Friday, June 8, 2018

Flash In The Pan

This week actor Keiynan Lonsdale announced he won't be returning as Kid Flash in Season 4 of Legends Of Tomorrow

Lonsdale took to social media to explain his decision, saying:

Yo! Soo as a lot of you have now read, I’m not returning next season as a series regular for The Flash or Legends. It’s definitely not a total goodbye or “see ya never” situation, cause Wally West will still be round when you need him the most! It’s just that it won’t be full time anymore.
I’ve changed a lot in the past year (as you’ve probably noticed lol), and for infinite reasons my perspective on life & what I want from it now is just completely different. Because of that, my heart told me it was the right time to continue my journey on an unknown path, and I’m so damn grateful to both shows for honoring & respecting that with me. 
I love Kid Flash, I love the family I’ve made, & I’m absolutely in love with the invaluable lessons I’ve learnt along the way. Thank you for believing in me & rooting for Wally to thrive, you honestly helped me see that I did indeed deserve to play him, & that shit right there made me a stronger actor.
Anyway, I hope you stick around for the new adventures, the only thing I can promise is Magic.
Well that definitely stinks! Over on The Flash the writers botched the character of Wally pretty much from his first appearance. Once he'd been introduced it's like they couldn't wait to turn him into Kid Flash, but then once they did they had absolutely no idea what the hell to do with him. In fact the way the writers immediately shoved him to the side made me wonder why they bothered to add him to the show in the first place. Wally wasn't just in Barry Allen's shadow, there wasn't a light shining on him at all.

Wally's move to Legends Of Tomorrow was the best thing that ever happened to the character. From the second he showed up he flourished in a way he was never allowed to on The Flash. It seemed like a good move for Lonsdale as well, as he appeared to be visibly enjoying himself on the show. Which makes this decision all the more puzzling.

I'll be sorry to see Wally go, but as he said, I guess it's not goodbye forever. Maybe Lonsdale will find himself or whatever he's doing and return to the Arrowverse soon.

In other Arrowverse news, Greg Berlanti, creator of such shows as Arrow, The Flash, Legends Of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Black Lightning and Riverdale (among many others), just signed a new contract with The CW. This new deal extends his contract to 2024, and will reportedly pay him a whopping $300 million.

(insert massive comical spit take here)

Cheesus H. Rice! $300 MILLION DOLLARS to keep pumping out those Arrowverse shows! Holy Crap! That's like baseball player money there! I guess somebody must be watching them besides me!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Flash Season 4, Episode 23: We Are The Flash

It's the Season 4 finale of The Flash! Hard to believe it's been four years already!

Overall I liked this season quite a bit, much more so than the previous dreary one (Yeah, I'm lookin' at you, Savitar!). The series seemed much lighter this year, although it did start to go somewhat dark again right toward the end. In fact if I had one complaint about this season, it would be its uneveness of tone.

The series also wasted a bit too much time spinning its wheels toward the end, instead of wrapping up all the dangling plotlines and giving them adequate room to breathe. They needed to turn Marlize, defeat DeVoe, resurrect Ralph, cure Harry, deal with Cecile's pregnancy, restore Killer Frost and reveal the identity of Mystery Girl. Last week I said I wondered just how the hell they were going to handle all that in the space of only forty two minutes.

Welp, now we know how— they didn't. They left poor Caitlin/Killer Frost hanging, and even though we found out who Mystery Girl is, we don't know why she's stalking Team Flash. Those plot points will just have to keep until next season.

I definitely appreciated the fact that the producers changed things up this year and gave us a Big Bad who wasn't yet another speedster. Clifford DeVoe/The Thinker, actually had some pretty clever plans and was more than capable of hurting Barry. It's not every day you get a villain who puts his brain in another person's head, kills his old body and then frames the hero for murder!

DeVoe was also a real threat to Team Flash, as he created the twelve bus metas and then systematically absorbed all their powers. Toward the end of the season he was virtually unstoppable, as he had an entire menu of superpowers to choose from.

I liked the addition of Ralph Dibney, aka the Elongated Man this season, as he brought some much-needed humor and frivolity to the show. That said, I wasn't a fan of his constant learning cycle. Every week he'd screw up somehow, Barry would take him under his wing and he'd learn a valuable lesson about being a hero. And then the next week the writers would inexplicably reset him to square one so he could do it all over again. 

Learning to be heroic once was great. Twice was OK. Fifteen times was ridiculously unnecessary.

Speaking of Ralph, when he tragically "died" in Lose Yourself, I was 99.9% sure they'd bring him back at some point before the season finale. After all, this is a comic book show, and characters rarely if ever stay dead for long. Halfway through the episode he still wasn't restored, and I have to admit I was starting to think they might not bring him back after all. It eventually all worked out though, and my prediction was proven right.

One last thing about Ralph. He eventually defeats DeVoe— the greatest intellect on Earth— by completely clearing his mind. In effect he defeats The Thinker by not thinking. Ironic!

If nothing else, this season demonstrated that The Flash needs to ditch the season-long story arcs. In fact this year there were numerous episodes in which DeVoe, the season's signature villain, didn't appear at all. And there were some definite and obvious filler episodes there toward the end, which did nothing but pad out the season.

The Flash needs to take a page from Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., and give us two or three shorter, faster paced storylines, instead of dragging out one for twenty three episodes.

SPOILERS!

The Plot:
Captain Singh wanders into Jitters, to remind us he's still a character on the show. While standing in line he calls Barry to tell him he can have his old job back, thanks to Iris' amazing blog post on DeVoe. Suddenly the power goes out all over the city, as the sky turns an eerie purple. Cars stall as well, stranding citizens in the streets.

High above Earth, DeVoe's four remaining satellites begin linking up. They then connect to the hacked STAR Labs satellite as well, completing the circuit. The Enlightenment, which will erase and reboot the minds of everyone on Earth, has begun.


At STAR Labs, Cisco hurriedly tries to get the power back on. Suddenly a frantic Joe and Cecile enter the lab. Cecile's in labor, and they were on their way to the hospital when the power outage hit. Fortunately Cisco somehow restores the power, and Caitlin tells Cecile she can deliver the baby.

Just then Iris wanders in with Marlize, who's agreed to help take down her insane, megalomaniacal husband. Barry's reluctant to trust another villain so soon, but can't think of any other options. Marlize says she believes there's still good somewhere in her husband, so all they have to do is enter his mind and find it to defeat him. Sure, why not?

Marlize hooks up Barry into DeVoe's floating BarcaLounger. She then attaches a blinking prop to Cecile's forehead, which will amplify her pregnancy-induced telepathy. By combining Cecile's power with that of the chair, they should be able to send Barry's consciousness into DeVoe's mind. Comic Book Science!

Marlize activates the chair, and Barry finds himself inside DeVoe's head. It's a dreary, washed-out place lit solely by annoying lens flares. Barry sees the 405 bus
— the one DeVoe used to create the twelve metas whose powers he stole. Suddenly DeVoe, in full Thinker mode, floats toward him in his chair. Barry speeds off before he sees him.

Marlize suggests Barry look for Good DeVoe at their house. Barry finds the place, but when he enters it's completely empty. In the real world, Cecile begins having contractions. Marlize says if Cecile has the baby, she'll lose her telepathic powers and Barry will be trapped inside DeVoe's head. Caitlin gives Cecile another inhaler, hoping that'll slow the contractions a bit.

While all this is going on, Cisco notices Harry's missing. He finds him in his lab, and by now his mental deterioration is so advanced he can't even talk. He points toward the Thinking Cap, but Cisco refuses to let him use it. Harry insists, and Cisco puts it on him and fires it up. It amplifies Harry's thoughts enough that he's able to haltingly say Barry will find Good DeVoe where he first fell in love with Marlize. The Cap then sputters and shuts off, leaving Harry helpless again.

Cisco relays Harry's message to Marlize, and she tells Barry to got to Boars Hill at Oxford. He zips there, and finds the site of the DeVoe's first picnic, but the place is deserted. Just then he sees a disoriented Ralph wandering around the site!

Ralph asks Barry what the hell he's doing there, and fears he's been absorbed as well. Barry explains he's just visiting DeVoe's mind, and they need to find the good version of him. Ralph says he hasn't seen any Good DeVoe running around, just an evil one who's keeping him alive for some reason. Right on cue, The Thinker floats down in his chair and attacks. Barry grabs Ralph and zooms away.

In STAR Labs, a terrified Cecile says DeVoe's coming for them. He suddenly teleports into the room, but Marlize generates a forcefield with the chair to stop him. She then transports all of Team Flash into DeVoe's pocket dimension. She says they'll be safe there for a few minutes. Why he can't simply follow them is never explained.

Barry and Ralph visit DeVoe's classroom at Oxford, hoping to locate his good version there. They find Good DeVoe, but unfortunately his heart's been ripped from his chest, leaving him stone cold "dead." Ralph tells Barry to go back to the real world and spend the time he has left with his family.

Barry gets an idea. He says Marlize told him that if Good DeVoe passes through the nexus inside his mind (?), he'll regain control of his body. Barry theorizes that if Ralph goes through the nexus, HE'LL be the one who regains control. DeVoe will then die, as he'll no longer have a body or anywhere to go. None of this makes the least bit of sense, but let's just go with it or we'll be here all night.

An alarm goes off in the pocket dimension, signalling that DeVoe's getting closer. Marlize somehow transports the whole lab and everyone in it to another dimension (???), keeping one step ahead of him. Cecile's contractions start up again.

Barry and Ralph see the nexus in the middle of downtown Central City, and begin heading for it. They're stopped by two copies of DeVoe. They try to fight the DeVoes, but are promptly knocked on their asses. 

Barry says there's no way to defeat DeVoe, as he can see what they're thinking and easily avoid their attacks. Ralph says the answer's obvious— just don't think! That way DeVoe won't have any idea what they're about to do. They try it, and amazingly it works. They knock out both the DeVoes.

Unfortunately, hundreds of DeVoes begin pouring out of the shadows and surrounding them.

In the pocket dimension, Harry begins chanting nonsense words, and Cisco realizes they're the same ones Barry said when he exited the Speed Force at the beginning of the season. It seems like this is supposed to mean something, but the subplot goes absolutely nowhere.

Just then DeVoe arrives in the pocket dimension. He easily knocks them all out, except for Cecile. He slowly walks over to her gurney and begins choking her!

Back in DeVoe's mind, Barry finally remembers he's a speedster. He grabs Ralph and plows through the horde of DeVoes, knocking them all out of the way. They make it to the nexus and leap through.

Barry wakes up in the chair inside the pocket dimension. Suddenly DeVoe stops choking Cecile and collapses to the floor. He starts shrieking about his plan, and slaps a button on the back of his floating chair.

DeVoe then leans agains a wall and vibrates, as he morphs back into Ralph. With Ralph in control of his body once again, DeVoe's consciousness is gone. Well that was... anticlimactic!

Marlize rushes to a console and shuts down the Enlightenment satellites, which of course were only a second away from erasing everyone's minds. She then teleports them all back to STAR Labs. Cecile announces her water just broke, and Caitlin wheels her into the medbay.

Suddenly DeVoe's chair begins glowing with a purple light. A hologram of DeVoe appears and starts monologuing, saying he planned for this contingency. Marlize calmly walks to the back of the chair and pulls out the power supply, killing him once and for all (until he returns).

Unfortunately DeVoe had one last trick up his sleeve. Before he died, he apparently used Null's power to increase the mass (?) of the STAR Labs satellite. It's now streaking toward Earth, on a collision course with Central City.

Barry, Cisco and Ralph spring into action to save everyone from the falling debris. They manage to do so, but there's one enormous chunk left. Barry begins building up speed, as Iris realizes he intends to use a sonic punch to destroy the satellite. Marlize says the punch will destroy the satellite, but asks what it'll do to Barry. Iris looks stricken.

Barry runs up the side of a building and leaps into the air. Just as his fist touches the hurtling satellite, time stops, reverses and then starts up again (???). Barry builds up his speed and leaps into the air again, but this time he's accompanied by another speedster. They both punch the satellite at the same time, disintegrating it.

A puzzled Barry returns to STAR Labs, where he finds out Cecile's just given birth.

Sometime later, Marlize gives Cisco a blinking prop that will restore Harry's brain. She then says goodbye to Team Flash, who apparently let her walk away scot-free. Um... isn't she technically a criminal? Oh well.

Cisco hooks up Marlize's device to the Thinking Cap and puts it on Harry's head. It flashes and hums, and his mind is magically restored. Well, sort of. He's no longer a drooling moron, but he's not a genius with seven PHDs either. He now has a normal, average intelligence. Cisco's mortified by this, but Harry says he's happy. He then announces he's going back to Earth-2 to see his daughter Jesse, and practically runs off the set like the sheriff's after him.

Cut to Joe & Cecile's house, where everyone gathers to welcome Baby Jenna. Even Wally shows up, taking a break from the Legends Of Tomorrow to see his new little sister. Barry and Iris discuss having a kid of their own.

Just then there's a knock at the door. It's the Mystery Girl, who's been popping up on the show all season. They all recognize her, and Iris notes she's wearing her jacket from Run, Iris, Run. Mystery Girl announces she's really Nora Allen, Barry and Iris' daughter from the future. Barry's eyes widen, as he realizes she's the speedster who helped him take down the satellite. Nora tells them she thinks she's made a huge mistake.

Thoughts:

• At the beginning of the episode, Captain Singh is in Jitters when the Enlightenment begins. He runs outside and sees an ominous purple glow in the sky.

I don't know if it was intentional or not, but the scenes of the purple-skied Central City were very reminiscent of the 1990 Flash. That series did its level best to ape both the Batman and Dick Tracy theatrical films, and was filled with dutch angles and sets lit with garish colored gels.

• Once DeVoe sets the Enlightenment in motion, he walks around the city admiring his handiwork. Um... how is HE immune from the Enlightenment? Shouldn't his brain get reset as well? I guess maybe he's using Brainstorm's powers to protect himself?

• This week Team Flash finally recruits Marlize and convinces her to help defeat DeVoe. She comes up with a ridiculous plan, and she and Barry have the following conversation:

Marlize: "If we can find the good left in Clifford and help it retake control of his mind, that good could overpower the bad."
Barry: "You think there actually is good left inside him?"
Marlize: "I know that this is hard to imagine, but there was a time when Clifford was nothing but good, when he truly wanted to help the world."

Was there really EVER any good in DeVoe? We saw him in his younger days in Therefore She Is, and even back then he still seemed like a colossal dick.


• Team Flash is understandably reluctant to work Marlize. Barry says, "Why don't we just call someone we trust? Kara, Oliver, Wally" Marlize replies, "You could bring a legion of your friends, but they would pose no challenge."


Was that a Legion Of Superheroes reference? 


• Marlize warns Team Flash that if Cecile has her baby, she'll lose her telepathic powers and Barry will be trapped inside DeVoe's mind forever. Caitlin delays Cecile's labor by giving her an inhaler. She says, "Okay, most inhalers contain the drug terbutaline, which can be used to slow down contractions."


Turns out terbutaline is a real thing. It's mostly used to treat asthma, but can also delay pre-term labor for up to forty eight hours.


Someone on The Flash's writing staff is either a doctor or really good at using WebMD.


• Right after Caitlin mentions the inhaler, Cecile grabs her arm and squeezes tight. Her voice then gets all deep and modulated as she looks Caitlin in the eye and says, "I found Thomas. He's been this way all the time." A confused Joe asks what the hell that was all about, and Caitlin says she doesn't know.

So who's Thomas? I'm assuming he must be Cailin's late dad, who either died of MS or ALS, depending on who you ask. Obviously this little plot snippet is related to the whole Killer Frost/repressed memories thing, and we'll have to wait until Season 5 for answers.


• I'm starting to wonder if JJ Abrams secretly directed this episode. Every scene set inside of DeVoe's mind contains multiple obnoxious lens flares, that distract from the action as they practically blank out the screen.

• While wandering around inside DeVoe's mind, Barry runs into Ralph. It's hard to tell, but this version is supposed to be the original "Schlubby Ralph," before he became Elongated Man.

Problem is he's barely what would be considered overweight these days, to the point where you might not realize he's supposed to be fat.

• Even though The Flash takes place in a ridiculous comic book world, its story elements generally have an internal logic to them. Not so in We Are The Flash. The episode is filled to the brim with dialogue and character actions that don't make a lick of sense:


— Marlize suggests sending Barry into DeVoe's head. When the others scoff at this outlandish notion, Marlize says, "His (Barry's) mind is the only one fast enough to survive the linking process without any harm."


Um... what about Cecile? She's part of the linking process as well, right? Based on the dialogue and what we see, it's HER power that makes the link possible in the first place. If Barry's the only one fast enough (?) to survive the process, why doesn't Cecile curl up and die?


And what the hell does being fast have to do with projecting your consciousness into another person's brain?

— Marlize says Cecile's telepathic powers will provide a one way link to DeVoe's mind, so he won't realize anyone's inside his head. Barry then confirms what she just said, saying, "So it's kind like a one-way brain radio." Note the constant emphasis on the link being one way, so DeVoe can't detect any intruders in his mind.


So what's the first thing that happens after Barry enter's DeVoe's head? He immediately senses him and comes after him in his floating chair!


— All season long, DeVoe's been systematically absorbing the powers of the twelve bus metas he created, in order to turn himself into an unstoppable supervillain. But for some reason, he never once tried to absorb Barry's numerous speed-based powers. Why not? Wouldn't he be even more formidable if he was a speedster?


I assumed the reason DeVoe didn't absorb Barry was so he could taunt him. He seemed to take great pleasure in constantly outsmarting him and systematically destroying Barry's life. Toying with him like a cat does a mouse.


Apparently that's not the reason. In this episode, DeVoe finally explains himself by saying, "Have you ever pondered why I never pursued the Flash? Never needed his speed or his mind? Anyone? His connection to the Speed Force. Access to all of time past, present, future. True knowledge. And now that you have placed him inside my mind, I'll have it all."


Wait, what? I've read paragraph twenty times, and it still doesn't make any sense. If you strip out all the flowery speech, DeVoe basically says he didn't steal Barry's powers because he wanted them.


— When Barry's wandering around inside DeVoe's mind, he's surprised when he encounters his old pal Ralph Dibney. Apparently Ralph's consciousness is still intact in the deep recesses of his brain, even though he's no longer in control of his own body. 


Quite rightly, Ralph can't figure out why DeVoe hasn't "killed" him yet. Barry explains by saying, "Why do you think he's keeping you alive? I couldn't figure it out, but think about it. If you get out, you take back control of this body, because it's yours. That's why he won't let you leave. Once you get out, DeVoe will cease to exist. All you have to do is make it through that portal, and you'll regain control."


Wha...? Again, not an ounce of sense. DeVoe is currently inhabiting Ralph's body, right? So as long as even a hint of Ralph is still alive in there, he poses a threat to DeVoe. Logically, DeVoe should have eliminated every trace of Ralph the minute he took over his body. I can't see any reason whatsoever for keeping him alive.


Also, from all this I get the impression that Ralph's mind is the only one that Devoe kept alive. If he'd kept Dominic Lanse, Becky Sharpe, Izzy Bowen and Co. alive in their minds, they should have been restored the second DeVoe vacated their bodies. Instead they all seem to be gone forever, indicating he "killed" them. Yet another reason why keeping Ralph's mind alive makes absolutely no sense.


— All through this season, Mystery Girl, aka Nora Allen, keeps showing up and deliberately interacting with members of Team Flash. In this episode her mission is seemingly made clear she came back in time to save her dad, Barry Allen. 

See, Barry attempts to speed-punch the falling satellite to smithereens, and is destined to die in the attempt. Nora time travels and intervenes in this event, punching the satellite as well. This saves the city as well as her father.


All well and good. So what was the point of her interacting with the other members of the team? Why not just show up, save her dad and be done with it?


Also, at the end of the episode Nora visits the West home and says she thinks she made a big mistake. I assume she's talking about saving Barry here. Then why the hell did she do it then? Admittedly we don't have a lot of info on Nora just yet, so it's possible she may be talking about something else here.

• This week we find out that DeVoe's lair, which has been located in a pocket dimension all season, can be shunted to various other pocket dimensions. Wha...? So DeVoe (and in this case, Marlize) can actually teleport the entire room and its contents? Eh, why not? Silly as it is, it's the least ridiculous thing they've ever done on this show (I'm looking at you, episode in which Captain Cold froze a laser beam and then broke it in half!)

• Poor Joe! This is at least the second time a supervillain has almost forced him to shoot himself in the head with his own gun!

The first time it happened was in the Season 1 episode Grodd Lives. In that episode, Joe was wandering around in the sewers, encountered Grodd and pulled his gun on him. Grodd then used his telepathic powers to make Joe point the gun at his own head and almost pull the trigger, before finally releasing him.

• This week we get a variation of the show's "Run, Barry, Run" catchphrase. When DeVoe discovers Barry inside his mind, he says, "Run, Mr. Allen, Run" before attacking him.

Just out of curiosity (and because I have no life), I started a "Run, Barry, Run" counter, to keep track of how many times they say the phrase on The Flash. If my findings are correct, it's not nearly as often as I thought. I was sure they'd said it twenty five or thirty times by now. Nope! They've only said it seven! Eight, if you count the Mr. Allen thing as an instance. 

Here's the list of episodes in which a character says, "Run, Barry, Run:"

1. Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot
2. Season 1, Episode 17: Tricksters
3. Season 1, Episode 23: Fast Enough
4. Season 2, Episode 1: The Man Who Saved Central City
5. Season 2, Episode 18: Versus Zoom
6, 7. Season 3, Episode 21: Cause And Effect (said twice in the episode)
8. Season 4, Episode 23: We Are The Flash (sort of— DeVoe says, "Run, Mr. Allen, Run")

• Right before the big battle, DeVoe tells Barry, “There will be no defeating the Big Bad this year” Now that's some heavy duty metahumor! I gotta admit, the line made me laugh though.

• I still think that when Ralph "inflates" his fist and punches someone, it would just feel like getting hit in the head by a balloon.

The only way it could hurt is if he was enlarging his fist and somehow making it denser at the same time.




• Somebody on The Flash's writing staff reeeeally liked the Burly Brawl scene from the Matrix Reloaded. It was honestly shocking just how closely this episode aped that scene. DeVoe make hundreds of copies of himself to attack Barry and Ralph, exactly like Agent Smith did with Neo. And then to top it all off, Barry copies Neo by swinging Ralph in a circle and knocking all the DeVoes on their asses!

• As I expected, Ralph was restored in this episode, as he evicted DeVoe from his head and took control of his body again.

That's great for Ralph, but man, it sucks to be the other eleven bus metas. Even if DeVoe had kept their minds alive inside his, they'd have nowhere to go, as their bodies were apparently all destroyed. Brutal!

• Inside DeVoe's mind, Barry and Ralph make it to the nexus and leap through. Somehow this disrupts DeVoe, as Ralph begins regaining control of his own body. With only seconds left to spare, DeVoe crawls to his chair and slaps a lighted ring on the back. His consciousness is then obliterated as it's pushed out of Ralph's mind.

It's not quite clear whether DeVoe's quickly downloading his consciousness into the chair, or activating a backup copy of himself that's stored in it. Either way, it kind of reminds me of Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, as he places his katra in Dr. McCoy's head while saying, "Remember."

A few minutes later, Team Flash celebrates their victory against DeVoe and wander off. Suddenly the ring on the back of the chair begins glowing purple...

DeVoe then returns as a hologram, still determined to defeat Team Flash and rule the world. If nothing else, you gotta admire his persistence!

While he's busy monoluguing (again!), Marlize casually walks behind the chair and rips out the chair's power supply or hard drive or something, finally eliminating DeVoe once and for all.

Part of me wonders if he's really gone for good. We don't know exactly what it was that Marlize removed from the chair. What if it really is a hard drive, like I said? DeVoe could be backed up on it, waiting for the day when he can be downloaded into a quantum computer or a brand new body! 

And despite Marlize seemingly turning over a new leaf and promising to do only good from now on, there's no reason to believe she's telling the truth! What's to stop her from restoring her husband and coming back in a season or two?

• Cecile's in labor and has contractions for the majority of the episode. The instant DeVoe's defeated, she announces her water just broke. Wha...? Isn't that backwards?


Turns out it's not. Most women start having regular contractions before their water breaks, but in some cases, the water breaks first. And that's one to grow on!

• As one last big middle finger to Team Flash, right before he dies DeVoe uses Null's powers to increase the mass of the STAR Labs satellite, sending it hurtling toward Central City. According to a handy readout, the satellite will cause an extinction level event when it hits Earth!

Ehhhhh, I don't think so. An extinction level asteroid would have to be at least three miles wide, and likely larger. This satellite is only a fraction of that— probably the size of a small building. It's nowhere near large enough to wipe out all life on Earth when it hits.

The writers try to get around this by saying DeVoe "increased its mass a thousand fold." It's a valiant effort, but ultimately pretty weak. The satellite doesn't change size, so I guess that means DeVoe made it denser? Comic Book Science!

• In the third act, the STAR Labs satellite hurtles toward Central City. Barry zooms up the side of a building and leaps into the air, intending to speed punch it into oblivion.

However, right before his supercharged fist makes contact with the satellite, time stops and begins rewinding...



When it resumes its normal forward course, Barry flies toward the satellite again, but his time he's joined by a mysterious second speedster.

It's pretty obvious here that Barry was destined to die in this moment, as the blast from his punch would destroy him as well as the satellite. Heck, Marlize even says, "Given the satellite's mass and its escalating descent, what prevents it from destroying him?"

That's why he got a do-over, in the form of Mystery Girl, aka Nora Allen. As Barry's future daughter, she obviously inherited his love of screwing up the timeline, and decided to interfere and save his life.

At the end of the episode, Mystery Girl finally reveals her identity to her parents, and says she thinks she made "a big, big mistake." It's not clear if saving Barry was the mistake she's talking about here, or if she's messed with events we don't yet know about. 

One last thing about this scene. At Joe & Cecile's house, Barry and Iris discuss having a child of their own. Iris says she'd like to have one "someday," and "not anytime in the near future." Right on cue, Nora shows up and announces she's their daughter.

This pretty much confirms the fact that Iris is already pregnant, and just doesn't know it yet. Think about it. If Barry had died, then Nora would never be born. If she was never born, then she couldn't go back in time and save her dad. That means Iris had to have become pregnant before Barry was scheduled to die. Right?

• Sometimes this show's sense of morality puzzles me. Marlize helps Team Flash defeat her husband, and then gets to walk away with zero legal consequences. I'm no lawyer, but I'm pretty sure she'd be considered an accomplice to everything DeVoe did all season long. Not to mention she tried to kill Iris a few episodes back.

Yes, deep down she seems like a good person, and she helped save the world. That doesn't change the fact that she broke dozens of laws beforehand though. 

• At the end of the episode, Marlize gives Cisco a gizmo that'll restore Harry's mind. Unfortunately it doesn't work quite as advertised. Instead of restoring Harry's original brilliant intellect, it gives him an average intelligence.

Harry seems fine with this, and then immediately announces he's leaving for Earth-2, and practically runs off the set! It's like the writers couldn't wait to get rid of him. 

The whole thing reminded me of the time Barry's dad was released from prison in the Season 2 episode, The Man Who Saved Central City. Barry threw his dad Henry a welcome home base at the West house. Ten seconds later, Henry announced he had to go for reasons, leaving the cast standing around with their mouths open.

Anyway, with Harry gone, the stage is now set for another version of Harrison Wells to appear next season. Please, please, please, don't let it be anyone from the two multiverse Councils!

• Wow, last week we got a mention of Wally, and this week he actually shows up! I guess the writers didn't forget about him after all.

Funny how he was only on Legends Of Tomorrow for half a season, but that was still more screen time than he had in Season Three of The Flash. His treatment on this show was downright criminal, so I'm glad he's found a home over on Legends.

• Writer Fakeout: Cecile gives birth to a baby girl, which she and Joe name Jenna. All season long, fans have been saying the Mystery Girl is most likely Jenni Ognats. In the comics, she was the time traveling granddaughter of Barry Allen. 

"Jenna" is pretty darned close to "Jenni," which indicated Joe & Cecile's baby would somehow develop speedster powers. Of course this turned out to be a total red herring on the part of those sneaky, sneaky writers.

• At the end of the episode, Mystery Girl shows up and finally reveals her true identity.

Mystery girl first showed up as a waitress at Barry & Iris' wedding back in Crisis On Earth-X Part 1, and ever since viewers have been trying to figure out just who she is. Most thought she was either Dawn Allen or Jenni Ognats, both of whom are characters from The Flash comic.


Dawn Allen is Barry and Iris' daughter, who for some reason lived in the 30th Century and was a member of the Legion Of Superheroes as a speedster. In the comic she actually had a twin brother named Don, who was also a speedster.


Jenni Ognats is the granddaughter of Barry and Iris, and also lives in the future, is a speedster and works with the Legion.


A few viewers even thought she'd turn out to be Joe & Cecile's daughter, who came back to the past for reasons. The writers did their best in recent episodes to make it look like that's where they were heading, but I never really believed she'd turn out to be their kin.


At the end of this episode we finally get an answer, as Mystery Girl announces she is indeed Barry and Iris' daughter! However she's not Dawn Allen, as most fans thought, but Nora. According to The Flash producer Todd Helbing, her name was changed in order to honor Barry's late mother. Makes sense, I guess. Plus the change really doesn't matter, since I'd bet less than ten percent of the viewing audience is even aware of Dawn Allen in the first place.


In the comics, neither Dawn or Don Allen did much in the way of time traveling, sticking mostly to the 30th Century. Instead it seems like they may be grafting Bart Allen's storyline onto Nora. In the comics, Bart Allen was Barry's grandson, and he traveled back in time to save him from dying a disaster. Just like Nora does in this episode!


By the way, Nora's wearing the same purple and white jacket that Iris wore when she was temporarily a speedster in Run, Iris, Run, which is a nice touch. 

That said, Iris seems puzzled as to where Nora got the jacket, as she says "it's one of a kind." So Iris is wearing custom-designed clothing now?

• At the beginning of the season in The Flash Reborn, the Gang rescues Barry from the Speed Force. Unfortunately his time there severely affected his mind, and he's not quite the person he was before he went in.

He speaks in nonsensical rhymes, saying things like "Stars melting like ice cream, dream, gleam" and "Stars so loud. Loud, cloud, proud!" Later on he enigmatically says, "We're gonna need more diapers (???)." He also shouts, "Nora shouldn't be here," implying he may be hallucinating his late mother. 

And then there's the writing. After he comes out of the Speed Force, he begins scrawling hundreds of geometric symbols on every available surface.

Cisco determines the symbols are a language, and is somehow able to translate them. Turns out the incredibly important and relevant message they say is "This house is bitchin'."

Obviously none of this made any sense, but I naturally assumed that over the course of the season we'd gradually discover what it all meant. I was confident the writers had something clever and amazing up their sleeves, and we'd all be wowed when we finally learned the truth.

Welp, they finally explained everything at the end of the final goddamned episode of the season. And the answer wasn't amazing, and it definitely wasn't clever.

As it turns out, everything Barry said and wrote in The Flash Reborn was simply referencing events in this episode. His nonsensical rhymes echoed Harry's brain-addled dialogue in this episode, and apparently that's all there was to it.

The "Nora shouldn't be here" line actually indicated Barry's time traveling daughter, and not his mother. The diapers comment was connected to Nora as well, as she gave Joe and Cecile's newborn baby a diaper bag.

And the mysterious writing? That was a Nora reference too. A few episodes back we saw she was filling a notebook with the same kind of symbols, which must be the written language of choice in the future.

That leaves the "This house is bitchin' line. Surely there's some awesome hidden meaning there, right? Wrong! It's just what Nora says the first time she ever enters her grandparents' house! That's it! Nothing more to it than that.

The whole thing reminds me of LOST, and how we all spent six seasons thinking the producers were going to explain everything and reveal an amazing and jaw-dropping connection between all the shows various mysteries. Instead they sheepishly admitted they had no more idea of what was going on than the audience did.

Feh!

This Week's Best Lines:
Barry: "We need to find the good part of him so we can stop the bad from starting the Enlightenment. Have you seen him?"
Ralph: "A good DeVoe? No. Just the evil, floating chair variety."

Cisco: (wondering if Harry's mind has been restored) "Harry?"
Harry: "Don't worry. You have been and will always be my friend."
Cisco: "Khan...."
BOTH: (imitatingKhan) "Kill him."
Cisco: "Oh, my God."
Iris: "Star Wars."
(Barry shakes his head at her)
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