worst of all, its the exact sort of tropey, off the shelf writing that The Flash normally rises above. Lazy, stupid, upsetting and cheap.
  • How in the Blue Hell can the ‘Actually Clifford DeVoe’s alive!’ thing possible keep working. Ralph is going to be in CCPD interviews for weeks, Marlize is going to have ample opportunity to punch holes in his identity and there is every chance something will go wrong. Plus, given shape changers are, relatively know, surely that would put Ralph under even more burden of proof?
  • Poor Kendrick Sampson. So good. Given so little to do.

And the Random:

  • Barry’s fellow escapees include:
  • Becky Sharpe aka Hazard, first seen in ‘Luck Be A Lady’ and played by Sugar Lyn Beard.
  • Ramsey Deacon aka Kilg%re, first seen in ‘Mixed Signals’ and played by Dominic Burgess
  • Mina Chaytan aka Black Bison, first seen in flashback in ‘Luck Be A Lady’ and as a character in ‘When Harry Met Harry’
  • And of course Sylvert Rundin, played by Derek Mears and last seen last week in ‘Honey I Shrunk Team Flash’
  • Warden Wolfe is played by the always great Richard Brooks. He’s best known for long stints in both Law & Order and the beloved, and much missed, Good vs Evil. However his biggest genre credit is as Jubal Early in Firefly.

  • Paul McGillion is a genre MVP with appearances in Sliders. The X-Files, Smallville, Supernatural, Sanctuary and of course Stargate Atlantis to his credit. No one deserves to be the punchline of a fat joke, let alone him.

  • Jonathan Butler has written for Fairly Oddparents, Bella and the Bulldogs and The Flash.
  • Gabriel Garza has written for The Flash, Bella and The Bulldogs, Monsters vs Aliens and The Penguins of Madagascar among others.
  • Tara Nicole Weyr has directed for Lucifer, Frequency, Designated Survivor and more.

Best Lines:

  • ‘Eenie…meenie…minie…ALL OF THEM!’
  • ‘Yeah I don’t think any of those words mean what you think they do.’
    ‘…Control Z?’
  • ‘Okay how’s this?’
    ‘You know that painting in It? That comes to life? It’s like that.’
  • ‘Boys! Get some orange slices, mommy needs to work’
  • ‘Our powers don’t decide who we are. We do.’
  • ‘Ralph? You in here?’
  • ‘You are a mean lady.’
  • ‘We all have to decide who we are. This is who I am.’
  • ‘I submit that Central City is home to the impossible.’

Click here for more of our The Flash coverage

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first one to write a comment

Leave a comment

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