Title: The Flash: “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Pt. 2” Review
Release Date: December 3rd, 2019
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
After the first part of “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen,” The Flash had a lot to accomplish leading into Crisis. It had to free Barry from Bloodwork’s control, segue into Crisis on Infinite Earths, and give us a satisfying conclusion to the Bloodwork storyline as a whole. That’s a lot to handle in one episode.
Thankfully, “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Pt. 2” delivered. With essentially breaking this season into smaller parts, a character like Ramsey Rosso can thrive. If this guy stuck around as our big bad heading into and post Crisis, there’s a solid chance he would have quickly overstayed his welcome. But, with just eight episodes to work with, we had less unnecessary filler to sift through each week. In turn, every time we saw Bloodwork, it felt as if we were moving forward in the season’s overall plot. Hopefully, this becomes a new blueprint for The Flash in future seasons.
Speaking of Bloodwork, this character is by far the show’s most threatening and compelling villain since Zoom. This episode just solidified his place in The Flash big bad power rankings. His character is intimidating, overpowered, and ruthless, yet he still comes off as a sympathetic character who has noble goals (well, at least when the season started). At no point in this episode did I feel that Ramsey was out of character, dull, or stupid. Yes, he did get tricked by Barry in the end, but his overall plan was pretty cool.
One of the frustrations you’ll see from fans of this show is that Barry sometimes becomes an idiot for the sake of the plot. This week’s episode could have reinforced those complaints with Iris and Cisco single-handedly taking down Ramsey, but the series managed to trick its viewers. It turns out that Barry isn’t a total fool, and he gave in to Ramsey’s deal on purpose to get inside his head. He didn’t even need a pep talk beforehand! Barry really is growing as a character.
For what it was, Dark Flash was awesome. It wasn’t just the black eyes, mouth, or emblem that creeped you out, but it was also just the way Barry moved when he was under Ramsey’s control. It was more subtle, but his movements weren’t as natural as an average person. Overall, you can say the same about Ramsey’s zombies. Watching Cecile and Kamilla try to sneak their way out of that zombie-infested building was just straight-up intense. This episode nailed the whole zombie thing, right down to the jump scare with Nash Wells (we’ll get to that at the end of the review).
If I had to draw out a few negatives from this week’s episode, the Bloodwork and Flash fight was a little anticlimactic. I mean, their conflict has always been more of a clash of philosophies rather than a physical fight, so I get what the writers were going for there. It should also be said that Bloodwork in full form looked spectacular, considering the budget they were probably working with. I loved the stuff with Ramsey turning back to normal when he saw his mom and that whole scene too. I guess what I’m trying to say is that these two only actually fought for about 20 seconds, and I just wanted a little more.
As mentioned early in the review, this episode had to cover A LOT of ground. Think about all the characters we saw this week. I don’t think any major character was left out for an extended period of time. Overall, the episode was more bloated with too much to do with little time to do it with.
Sendhil Ramamurthy and Grant Gustin were the MVPs of last week with stellar performances. This week, Carlos Valdes and Candice Patton got their time to shine. The scenes were we saw Iris and Cisco bickering over whether or not Barry was gone for good could have been a disaster. However, Patton and Valdes delivered their A-game, which made these scenes compelling rather than just plain frustrating.
I’m not sure if Barry will vanish in Crisis, but these scenes where characters are pouring their hearts out to him are excellently well-done. It’s a reason why I think this show works as well as it does. For all the cliche and cheesy stuff the series sometimes puts out, The Flash has heart behind it that makes you care about these characters. I know Barry will somehow survive Crisis, but it didn’t stop me from nearly tearing up when Team Flash kept celebrating him.
Ah, Nash Wells. What the hell did this guy do? Based on how Arrow ended and how each Arrowverse show is ending with this Nash scene, it seems that he will be an integral part of the crossover. Here’s my theory that I’m sure has already been plastered over the internet by someone else but, I think Nash just opened the door for the Anti-Monitor. So, he pretty much starts this whole mess.
Verdict: Although it may have been a little bloated, “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Pt. 2” was an epic conclusion to the Bloodwork storyline. Ramsey is definitely this show’s best villain in quite some time, and it’ll be interesting to see if he returns later in the season to seek out revenge against Team Flash.
- Awesome conclusion to the Bloodwork storyline (his final form was really cool)
- Bloodwork as a whole was a great big bad
- Barry's plan
- Cecile and Kamilla trying to escape the zombies
- Candice Patton and Carlos Valdes' performances
- Crisis on Infinite Earths is next week!
- The episode felt a bit bloated with too many characters and mini-storylines
- Although the final fight with Bloodwork was great, I do wish the fight scene went a little longer