The Flash‘s newest member is sticking around S.T.A.R. labs, it seems. After seemingly being killed off in Season 4, Hartley Sawyer‘s Ralph Dibney (a.k.a. The Elongated Man) was able to help the team defeat DeVoe while living in his mind. Since DeVoe was using his body, once he was defeated, Ralph could rise again. And, it seems, he’s going to remain a permanent part of the team.
According to Deadline, Sawyer has been upped to a series regular on the show for its upcoming fifth season (which could use some work). That news is good or bad, depending on your tolerance for Dibney, For me, I tend to think that a little Dibney goes a long way, so making him a regular member of Team Flash is moving in the wrong direction. It was actually a really powerful and surprising thing when he was killed off late into Season 4 (after learning a Very Important Lessons about friendship, of course), but dead is never dead in the CW’s DC universe.
If the show moves more towards a police procedural for Season 5 (which would actually make a ton of sense and give the characters more to do than just hang around S.T.A.R. labs all the time), then more Dibney could work. He and Joe could actually work cases, with Barry doing his CSI work where superspeed isn’t always a way to fix everything. More likely, though, Dibney will just continue to crack crass jokes and shoehorn in “humor” that the show desperately needs to embrace again, but sophomoric fart jokes are not the way to do it.
This news comes somewhat on the heels of another announcement, that Keiynan Lonsdale will no longer be a series regular for Legends of Tomorrow Season 4, which was his own choice. It seems that the actor, like his character, wants to take some time to explore other options. It’s a narrative shame only because Wally was a great addition to the Waverider team, and showed how super-speed could be used to both comedic and utilitarian effect without immediately having to go into God Mode.
I’m still optimistic about the new season of The Flash, because I always am, but this doesn’t fill with me a lot of confidence. Let me know what you guys think — is more Dibney a good thing?