The Flash and Wally West

Something that The Flash has done a good job of, from the beginning, is delivering the payoff sooner rather than later. After the midseason finale and Harry making a deal to steal The Flash’s speed in exchange for his daughter’s life, it became unclear just how long we would have to wait for everything to come out in the open. Even here, watching Harry sit there as they discussed the loss in Speed Force hinted that he was starting to regret his decisions and lead towards his coming clean, and bam. Right then and there he says it all and puts his hands behind his head.

Harry’s characterization this season has been some of the strongest this season, his ruthless tenacity to accomplish his goals at any cost is terrifying. Warning Barry straight up that given the opportunity, he will choose to betray them was cold, but fit with how he viewed this world. This world, Earth 1, from his perspective is HIS Earth 2. This is the parallel universe, and in the end what happens here won’t affect him. There becomes very little reason to care for them so far as it doesn’t assist him in his goals. He betrayed his own nature here in coming clean, demonstrating the odd honor code that both he and the Eobarde Thawn version of Harrison Wells also showed. He sits in a delightful shade of gray that seems to shift either way in every last episode, which is delightful to see.

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Barry still sees the Harrison Wells that he admired for years as a student of science. Even though that man was a monster, and this is a different person altogether, he still sees it.

The West family continues to take up a large portion of screentime with the new member of the family, to an extent even feeling like the main event rather than a subplot. While Joe wanted to find time to bond with his new son rather than push him away, despite his own personal views on his recreational activities, Iris opts for the “scared straight” approach from her fear in losing yet another family member. How the police in Keystone City are lax enough to not catch on to these underground races that seem to happen all the time is beyond me, when some lousy reporter is able to casually stroll up and get to the bottom of it all.

Wally shows a severe lack of self preservation, with all that’s happened in his life he doesn’t care about putting himself in harm’s way. Having Iris be the one to take the hit for his actions (and Barry be unable to save her, in a moment that called back to not being fast enough in his first duel with Captain Cold) was a more effective tool to demonstrate the dangers of these races more than if it had been him in the hospital. To be fair, that only happened because of Metahuman intervention. One thing; for being so obsessed with speed as a kid and even now, it’s kind of funny that Wally doesn’t seem to be The Flash’s #1 fan. He’s staying in the guy’s home city and not wearing a Flash shirt and Flash baseball cap? And he had his life saved by The Flash himself and he doesn’t even mention that?! Come on now, son.

Having Barry be the one to forgive Wells first was fitting, considering his moment of forgiving Eobard in turn a few episodes ago. Sure, Harry’s initial reveal was a bit shocking and didn’t give much explanation (possibly because he doesn’t see how the justification of his actions change anything) but it seemed wrong for them to lock him up straight away without considering it. Especially odd how Joe strolled into STAR Labs for no reason other than that they wanted him to punch Harry in the face.

Next stop: Earth 2. In what will likely be yet another massive status quo shift for the season, getting a proper view into this world we’ve only caught brief glimpses of offers some true excitement toward events that has been missing from the show as of late. Considering how they’ve already managed to capitalize on alternate universes so well, it will be a joy to see even more doppelgangers (Killer Frost is already confirmed) and nods to the rest of this DC Multiverse.

For my review of last week’s episode, “The Reverse-Flash Returns,” click here.

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