Title: The Flash: “License to Elongate” Review
Release Date: November 19th, 2019
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
“License to Elongate” was a bunch of filler. At times, it didn’t make much sense. But, when those final credits rolled, you realized this was a really fun episode of The Flash (which was also directed by Caitlin/Killer Frost actress Danielle Panabaker).
I think I’m far more forgiving of a filler episode like this because of two things. It leaned into the crazy James Bond-esque villain of the week story. I think that’s what made the episode so funny and enjoyable. Lastly, this season has had a ton of character development and build to its major arcs. A little bit of nonsensical entertainment doesn’t hurt the season at all.
The Ralph and Barry storyline was a blast. Remington Meister… wait, was that really his name? Yeah, I just looked it up (thanks Comicbook) and his name was seriously Remington Meister. Anyway, if you couldn’t tell by that name, this dude was a James Bond villain come to life. He had the cheesy lines, the outlandish evil plan, and he even left the good guys with time to escape their certain death. It should also be noted that Ralph was pretty much James Bond here right down to the crazy gadgets. On paper, this shouldn’t have worked. I should be sitting here giving this a one-star review but I don’t know what to tell you other than this was just a purely entertaining 40-ish minute episode.
I also really liked the continuity with Barry’s lack of skill when it came to undercover work. The “Allen Barry” line cracked me up as did the scene where Barry pretended to be drunk and told Ultraviolet how much he loved her in Mortal Kombat. Come to think of it, there are a lot of funny one-liners in this week’s episode. Which, judging by how dark the next few episodes are going to go, we probably needed these brief moments of comedy.
That’s not saying I didn’t find any faults with “License to Elongate”. The Cecile and Chester storyline was largely hit-or-miss. I do like Chester as a potential member of Team Flash down the road, I just don’t want him replacing any of our core characters (outside of a major Team Flash death in Crisis). As for Cecile, an underrated character who has primarily been used in terrible storylines, she was… not as great this week. For me, there’s a fine line between something being cringe comedy and just being pure cringe. This story leaned more towards the latter cringe. I just said the word cringe way too much there. Moving on.
The Nash and Allegra storyline seemed to be a horrible pairing from their first encounter but with each scene, the two began to win me over. I had some serious reservations about yet another Wells when he was first introduced. Over time, he’s proven to be a worthwhile character to be invested in. As I said in our review for “Kiss Kiss Breach Breach”, I think he’s kinda what people wanted Sherloque Wells to be in season 5. And just like every Wells, he is holding onto an intriguing secret. Full-disclosure, Allegra is a character I didn’t think this show needed right now. Another side character that has to learn about the multiverse and The Flash’s identity sounds tiresome. It also takes away from other possible storylines and characters we would much rather see. But, this season is using its side characters very well so far.
Chester, who is probably going to become a more prominent member of the team later in the season, was essentially sidelined for the first half to make way for some excellent Crisis development. Allegra, who I also thought would take screentime away from more beloved characters, hasn’t really done that. Instead, they are both being built up in small doses and used in other characters’ arcs. We learned more about both side characters this week but we also learned a lot about Cecile’s mindset and that Nash has a more troubled past (which probably includes The Monitor destroying his Earth).
Let’s get to that ending. Everything about that press conference was wonderful from Ralph’s speech that hinted at the big cliffhanger to Joe’s heartfelt speech at the end of the scene. To see Barry Allen, not The Flash, get some recognition from Central City and his family was a bittersweet moment that cemented my feelings that this show has superbly handled its build-up to Crisis. They may have to kill Barry in Crisis just to pay all this off. I’m joking. Hopefully, that’s not what we’ll see. Unless he’s brought back by the end of the crossover.
As for that cliffhanger, I really hope they can stick the landing with Bloodwork. He has been an outstanding villain for The Flash so far and it would be a shame for the character to falter down the stretch with a disappointing two-parter. The next episode sounds like it’s going to be our yearly deep dive into Barry’s mind, which sounds awesome.
Verdict: “License to Elongate” was a fun, sometimes nonsensical, filler episode of The Flash. It had its moments of pure enjoyment and other parts that just didn’t land. With the dark and dreary premise of the next few weeks, The Flash certainly needed something like this. I just hope it’ll be able to deliver a satisfying conclusion to the Bloodwork storyline and we can head into Crisis on Infinite Earths happy.
- The Ralph and Barry storyline
- Most of the comedy landed with some great one-liners in the Ralph/Barry story
- The Nash and Allegra storyline was also surprisingly entertaining
- Joe's heartfelt speech and Barry's moment
- That cliffhanger
- Most of the time, the Cecile and Chester stuff didn't click
- There were a few plot holes littered throughout the episode like how Ralph knew how to disarm The Ring of Fire and make it self-destruct in a few seconds