Today we're going to take a look at the single best episode of the season in each of the superhero-related shows I cover for Bleeding Cool. These are, of course, based on my opinion, and you are welcome to disagree in the comments below. What I look for in an episode is how it moves the characters, plot, and/or universe forward, as well as how memorable the episode is and how I felt about the series after having watched it. In the case of the Arrowverse shows, I'm skipping the Crisis on Earth-X crossover.
Let's kick this off with The Flash and why 'Elongated Journey Into Night' was the best episode of the season.
The episode, written by Sterling Gates and Thomas Pound and directed by Tom Cavanagh, changed the series drastically while highlighting what makes the series work. We are introduced to two new characters — first is Breacher (Danny Trejo), Gypsy's father, who immediately hates Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and decides to hunt him. This moves the relationship forward and gives Cisco a bit more of a story this season. It also sets up Breacher coming to Cisco for help later in the season and the offer he eventually makes. This is also one of the things the writers did to lighten up the series after getting so dark last season.
And, most importantly, this is where we meet Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer). Like when the Elongated Man was introduced to the Flash comic book series in 1960, he's introduced here to turn the tables on Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and put him in a mentor role, as well as make him see someone in a different way than his first impression. Barry and Ralph have a past that includes Ralph falsifying evidence on a case and getting fired after Barry exposes him. Barry has to step back and look at Ralph with fresh eyes — try to help him become a hero. And we get to see the whole origin of a hero story happening again, but with a very different personality type.
While the main story arc got a bit heavy again with Team Flash failing over and over to stop the Thinker (Neil Sandilands), the Ralph-centric episodes were a brilliant and refreshing oasis, as were the appearances of Breacher. Both of those characters started here. And besides that, the scene where Barry and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) walk past an alley then step back into frame as we see Ralph slowly melt down the side of a building was hilarious.