“Death of the Speed Force” aired on 10 March 2020 as part of The Flash season 6.
Hello everyone, hope you had a productive Super Tuesday. Now it’s back to Superhero Tuesday. And there’s extra superhero this week because WALLY WEST IS BACK!!!!
Kid Flash returns
Wally West returns to Central City having gone on a spiritual journey, with newfound zen wisdom and a deeper connection to his powers. Cisco also comes back from his travels documenting post-Crisis changes. (He casually mentions that he visited Atlantis. No biggie.)
Sadly, neither return bears good news. Wally informs Barry that something is wrong with the speed force. Barry has had little signs of this in the last few episodes, but brushes Wally off. Wally learns about Barry’s incident with the Speed Force Nora Allen and Bloodwork from (mirror) Iris. He uses his meditation to bring them both into the speed force, forcing Barry to face the truth.
Wally blames it on Barry for not telling him and always trying to fix things himself, leading to the situation worsening beyond repair. Joe later calms the younger speedster down. Barry revisits the speed force, where the image of his mother tells him it was the spectre energy Barry used in Crisis that upset the speed force. She (it?) tells him she loves him and not to blame himself before dying.
Turtle (sort of) returns
Meanwhile, Cisco came back to Central City early because of the metahuman Turtle 2.0. Turtle 2.0 used to run a drug ring until a Russian socialite ratted her out. With the socialite and some associates visiting Central City, Turtle 2.0 seizes her chance to get revenge. Her powers are similar to the first Turtle’s but with a dangerous twist: instead of just slowing down time, she can manipulate someone’s kinetic energy to speed up their ageing while everyone else stays the same, effectively killing the person.
This functions mostly as a B-plot. It is unclear if she is somehow related to the Black Hole organization. But taking her down with a modified Velocity X serum is the Flash’s and Kid Flash’s first escapade post-speed force death.
Also, on the way to facing Turtle 2.0, Barry and Wally phase through a building together, a nice little shout out to the early days of Barry training Wally. (Incidentally, that was the first recap of The Flash I wrote for Pure Fandom.)
Reverse Flash returns
Kid Flash isn’t the only speedster back in town.
Nash tries to tell Cisco about the Harry-Sherloque-Thawne amalgam he encountered. Cisco initially chalks it off as ghosts. Caitlin has to chide him about being a jerk.
Oof, Cisco, you should have believed Nash earlier. When Cisco goes looking for Nash to apologise and offer his help, he finds that Thawne has overtaken Nash’s body. Luckily, this means Thawne doesn’t have his speed…for now. Really, The Flash? This show keeps finding new ways to remind us of the time Reverse Flash stuck his hand through Cisco’s heart.
Back in the pipeline, an apprehended Thawne goads Barry about the death of the speed force. The Flash and Kid Flash still have residual speed energy. But they will use up their powers will run out eventually. And once that happens, Thawne says he will finally complete what he set out to do: kill Barry.
I immensely enjoyed having Keiynan Lonsdale back for a day. He brought a new maturity and awareness to Wally’s character to highlight the character’s growth. Hopefully we will have more guest appearances from him.
It’s interesting to see how Wally and Barry are handling the imminent loss of their powers differently. Wally is joining the Peace Corps to find ways of helping others without his powers. Barry decides he wants to build his own speed force the way Thawne did. There’s something fundamentally different about those two approaches, and the significance is just escaping me at this moment. But it feels like something to think about.
Also…WALLY SENSES SOMETHING WRONG WITH IRIS!!!!!! I wish we got a scene where he talks to Barry about it, but he does tell Joe. I like the way it came out – it wasn’t a conspiratorial “something’s wrong with Iris” statement, but that it came from a place of care.
Speaking of Iris… There was a moment in this episode where it seemed that Eva McCulloch maybe is a bit nutty, even if most of it is an act. It’s still not clear what exactly her motives are. Kamilla also finds out Mirror-Iris isn’t really Iris, but Mirror-Iris shoots her with the mirror gun before she can do anything about it. Mirror-Iris messes with camera processing though. That might crop up again in the future.
Overall, this episode felt a bit like a filler. I’m not sure how Turtle 2 or Thawne fit into the Black Hole arc they were setting up. It almost feels like there is too much going on. I’m not sure if the show can handle it.
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