“Fear Me” is season 7 episode 5 of The Flash, and aired on 31st March.
Was this supposed to be a Halloween episode? Did COVID really delay the season by SEVEN MONTHS??? I mean, whispery voices, creepy visions, glowing eyes, zombie walking… The Flash was really pulling out all the horror visual tropes.
Then there’s the theme: facing your fear. Perhaps no one exemplifies this better than Barry Allen himself. Throughout the episode, he keeps repeating the mantra “we’ve faced XYZ villains before, we can face whatever comes next.” But it skirts around his real fear: losing his loved ones because he fails to beat the big bad.
Force and effect
Remember when Barry gained the artificial speed force for good and unleashed all that lightning around Central City? And then said lightning was associated with the appearance of
hulk Fuerza (Spanish for ‘strength’, as Cisco explains)?
The next two lightning creatures/things/forms appear: the Speed Force, looking like Nora Allen (senior, i.e. Barry’s mother), and Psych, a terrifying emphatic villain that makes people hallucinate their worst fears. (Is this the original speed force? or the artificial one? or just a speed force, generic?) As Forces, they are immune to Barry’s lightning.
This seems to be taking after a 2018 comic storyline where the Speed Force’s counterparts are unleashed: Strength, Sage, and Still. Strength is Fuerza, Sage is Psych, and based on casting news, Still is on the way.
A waking nightmare
Psych wanders around Central City giving people nightmares. He (it?) is freaky, but also quite quippy. “That is an immaculate if not excessively reductive assessment of the situation,” he says casually, when Barry calls one of his hallucinations a fake Godzilla.
The truly scary thing about Psych is that his nightmares CAN hurt you. He makes Barry see himself fighting Reverse Flash and Savitar. When Savitar stabs Barry, Barry bleeds out in reality. (PS how does Savitar stabbing the Flash to death work? He’s stabbing his past self, won’t that create a paradox that kills him? Anyhows, it was just a hallucination.)
Psych eventually figures out what really scares Barry: that beating all those past villians and Crisis doesn’t mean he can beat the next one (i.e. the Forces) and save his loved ones again. Once that vision appears, it shakes Barry to the core. A heart-to-heart with Cecile, who has been sensing EVERYONE’S nightmares, makes him realise he has to accept this fear and not let villains use it to stall him.
To beat the villain, be the villain
Cecile FINALLY gets her chance to shine. Having just learnt she can project emotions onto other people, she now takes it up a notch, with a boost. Team Flash bring the Thinker’s chair out of the storeroom. With it, Cecile can sense the whole city’s emotions, as well as project emotions long-distance.
Barry faces Psych head on, finding the courage to push through the hallucination. Cecile takes this courage and pushes it out across the whole city, effectively countering Psych. In response, Psych fizzles and disappears??? I’m not 100% sure that’s the last we’ve seen of him/it.
Elsewhere, Killer Frost is enjoying life split from Caitlin. However, Caitlin seems desperate to re-merge the both of them using the Firestorm matrix. (Dang, The Flash is really pulling out bits and pieces from the archives here.) Of course, they talk things out in the end and decide to become roommates. Hmm, the neighbours are gonna be so confused.
Staying separate might have been disadvantageous, however. Kristen Kramer, a prosecutor from Gotham, is in town and here to apprehend Frost for her past crimes. She also gives off sus vibes (are we still using the word ‘sus’?) and her past is covered up. Iris and Joe are already on her trail.
Incidentally, Frost’s hallucination was Caitlin turning her in for her crimes.
The Flash and the future
In a hallucination, Barry sees Iris’ corpse revive all zombie-like. Zombie Iris tells him that in failing to save her, he also failed to save “our children”. CHILDREN??????????
Just this week, the CW announced Jordan Fisher will appear as Bart Allen sometime this season. In the comics, Bart is Barry’s grandson. However, the CW announcement said this Bart will be Barry and Iris’ “future son”.
No tornado twins? Well, I’m still holding out. Zombie Iris did say children.
In the meantime, as Speed Force Nora regains her (its?) strength, it messes with Barry’s powers, as if he is overloading with energy. To avoid hurting anyone, he seals himself in a coma chamber.
- Barry’s face when he saw Frost and Caitlin in separate bodies
- Killer Frost and Cisco bonding (and bantering) was such fun. “What have I said about disparaging ‘This is Us’?” That cast is too precious for this world.”
- Killer Frost and Caitlin splitting adds another layer to my KillerVibe shipping
- It was nice to see two sets of Westallen family bonding. Iris and Joe started their father-daughter detective team. Barry and Cecile got in on the meta action together and had some in-laws emotional bonding.
- Is it strange that they never showed us Cisco’s hallucination? He says it was about Kamilla. I would have guessed it had to do with his brother or The Thawne Thing From Another Timeline
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Find our previous the Flash recaps in our Flash Zone.