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In Season 4 of The Flash, the series is taking its mission to be funny and lighthearted seriously. Nowhere is this more apparent than in “Luck Be A Lady,” an episode that features more jokes and smiles than most of Season 3. In another welcome change, we get an antagonist with a background and a personality—a sharp contrast (pun intended) to the ciphers that the Flash fought last year. Sprinkle in some status quo changes and a few shakeups to the Team Flash lineup, and you’ve got an episode of The Flash that leaves you anticipating more.
“Luck Be A Lady” opens with this season’s mysterious Big Bad, the Thinker, narrating the tale of this week’s villain: Hazard, alias Rebecca “Becky” Sharpe, who happens to be based on a minor DC Comics villain of the same name. Rebecca is a “Becky” in the Urban Dictionary sense of the word, but we sympathize with her because she’s had a remarkable string of bad luck, ranging from being cheated on by her boyfriend to losing her job at a casino after being sexually harassed by one of the patrons. But the odds are finally in her favor when she (along with, among others, last week’s tech baddie Kilg%re) take a fateful ride on a Central City public bus…
In the course of events, Team Flash learns that Becky and the other passengers were hit with dark matter as a result of Barry opening a Speed Force portal into our dimension (thus providing the showrunners another convenient origin story for the baddies Barry will be bashing this season). In an ironic twist, Becky now has the ability to affect “quantum entanglement” or, to put it in layman’s terms, the power of bad luck. With this ability, she can stroll into a bank and steal its money while accidents happen to bystanders in her vicinity. Played with bubbly charm by Canadian actress Sugar Lyn Beard, Becky/Hazard is hardly a dark criminal mastermind but rather a snakebitten woman who feels that her new powers are the cosmos’s way of making things up to her. She’s such the antithesis of a bad guy that she only wears the gambler costume from the comics in one scene. Whether that’s a good or bad thing depends on your point of view.
In addition to presenting us with a “villain” with fun powers, “Luck Be A Lady” throws several subplots our way. As befitting this season’s tone, these plots are primarily comedic in nature. In fact, they wouldn’t be out of place in a traditional network sitcom. For those who may be skeptical, judge these scenarios for yourself:
While the above list may seem like I’m being critical, “Luck Be A Lady” manages (for the most part) to display a deft touch with these humorous developments while not letting them overwhelm (too much) the superhero action. The episode culminates in a clever montage sequence in which the Flash confronts Hazard, whose powers are in overdrive as she wins big at a casino while everyone else in Central City experiences bad luck. As a result, Joe and Cecile are trapped in a “haunted” house, Cisco and Harrison grapple with faulty wiring at STAR Labs, and even a goose flies into an airplane engine (cue an unexpected cameo from Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger). Hazard is ultimately defeated when Harrison lets the particle accelerator at STAR Labs wash over Central City, thereby negating her powers. (I know this explanation doesn’t necessarily pass muster, but let’s just go with it.) By the end of the episode, Team Flash (re)gains a member in Harrison but loses one in poor Wally, who no one—including the audience—noticed was missing from this week’s adventure. It’s just as well in the case of Wally, a character whom the showrunners didn’t know what to do with going back to Season 3. But in sharp contrast to that dank and dour season, The Flash has finally regained its footing as a fun superhero show once again.