The Flash (7×03)- “Mother”
Written by: Eric Wallace & Kristen Kim
Directed by: David McWhirter
Picking up pretty much we left the team last week with Cisco, Allegra and Frost coming to. They find Barry kneeling over Iris and if you couldn’t tell by the end of the last episode his little experiment with emotional suppression is over cause he looks to be so far into The Manly Tears that he could break out into Ugly Crying at any second.
So, the gang has got some serious problems… Barry has no powers, Singh and Kamilla are trapped in the mirror dimension, dying, Iris is just as fried and did I mention Barry’s also wallowing in self-recrimination so deeply that he won’t even consider them restarting the ASF.
As though that weren’t enough of a problem, over at the Police Station it sounds like Eva’s plan is in full swing as every uniformed officer is taking calls about people being attacked by their neighbors or loved ones. Meanwhile, Joe’s talking with Sue’s parents who are trying to help get her arrested. Good thing Sue’s pulled Joe aside to try and explain that something weird is going on but he’s already got that figured out.
Back at STAR Labs, Chester’s back catching the gang up on the situation outside and helping them come to the conclusion that Eva’s leading an invasion from the mirror dimension. Down in medical Allegra is trying to talk Iris out of her coma. Iris seems to have serious case of “Key to Everything”-itis. A very dangerous ailment that can often erupt into full blown Savior Syndrome (also known as Wesley Crusher’s Disease)
without careful treatment but we’re just going to put that aside for later.
Right now, Eva manages to abduct Barry to McCulloch Tech to try and explain that she’s decided that people are bad and she’s going to put them all into the mirror dimension while populating the world with her mirror clones and all Barry has to do is get out of her way… We’re going to have to talk about this scene later too, I think.
Barry goes back to STAR Labs and decides to be a total Debbie Downer by telling the gang they’re doomed but he’s soon visited by Harrison Wells and apparently he’s just chocked full of two things; Cosmic multiverse particles and meta-knowledge. Not in the sense of Meta-Humans but “meta-knowledge” in the more traditional sense of having knowledge that a man twenty years dead simply couldn’t. He knows that there’s still hope for Barry because he was and is the Paragon of Love from the Crisis and his solution to Barry’s problem is to “Run Barry, Run” towards love.
Back at the Police Station the situation has gone from bad to “Night of Living Dead” and Joe and Cecile have to barricade themselves in Barry’s lab while a mirror clone of one of the uniformed officers tries to break the door down.
Wells tries to explain who he is and Sue shows up with “Ralph.” Apparently Ralph was in McCulloch Labs and Eva blew it up with him inside and looks like a GI Joe fresh out of the microwave but on the bright side he got evidence to clear Sue out with him.
Barry’s with Iris and he also tries to talk her out of her coma and since he’s Iris’ husband and not Iris’ friend AND he used to have those cool speed powers there was apparently a tiny bit of Speed Force left inside her. Just enough for it to revive her when Barry touches her hand and Barry hopes just enough to reignite his connection to the Speed Force. Normally, there’s no way this wacky plan could work but since this is the Season Six Finale in Season Seven and they’ve already built the ASF they have just enough tech pieces and plot pieces to make it work.
At the Station, Joe stuffs Cecile into the vents which, since this is television, are big enough to get Cecile out but not Joe.
Returning to STAR Labs, the gang has MacGuyvered the ASF to channel the spark from Iris into the machine. That’s when Iris comes back and she gives them the juice needed to give Barry back his speed.,. which Wells finds interesting. There’s another thing we’ll talk about.
For now, it’s time for the big fight! Barry, Cisco and Frost versus Eva and her army out in the streets for the physical battle and in the Police Station it’s Joe vs Mirror Cecile for the emotional battle. Barry’s doing the best he can but Eva has a numbers advantage fortunately Iris has figured out that since she has a connection to Eva she might be able to counter her powers. She also has the power of moral grandstanding and a full blown Picard Speech. This is definitely a severe case of Wesley Crusher’s Disease since it all works. Eva agrees to return the people of Central City and take her army back to mirror dimension but she’s not quite strong enough until Iris and Barry literally hold her hand.
Everything goes back to normal, Singh, Kamilla and Cecile are returned while Eva goes back to the mirror dimension. The day is saved.
Which means that Harrison Wells is leaving, see when I said he had meta-knowledge I wasn’t kidding. In typical Harrison Wells fashion his meta-knowledge comes from him existing in all times at once. So he dicided to live his life where he was happiest, with his wife but it’s pretty clear he can come back as needed so there you go. On call Timeless Wells, it should do in a pinch.
Next up is saying goodbye to Sue and Ralph, the pair have decided to travel the world taking down Black Hole type-organizations. Lastly, we flashback to Iris reigniting the Speed Force and it looks like she did more than just give Barry his speed back. The Lightning also traveled up into the sky and splite into different colors of lightning so I guess that’s our next problem to deal with.
I’m not going to sugar coat things, compared with other season finale type stories this was kind of weak. The finale of the Bloodwork arc of the season was just plain stronger and maybe it’s because there’s a sense of broken momentum because of the ten month hiatus but this fell flat.
There was also some just plain misfires, they never did enough to establish either Eva’s motivations as a villain so when she starts giving her villain’s speech this week to Barry about people and how she can do better I’m not buying in to her character. It’s just a matter of waiting for her to be beaten and not caring that she’s defeated.
Which brings us to the next problem, I feel like we’ve discussed Iris a lot over the years but it’s because she’s an important character and a tricky one to get right. Iris West is as important a character to the Flash mythos as Lois Lane is to Superman. She helps Barry maintain humanity, not by being the damsel in distress or by being the flirty love interest but by being a good example of humanity. This show is always going to be weaker when they’re having trouble with Iris’ character.
It was a problem in early season one when they had reduced her to the object of Barry’s affections, they righted the ship in spectacular fashion as season one went along and through season two by giving Iris a goal of her own as she became a journalist.
From there the character became a real strength to the show going all the way through the Nora arc but this was a step back in my opinion.
Iris doesn’t need powers and she doesn’t need to be the “Key to Everything” that every genre show and movie seems to obsess over having lately. That’s a reductive mentality, and it’s a disservice to the character. You’ve had a handle on this for a long time now writers and producers don’t fumble down the stretch simply because Iris isn’t a superhero of her own. Just remember, if you’re writing a character and they can be compared to this guy:
But I feel like I’m being a bit too negative. There was a lot to like with this episode and there was a couple of interesting hooks. The lightning scene that closed the episode is one but they definitely linked it to Wells as he seemed to be the only character to notice something going on while Iris was reigniting the Speed Force and that little moment is enough to make me interested it what they have planned.
So, I guess Season Six is finally completely behind us so it’s time to move forward so let’s wrap this all up.
Things We Learned:
- The Speed Force has been reignited and Barry has his powers back.
- Eva McCulloch has returned to the mirror dimension but not before sending the people she took back.
- Earth One Harrison Wells seems to live outside of time and has decided to live out his days with his dead wife.
- Sue and Ralph have decided to travel the world trying to topple evil organizations like Black Hole.
- Some of the energy released when they gave Barry his powers back traveled out into the world as different colored lightning.
- Where did that Speed Force energy go?
- Are Barry’s powers returned or are they different now?
- Did Wally get his powers back?
- Did Iris retain any of Eva’s powers?
- What will Eva do in the mirror dimension?
- Will Wells return?