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‘The Flash’ 7×17 recap: “Heart of the Matter, pt 1”

Barry and his family must act to stop history from repeating itself.

The Flash episode, “Heart of the Matter, pt 1”, aired on 13 July.

It is the 150th episode of The Flash, so we needed something special. A full proper introduction to Nora and Bart Allen (especially the latter) plus the return of Jay Garrick sounds special enough. My only gripe is that it’s already the second-last episode of the season, because this story would have had more emotional stakes if they had more build up through this season.

“It happened again.”

In 2049, Nora and Bart pursue Godspeed the OG, who evades them because they are too busy bickering (haha, like perfect siblings). They chase him to the Flash Museum (present-day Star Labs). Godspeed uses the speed treadmill to open up a portal to 2021, and the siblings chase him through it.

And poof, here they are in present day, stunning everyone with their random appearance. Nora is aware of “the other Nora”, having heard her parents tell stories of the other timeline.

Another wave of Godspeed clones show up, so the Flash takes his kids for a run. They run in different directions hoping to break up the Godspeeds, but all the clones chase Impulse, calling him “the adversary”. When Barry questions the Godspeeds’ behaviour, both younger speedsters get fidgety.

Back at Star Labs, Barry goes into dad mode. “Which one of you is going to tell me what’s going on?” Nora says they can’t tell as it could risk the timeline, but Barry persists. Eventually, Bart lets out that Godspeed is “my Thawne”.

Calling all speedsters

Meanwhile on Earth-something, Jay Garrick regained his speed with the rebirth of the Speed Force. He correctly guesses this means Barry needs help, but before he can travel to Earth prime, Godspeed clones surround him.

Iris returns, and she and Barry ponder the implications of Bart’s word choice. If Thawne killed Barry’s mother, what did Godspeed do to Bart?

Anyhow, they both decide their (future) son shouldn’t be in the field because of this. Bart runs to the West house, where Nora comforts him. That’s where we learn that Bart was close to his “Uncle Jay”, who knew how to handle and support Bart’s impulsive personality. Godspeed killed Uncle Jay right in front of Bart.

Barry and Iris resolve to end the Godspeed war so that in the future, Godspeed can’t hurt Bart, thus breaking the family trend of witnessing your parental figure’s murder. Barry tries to locate Wally, but Kid Flash (not so kid anymore, though) is meditating to “handle unrest on the psychic plane”. Nora and Bart try to argue for their participation, but their parents say they will put them in a pipeline cell to make them behave. (The stern way Grant Gustin and Candace Patton delivered those few lines made me LOL.)

Familiar faces

The Godspeeds send a warning to Star Labs: they have Jay Garrick. Bart, unable to control his emotions, runs off. He finds the Godspeeds with a busted-up Jay in a chapel. Bart charges at the Godspeeds.

Cut to the Flash arriving at the church, where his son’s screams are heard from outside. The Godspeeds have apprehended Bart and one of them is somehow pinning him to the ceiling while siphoning his speed. The Flash charges at the Godspeed and phases through the Godspeed’s blast – and then through the Godspeed itself, a move we saw Impulse do in the future.

It is not enough, however, and the Godspeeds surround the speedsters. And then deux ex machina – a vibe blast freezes the Godspeeds.


Heart and Mind

Cisco’s intervention allowed Barry to take the injured and unconscious Bart back to Star Labs. Jay seems surprised to learn he is the person Bart loves the most.

Joe and Kramer turn Adam over to the feds before making their way back to Central City. Joe can’t shake Adam’s “Kristen Kramer died in the explosion” statement, while Kramer seems to be trying her best to forget it. As they approach their destination, they see a jam in the opposite direction as everyone tries to leave. And then two Godspeeds fight on top of their car.

Team Flash decide to go inside the mind August Heart (who is still here, being amnesiac) to understand why Godspeed killed Jay and how the war started. August agrees. “I need to know who I am, even if it’s someone I despise.”

With some tech, Jay’s helmet, and Cecile’s powers (which the writers bend and mould to their convenience), Barry enters August’s mind. He finds himself in the chapel, but there is an ostentatious giant marble throne that looks like a giant crystal point cluster. Godspeed – with his mask off showing August’s face – takes his seat and says he expected Barry a lot sooner.

A pre-finale review of the Flash

This would have worked better if we had more time with Amnesiac August. Say he had sort of become a member of Team Flash and had helped them with a few missions. That him saying he needs to know who he really is even if he hates that person would hold far more weight.

If only we hadn’t spent all that time on the “forces are our children” thing…which now seems like an elaborate way to explain why Jay Garrick can have his speed again. And yet they can’t explain Iris’ phasing-in-and-out-of-time affliction. Even Allegra just gets a really out of place D-plot where she starts blasting UV waves instead of her usual microwave. I guess I should be glad they even allocated time to show her grieving her cousin.

This season already had to take out its first few episodes to wrap up season 6, so with the shorter episode count, it should have focused on one main arc. Instead, they jumped from the Kramer-is-out-for-all-metas storyline to the Forces storyline to this. (And will they ever resolve that cliffhanger with Frost and Hunky Bartender?)

On the positive, I’m so glad to have Bart and Nora here. I’m glad their presence was integral to the plot rather than feeling like visiting guests. It helped that Bart’s story parallels Barry’s past so deeply. I also wholeheartedly enjoyed Jordan Fisher’s performance and interpretation of the character. The way Bart leans over like in a trust fall before he starts running is such a good detail.

Side note: they kind of acknowledge that this version of Nora is older (conceived in 2021 not 2024).

Brush up on The Flash before next week’s finale with all our past recaps!

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Ellen Ng

Ellen is a exhibition planner by day and TV fanatic by night. Currently brewing lots of matcha and managing a team in Fantasy Premier League.

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