The midseason finale of The Flash Season 4 ended on a shocking cliffhanger that saw Barry framed for the murder of Clifford DeVoe, who was actually alive after transferring his consciousness into the young and healthy body of a mind-reading meta. The trailer for the midseason premiere seemed to hint that Barry might reveal his identity as the Flash in order to get out of the murder charge, but “The Trial of The Flash” proved that Barry was unwilling to do so. In fact, he even outright stated that he wouldn’t use his powers to escape if he was convicted. Well, The Flash just went right ahead and convicted Barry of murder in a twist that was surprisingly heartbreaking for a few big reasons.
Barry actually spent most of the episode out of the action, with Cisco, Joe, Caitlin, and Ralph working to take down the metahuman menace of the week. Unfortunately, this particular meta’s powers involved leaking radiation to all the people in his immediate vicinity, earning him the name “Fallout.” He was unintentionally harming others by his mere presence. His radiation was getting progressively stronger, and by the end of the episode, he was on the verge of going nuclear and taking a big chunk of Central City with him. Barry raced out of the closing statements of his own murder trial in order to take Fallout down.
As the Flash, he had to use his speed to create a vortex around Fallout, exposing himself to amounts of radiation that very nearly killed him. He and Cisco were ultimately able to stop Fallout from accidentally unleashing radiation into Central City in what was arguably one of Team Flash’s biggest victories. Then, Barry returned to STAR Labs where he saw a news broadcast reporting that he had been convicted.
Learning of his conviction just after taking out a very big threat was only the first heartbreaking twist. When Barry returned to court for sentencing, he learned that he was being locked up for life with no hope of parole. The judge was so convinced of Barry’s guilt of abusing his position with the CCPD to murder a handicapped man that he even delivered a lengthy speech about how heartless, unapologetic, and uninterested Barry seemed throughout the trial. It was a speech that painted a cruel picture of the man who had risked everything time and time again to save innocent lives, even if he wasn’t always especially successful. Talk about kicking a man when he’s down!
The judge’s speech was intercut with a speech being delivered by Captain Singh at the CCPD. Singh was honoring the Flash for showing absolute selflessness and dedication to protecting Central City in taking down Fallout, and the good captain went on to announce to reporters that he was awarding the Central City Award of Valor to the Flash. Sadly, the Flash will not be able to receive the award in person, as he was taken to a cell and locked up by the very end of the episode. His greatest honor since Flash Appreciation Day (and the one that he arguably most deserves) is one that he can’t claim because he was framed by a supervillain.
Then, in the final moments of the episode, Barry discovered something in his cell that had to make everything even worse for him. Scratched into the wall was the message “Henry Allen was here.” Barry is locked up for life for a crime he didn’t commit in the same cell in which his dad spend more than a decade locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. At least Barry didn’t lose his wife as Henry did. We can bet that Barry won’t spend years and years in jail either, given that The Flash is all about him and the show will need to keep in the same timeframe as the other shows in the Arrow-verse for the sake of crossovers. Still, he’s in a difficult place, and the second half of Season 4 isn’t off to a very upbeat start. We can only wait and see what happens next.
Tune in to The CW on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET for new episodes of The Flash. If you’re in the market for other shows as well, take a look at our midseason TV premiere guide and our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule.