The Flash episode 7×10, “Family Matters, part 1” aired on 18 May 2021.
The Flash is often considered a family drama, in that it’s friendly enough for the family to watch together over dinner. The show also has had plenty of family themes. The whole series started with Barry losing his parents and moving in with the Wests. Team Star Labs in themselves are a wonderful found family. We’ve had Nora West-Allen, Dante Ramon, Wally West, and the chilly Snow family. Now, the show brings us its latest family iteration: Barry and Iris and their “children”, aka the Forces.
Well at least he’s eating the rich
Where were we? Oh yeah, Nora’s gone crazy and is threatening Deon. Then she calls him her little brother and says she wants his help to take down “their father” Barry Allen. What??
Meanwhile, Psych has been visiting billionaires and sending them into narcoleptic shocks. Iris notices the victims were all part of an elite league. She tracks down the president, Naomi, to warn her and find out the names of the other remaining member, Lucas.
Psych interrupts their conversation, and Naomi recognises him immediately, so he reveals his civilian identity: Basheer Malik. It turns out, Basheer was also part of this rich people club, but went broke and couldn’t continue paying membership fees. Naomi taunts him about it, so he offs her too.
The Flash shows up to confront Psych, who can shoot laser tentacles from his back now???
Barry is convinced that Fuerza can fight Psych if Alexa is able to control the Strength Force. However, Alexa is hesitant to try channeling the Strength Force again. And rightly so. When she finally transforms at Barry’s urging, she ends up throwing Cisco across the pipeline. Ouch.
Caitlin confronts Barry about his insistence on forcing Alexa to transform. She reminds him that he learnt to control his powers over months with Thawne.
Your greatest enemy was more patient with you than you are with your own “daughter”.
P.S. Alexa, girl is jacked.
An empathetic Caitlin later gives Alexa the hallway chat. She talks about her own experience with Killer Frost, and gives Alexa the mental dampener so she can talk to Fuerza. Barry apologises. As you should, Barry.
The Flash and his Force family
With some digging, Iris finds out Basheer’s adoptive parents left him in debt when their plane crashed as they escaped the country for tax evasion. The league kicked him out then. However, it was only president Naomi who ejected him. The others actually tried to start a fund to help Basheer, but he had gone off the grid by then.
Psych finally catches up to Lucas, who claims he tried to reach out to Basheer. Basheer isn’t having it, but the Flash speeds Lucas away just in time.
The Flash and Alexa then confront Psych. Barry is no match for the “magentacles”, but Alexa manages to bring out Fuerza safely with the dampener. Fuerza is impervious to the magentacles, and subdues Psych. However, it is eventually Alexa, the person, who gets to Basheer and convinces him to return to Star Labs in peace.
By the way, Iris can telepathically talk to the Forces?????
WestAllen talk to Alexa and Basheer about finding their other “siblings”. And then everyone gets a weird feeling.
Because Nora and Deon have shown up. Deon looks a bit apologetic as he time-freezes everyone. Then Nora zaps them all. Everyone but Barry collapses as Deon time ports himself and Nora out of there.
What the actual fishcakes?? Did she take everyone’s powers or something? Jesus. I hate her more and more.
Elsewhere, Kramer is back with her anti-meta-criminals mission. Joe confronts her about a shipment of meta-cure dart rifles she’s brought in. He wants to have her investigated, but Cecile tells him that it is pointless. Kramer is the type of person who will insist on her way regardless of who’s pushing. So instead, Joe decides he can’t work with this new direction she wants CCPD to go, and resigns.
That isn’t the only big change. Kamilla and Cisco already decided last week to leave Central City eventually. Kamilla is really on the ball about it–she’s started job hunting in Miami. Cisco however, isn’t so sure. Not that he doesn’t want to leave, but he isn’t sure where to go and what to do.
He also finally reveals what he saw in his Psych-induced nightmare: he was stuck at Star Labs forever while everyone moved on to new things, leaving him to regret not moving on as well.
This episode’s a difficult one. Not gonna lie, I find the whole ‘family’ angle of this a bit forced. It sounds weird when the Forces call each other brother and sister and call Barry their dad. (Especially when Nora does it because she literally has the face of his mum.) So far, the only thing that works for me is Alexa and Basheer’s budding rivalry going on.
Barry has also felt really out of character lately. He keeps acting obstinately and sometimes even forcefully, putting him at odds with the team. I’m glad Caitlin told him off this week, but I really wonder what the writers are doing with him.
I found Cisco’s “worst nightmare” interesting, but it also fell a bit flat. Like oh, he’s scared of stagnating. But that doesn’t translate directly to leaving Central City. Infact, it almost comes across as “I’m going to move on before everyone else moves on from me.”
I’m still not sure if this Forces storyline can become a hit. But I really love the way Psych talks. He sounds so insouciant and dropped some pretty good liners like “You are a very big baby sister” and “This is why people shouldn’t have kids.”
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