A couple of old friends return to Team Flash this week. One of those old friends is Wally, who has learned in his mystical training abroad how to communicate at will with the Speed Force, and knows it is dying. The sentient energy that powers speedsters was unknowingly corrupted when Barry borrowed the powers of the Spectre/Oliver Queen to save the universe.
Barry’s character has always been the most empathetic on the show, quick to beat himself up over his failures, and boy, his tears and self-loathing really flow in this ep. Almost everyone on the show takes their turn telling him “It wasn’t your fault” or “You didn’t know that would happen” or “You made the right call.” Overkill.
But it did remind me as a viewer what a great actor Grant Gustin is. The ability to cry on cue, subtle facial expressions of surprise, worry, confusion, dumbfoundedness…Gustin is always entertaining to watch, and shows a full emotional range in this episode. Especially in a heartbreaking scene inside the Speed Force, where the entity that has always assumed the form of Barry’s Mother in order to communicate with him, lies dying in his arms. It’s déjà vu all over again.
The “Fractal Iris” subplot continues, but through most of this episode, you’d never know it, since Real Iris’ imperfect mirror duplicate says and does all the things Iris would do. Until the end, when someone discovers she isn’t really Iris. How many more episodes will Iris have to be trapped behind the Looking Glass with the new Mirror Master (the worst kept secret and longest slow burn ever)?
A new villain shows up this week, one who can fast forward time within force fields she creates. Look for a very cool special effects scene as they battle her in Central City Police HQ.
The other subplot that’s been boiling is the return of Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash. He’s been appearing as various ghostly versions of Harrison Wells, tormenting Nash, the rebooted universe’s last remaining version of Wells, and makes his final move this week. It’s as chilling as ever to see actor Tom Cavanagh portray the coldblooded killer whose sole desire is to kill Barry and everyone he cares about. But his reappearance has revealed to Barry and Team Flash the way to deal with the Death of the Speed Force, and how to make sure Barry doesn’t lose his speed.
Try the The Flash Drinking Game: take a drink every time the show’s director comes up with a clever way to hide actor Danielle Panabaker’s baby bump.
• a spectacular special effects sequence where Kid Flash rescues a stalled helicopter
• another cool SFX battle scene with the villain and two Flashes
The Flash, airs Tuesdays on The CW. Catch up on recent episodes online at cwtv.com