“Subject 9” – Review of S4 Ep14 of THE FLASH

We’re back! After two weeks off, THE FLASH returns to the airwaves with a NEW episode! Just to recap – DeVoe is on a second new identity and is walking around with the powers of six of the riders on that now-infamous bus after an attack on Iron Heights.  Barry is freed from jail after “DeVoe” (actually Ralph disguised as DeVoe) appears in court. We are about to be introduced to the Arrowverse incarnation of The Fiddler…and Ralph is headed for heartbreak. Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!


NOTE: This review is posting before THE FLASH airs in the Pacific Time Zone USA, so if you haven’t seen the show yet, STOP HERE and come back after watching tonight’s episode! Trust us, it’s worth it!

Barry is ready to resume his life, and his job, after being cleared of all charges. Problem is, the Mayor isn’t ready to allow Barry to return to the CCPD.  Not everyone believes DeVoe is really alive, and with all the noise about Iron Heights and the “heroic” death of Warden Wolfe, there is just too much controversy going around.  Barry has been placed on indefinite leave…and will remain there until the Mayor (and the public) is convinced that DeVoe is really alive and Barry is really innocent.

Meanwhile, Ralph is on the buddy system with various members of Team Flash, protecting him from DeVoe…and while Ralph and Cisco are together, they find a clue in the Lost and Found box from the bus station. It’s a CD by a wannabe country performer named Izzy Bowen.

…and yes, she plays the fiddle.

Barry and Ralph track her down and try to convince her to return with them for her safety…but that first meeting doesn’t go well.  She uses her sonic powers on them (later described as “molecular shrapnel”) and gets away at first.

Later on, as Flash, Vibe and Elongated Man, they try to save her from DeVoe…only Izzy demonstrates that she can hurt DeVoe quite well on her own!  Eventually, with Ralph’s help, they convince her to stay and train, using a special fiddle to focus her powers.

Let’s take a step back to two subplots here…

  • Becky Sharpe’s body (now taken over by DeVoe) is deteriorating. All the additional dark matter from the powers of six people are too much for her to handle.  She needs to track down and take over Izzy’s body if she can.
  • Harry invents a device meant to disrupt thoughts coming in to Cecile’s mind so that she can get some sleep at night (she’s kept awake by “hearing” Joe’s dreams). They figure that they can “reverse the polarity” (possibly the most famous sci-fi trope) and disrupt DeVoe’s attempt to take over another body. When Harry introduces the device to the rest of Team Flash, he calls it the “Cerebral Inhibitor” – the same device mentioned last year by Savitar. Team Flash thinks that THIS is the device that will win the day!

Back to Izzy’s training…which doesn’t go well.  Barry is pushing too hard, and she decides to step out on her own.  Izzy actually calls out DeVoe…and DeVoe is more than ready for her. She uses Becky’s bad luck powers to break the fiddle’s strings.  And, in this case it is DeVoe that names her “The Fiddler”. Just then Flash and Ralph arrive to attempt to save the day…

And nothing works, not even the Cerebral Inhibitor…

…and Ralph and Barry watch helplessly as DeVoe claims another victim and another body.

The only upside to this battle is that Cisco finally discovers a secret about DeVoe – that the real hideout is in a pocket dimension, explaining how DeVoe and his wife are able to appear and disappear at will. That may be important later, but for now Ralph is completely devastated. He was truly fond of Izzy, quite possibly falling in love, and he had to watch her die and be taken over by DeVoe.

That leads us to a couple of final scenes…

  • DeVoe now plays classical music instead of country. But, we are seeing the relationship with Marlize deteriorating more with every new body claimed. Is DeVoe losing their grip? Quite possibly…we’ll have to see how this plays out.
  • Ralph gives Barry a business card as a Private Investigator…the two of them now share being canned from the CCPD, so since they are continuing the buddy system, they might as well share the detective work.


  • Harry and Cecile are striking up a somewhat awkward friendship, and it actually works here.  It’s great seeing her get through to the frequently cranky Harry, and I truly enjoyed their scenes.
  • Ralph’s character is getting better and better with every episode. I know I’ve said this before, but this character is continuing to grow on me with every new episode.
  • Just one minor gripe…I’m a musician, and whenever a show brings in a musical instrument I tend to watch to see whether the actor is actually playing the instrument. In at least one scene that’s a no go…the fiddle sound started well before the bow even contacted the strings. Still, the singing was good and the overall character of The Fiddler worked for me.
  • At first I wondered why they let DeVoe name “The Fiddler”…then it hit me. Cisco names all the bad guys…but Izzy was one of the good guys all the way up to the time that DeVoe took over her body. It makes sense then that the ultimate villain of the season would come up with a good guy’s nickname instead of Cisco.

SUMMARY: This was a very well-done episode that allowed Ralph’s character to grow, gave us a new friendship in Cecile and Harry, and moved the overall plot for the season effectively forward.  I’ll give this one a 10/10 – with a few tears shed for what could have been a great relationship for Ralph and Izzy. That’s my opinion – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!


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