The Good: Good direction, Fine special effects, Adequate performances
The Bad: Incredibly familiar plot, Mediocre character development
The Basics: The Flash presents an unfortunately familiar and derivative episode in "True Colors," which plays out as more inevitable than audacious.
The Flash is at an interesting point. The titular character is off the radar, locked up and not doing heroic things. Keeping the emphasis on The Flash and peril that comes from DeVoe - who was promoted in the third season as an incredible villain for Central City - has been wanting for the last few episodes. Instead, S.T.A.R. Labs has adapted to the Metahuman Of The Week phenomenon fairly well, which makes sense given that they had months to get the teamwork done right while The Flash was trapped in the Speed Force prison. In fact, despite no longer having Kid Flash on the team, the S.T.A.R. Labs team has the Elongated Man to help out with the weekly metahumans.
"True Colors" picks up where "Honey, I Shrunk The Flash Team" (reviewed here!) left off, with Warden Wolf in negotiations to sell metahumans to Amunet Black. Having been recognized by Wolf as a Speedster, Barry Allen is in real peril now. In the prior episode, D.A. Horton developed spontaneous telepathic powers (which she did not use to run into DeVoe and read his mind to figure out his long-term plan).
Warden Wolf brings Amunet Black into a secret area of Iron Heights where he shows off The Flash, Kilgore, Hazard, Dwarfstar and Mina Chaytan. Black decides to buy them all. While waiting for the transaction, Wolf meets with Iris and Horton who reads Wolf's mind. Ralph Dibny is disturbed when he runs into an old associate who wants him for a shady investigation. Rejecting him, Dibny returns to S.T.A.R. Labs where he inadvertently shape-shifts into his old friend. That inspires the S.T.A.R. Labs team to try to train Dibny to look like Warden Wolf.
With Amunet Black interested in purchasing so many metahumans, The Thinker's plan is thrown into a place where DeVoe is uncertain what will come next. Marlize illustrates that she does not entirely trust DeVoe's telepathy. Dibny as Wolf is sent to Amunet's bar, with the S.T.A.R. Labs team assisting, while Barry Allen breaks out his fellow metahumans and together they attempt to escape Iron Heights. But, when Dibny's attempt to impersonate Wolf goes bad, Amunet contacts Wolf directly. Wolf manages to get the drop on the escaping metahumans and outs Barry to his confederates. That inspires DeVoe to step in . . . and in the aftermath, Ralph Dibny comes up with an inspired way to exonerate Barry Allen.
"True Colors" feels familiar on both main plots. Dibny infiltrating Amunet Black's lair feels very much like Barry Allen attempting to impersonate his doppelganger on Earth-2 in the second season and Barry Allen working with the metahumans is just like how Supergirl just teamed up with her enemies in "Fort Rozz" (reviewed here!). So, the plot front seems entirely repetitive - down to Allen not having his powers during the team-up and trying to talk to the villains into doing the right thing.
The performances in "True Colors" are fine, but none are truly spectacular, just as the character moments are as familiar as the plot. The villains are predictably treacherous, the heroes rise to their heroic occasion and the plot moves forward with a sense that the writers are done trying to work around Barry Allen's incarceration. "True Colors" is so lackluster that it is hard to muster up the enthusiasm to write more about it than that.
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© 2018 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.