The Flash S04E17 “Null and Annoyed” REVIEW

The Flash S04E17 “Null and Annoyed” REVIEW

0 comments 📅13 April 2018, 14:43

Airing Tuesdays at 8pm on Sky 1
Lauren Certo & Kristen Kim
Director: Kevin Smith

Essential Plot Points:


  • Barry and Ralph are training. The plan is for Ralph to disguise himself as Barry to confuse the Thinker. Ralph keeps improvising and refusing to take it seriously.
  • Harry is having trouble tracking down the remaining Bus Metas. Edwin vanished the day Barry reappeared while the other, Null, has vanished. It’s tough, but if Harry can just get some peace and quiet he’ll find them.
  • Aaaaaaaand that’s when Breacher falls out of a Breach into the lab. He begs Cisco and Caitlin for help with his powers given that they’ve been damaged by a clash with an army of vampires.
  • Cisco, more than a little snarly, agrees to help him.
  • Elsewhere, DeVoe and Marlize debate how to extend the lifespan of DeVoe’s hosts.

  • And Null steals a crown from a pair of distinctly familiar security guards by neutralizing the item’s weight…
  • Back at the lab, Breacher’s powers are completely gone. He apologizes to Cisco and tells him once he’s fixed he’ll give Cynthia more time off so she can spend time with him. Cisco is over the moon. Until Caitlin tells him why Breacher’s powers are fading. He’s getting old…
  • In DeVoe’s tesseract, Marlize discovers something odd…
  • At Star Labs, they get multiple hits on Null’s aliases. Harry puts the ‘thinking cap’ on and instantly works out where she is. And so does Ralph…
  • It’s his buddy Earl.
  • With Ralph as Joe. ‘Detective West’ questions Earl until they realize Null is on the scene. She ‘nulls’ Barry, turning off the effect of gravity on him and escapes.
  • With Barry on the end of a string, Harry reassures them that the effect is temporary. Ralph can’t stop joking and Barry’s had enough. He benches him, pointing out that DeVoe has control of the vast majority of the bus metas and, unless they can work out how to stop him, Ralph is as good as dead.
  • At the tesseract, Marlize figures out that she’s being drugged.
  • At the lab, Cisco gives Breacher anti-histamines. Because of the placebo effect, they actually work. For now…
  • They get an alert that Null is robbing a bank and Barry heads out. He sklaps the cuff on her and all seems well until…she points out her getaway car. Which in this case is a car plummeting out of the sky. Barry can save the driver? Or Barry can bring her in.
  • He makes the only choice he can.

  • Yet again, they’re back at square one.
  • Iris, because remember Iris is great now, leads Barry to the realization he needs; that Ralph may have a point. And Barry may be angrier that Ralph isn’t following orders than he thinks…
  • Cisco realizes Breacher is going back to finish the fight with the vampires. Cisco rescues him, comes clean and Breacher, furious, leaves.
  • Marlize records a message to herself, explaining that Clifford is drugging her using the tears of the Weeper. She saves it and…discovers a file with that name already exists.
  • She has discovered this over and over again. And Clifford has confronted her again and again and wiped her memory. He does so again and leaves her, unconscious, on the floor.
  • Barry and Ralph talk. Ralph explains how his sense of humour is a means of pushing fear away. The two find some common ground and with Null back in play, head off to confront her. She attempts a mass nulling and while Barry stops her, she does target him. They’re in the open and Barry hurtles up into the sky. With no other choice, Barry tells Ralph to improvise. He cuffs Null and catches Barry by becoming a colossal whoopee cushion.
  • Later, Barry and Ralph bond. Which is heartfelt, adorable and immensely nerdy.
  • Cisco is visited by Breacher who has made his peace with his age and retired. And he offers Cisco his old job and a chance to work with Gypsy…

  • At the tesseract, Marlize and Clifford have the same conversation they had at the top of the episode only this time with one meta less…
  • At Star Labs, Harry enters Thawne’s secret room and hooks the thinking cap up to the AI…


The Flash has really found its groove this season and the show has rarely been less than fun. This episode is no exception, and it hides not one but two potentially massive changes for the show in its amiable running time.

First off, the Marlize plot which is far and away the most impressive thing here. We’ve got so used to seeing the ‘Marlize and Thawne plan evil in a big blue room’ scenes that the show uses that against us here. The first reveal is chilling. The second is terrifying. The final one? All time show highlight. It’s also a chance for Kim Engelbrecht to really cut loose and a possible crack in DeVoe’s armour. Nicely done.

Then there’s the Breacher plot. Danny Trejo is one of those actors we’d watch read the phonebook aloud and he’s great fun here as the aging, Blade-esque Breacher. Plus his offer to Cisco is very serious. With Team Flash a genius up, and Cisco desperate to see his notional girlfriend, it’s a tempting offer.

The main plot suffers a little in comparison to these but there’s fun to be had there too. Not the least of which is Ralph and Barry getting on the same page. Barry’s growing maturity, and Ralph’s joyous immaturity, fit together perfectly and they’re an instantly likable double act. Plus it’s nice to see Paul McGillion show up again and not be the butt of fat guy jokes this time.

Another strong entry in a very fun season and one which looks to set up not just the end game but potentially next season, this episode really is The Flash at its best. Deeply weird, very fun and far cleverer than you might think.

The Good:

  • The Marlize plot is chilling and not one you see coming. A nasty, but very welcome, surprise.
  • Ralph invokes the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Doctor Octopus in under a minute. Ralph is a special and perfect creature and we must protect him.

  • Jay and Silent Bob Get Jobs!
  • Cisco using himself in the target range is adorable.
  • Danny Trejo is always wonderful. And the plot with Breacher losing his abilities because he’s getting old is poignantly handled.
  • Great effects this episode, especially on Null’s attempted mass…nulling.
  • Damn Ralph is stretchy! Barry’s at 5000 feet and Ralph still ALMOST gets him.

The Bad:

  • Null’s dealt with a little easily. That’s basically it.

And the Random:

  • Danny Trejo! All time genre MVP! You’ve seen him everything from Spy Kids to From Dusk Till Dawn, Kingpin, Alias and countless others.
  • Bethany Brown is great fun as Null this week despite not having a lot to do. She’s previously appeared in The L Word, Rogue and more.
  • Kevin Patrick Smith, everyone! The hero of late 20th/Early 21st Century indie movies has had quite a year. A prolific podcaster and TV producer, he’s also directed Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Red State, Cop Out, Tusk and Yoga Hosers. You should see at least half of those if you haven’t. Smith’s failures are usually as interesting as his successes. In addition he’s directed for The Flash, Supergirl and The Goldbergs and is in the process of recovering from a massive heart attack. Rest up, sir.
  • Lauren Certo wrote the recent Vixen animated series, as well as Arrow: Blood Rush and several episodes of Freedom Fighters: The Ray. She’s also previously written for Justice League Action.
  • Kristen Kim has previously written for Code Black as well as The Flash.

Best Lines:

  • ‘This isn’t stand up comedy!’
  • ‘We could take it to Washington, we could be the DC Comics!’-NEVER CHANGE, RALPH!
  • ‘Can pigs fly?’
    ‘They can if you put them on an airplane.’
  • ‘I’m Detective Joe West! The baddest…Dad…cop you’ve ever seen!’
  • ‘Two for the landing but PERFECT TEN for the thud noise’
  • ‘I’m curious, have you never looked in a mirror before?’


Click here for more of our The Flash coverage

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