the flash elongated man

Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 4 of The Flash Season 4, called "Elongated Journey Into Night."

We've known for a while that The Flash would be introducing a brand new superhero in Season 4 whose powers don't involve superspeed. No, Elongated Man -- a.k.a. Ralph Dibny -- would have the ability to stretch his body in crazy ways, which would come in handy if he was to become an ally to Team Flash. Although Dibny had a cameo appearance earlier in Season 4, he finally made his big debut in "Elongated Journey Into Night," and it's already evident that he could be key to Team Flash taking on the Thinker.

At the very end of the episode, Barry asked private investigator Ralph why he had begun to investigate the mayor in the first place, as it was this investigation that kicked off the chain of events that had Team Flash scrambling throughout the hour. Ralph explained that a client reached out to him with the case, although they never actually met. In fact, Ralph only knew the client by his last name: DeVoe.

The "DeVoe" name drop was enough to remind Barry of all the Season 3 hints that a baddie by the name of DeVoe would get in his way at some point, and suddenly Ralph became an even more valuable ally to Team Flash. He has a connection to the Thinker, even if neither he nor Team Flash are aware of just what it means at this point.

Of course, the Thinker is far too smart to have left Ralph with a contact number or anything, and it doesn't sound like they exchanged a whole lot of information. He may have even deliberately given Ralph his name so he would reveal it to Barry and the others. Still, Barry so far has next to nothing on the Thinker. Ralph could come in quite handy as Barry and Co. begin to piece things together about the man pulling so many strings in Central City.

There's also the point that Ralph's abilities as a stretchy metahuman could give Team Flash an advantage in the field. Being able to stretch and absorb blows aren't exactly the most badass powers in the Arrow-verse, but they've already been proven as amazingly effective in fighting enemies. Barry wasn't able to do any damage with a punch to Ralph's face, as Ralph's face just absorbed the punch and Barry's whole first. Ralph also survived being shot, as the bullet just went through his stretchy skin. Joe probably would have died if Ralph hadn't been on hand with his abilities. He could be quite an asset against the Thinker, who seems to have tailored his dastardly plan specifically against Barry as the Flash.

Finally, we have to acknowledge that Ralph isn't exactly the most brilliant or principled character ever to cross the threshold of Star Labs, and that could actually work in Team Flash's favor against the new baddie of the season. The Thinker has set himself apart thanks to his amazing ability to predict and outsmart everybody else's choices; if Ralph is unpredictable (and dumb) enough, he could be a variable in the Thinker's plan, and a variable may be all that it takes to do some damage. We'll have to wait and see.

Tune in to The CW on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET to catch new episodes of The Flash. It's only a matter of time before Barry and Co. connect the dots between the Thinker and everything that's been happening in Central City, and they now have a new (and very stretchy) hand on deck to help out.

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