Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 16 - Run, Iris, Run

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here


The tenth Bus Meta - whom Cisco dubs Melting Point - has the power to change the DNA of other people. When his encounter with Team Flash leaves Iris with Barry's super-speed, they will have to switch roles in order to save Central City.


The Flash #22 (New 52 Series), where Iris West temporarily acquires a connection to The Speed Force.


Cisco's speculation at the start of the episode does bring up an interesting point - why not hide Ralph on Earth Two or someplace else?!

Ralph's complaints about Iris not knowing what it's like to risk your life as a hero seem to be meant to make Ralph sound whinny and ungrateful. The thing is, fear-driven as his responses might be, Ralph has a point about how keeping him safe should be a priority when it comes to stopping DeVoe's plan but everyone on the team except Caitlin seems to view keeping Ralph alive as a necessary evil, at best.

Also, Ralph's cowardice has come out of nowhere given Ralph was chomping at the bit to go after DeVoe to avenge Izzy two episodes ago, to the point where he made Barry a partner in his detective business.

Joe and Barry are stumped on how to get Ralph to impersonate DeVoe again to talk to The Mayor about Barry getting his job back while keeping Ralph safe. What about that hologram projector Cisco made in Season 2 that could project an image anywhere in Central City?

Eric Fry was smart enough to leave Central City after The Flash first appeared three years ago and started taking down metahuman criminals. Why then did he come back to Central City now?!

While it's a good idea not to have Barry go with Joe to question a person of interest in regard to a bank robbery given that Barry is persona non grata with the CCPD, that has nothing to do with why Iris tells Barry to stay at STAR Labs - it's so that she can go out in the field and prove to Ralph that she doesn't just hide in STAR Labs bossing everyone around!

On that note, how the heck does Joe justify bringing his daughter along to question a suspect in an official capacity?

Apart from being a funny sight gag, what is the point of Iris changing clothes with Caitlin at super-speed?  Couldn't she just run home and find something else to wear rather than forcibly stripping her friend against her will? Especially since Caitlin was about to change into her Killer Frost clothes anyway?

For that matter, why DOESN'T Caitlin wind up going along to help put out the fire after Iris tells her to get ready to go and do that?

The spare mask Jesse Quick left behind on Earth One doesn't match her red costume.

Iris reveals that she did quit her job as a reporter. So how the heck are she and Barry affording their fancy loft since they're both unemployed. (Yes, I know Barry is supposed to be somewhat independently wealth after inheriting STAR Labs from Wells/Thawne, but they've never bothered to explain this point...)

Pretty much everything involving the stand off with the man who winds up with Eric Fry's powers. First, this guy decides to become a criminal after two days. Next, the fact that he's able to master his new powers enough to be a threat in that much time when Iris can barely use her own powers with a team of experienced metahuman scientists training her. Third, the fact that his brilliant scheme is to go into a park and start demanding money rather than robbing a bank or a business. Fourth, the fact that he allows the police to surround him. Fifth, the fact that the police let a civilian like Matthew Kim into the area to try and talk to the metahuman terrorist. Sixth, why in the name of little green apples doesn't Iris just run in and punch the guy at super-speed like she did with Matthew Kim?  Seventh, why not send in the metahuman with ice powers to control the fire, apart from Iris needing to do this to prove that she could be a superhero if she had powers?

Cisco says the fire being generated by the man with the fire powers is 800 degrees, which is as hot as lava. This is just barely true in the Celsius scale, where lava ranges from 700-1200 degrees C. In the Fahrenheit measure, lava ranges from 1300-2200 degrees F. Either way, the heat should be enough that convection should bake Iris alive as close as she is to the fire.

Iris' speech to Ralph about not giving in to fear doesn't really ring true given that the only thing that saved Iris from the consequences of living her life was HR Wells switching places with her without telling anyone he'd done so.

Flash Facts

The episode title is an nod to the repeated line, "Run, Barry, Run."

There have been a few stories where Iris West temporarily acquired The Flash's powers. The most recent one was during The New 52 The Flash series, where Iris West developed her own connection to The Speed Force in The Flash #22.

Eric Fry - the fire-starting British bank robber in this episode - is a new character unique to The DCTVU. He shares a name with a notable American rugby player.

Melting Point -a.k.a. Matthew Kim - is a character unique to The DCTVU. His power set, however, resembles that of Ragtag - a villain from the Static Shock animated series. Ragtag was a homeless man who developed the power to give ordinary humans temporary super powers. He could also drain the powers from other metahumans. He used these abilities to get ordinary teenagers addicted to the power that he gave them and then used them as his pawns to commit crimes.

Melting Point uses his powers in a benevolent fashion - not surprising given his status as an EMT.

The advance press for this episode called Melting Point by the name "Melting Pot".

The name of Melting Point has been used before in another DC Comic book. Strangely enough, it was in The Flash: Year Zero comic book, which has largely been declared non-canon since its original release. This comic saw the creation of a villain named Doctor Melting Point, who was Dr. Wangari Hollowell - a former teacher of Caitlin Snow's.  Half of Dr. Hollowell's body had been transformed into Quantum Energy, giving her the ability to melt down organic materials and absorb them into herself.

Cisco makes reference to the movie Spider-Man 2 in explaining to Caitlin why he thinks Harry building his own Thinking Cap is a bad idea. In that movie, Doctor Otto Octavius was driven crazy after the artificially-intelligent robotic arms he built to assist in his more dangerous lab work took over his brain.

Cisco also makes reference to The Borg from Star Trek, when laying down the conditions under which he will help Harry with The Intelligence Booster/Thinking Cap. Namely that he will vibe Harry elsewhere the minute he starts trying to assimilate everyone.

The date of Iris' first blog post on Saved By The Flash is March 13. 2018 - the original air date of this episode.


Harry suggests altering each Bus Meta's DNA using inter-cellular surgery and turning them into chickens.

Harry determines that DeVoe boosted his intelligence using neurochemical engineering powered by the dark matter released by the STAR Labs Particle Accelerator. Using that knowledge and the security footage from STAR Labs showing DeVoe on the night of the particle accelerator explosion, Harry builds his own intelligence booster (a.k.a. Thinking Cap) to enhance his mind to match that of DeVoe.

Barry says that what Harry is proposing would 10 billion joules through his brain.

According to Cisco, it would take a temperature of 6000 degrees Fahrenheit (3315.556 degrees Celsius) to melt through 10 inches of reinforced steel. This is reportedly 10 times the thermal out of of Mick Rory's Heat Gun.

When pondering how a metahuman could just lose their powers, Caitlin theorizes that Eric Fry's powers, if based around metastasizing solar radiation to create hat, locking him in a dark room should neutralize his powers. As Joe points out, however, Eric Fry lost his powers in the middle of the day when it was sunny.

Caitlin then suggests that Eric Fry's internal bio-chemistry had been altered to develop its own internal thermal combustion and ran out of fuel.

Without the edition of dark matter, The Intelligence Booster causes Harry's neurons to fire 20 times faster.

With the Thinking Cap, Harry is able to analyze Ralph's eating habits and extrapolate them at a predictive behavior model. determining there is a 67% chance that Ralph will spill mustard on himself while eating his veggie dog in four seconds. He is also able to deduce that Ralph is not wearing any underwear based on the movement of the fabric of his pants as Ralph is wiping his hands clan.

Caitlin runs a series of tests - EKG, cellular regression synthesis, dark matter and brain chemistry - to confirm that Irish has become a metahuman with speed powers.

Matthew Kim's powers work by melting down the highly concentrated bonds between DNA, making them pliable so he can extract them and infuses somebody else with the exact same metahuman DNA sequence.

Harry needs a micro-filament compression wrench with a cobalt retrieving clamp to finish his work on The Thinking Cap.

Caitlin considers dark matter splicing, pattern DNA cloning and regrowing meta-enhanced stem-material on a cellular level as a way to replicate Melting Points powers but concludes that nothing else will work.

The fire generated by the new fire-powered metahuman is described as being 800 degrees and "as hot as lava."  Presumably Cisco is using the Celsius scale, where lava ranges from 700-1200 degrees.

The new fire metahuman is able to generate a thermo-cyclone - a cyclone made of fire.

Cisco disengages the photo flow to The Thinking Cap once Harry goes 20% over his own recommended safety standards.

Dialogue Triumphs

Cisco: I'm sorry - don't you have like, six PhDs?
Harry: Seven.
Cisco: Yeah, which one of them is in mad science?
Harry: Mad science is just an area of study. It's not a degree.

Matthew Kim: Stealing is a sin. You shouldn't be using the powers you've been given in this way.
Eric Fry: I'll use them any way I see fit. Including frying you to a crisp, if you move any closer!
Matthew Kim: (calmly) Oh, I don't think you will. You don't want to hurt me. Or anyone in this bank. You can still walk away from this. But the moment you touch that money, your life changes forever. You don't really want that, do you?
Eric Fry: Maybe you're right.
(Matthew Kim reaches out and touches the man's shoulder. There is a quick flash of red light on his hand as the bank-robbing meta punches him to the ground.  Matthew Kim touches another man and there's a quick flash of red into his hand.)
Eric Fry: Or... maybe you've got a death wish!
(Eric Fry raises his hands to throw a fireball... and nothing happens.)
Eric Fry: What the hell?  My powers.... they're gone
(Eric Fry is tackled by a security guard.)
Guard: Hey, buddy!  You're a real....
(The guard looks to where Matthew Kim was as the rest of the hostages look up. He is gone.)
Guard: ... hero?

(Harry has just used his enhanced intelligence to deduce that Ralph is not wearing any underwear.)
Ralph: You got all that from your fancy metal cap?
Harry: Yes I did.
Ralph: It's impressive, Harry. Except for one very small thing.
Harry: Which is?
Ralph: Your head is on fire.
Harry: (laughs) No it's...
(Harry rolls his eyes upward and realizes that the thinking cap just burst into flame.)

Caitlin: Cisco, why can't you just help him?
Cisco: Why am I the only one who thinks putting a rageaholic and dark matter together is a bad idea?
Caitlin: He's trying to stop DeVoe. That's not a bad idea.
Cisco: He's trying to match his intellect with a mad man whose innovations are warping his brain. Have you not seen Spider-Man 2?
Caitlin: No.
Cisco: ... how can you live with yourself?

(Cisco holds up a garment bag, holding a new costume for Iris.)
Iris: Thanks Cisco.
(There is a flash of violet lighting as Iris runs off. Her street clothes falling to the ground as Cisco is left clutching an empty garment bag.)
Cisco: I've got hangers!

Dialogue Disasters

(The line in which Iris pretty much sums up every problem most of the the fandom have had with her  in Season 4.)

Iris: Barry, when I was a reporter, I was always in the field putting myself in danger for a story. And after last year, for some reason, that just stopped. Maybe it was because of Savitar. Maybe because you were gone into The Speed Force. I don't know, but... I quit my job. I joined this team. And now, for the most part, I just stay here while all of you are out there putting your lives on the line.


Cisco contemplates breaching the last three Bus Metas and relocating them to Earth Two.  Harry suggests altering each Bus Meta's DNA using inter-cellular surgery.

Harry Wells has seven PhDs.

On Earth Two, Mad Science is an area of study but not one with a degree plan.

Ralph, Caitlin and Iris agree to try Harry's "intelligence booster" idea. Cisco refuses to help.

Cecile is now in her third trimester. She and Joe have picked out names for the baby, but they aren't telling anyone what they are.

The mayor of Central City refuses to let Barry have his job back until she meets with The DeVoes personally.

According to Cisco, the energy output of Heatwave's fire gun is 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

Eric Fry got his powers at the same time as the first wave of metahumans. He left Central City after The Flash appeared and has been roaming around robbing banks ever since.

Matthew Kim has apparently been using his powers in secret to take away the powers of other criminals for some time.

Iris generates violet lightning whens he runs.

The movie Spider-Man 2 exists in The DCTVU. Caitlin has not seen it.

Cisco finally agrees to help Harry with The Intelligence Booster on two conditions - that they will now power it with dark matter and that the minute Harry begins to act like Locutus of Borg and starts trying to assimilate everyone, Cisco has permission to send him to another Earth.

Harry calculates 4,827 ways the fight with the new fire-manipulating metahuman could go but only one that will result in no loss of life. This involves Iris creating a 100-foot tall tidal wave to combat the fire cyclone.

It is revealed that Matthew Kim thought that his power was to remove the powers of other metahumans. He had no idea he was capable of transferring them to other people. He believed that he had been chosen by God to punish those who abused the power they were given.

Matthew Kim agrees to join Team Flash in the fight against The Thinker.

Ralph agrees to see the mayor, disguised as DeVoe in a bid to get Barry his job back.

Cecile recommends a good pizza place in Keystone to Barry.

Iris starts a new blog, Saved By The Flash, detailing stories of people... saved by The Flash.

The last two Bus Metas are named Janet Petty and Edwin Goss.

The Boomerang Factor

Pretty much all of Team Flash is nerfed this week so that Iris can prove that she could be just as good at being The Flash as Barry.

The Bottom Line

Everything insufferable about the fourth season of The Flash in one episode. No DeVoes. Virtually nothing except Iris and Barry being cute together. All of Ralph's character development being forgotten so that he can be the gross cowardly pervert nobody likes again. All of Harry's character development is forgotten so that he can go back to being shoutty jerkass again. And the writers finally confirm that Iris literally subverted her entire life for the sake of the man she loved, as everyone else is nerfed this week so that Iris can prove that she's just as much of a hero as Barry... if she has super powers.  At this point, it''s a neck and neck race for what show disgusts me more  - this or Arrow.

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