The Flash 4.12

‘The Flash’ 4.12 Recap: “We Got Bigger Problems”

I wanted to open this recap of ‘The Flash’ with a quip about the team getting downsized, but a recent Matt Damon movie already stole that pun. Thanks for nothing, Alexander Payne!

In ‘Honey, I Shrunk Team Flash’, Cisco and Ralph and everyone except Barry (who’s still in prison) have to face off against a new meta-human with the power to shrink or enlarge anything.

First, and unrelatedly, Cecille discovers that she can suddenly read minds. Caitlin theorizes that her pregnancy has activated some latent Dark Matter in her system, and this power will probably go away after she gives birth. In the meantime, Cecille finds this very exciting. She eagerly reads everyone’s thoughts and has no filter about blabbering them to the world. This makes Joe uneasy. He’d rather keep his thoughts to himself.

Harry has no time for any of this nonsense. He’s obsessed with proving Barry’s innocence and getting him out of prison. Unfortunately, he’s hit a wall in that regard and isn’t making any progress.

Over in Iron Heights Prison, Barry gets to chatting up his new friend Big Sir (Bill Goldberg) and learns that he was convicted of murdering an unarmed security guard while robbing Mercury Labs. Big Sir claims that he was an innocent bystander who merely looked enough like the actual killer that the judge and jury threw the book at him without a second thought. Barry believes him and asks his friends at S.T.A.R. Labs to shift their focus onto proving Big Sir’s innocence first. Big Sir himself is wary of false hope, but lets Barry get his hopes up anyway. He says that the first thing he wants to do after getting out is take a trip to China. The prison warden warns Barry that it’s a very bad idea to toy with a man’s hopes. He says that although Big Sir may act like his friend, “Everyone in here is a monster.”

While Central City’s new mayor gives a speech in front of another tech company called Kord Industries, the building vanishes from sight right behind her. The perpetrator is a burly bald guy named Sylbert Rundin (Derek Mears, who recently had a memorable appearance in ‘Twin Peaks‘). Using his meta power, he shrinks the entire building to miniature size and simply walks away with it.

Cisco quickly identifies Rundin as a suspect, so he, Joe and Ralph go to the man’s apartment to question him. Peeking through the door, Cisco is very impressed with Rundin’s collection of “figurines” (a term the characters use multiple times, even though there are no actual figurines in sight). The apartment shelves are filled with what look like toys and models of buildings and high-tech vehicles. At first, Rundin is happy to show off his collection, but when it becomes clear that the others are onto him, he enlarges a laser rifle and shoots at them, then flees through a window and down the fire escape. When Cisco and Ralph portal over to block him, Rundin blasts them with his shrink rays and reduces them to just two-inches high.

After Rundin gets away, Joe brings Cisco and Harry back to S.T.A.R. Labs hoping that Harry or Caitlin can find a way to restore their original size. While waiting for that, they hang out in the Lego model of Infantino Street that Cisco built last season to visualize the battle with Savitar. Noticing that Rundin bears some resemblance to Big Sir, the team deduces that he was the real killer who committed the crime Big Sir was imprisoned for. Because his powers stem from his DNA fusing with the dwarf star alloy (the same stuff that powers Ray Palmer’s exo-suit) he stole from Mercury Labs, Cisco unimaginatively dubs the villain “Dwarfstar.” (Cisco’s nicknaming ability is way off its game this season.)

Harry makes an “Embiggening Bazooka” that he fires into Cisco and Ralph without bothering to test it first. Not only does it fail to restore their size, it destabilizes their molecules. Unless they can both be exposed to Rundin’s radiation again within the next ten hours, they’ll explode!

Rundin next appears at an aviation museum to steal a prototype airship. When the team arrive to capture him, he pulls a bunch of random miniatures (cars and helicopters and so forth) out of his pockets, tosses them around and enlarges them. Eventually, Harry tricks Rundin into trying to shrink him, but Cisco and Ralph block the beams. With just seconds to go before they’d explode, they’re instantly cured and restored to size.

Iris then sneaks up on Rundin and locks him in an anti-meta collar that inhibits his powers. Joe arrests him and tries to get him to confess to the security guard murder, but Rundin is smart enough to keep his mouth shut.

Barry has to deliver the bad news to Big Sir that they couldn’t get a confession out of Rundin. Big Sir says that he understands and forgives him. That night, Barry feels so bad about all this that he phases through his cell bars and whisks Big Sir all the way to China, then returns to his cell before the security camera in his block turns back in his direction. (This implies more speed than even Barry should be capable of.)

Barry thinks that he’s done a good thing, but soon learns that the warden had another hidden camera aiming at his cell the whole time. The warden now knows that he’s the Flash. Worse, he slipped some drugs into Barry’s food. As Barry collapses to the floor, the warden reminds him that he said everyone in the prison is a monster. After locking Barry up in a meta-proof cell, the evil warden calls Amunet (Katee Sackhoff) and offers Barry up for sale.

Episode Verdict

There’s really no point in complaining about the goofy science on this show, but the amazing coincidence that being hit by Rundin’s shrink blast a second time will somehow both unshrink Cisco and Harry and cure them of what Harry did to them (and all within seconds before they blow up) is incredibly lazy writing that draws attention to its own inanity.

Setting that aside, the hijinks with tiny Ralph and Cisco are amusing, and the psychic Cecille storyline is kind of fun. The plot twist about the warden being evil is also clever enough that I’ll give this episode a pass.

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