FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 8×01- “Armageddon, Part 1”

The Flash (08×01)- “Armageddon, Part 1″

Written by:         Eric Wallace

Directed by:           Eric Dean Seaton

The year is 2031 and Central City is about to be destroyed.  Things look bad, really bad but don’t worry gang! Despero is here to save us!

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Hold up… There’s a lot to unpack here. Not just that Despero looks a bit like Vincent Van Gogh but last I checked Despero isn’t a “Thank God you’re here! We’re safe now!” kind of guy.  He’s more of a guy that I’d expect to be causing this kind of thing.  So maybe we should show the special title card and back things up a little.

It’s present day Central City and Barry and Caitlin are catching up on Frost’s love life while getting a cup of coffee.  Caitlin admits that watching her “sister’s” romantic endeavors has helped her work out that she’s ready to move on from Ronnie… Oh good! Flash is getting a new villain then because we’ve seen how these things work, Caitlin.

Meanwhile, Barry gets one of those push notifications on his phone. No! There’s not a sale on Steam for the new Hearts of Iron IV DLC “No Step Back…”

But there are bullets and trains involved. Specifically two bullet trains are about to collide just outside of the city.  Looks like a job for the Flash. Barry makes very quick work of getting everyone on both trains to safety and he even managed to get Caitlin some oat-milk for her coffee all in under twenty seconds.  Nice!

Across town, Iris is wrapping up a Podcast interview at Central City Media which has got a serious upgrade thanks to Sue Dearbon. So with an upgrade to facilities and staff, it’s time for a subplot… Err, promotion for Allegra.  She’s the new supervising editor.  Congratulations! Don’t screw it up!

Back at Barry and Iris’ apartment it’s time for more recapping over pizza and a little attempted romance for Barry and Iris.  But since it’s way too early for the romantic part of an episode we need some comedic interruption.  Ray Palmer! That’s your cue!

Ray’s in town for a tech conference but despite him being a VIP for this convention his hotel was double booked and he can’t find a room so he came to Barry and Iris’ to crash. Lucky them.

Over at Mercury Labs some security guards are standing watch over a pretty high tech looking processing chip and if there’s one thing we’ve learn in seven seasons of The Flash it’s that Mercury Labs specializes in supertech prototypes that get stolen.

Enter the Royal Flush Gang.

Not the last we saw of them, they were some guys on bikes but it looks like there’s a brand new gang taking up the gimmick with all the subtlety of a brick.  We’ve got Queen with telepathy, Jack with laser vision, Ten with the ability to pull off WWE moves and King who’s a big walking tank.  They wipe out the guards literally without breaking stride and leave with the chip.

The next morning Barry and Iris are catching up with Ray about what he’s been doing in semi-retirement from the Legends. He tries to put on a happy face but it’s pretty clear he’s having trouble finding a new role for himself.  Maybe Chester can help with that.

Chester heard about Ray being honored at the tech convention so he volunteered at the con to help Ray out while he’s in town and he’s very excited in a very Chester fashion. I’m sure there’s not going to be any comedic mishaps along the way! Just smoooooth sailing from here on out!

That’s why Barry takes the opportunity race out the door to go to work. Because he knows how well everything’s going to go.

Back at Mercury Labs, Barry catches Captain Kramer up on what he’s found from the Royal Flush Gang’s heist and discuss her powers. There’s a bit of tension where Kramer thinks Barry has a problem with her being a meta, which is weird because even if she doesn’t know he’s the Flash she knows that he’s friends with at least one meta in Frost.

After a brief stop by the Citizen to see Allegra get run over by her team, it’s over to the Police Station for Barry to catch up Cecile on what’s he’s found.  After working the Mercury Labs evidence Barry went over the evidence of the train crash from the star of the episode and found evidence that Jack might have caused that as well and the two begin to speculate on what the RFG might be planning since it doesn’t really fit they’re MO of knocking over Casinos.

They’re interrupted by the SWAT team mobilizing after a power outage caused every gate at Iron Heights Prison to stop working so Barry heads there to put everyone back before he finds that the RFG caused the breakout.

At Jitters, Chester has taken Ray for a coffee break and a little Shark Tank session for some young and hungry inventors but there’s a problem.  Ray’s not interested in starting another Tech business he’s just trying to be a family man and scientist instead of DC’s answer to Tony Stark…

Who is himself Marvel’s answer to… Bruce Wayne…

Listen! It’s complicated!

Point is, this really takes the wind out of Chester’s sails and he runs off to pout. Speaking of people with poor confidence, Allegra’s come to Iris to complain about her staff running her over.  Iris gives her a pep talk and sends her on her way.

At STAR Labs, Barry’s gathered the team to figure what the RFG is doing with all that they’ve stolen since it now includes a convicted computer hacker from the Prison.  But Chester’s in need of a pep talk himself, fortunately Chester makes an off-handed comment about crypto-currency and Barry starts to put the pieces together.  The RFG has a hacker, a super-powered computer chip and a compact, but highly useful power battery, and a lot of casinos keep most of their wealth in 1’s and 0’s form these days. Instead of knocking over a Casino physically they’re going to pull off a digital heist.

Now they just have to wait for the gang to start the heist.  Barry makes incredibly quick work of the gang and that should be everything but there’s a whole lot of episode time left so I’m thinking that’s not the case. 

Barry finds Chester livestreaming at the Tech convention and after an awkward moment when Barry see Ray he learns that Ray’s still trying to figure out things and he’s worried that if he starts up a tech venture he’ll fall back into old patterns.  Barry gives him a pep talk about taking on things in a new way, and after a quick aside where we learn Allegra (Actually since the way this scene was constructed it’s the producers) don’t actually understand what Journalism is supposed to be we return to the convention where Iris is wrapping up her interview with Ray.

So it’s the perfect time for Despero to appear to pick a fight with the Flash.  But hold on, why exactly is Despero here to fight with Flash? Ray also decides that it’s a good time to come out of semi-retirement to help with the fight.  Despero has them both dead to rights but before he kills Barry gets him to tell him why he came after him. Despero does him the kindness of showing him the future he came from, in that future that he left the Flash is just about to destroy the Earth and the only way to stop him is if Despero travels back in time to kill him.

After Barry sees this vision, Ray manages to activate the device on Despero’s belt and sends him away.  Back at STAR Labs, the team plus Ray try to figure out what happened but there’s a major problem, both Barry and Cecile believe the vision or more accurately, they believe Despero believes the vision.

But we’re in wrap-up time for the episode and that means it’s time for Ray to say goodbye but not giving Chester a gift he’s started up a non-profit to help give research grants to promising inventors and he’s named it after Chester’s father.  He also has advise for Barry, the best way to show Despero he’d never destroy the world is to show him who he is.

It’s an idea that Barry’s going to have to test out immediately since Despero has returns from wherever Ray sent him and he’s still very much in the “Killing Flash will save the world” frame of mind.  Barry offers up his help figuring out why he was destroying the world in the future in the hopes of stopping it.  Despero accepts his offer and he gives Barry one week to prove he’s not who Despero saw in the future or he’ll return to his plan A of “Kill the Flash.”

No pressure though.

This was a pretty intriguing first episode, it was pretty clunky and info-dump heavy in the first half but as things progressed it got a handle on things.  Really once Tony Curran was back in the episode things got good, which gives me the feeling this “Event” will live or die in large part on his performance as Despero.

Brandon Routh was fun as Ray, since I don’t watch any of the other CW shows it had been a long time since I saw him so I don’t really know what he went through on Legends but Routh gave me enough to care at least about where he is now.

There were downsides, I’m not going to be a fan of the old reliable subplot of “Chester has no confidence any time he screws up” as I made pretty clear last season and I’ll refrain from digging too far into Allegra’s “journalism is activism” subplot other than to say; No. It isn’t.

Still, the ups outweighed the down so I’m hopeful that if the writers haven’t got their mojo back then at least they’re on the right track and maybe, we can have a better season eight.

Things We Learned:

  1. In the year 2031, Barry goes on a literal Earth shatter rampage and Despero has traveled back to 2021 to stop it. (It’s so weird to say travelled back to 2021 from the future when I spent my childhood think of 2021 as a far off future.)
  2. Sue Dearbon has invested some degree of capital into Central City Citizen Media.
  3. Nora and Bart still visit Barry and Iris in present day.
  4. This version of the Royal Flush Gang has been operating in Central City since before Barry got out of his coma after the particle accelerator explosion.


  1. Why has Barry decided to destroy the Earth in 2031?
  2. Where were the other heroes? Did Barry pull an Omni-man on them in the future?
  3. Did whatever that led to that decision to destroy the world start in the present?
  4. Is it linked to Iris still needing Deon’s help with her injuries from last season?
  5. Is it possible that Despero has been tricked somehow despite his telepathic abilities?
  6. Or is it possible that Despero is from an alternate universe? (I know Crisis supposedly ended that but it was pretty clear from the word go that that worked about as well as Crisis did in the comics.)

Just another guy on the internet.

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