Title: The Flash: “Death of the Speed Force” Review
Release Date: March 10th, 2020
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
“Death of the Speed Force” saw the official return of not one, not two, but three major characters. The first of which is Wally West. Throughout the series, Wally has been underutilized. I would even classify Wally as one of the show’s biggest mistakes up there with Savitar and Flashpoint. And when you look at how charismatic Keiynan Lonsdale was during Legends of Tomorrow season 3, it just makes the character’s run on The Flash all the more disappointing. So, while he probably won’t ever be a main cast member on The Flash again, it’s still lovely to see the character make an appearance.
It’s a little out there — and admittedly cheesy — but I dug Wally’s zen personality. It fell right in line with stuff we saw during his previous appearances on other Arrowverse shows. It also helps that Wally getting in tune with the speed force led to some cool new abilities. But the focus this week was all on the speed as mentioned earlier and how Barry inadvertently corrupted it.
There are a few reasons why this storyline worked so well. First, it showed that Crisis and previous episodes of The Flash actually led to significant consequences. Barry felt guilt over his choice during “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen Pt. 1″ so he never went back into the speed force to check on it. To save the universe in Crisis, Barry had to use the Spectre’s powers, which, in turn, corrupted the speed force and killed it. That’s great because it means we’re watching a show that has stakes. It’s not much, mind you, but it goes a long way in making this season more coherent.
I also liked how Wally and Barry dealt with the speed force’s demise. It felt like the show lost a major character, and the characters lost a relative. For evidence of this, look no further than that awesome scene between Barry and Wally in the time vault. And for Barry, he kind of did lose a loved one since he was forced to see his mom die once again.
Regardless, this has quickly become one of the most engaging storylines on The Flash season 6, and that’s likely to continue over the next few weeks as Team Flash tries to come up with a new speed force before Eobard Thawne finds a way to kill Barry. Oh yeah, that’s right. Eobard Thawne is back!
Somehow, Eobard was able to “possess” Nash Wells (can’t wait to see how the writers come up with an outlandish excuse for this one). It’s ridiculous, dumb, and you can bet that the absurdity of Reverse-Flash possessing another human being will be in the cons column. That being said, Tom Cavanagh is just so damn good at this whole acting thing. While he’s delivered excellent performances as Harry Wells, H.R., and Nash, Cavanagh’s best role is definitely Eobard Thawne. Every conversation that included the Flash villain, especially the one with Barry at the end of the episode, leaves you grinning from ear to ear. Put it this way, Cavanagh portrayed Reverse-Flash for probably about a total of 2-3 minutes. During that time, he was easily the most exciting thing in the entire episode. And keep in mind, this was a great episode on its own.
But it wasn’t without its faults.
The Iris and Eva storyline dragged its feet this week and went nowhere. Other than the shocker with Kamilla in the cliffhanger, it’s hard to remember anything about this arc in the episode. It’s unfortunate, too, because this storyline has been so compelling thus far. I know, we had to make room for some much-needed screentime for Barry and Wally. Still, I wished the story could’ve progressed just a little more. How could they have done this, you may ask? Well, they could’ve cut the villain of the week.
And I have to say, the villain of the week in this episode was pretty meh. I mean, Turtle-2 has some cool powers and all, but there was nothing else about the character that made me think, “Wow, I want to see this villain back on the show!”. Maybe she returns in season 7 or something and changes my mind. It was simply an average first impression.
I almost forgot, Cisco is back too! His return was by far the most uneventful, which is perfectly fine as he somewhat served the role of the episode’s comedic relief from the dramatic stuff going down in the speed force. This begs the question, though. With Cisco visiting Atlantis, is there any chance we could ever see an Arrowverse version of Aquaman or Aqualad? If we’re being honest, probably not, but I can dream…
Verdict: “Death of the Speed Force” was another exceptional episode for The Flash season 6. While the Mirror Master story dragged a bit and it featured an uninteresting villain, we had a lot to enjoy this week. Wally, Cisco, and Reverse-Flash all returned, and the speed force is dead. It looks like everyone has their own thing going on during season 6b, and it’ll definitely be interesting to see how the show meshes them all together, going into the back-half of the season.
- All of the awesome returns this week
- Tom Cavanagh's performance
- When given something to actually work with, Keiynan Lonsdale is very good
- Wally and Barry team-up!
- The speed force storyline has quickly become one of the show's most engaging arcs this season
- That cliffhanger was really good...
- ... but the rest of the Iris and Mirror Master storyline was forgettable
- Weak villain
- So... Nash is being possessed by Thawne?