Tuesday, November 14, 2017

An Annoyingly Long Way To Go On The Flash: "When Harry Met Harry. . ."

The Good: Late-episode character moments, Performances are all right
The Bad: Incredibly basic plot, Truly annoying characters, Simplistic, Poor use of humor for most of the episode
The Basics: The Flash gets sidetracked with lame jokes for most of "When Harry Met Harry. . ."

The Flash does a decent job each season of finding a way to use actor Tom Cavanaugh, who is one of the two adult actors who has been with The Flash since the beginning. Cavanaugh has been forced to reinvent his character each year and rather than create yet a new main version of Harrison Wells, the fourth season of The Flash has returned Earth-2's Harrison Wells (Harry) to The Flash narrative. "When Harry Met Harry. . ." focuses on Cavanaugh's Harrison Wells and the episode continues the reinvention of Harry Wells for the new season.

"When Harry Met Harry. . ." follows on the events of "Girls Night Out" (reviewed here!), which was a bit of a divergence from the main plotline. "When Harry Met Harry. . ." refocuses on the search for the people riding on the bus who were made into metahumans.

Barry and Ralph are out for coffee in the morning when they are accosted by a mugger. The would-be mugger shoots at Ralph and the Elongated Man inadvertently launches the bullets shot at him back at the mugger. The Thinker is warned by his Mechanic that his identity is at risk of being discovered, but DeVoe presses on. In their attempt to find the other passengers on the bus that was affected by the dark matter released by The Flash's escape from the Speed Force Prison, Iris and Barry take Dibny to their therapist for hypnosis. At S.T.A.R. Labs, Harry contacts other versions of Harrison Wells throughout the multiverse to try to solve the mystery of how to find the other metahumans.

Barry and Joe investigate a murder that appears to have been performed by a statue. Mina Chaytan is the metahuman who can animate inanimate objects and she is hunting three pieces of a Native American necklace. When Dibny and The Flash manage to find Chaytan, The Flash is wounded and the Elongated Man captures the metahuman, but in the process a little girl is seriously wounded. After a rousing speech from Barry, Dibny refocuses on stopping the newly-escaped Chaytan on her quest to reunite the three pieces of the Sioux necklace. And the many Harrison Wells' finally start to work together to figure out who DeVoe is.

"When Harry Met Harry. . ." is initially disarming, but it quickly becomes annoyingly forced on the humor front. The various versions of Harrison Wells are obnoxious continuations of a season three gag and it does not play out any better in "When Harry Met Harry. . ." For sure, it seems like Tom Cavanaugh is having fun with playing the various Harrison Wells's, but the characters are hardly interesting, clever, or justify their appearance in the episode. They are a cheap way to advance the larger plot of the fourth season of The Flash.

Much of "When Harry Met Harry. . ." is not particularly funny and the Metahuman Of The Week is working from a place of legitimate outrage for a change, which is nice. But Mina Chaytan's cultural outrage is undermined by the larger-than-life inanimate objects she influences and the moments of the episode that focus on the Council Of Wells (which seems to be a solid Rick And Morty reference!).

Ralph Dibny continues to evolve in the course of "When Harry Met Harry. . ." Dibny is a jerk and he starts the episode as just that. Dibny manages to evolve over the course of "When Harry Met Harry. . .," but some of his evolution is painfully generic. Dibny inadvertently wounds a little girl and so much of his sudden character growth comes from the painfully obvious use of a child to tug on his heart strings. People never seem to care as much when adults get hurt, but a child is enough to turn the hardened p.i. turned superhero into a decent guy?!

"When Harry Met Harry. . ." is one of those episodes that meanders around its own purpose until the last scene or two when it actually becomes important on any level. Sadly, the journey takes up most of the episode and the destination is not nearly worth the time it takes to get there. The result is another ensemble piece that continues to diminish The Flash.


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© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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