Television

FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 7×17- “Heart of the Matter, Part 1”

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The Flash (7×17)- “Heart of the Matter, Part 1″

Written by:         Eric Wallace & Lauren Barnett

Directed by:           Eric Dean Seaton

So we left off with Nora and Bart coming to 2021 from the future. This episode opens with the two still in the future and chasing Godspeed through the streets of Central City. Heart’s doing a running monologue about acquiring infinite velocity when he’s lassoed by Nora making interesting use of her lightning.  Two can play at this game but Heart’s more of a traditional “UN-LIM-I-TED POOOOOOWWWWAAAARRRR!”

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Guy with his lightning attacks.  However, just as Nora’s about to pay the price for her lack of vision, Bart quite literally runs through Godspeed to defeat him.  Which is apparently a bad idea judging by Nora’s reaction, the siblings bicker long enough for Godspeed to escape and he uses the cosmic treadmill to escape into the past which brings us back to 2021 with Nora and Bart arriving after giving chase to Godspeed.

Barry and Chester catch the kids up on the Godspeed Civil War situation before “meeting” Cecile before they decide to leave to preserve the timeline per the family rules about time travel (which if you’re speedsters is probably the kind of rules you’d have but we’ll discuss this all later) but Barry points out that with the Godspeeds traveling back from 2049 to duke it out in 2021 that’s going to be nigh impossible so he’d like them to stay and help him end the Godspeed Civil War, henceforth to be called “the GCW.”

Chester may have an idea on that front as well, he’s been working on his father’s invention and it turns out his father was (very conveniently) designing a device to neutralize artificially created kinetic energy sources. Which is pretty much what the Godspeeds are. All Chester needs is for Allegra to help him charge it.

Later Barry finds Nora and Bart eating some Chinese takeout and they discuss the elephant in the room. Nora explains that in the future Barry and Iris have told her all about the “other version of Nora” that travelled back to them (which settles that nicely and neatly) and it seems more like she was named after that Nora than anything. Unfortunately this family moment is interrupted by a Godspeed attack across town so Barry suits up and decides to take the kids into action.

On the scene, they find half a dozen Godspeed in a fight and when Barry asks for ideas Bart shocks him by saying that they should just let them kill each other and clean up in a way that screams foreshadowing.  Barry decides it might be better to get the Godspeeds to chase them and split up.  There’s a problem though, the Godspeeds don’t split up, they just chase after Bart chanting “Kill the adversary!” I don’t see how this could possibly mean something. No-sir-ee-Bob.

The Godspeeds chasing Bart down but run out of energy before they could finish him off.  But Barry asks the obvious question and Bart and Nora eventually explain that in the future that Godspeed is Bart’s Thawne. Barry tries downplay but that’s not exactly a smart plan, the arch-villain is usually a sore point with Superheroes.

Chester finds Allegra and asks for his help charging his father’s invention.  Allegra is still shaken up by death of Ultraviolet (which she hasn’t told anyone about) and takes it out on Chester before leaving to help charge his machine. In Midway City, Kramer and Joe explain their run in with Adam to the FBI. But Kramer conveniently leaves out that Adam was sure she had died in the explosion all those years ago which is something Joe takes note of for later.

Back at STAR Labs, Barry’s trying to use Gideon to get in contact with Wally (unsuccessfully) when Iris returns and frankly she’s acting a bit strange… Not “I’m a mirror clone bent on evil” but there’s something going on. Then it’s over to Keystone City and it looks like the Speed Force has returned to Jay Garrick full force so it’s time to saddle up and help the Flash, Flash. But that goes about as well as a Wile E Coyote because a bunch of Godspeeds show up and they were apparently told to “Put the boots to him, Medium Style.”

In the Speed Lab, Nora tries to get Bart to talk to him but her efforts are interrupted on by Barry and Iris. They basically tell Bart that he’s on the bench cause that always goes well.  Bart leaves and Nora follows him to the West Home and we finally learn why Bart hates Godspeed so much. In the future, Bart forms a very close mentor/student bond with Jay and Godspeed kills him in front of Bart and they can’t explain that to Barry and Iris because it would severely corrupt the timeline. Nora then promises to defeat Godspeed on Bart’s behalf.

At STAR Labs, Caitlin and Cecile are showing present day August Heart around in the hopes of helping him regain his memories and he has a brief moment f connection with the cosmic treadmill.  Meanwhile, Allegra’s trying to charge Chester’s device but she doesn’t seem to be trying very hard.  When the Godspeeds return to attack, Barry charges the machine himself and takes the device into the field. Nora herds the Godspeed to Barry and they use Chester’s device and it works but only for a moment. 

In fact, since Barry used Speed Force Energy it had the opposite effect on them and they get the jump on Barry and Nora. If not for some help from Frost that would’ve been all she wrote.  After a quick check up from Caitlin, Barry and Iris regroup and now not only is Bart benched but Nora is too.

Chester then confronts Allegra about what happened, Allegra’s not very into talking so she tries to push him away but Chester’s not convinced unfortunately Allegra’s wallowing in guilt and since she won’t confront it she can’t help.

Up in the lounge, Barry’s becoming worried that his powers have cursed his family and he hopes that by defeating August Heart in 2021 he’ll never regain his powers in the future and he’ll break the curse on his family.  The Godspeed contact Barry and tell him that they have Jay.  Bart rushes off half-cocked to confront them and Nora and Barry arrive on the scene to find Bart being tortured by the Godspeeds.  Barry uses the same phasing through the speedster trick Bart used on Godspeed at the start of the episode. To save Bart but unfortunately more Godspeeds show up.

On the bright side, so does Cisco with a fresh batch of Cisco-tech!  He immobilizes the Godspeeds to give them enough time to escape.  Back at STAR Labs, the others regroup and try to work out another plan.  They’re running out of options so it’s time for more desperate moves so they decide to use the same plan they used to send Barry’s mind into the future before Crisis to send Barry into August Heart’s mind.  Great Plan. Right up there with buying real estate in Eastern Europe in 1939 or a ticket on the Titanic.

The scene shifts to Joe and Kramer on their way back to Central City and while there’s a ridiculous traffic jam heading out of the city the road into town is clear sailing.  Wonder why that would be?  The question is answered for Joe and Kramer by two Godspeeds fighting on the roof of their car.

The machine is all set for Barry and August so it’s time for “Operation: What Could Go Wrong?”

Inside August’s mind, Barry finds himself at the same church the Godspeeds attacked Bart at but now there’s a big throne…

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Not that one but no less ominous.  It’s here that he meets Godspeed Prime and judging by the ominous atmosphere and the “To Be Continued…” I’m guessing it’s going to be a dooz-

Wait! “To Be Continued!”  I guess that means that we’re at the cliffhanger.

Another pretty good episode. I think we have some real positive momentum building up.  It also had more returns than a big wrestling Pay-Per-View. Jessica Parker Kennedy is a welcome return as Nora as is John Wesley Shipp as Jay and even though it’s only been a few weeks I’m really happy to see Carlos back.  On top of that Jordan Fisher was very good as Bart Allen. My only nitpick is the character as written might have been better served by bringing in an even younger actor, Bart’s story feels more like a junior high or freshman in high school aged character as opposed to a freshman in college.

Some more Time Travel lore was added to the show. I liked both that they established that this is a different Nora and the way they did it.  The previous Nora’s life and death was such an important part of Barry and Iris’ story so I like the idea that they work through it and make peace with the loss.  It also allows them to do different things with her since she’s a new character with different experiences to inform who she is.

One thing to consider is the rules about preserving the timeline. We see over and over how silly these rules are as often just by traveling back in time a time traveler has already sent events off into a new direction. It’s a situation where I appreciate the writer’s sentiment but we know deep down things just won’t work out that way. It’s like the Prime Directive in Star Trek, it was invented as a rule to be broken by our characters because doing the right thing is more important than following the rules.

Another thing to consider is Iris herself, of course they’re not just going to say “Deon fixed it! Go make babies Barry and Iris!” So there’s still something going on with Iris and I wonder if that will continue into next season. Perhaps it’s meta-knowledge of the character but I do know in the comics Iris became unstuck in time and that was linked in with Barry’s death in Crisis on Infinite Earths and his return in Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis so I’m wondering if the way she was acting this weeks has something to do with that kind of a story line here.

Both the Kramer/Adam storyline and the Godspeed story took important steps forward and linking Godspeed more to Bart than Barry is another good choice that makes it feel like there’s more to this Universe than what we see.  I’m interested in seeing if these two stories intersect with each other as the season comes to a close… Which is apparently next week so I guess we’re in the final chapter of the season now.  Here’s hoping it’s a good one.

Things We Learned:

  1. Nora and Bart are not twins, Nora is older by at least four years.
  2. In the future, Jay Garrick is murdered by Godspeed and Bart takes that personally.
  3. Deon has stabilized Iris enough to return her to Central City in the present.

Questions:

  1. Is Jay Garrick’s death Bart first confrontation with Godspeed or have they already been in conflict?
  2. Will Wally return to Central City to help defeat the Godspeeds?
  3. Is Iris still in danger?
  4. Will the Barry from 2049 become involved in the GCW? Is he even around to do so?
  5. Is the Cathedral important or significant to Godspeed in some way?

Just another guy on the internet.

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