The Flash (6×14)- “Death of the Speed Force”
Written by: Sam Chalsen & Emily Palizzi
Directed by: Brent Crowell
That is in no way an ominous title… Anyway, let’s go!
We start off with some a mid-air high speed rescue and helicopter dismantling. Pretty standard stuff for Barry but apparently he’s made himself a nice cup of tea so it’s a good thing Wally’s back in town after way, way too long.
Wally’s back from his journey of Zen and the art of self-discovery to check in with friends and family and like the good friends and family they are the gang gives him a welcome back party.
However, Wally isn’t the only world traveler returning, Cisco is back from places as varied as Atlantis and the hipster neck wrap store!
At the end of the party, Wally and Barry stay behind for a high speed clean up but Barry’s powers go wonky and Wally reveals why he chose now to return: Something is wrong with the Speed Force and he’s worried. Barry, despite having his powers already falter on the Island with Diggle and after the fight with Goldface and Ammunet, is still in denial.
At Jitters, the Russians from the cold open are getting a cup of coffee when they’re attacked by our villain of the week. Frida Novikov aka Turtle Two. She kills one of the Russian by instantly aging her in her late one hundreds. Good thing Cisco is back, not just to id her as Turtle Two but to whip up a Cisco-tech solution at the lab.
He gets a visit from Nash, and it’s pretty clear he’s spooked by the growing number of Wells visions he’s been having. As usual, Cisco is not interested in helping Nash. Probably because it yet too late to help.
Meanwhile, Wally’s having a heart-to-heart with Not-Iris and it’s pretty clear that she’s driving some wedges into the group dynamic. Oh sure it sounds like sisterly advice and encouragement and pointing out that Barry and Wally’s relationship with the Speed Force is unique but knowing that she’s connected to LIttle Miss Crazy Pants in the pocket dimension it’s takes on a darker undertone. Especially when she gets a little crazy herself when Kamilla takes a candid shot of Not-Iris and Wally.
Wally heads over to the Police Station to confront Barry about what he did to the Speed Force. It’s still too early in the episode for Barry to give him a straight answer so he takes Barry into the Speed Force and things aren’t looking too good judging by the black skies and green lightning. The pair eventually find the Speed Force in Barry’s mom form and she looks pretty bad. But it can’t be that bad! Except it is, she tells the Speed Force is dying, it’s Barry’s fault and she kicks them out.
Barry and Wally have it out then because he thinks Barry’s a selfish jerk before he storms off and I’m with Wally on this one. Barry you’re going to have to stop acting like Oliver and fast.
Time to check in with Nash, oh good he’s been attacked by glowing red eyes! I’m sure that isn’t a problem at all.
So Barry whips up some tech with Gideon and goes back into the Speed Force to try and talk with it and Barry learns that when he used the Spectre’s power to boost his powers he corrupted the Speed Force. The Speed Force forgives him before dying and Barry and Wally are left with residual energy that will not replenish itself.
After Wally gets a really good Joe talk he finds Barry and the two try to figure out what they can do now with their powers running out. Before they’re able to do that Turtle Two attacks the Police Station, now would be a good time for the Cisco-tech solution! Too bad he’s with Nash, I’m sorry did I say Nash? I meant Thawne, he’s Thawne now!
Kind of, it looks like Thawne is running the show but it’s still Nash’s body and he doesn’t have his powers. So he’s out of the picture. Barry and Wally manage to subdue Turtle Two without him though and that’s all she wrote on that problem.
Later, Barry has a heart-to-heart with Not-Iris and she pulls the same whammy Barry. On the surface it sounds helpful but knowing that Not-Iris is not Iris it’s pretty clear she’s planting doubts in the team.
Cisco brings Barry down into the Pipeline to meet with Thawne-in-Nash and after some pretty good Thawne monologuing he’s outs Barry’s problem in front of Cisco. After Joe sees Wally off, Barry, Cisco and Kaitlin discuss Barry’s powers and Barry asks them to help him build a new Speed Force.
Across town, Kamila returns to the office to see that her camera failed to delete that photo of Wally and Not-Iris and that’s really unfortunate because Not-Iris is there and she’s got the mirror gun. She shoots Kamilla that’s how the episode ends!
I guess if you were worried about Black Hole not being enough of a problem for the gang to tackle you don’t have to worry about that anymore.
Destroying the Speed Force/Barry’s powers running out is a pretty standard Flash story but Grant and Keiynan do a hell of a lot with it with an assist from Jesse L Martin. Really good stuff, and the dynamic of Barry and Wally as equal partners each with their own relationships with the Speed Force was even better. Please come back more often Keiynan because you really added a spark to this episode.
Also adding a spark was the return of Thawne, I’m very intrigued by this Multiverse-in-Wells story now which is impressive because I wasn’t expecting it to be much more than a standard “How do we keep Tom Cavanagh around and still write Wells off?” story.
Lastly, the Not-Iris stuff is really coming to a head so I don’t know how much longer they can keep this going without it starting to feel like stretching things needlessly but for now, I am pleased.
Really strong episode and I’ll say it one more time: Please bring back Keiynan Lonsdale more often.
Things We Learned:
- The Speed Force is dead and Barry and Wally’s powers are running out as a result.
- Thawne has taken over Nash’s body.
- Cisco is back from his walkabout but he still feels like something is missing inside.
- Not-Iris is definitely not an ally.
- Is Kamilla dead or can they bring her back?
- Could she get to Iris in the Pocket dimension?
- What did Cisco find in Atlantis?
- What is going on with Wells?
- Is the Speed Force really dead or can they still save it?
- Can the gang create an artificial Speed Force or will they just end up killing Barry?
- How soon until bring back Wally and update his suit cause the man deserves a new suit!