Is Ralph Dibny Really Gone From The Flash?


In the past couple weeks, The Flash sure has played host to its share of surprises. In addition to introducing us to Laurel Lance’s Nazi doppelganger, Siren-X, we were witness to a tragedy that the entire season had been leading up to. Of course, we’re referring to Clifford DeVoe taking over the body of the final bus meta, that being Ralph Dibny AKA the Elongated Man.

Naturally, this dramatic change in status quo has forced many viewers to question whether Ralph is really gone, for at least a few devoted fans of the Arrowverse are likely expecting some sort of eleventh hour miracle play to be made by the STAR Labs crew. After all, it’s something that fictional storytelling has trained us to do over the years.

Well, executive producer and showrunner Todd Helbing is here to say “not so fast,” offering up the following during a recent interview:

“Ralph’s… he’s gone. Look, the journey that we wanted to take Barry on was very much [this]. He felt responsible for this guy and he brought him into the team. And even when he was in jail, the team was helping Ralph become a hero. And then Barry trains him and it has this impact on him that changes his sort of philosophy on how to stop villains moving forward — particularly the Thinker. . . . Barry needed to have this big loss in order for him to fully come around to ‘We can do this together, we can try to stop DeVoe together.'”

In truth, that’s the response I was expecting because, again, this whole deal just felt like a complete arc. Plus, if Ralph were indeed coming back, Hartley Sawyer likely would’ve been announced as a series regular for season 5 by now.

To me, at least, there been a silver lining to this situation, and that’s been Neil Sandilands returning as DeVoe. During the time he’d been hopping from host to host, none of the actors brought the same gravitas to the role. In fact, what Helbing said next had much to do with seeing the familiar face:

“As you saw in episode 18, that was all part of DeVoe’s plan. Ralph Dibny’s body is the only one that can sustain his mind. So yeah, he needed that body and like he said, it had an ancillary benefit. He could fully return to form.

So this whole thing that you saw with his wife Marlize, you know, he was using these drugs to keep her in love with him because he knew how strange that was gonna be with him inhabiting other bodies. Now the two of them are back, but as you noted, the emotional component of DeVoe has become less and less and less. That is really the big challenge on the DeVoe side… Marlize realizing that her husband is pretty much gone to her forever.”

In order to find out where the saga heads next, be sure to check out The Flash on Tuesday nights on The CW.

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