The Flash season 4, episode 9 review: Don’t Run


Barry and Caitlin are kidnapped by The Thinker and Amunet Black respectively. The rest of the team tries to track them down as they are individually challenged on The Flash.

The midseason of The Flash is set to be full of holiday spirit as we open with Wells and Cisco arguing over the proper way to decorate. There’s a small team exchange that results in Caitlin feeling like the team prefers Killer Frost. Caitlin leaves the lab before we cut to Barry and Iris going through wedding gifts. Barry and Iris talk about the fact that Barry has been using his super speed less than usual. We are then treated to an exchange between the Thinker and the Mechanic in their home.

Caitlin is seen in Jitters, drinking a Killer Frost (a frozen coffee drink), when Wells arrives to talk with her. As they converse Amunet makes her entrance and kidnaps Caitlin, fitting her with a power dampener in the process. At the same time DeVoe attacks Barry as he and Iris are walking through the city, DeVoe captures Barry. The rest of the team meet in the Cortex to discuss their strategy. Cisco attempts to vibe Barry but it only results in pain for Cisco. It seems as though the team is going to use their S.T.A.R. Labs satellites to track both at the same time.

Barry is in the lair of The Thinker, held by some kind of force field. Meanwhile, Caitlin is in an abandoned hospital, where Amunet has a meta in need of medical attention. Caitlin initially refuses to help but quickly changes her tune when Amunet threatens to just kill him. The meta, Dominic, wakes up and chats with Caitlin. It looks like we have a telepath on our hands (and he is indeed one of the Bus Metas). The Thinker joins Barry in his lair and begins to let Barry in on what he wants. Joe arrives at the DeVoe home with Wells as backup. DeVoe challenges them, inviting Joe and Wells to search his home. They don’t find anything.

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Despite the lair being apparently connected to the home, it’s not direct. Inside, Barry attempts to break free of his cell and the Mechanic chides him. Barry appeals to the Mechanic from one spouse to another, but the Mechanic shuts him down. In the Cortex, the team is stressed as are their resources. Cisco and Dibny get heated and Iris gets a pep talk from Wells. Wells tells Iris that she needs to take the lead and choose who to find first.

In the abandoned hospital, Caitlin and Dominic discuss Killer Frost. They attempt to escape after Caitlin express that she doesn’t want to do the surgery there. Despite using Dominic’s powers to avoid the guards, Caitlin and Dominic are stopped by Amunet. Amunet opens up to Caitlin about her past and then offers Caitlin her admiration. Ever the villain, Amunet follows up with a lethal threat. Back at the Cortex, Cisco and Dibny reconcile (the holiday spirit is strong). Iris makes the difficult decision to find Caitlin before Barry.

Caitlin performs the surgery, successfully removing the shrapnel. Dominic seemingly goes into shock, but it is revealed its all a part of the plan. Caitlin had let the anesthetic fill the room rather than pump it into Dominic. When Amunet and her goons hit the floor, Dominic and Caitlin head for the door. Amunet almost stops them but is, in turn, stopped by Dibny and Cisco who had breached just in time.

Back in The Thinker’s lair, Barry found a way out of his cell and he tries to apprehend DeVoe. Defoe teleports above Central City and drags Barry with him. After a scuffle in the sky, Barry finally makes use of his suit’s life raft feature as The Thinker crashes into the water. Barry returns to S.T.A.R. Labs, bruised but alive. The team discusses where DeVoe could have gone but the results are inconclusive. Barry and Iris talk about Iris’ tough call. The team retires to the West house for the annual Christmas party, Dibny expresses his feelings to the team. Dominic (having been invited by Caitlin) arrives at the West house.

An alarm is set off at Barry and Iris’ apartment and Barry races over to see what went wrong. While there, Dominic calls Barry and intimates that he is in fact DeVoe. The audience is treated to the events that allowed DeVoe to transfer his consciousness to Dominic’s body (it has to do with his powers). It seems Dominic has called to gloat, as DeVoe’s body is in the Allens’ apartment, already stabbed. Barry is being framed for murder. The police arrive and the fastest man alive resists the urge to run.

Quick Thoughts

While “Don’t Run” isn’t the strongest episode of the season, it does have its moments and it does end on a pretty great cliffhanger. Caitlin was able to work through some of her issues regarding feeling inferior to her alternate persona Killer Frost, Iris was able to make a difficult decision as the leader of Team Flash and Dibny was able to sincerely express himself to the team.

I think DeVoe’s plot to frame Barry for murder is a great way for a villain known as The Thinker to get at The Flash. Rather than try and beat the Scarlet Speedster in a contest of strength, he beat beat him in a game of wits. Barry’s decision to stay put instead of using his speed to run away from his problem will lead to an interesting second half of the season. I hope they don’t let Barry get out of his legal trouble in one episode, there’s plenty to explore with the situation he finds himself in. It’s gonna be a long hiatus until we find out what happens to Central City’s Speedster.

Messages from the Cortex

  • Cisco and Wells bickering over their holiday decorating was a treat.
  • “I don’t have to run when I’m with you” felt genuinely sweet and I cannot wait to steal that for my Christmas cards this year.
  • I know Cisco’s T-Shirts are a fun part of the character, but can we get a subscription box based solely on his T-Shirts and great one-liners?
  • I’m happy to know that Amunet Black gets lost during Caitlin’s science talk too.
  • Seriously, the chemistry between Grant Gustin and Neil Sandilands is the best between our hero and an antagonist since we had the Reverse Flash in Season 1.
  • Amunet’s compliment and threaten maneuver was tender and motivating.
  • It’s great that the showrunners still give Caitlin opportunities to be an accomplished Doctor and not just some Lab Assistant eye candy.
  • I kind of love Dibny’s non-costume but I am hoping he gets something a little more fun by the end of the season.

Next: 50 greatest super heroes in comic book history

The Flash returns on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET on the CW. Meanwhile, keep your eye on Bam Smack Pow as we’re going to be covering your favorite shows through their midseason finales.