THE FLASH S4x12 – HONEY, I SHRUNK TEAM FLASH

Does this episode sound ridiculous and hilarious? Yep. Is it? Yes, but it also makes room for good storytelling.

So, from the title, you would think all of the focus of this episode of The Flash would be on Central City’s newest meta. But while Sylbert Rundine plays a large role, he’s not the only person with new superpowers. It turns out that Cecile’s pregnancy has (somehow) temporarily given her the ability to read minds. She thinks this is awesome, but Joe and the team are a bit more reserved in their enthusiasm. With her new powers, she’s instantly reading and reacting to what everyone around her is thinking, no matter how stray the thought.

It leads to a lot of funny moments, like when she and Joe go to the same couples’ therapist that Barry and Iris visited earlier this season. Ultimately, her powers threaten to drive her and Joe apart, but after a heart-to-heart, they make up. I’m sure these abilities will help save the day at some point this season. Maybe an unexpected X factor against DeVoe? It’s certainly an interesting addition to this half of the season.

Meanwhile, over at Iron Heights, Barry’s actually adjusting fairly well to prison life, using his speed to cheat at poker. It must be weird for him to play with inmates he actually put in jail. But he’s built up a good friendship with another prisoner, Big Sir, whose life was saved by Barry’s dad. While Big Sir was convicted for killing a security guard, he’s innocent of that crime. It turns out the real culprit was our big bad meta for this week!

Sylbert gets a pretty awesome introduction, showing off his powers by shrinking a building down to the size of a toy and walking off with it. When Team Flash spots him on a security camera and goes to ask him a few questions, he runs off, shrinking down Cisco and Ralph in the crossfire. Their predicament is mostly played for laughs, like when Iris steps on what she thinks is gum, but is actually our Elongated Man. But Harry, in his rush to restore the duo after the team’s failures to get Barry out of prison, tests an experimental cure on them. Instead, it causes their cells to start breaking down, which will eventually cause them to go nuclear. Uhh, oops. It seems a bit like a dramatic way to increase tension, but given Harry’s personality, it makes sense.

This culminates in an excellent fight scene against Sylbert, where Iris and Harry try to get him to use his powers in a way that the tiny Cisco and Ralph can intercept. When they confront him though, he starts throwing miniature cars at them, enlarging them on the fly. It’s a really cool, creative use of his power in a scene that feels more like it should be out of Ant-Man than a CW show. Once they capture him though, he refuses to confess to the earlier crime that caused Big Sir’s false conviction.

So Barry, ever the hero, uses his speed to run his friend out to a small town in China. But his actions have consequences. The warden installed an extra security camera and spotted Barry’s powers. He drugs him and preps him for delivery to a familiar face: Amunet!

Show Notes:

  • Joe’s face when Cecile tells him she can read minds is absolutely priceless.
  • Cecile to Cisco: “Why are you still thinking about Bulbasaur?” Cisco: “….he’s the cutest one of all!”
  • When trying to figure out the reason for Cecile’s power, Iris thinks it might be a mystic totem passed down by her grandmother. Sorry, Iris, wrong show!
  • According to Harry, gorilla prison is worse than regular prison. In the former, they “throw their scat at you.” Ewwwww.
  • Big Sir is a character lifted from Flash comics, though his counterpart has a very different backstory and personality. In the comics, he’s a part of the Injustice League and the Suicide Squad.

The Super Cinco:

  1. Barry Allen / The Flash – Even in prison, Barry is ever the hero. When he learns that Big Sir took the fall for Sylbert’s crime, he gets his friends to work on proving his innocence. When they can’t get a confession though, he uses his speed to get his friend out of town, at the cost of revealing his abilities to the warden.
  2. Iris West – She’s juggling Barry’s appeal, running Team Flash and the request from her husband to prove Big Sir’s innocence. She helps take down Sylbert, putting the power-dampening collar around his neck. And she helps Cecil understand why her new mind-reading powers created a rift between her and Joe.
  3. Harry Wells – His frustration over Barry’s imprisonment leads him to recklessly try an experimental treatment on the shrunken Cisco and Ralph. This only makes the situation worse, threatening their lives. But through some quick-thinking, he fools Sylbert into using his powers on the duo again, restoring them and saving their lives.
  4. Joe West – Joe is understandably freaked out when Cecil starts reacting to every stray thought he has, courtesy of her new powers. It leads him to wall himself off from her mentally and strains their relationship. But a heart-to-heart between the two helps them get to back to something resembling normalcy.
  5. Cisco Ramon / Vibe – Sure, he’s two inches tall for a significant portion of this episode. But he still gives Harry the pep talk and encouragement that he needed, to work out how to solve their shrinkage problem.