The Flash (6×15)- “The Exorcism of Nash Wells”
Written by: Lauren Barnett & Sterling Gates
Directed by: Eric Dean Seaton
Are you ready for some hot, steamy Nash Wells backstory action?
No? What if we throw in Thawne? Alright! Let’s do this!
Anyway, this episode opens with Not-Iris and her new best friend, Not-Kamilla and they’ve been given their marching orders from Eva. They need to get a device she built before she took Louis Carroll way too seriously (There! That reference is official complete and can be set aside) and that her husband has recently sold to Mercury Labs. They need to break in and switch the real for the mirror fake and since she is using a reporter and a photographer and not two thieves or CIA operatives I’m sure it will go off without any sort of problem. Roll that title sequence!
At STAR Labs, Barry, Cisco and Caitlin have gathered to discuss Barry’s “I’ll just build my own Speed Force” plan and like all IT Techs, Cisco’s first instinct was to Google to the problem. As you probably guessed, the only person to do it was Thawne and he’s not going to be helpful. So they’re on their own which is why Cisco has built a speed gauge to help them manage what energy Barry has left.
Joe and Singh meet up at Jitters to discuss their highly sensitive RICO investigation and it ain’t good. The CCPD has gone full Frank Miller-era Gotham City PD when it comes to this and Singh is oddly interested in shutting it down. Suspiciously interested.
Back at the Lab, Cisco, Caitlin and Barry talk with Nash since he’s back in control of his body and he tells him about the number of run-ins he’s had with his counterparts and while Cisco is skeptical Nash’s brain waves back him up. It looks an awful lot like there is a Multiverse of Wells in Nash. I’m sure that the human brain can handle actual multiple personalities cohabitating and do any harm this won’t kill him or anything.
Good thing Nash has some tech that he acquired from an invasion of “Psychic Star-fish” but he’s not sure it can deal with thousands of other Wells in his head. Fortunately Cisco is a graduate of the Tim School of super tech. What they need is:
He uses the device and we transition from one meme into another really quick because:
Freed from his cell in the Pipeline, Thawne tries to get a hold of the time sphere in storage but Barry stops him. Unfortunately, Thawne is able to push Barry’s buttons so well that he’s already red-lining his speed gauge. They knock out Nash and begin to work out their own way but it’s pretty early in the episode so that means Caitlin can’t trust Barry around Nash and kicks him out.
Cisco’s plan is based on the idea that it isn’t really Thawne so much as negatively charged tachyons (I see Cisco is also an edgi-boi youtube atheist too!) and he’s going to purge him with positively charged Tachyons. On the Brightside we see into Nash’s past and why he’s so hung up on Allegra.
Unsurprisingly, she’s his adopted daughter’s doppelganger. The two had a long past of treasure hunting on their Earth and others until it all went wrong and the rules he taught her (which were based on the philosophy of the ends justifying the means) caused her death. Thawne’s plan is to use the memory and the pain it causes Nash to take over his body and reconnect to the Negative Speed Force.
Of course, while all this is going on Black Hole has found another Light Based Meta to steal the device back from Mercury Labs. Her name is Sunshine and while her plot line is pretty cut and dry we’re going to talk about her at the end because I’m getting rather annoyed with a pattern I’ve noticed.
Anyway, Sunshine’s light manipulation ability allows her to not only injure Killer Frost and outfight the Barry but escape but after a talk with Not-Iris Barry hits on a plan to counteract her powers and get the device into ARGUS’ hands. Sunshine storms the Police Station during the transfer with ARGUS but Barry and Joe use heavy shudders and nightvision to take her down. Singh even points out that she could’ve been acting as a mole within the department to help Carver.
With that out of the way, Cisco and Barry use the device they used to stop The Thinker to enter Nash’s mind and help him confront the memory of Maya’s death and his role in it. While this is a victory for Nash personally, it’s at best a draw when it comes to Thawne because most likely escaped into the Negative Speed Force. Further, the Multiverse-in-Wells still exists which most likely means he’ll have to figure out that down the line.
The episode ends pretty much where it started. How do you build a Speed Force when Thawne was the only one to do it? You use the Time Travel proof diary of the person he taught how to do it. You use Nora’s journal to save the Speed Force.
A bit of a step back from the last episode, then again when your last episode was amongst the best the of the series it’s much harder to improve upon than take a step back. The problem is that they seemed to be trying to move a lot of different things forward and nothing was given the time to breathe. They would have been better served splitting the Sunshine/CCPD conspiracy plot from the Nash/Thawne/Barry’s power plot. Then again in the final third of the season they’re pressed for time at this point. (I’ll refrain from ranting about the crossover sucking up so much screen time early on again.)
Still for an overstuffed episode it doesn’t suffer as much as it could.
There is another problem, and this one’s been one that has been brewing for a long time. It’s also tough to talk about because I’ve worked very hard to let my personal politics leak into the reviews because I hate when people do that but God Dammit can we stop with the “Former service-person turned evil Meta” backstory please?
Sunshine is at least the second Villain of the Week with this backstory and I think I’ve missed or have forgotten some. I get it, it’s an easy backstory but at this point it’s a cliché and it’s approaching insulting to the men and women around the world (and the US Specifically since it is usually our Armed Forces that they came from) that put on the uniform and accept the responsibility of defending their country and they don’t deserve that.
End of Rant.
Things We Learned:
- Nash has confronted his past and expelled Thawne from his mind but the other Wells from around Multiverse remain.
- Kamilla was replaced and her mirror-doppelganger is working with Not-Iris and Eva.
- Barry, Cisco and Caitlin will attempt to use Nora’s journal to create a new Speed Force.
- Not-Iris and Not-Kamilla have brought a device to Eva that she needs to further her plan.
- What happened to Kamilla?
- What is Eva’s plan?
- What happened to Thawne and will he return? (Will he return is not in question. Especially now that he could return in any form.)
- What will happen with the Multiverse-in-Wells and is it a danger to Nash?
- Can Barry use Nora’s journal to rebuild the Speed Force or is this a dead end?
- Will we see more of these “Psychic Star-fish” Nash mentioned?