Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Flash Season 7, Episode 16: P.O.W.

This week on The Flash, the epic Godspeed Saga continues! Well, sort of.

As I pointed out in the previous episode, so far this story arc has been murky and muddled, none of it makes much sense and it's nothing like the plotline in the comic. 

This week is no different, as we finally get a good look at Godspeed's alter ego, August Heart— who, for reasons known only to the producers, looks completely different than he did the first two times we saw him (Boy, will we talk about that in depth below!). 

I'm still puzzled as to why this storyline featuring an incredibly popular fan-favorite character is only getting a measly four episodes. Especially after the show just wasted three weeks focusing on various side characters. Was it a budgetary thing? Or did the writers realize for once that there just wasn't enough content to stretch across eight episodes?

We do finally get an explanation for why there are two factions of Godspeed clones engaged in a Civil War, so I guess that's something. 

In other news, John Diggle makes a special guest appearance this week, showing up with some tech from Cisco to help save the day. I don't quite understand what's going on with Digg lately, as he's recently popped up on every Arrowverse show in the past month or two. Is this some sort of weird, one person crossover?

The writers continue doubling down on the deadly dull Joe & Kristen buddy cop storyline that no one cares about. No idea why they're devoting so much time to this either, unless it's to give Jesse L. Martin a reason to be on the show. 

Of course the other big news this week is the debut of Barry & Iris' future kids. Yep, that's right, kids. Nora and Bart Allen make a very brief appearance at the end of the episode. Spoilers, I guess. 

If that sounds familiar to you, that's because the show already did the "Future Kid Visits The Past" schtick back in Season 5. I guess the writers enjoyed that plotline so much they decided they'd just up and do it again!


The Plot:
Barry sits at home watching news reports of the Godspeed War on TV (???). Suddenly his future daughter Nora appears before him again, causing Barry to have trouble breathing. She tells him the future is changing, and they have to stop it before it's too late.

Barry then wakes on the couch and realizes he was dreaming.

At STAR Labs, Caitlin and Chester watch the news as well, which reports the Godspeeds are now attacking people in their homes. Just then Barry enters, his Flash costume in tatters. He says he was ambushed by the Godspeeds as he tried to evacuate City Hall. Chester says the Godspeed attacks are increasing exponentially, but their movements are completely unpredictable.

Cecile enters and asks if anyone's heard from Joe. Chester determines the Godspeeds have surrounded the city with interference, cutting them off from the outside world.

Elsewhere, we see the smoldering remains of the car that Joe & Kristen Kramer were driving last week. Creyke examines the wreck, determines the two somehow escaped the explosion and begins hunting for them. Joe & Kristen watch from behind a tree.

Joe asks how Kristen was able to sense the explosion before it happened. She says she saw the light from Creyke's pulse rifle a split second before he fired Sounds suspicious to me...

Back at STAR, Barry tells Caitlin he had a vision of Nora, who told him the future was changing. He's afraid the Godspeeds are trying to erase her from the timeline (again!) and wishes he could travel to the future to see if she's OK. Amazingly he realizes that's a terrible idea, as doing so could cause another Flashpoint.

Just then John Diggle makes a dramatic entrance and says he can help deal with the Godspeeds. Chester somehow knows who Digg is, and fangirls hard for him. Digg reveals an "entropy trap" that Cisco created for them, and says it can freeze objects in time. He demonstrates by setting in on the floor and tossing a paperweight over it, which freezes in midair.

Barry figures they could use the trap to capture a Godspeed and then interrogate it to find out what their Civil War's about. Digg suddenly winces in pain, but tells the others it's just a headache.

In the Med Lab, Caitlin attaches a device to Ultraviolet's throat to restore her voice. Ultraviolet immediately begins gathering her belongings, causing Allegra to ask where she's going. She says she's going after the remnants of Black Hole, who medically altered her. Allegra says she won't let her kill again. Ultraviolet says she'll do it alone then and leaves.

Just then the Godspeeds appear again and begin terrorizing the city. Barry zooms out to lure one into their trap. Sure enough, one of the Godspeeds begins following him. Barry heads for the trap, and at the last second phases underground. 
The Godspeed runs over the trap and is instantly suspended in place.

Meanwhile, Kristen tells Joe she doesn't understand why Creyke's trying to kill them. She wants to go after Creyke herself, demanding justice for the twelve men he killed. She says she has an idea how to capture him.

Cut to STAR, where they've somehow tossed the Godspeed into the Secret Super Jail. He refuses to speak, and Cecile says she sense anger from him (that was helpful!). Barry goes down to the cell to confront it in person. It calls Barry by name and says they have much to discuss.

It then infodumps the plot, saying Heart came from 2049 to the present, where he created clones of himself to steal Barry's speed and give it to himself. Once that's done, he'll absorb all the clones back into his body— which will in essence kill them. This particular Godspeed, along with several others, have decided they don't want to die. To that end they're planning on killing Heart so he can't absorb them. 
Unfortunately neither group knows where Heart is, so the first ones to find him will win the war.

The Godspeed asks Barry to join them, but he says he refuses to kill. The Godspeed says that's unfortunate, as anyone who stands in their way will die.

The Godspeed then surprises Barry by breaking out of the Super Jail and destroying the entropy trap. It then attacks Barry, stealing his speed. Fortunately Allegra enters and blasts the Godspeed, causing it to zoom off.

Barry recovers and orders Chester to fix the trap. Unfortunately he can't, as it's too advanced for even him. Barry snaps at him and says he has to figure it out. Digg speaks privately with Barry, and asks why he's so upset. He explains that he's worried about Nora, but can't risk traveling to 2049 to check on her. Amazingly, Digg tells him that he'd do anything for his family, and Barry should ignore the risks and do the same (!). What. The. Hell?

Cecile looks through Nora's journal (which somehow still exists), which states that August Heart left 2049 to hide out in 2021 (convenient!). She tells Barry the journal mentions several possible hiding places for Heart, and says she's taking Digg to help search for him.

Cecile then rounds up Digg, but he doubles over in pain again. His discomfort's so intense that Cecile senses it and is affected as well. She tells him his pain felt "infinite," but he says he's fine.

Barry enters the Pipeline and begins running faster and faster through it, till he enters the Speed Force. He begins traveling forward through time, but is stopped by a group of Godspeeds waiting for him. They blast him with their powers, knocking him out of the Speed Force.

Barry lands on the street, unsure where or even when he is. He looks up and sees Deon, aka the Still Force, standing over him. Deon explains that the Godspeeds have infiltrated the Speed Force and are powering themselves up inside it. He says Nora Allen, aka the Speed Force, is busy trying to destroy them.

Iris then appears for some reason, and Barry asks what the hell she's doing there. She says something's causing her to become unstuck in time (?), and Deon's trying to stabilize her. Barry asks if Deon can take him to 2049 himself, but he doesn't have the power to do that AND save Iris as well. He tells Barry to win the war, and he and Iris disappear.

Elsewhere, Digg (in his Spartan suit) sees a Godspeed attacking a terrified citizen. He shoots the Godspeed with a blaster that slows him down, then gives it an epic beatdown. He stops as he doubles over in pain again, and hears the words "Worlds await" in his head. The Godspeed recovers and is about to kill Digg, but at the last second it's blasted away by Frost.

Meanwhile, Allegra uses one of Nash's smoke bombs to teleport into the Black Hole base. She finds a trail of dead bodies inside, courtesy of Ultraviolet. She then sees her cousin bleeding out on the floor. Ultraviolet tells Allegra she should have stuck with her real family, and now it's too late. She declares that she's doomed to die alone. Ultraviolet then up and dies, and for some reason her body disintegrates (???).

Barry appears back at STAR (courtesy of Deon). He tells Caitlin & Chester that something's wrong with Iris.

Digg, Frost & Cecile arrive at the address where August Heart will work in 2049. There they find a man hiding nearby, who can't seem to remember his own name. Gosh, I wonder who HE could be?

Over in the boring subplot, Creyke sneaks up behind Kristen. He tells her he's already died seventeen times and can't be killed (?), and is puzzled as to how she can be alive. Just then Joe shoots him with a meta-dampening leg cuff.

Joe asks Kristen why Creyke thinks she's dead, and she says she has no idea. She asks Creyke why he killed her unit, wondering if he did so for money. He says once he realized he was immortal he figured the world was meant to be used as he saw fit. He then says he gives half the money he steals to their reservation, to give its inhabitants a better life.

Kristen says that's no excuse for what he did, and aims her blaster at him. Joe orders her to stand down, implying he'll take her in if she murders Creyke. After a long pause she lowers her gun.

Elsewhere, Team Flash brings Heart, er, I mean the mysterious amnesiac man to STAR. Cecile scans him to see if he's really August Heart, but doesn't sense anything. Caitlin says she might be able to inject him with a technobabble compound to restore the man's memory. She injects him, and the man says his name is August. GASP!

Digg tells Barry he needs to leave, as there's something he's put off long enough (*cough* Green Lantern *cough*). Barry wishes him good luck.

Barry then frets about Iris and what's happening to her. Just then Nora West-Allen speeds in, and tells Barry that "THEIR" presence proves Iris will be fine. When Barry asks what she means, his speedster SON zooms in and introduces himself as Bart Allen.

• Thoughts: 
• As the episode begins, Barry's chilling on the couch watching the Godspeed Civil War unfold on the local news. Several things here:

First of all, what the hell? The news report states that the Godspeeds are now attacking citizens inside their own homes! Jesus Christ! So why is he watching TV instead of doing something about that? Is he taking a break?

Secondly, note that the news report he's watching is on Channel 52— the only station that apparently exists in the Arrowverse.

Lastly, it turns out that the opening minute or so of the episode was all a fake-out, as it was all a dream. So Barry really dreamed he was watching the news? Sure, people do that all the time!

• Based on the opening minutes of the episode, I thought this was gonna be another "Barry Pretends To Talk To Iris In Another Room" episode, like we got last week. Eventually she actually does turn up though— halfway through the show— for about thirty seconds.

• As I predicted last week, Joe & Kristen survived the car explosion at the end of the previous episode. OK, so this wasn't much of a surprise, as there's no way in hell they'd kill off a major character like Joe in the middle of a story arc. Plus if there were plans to do so, you can bet your bottom dollar news of it would have leaked online months ago.

No explanation yet as to how they managed to survive, of course. I'm telling you, it's gonna involve Kristen secretly being a meta, so the writers can trot out the old, "I've Become The Very Thing I Hate" trope.

So what's up with these two anyway? Just a few episodes back Joe & Kristen were at each other's throats. In fact he got so fed up with her crap that he literally quit his job as CCPD's Chief Of Police.

Now suddenly it's like the two of them are in their own demented Buddy Cop movie, as they're going on a road trip and investigating crimes together. All that's missing is an agitated commissioner yelling that they're both loose cannons who don't play by the rules.

Even odder, it's mentioned several times that due to Godspeed shenanigans, Joe's cut off from Central City and can't contact Cecile or any of the other characters. It's like this whole plotline was designed to isolate him from the rest of the cast. Is this another Covid-related thing? Are the producers quarantining Jesse L. Martin while still having him appear on the show? It's certainly starting to look that way!

• Ugh, I hate when opening credits spoil a surprise guest star like this. I get it— SAG rules require shows to list the major players up front, but it still irks me. Hard to have a big unexpected reveal when it's literally spelled out onscreen in advance!

• As the opening credits spoiled for us, this week's special guest is John Diggle, who enters STAR Labs and poses dramatically in the Cortex doorway. GASP!

So what's up with the sudden and all-encompassing presence of David Ramsey, aka Digg, in the Arrowverse? In the past few weeks he's popped up on virtually every show in one form or another. Don't believe me? Check out this list:

— May 25, 2021: Superman & Lois— Ramsey directed the episode Man Of Steel.
— June 13, 2021: Batwoman— Ramsey guest starred as Digg in the episode Rebirth.
— June 25, 2021: Legends Of Tomorrow— Ramsey directed the episode Stressed Western, and also guest starred as Bass Reeves, an ancestor of John Diggle.
— July 6, 2021: The Flash— Ramsey guest starred as Digg in the episode P.O.W.
— July 13, 2021: Superman & Lois— Ramsey guest starred as Digg in the episode Through The Valley Of Death.

He's reportedly set to guest star on Supergirl at some point soon as well.

Did David Ramsey get an aggressive new agent? Or is this what passes for an annual Arrowverse crossover here in the time of Covid? Were they afraid to risk mingling the entire casts of every series, so they just had one guy make the rounds and appear for a few minutes on each show?

Mind you I'm not complaining, as I like Digg. It's just that it seems odd to utilize a character from a show that ended its run a year or two ago.

Actually there may be a good reason why they chose Digg to be the crossover king. The series finale of Arrow strongly implied that Digg had found a Green Lantern power ring. 

Rumor has it that HBO Max may be producing a Green Lantern series soon. Are these numerous cameos by Digg meant to remind viewers who he is and foreshadow his appearance on that show?

* Wow, Ultraviolet looks like a completely different person without her mask! In fact I barely recognized her without it! In addition to ditching the mask, it looks like they gave her a slightly different hairstyle and made her eye makeup less severe as well.

• Once again Barry makes excellent use of his powers as he phases under the street to escape a pursuing Godspeed.

That said, let's hope there's a sewer or drain tunnels under that section of street. Otherwise he's gonna find himself unable to breathe inside solid earth!

• So Barry tricks a Godspeed into running over Digg's entropy trap, which instantly freezes him in mid-step and suspends him helplessly in midair. Impressive!

We then immediately cut to the Godspeed being held inside the STAR Labs Secret Super Jail, where he's being interrogated by Barry.

Wait, what? How in the name of Stan Lee's Mighty Toupee did THAT happen? How the hell did Barry & Digg transport the Godspeed several miles back to STAR and then wrangle his body into the cell? 

They couldn't pick him up and carry him, as the second they touched him they'd be caught in the entropy field as well. They couldn't deactivate the trap so Barry could zoom him to the cell either, as the instant the field was shut off the Godspeed would regain his powers.

The entropy trap's pretty small, about the size of a saucer. Maybe they tied a string around it and dragged it— along with the Godspeed inside the field— back to STAR?

Oh, I know! Maybe the trap's like a radio controlled car, with little hidden wheels underneath, and they drove it back to the building and into the cell?

Actually it appears the real way they accomplished this impossible task was through the Power Of Editing. Can't figure out any good way to transport a deadly meta from one location to another? No problem! Simply cut from the villain out on the street to him standing inside a cell! No muss, no fuss, and best of all, no explanation required! As far as the audience is concerned it's none of their business how it happened— it simply did!

• Once the Godspeed's safely inside a cell, we see Allegra standing in the Cortex, supposedly using her powers to jam its signals.

Unfortunately she's just sort of standing there with her arms slightly raised. Shouldn't we actually SEE her powers working here? Every other time she's ever used them, there's been some sort of glowy energy effect, but here we get nothing. Did the FX budget run out here?

• Barry interrogates the captive Godspeed, who actually speaks (instead of spouting modem noises) and infodumps the reason behind their Civil War. Maybe it's just me, but this particular Godspeed sounded a LOT like Optimus Prime. Was that intentional?

• Naturally the Godspeed easily escapes its cell and attacks Barry. Based on this move, this particular clone must be a big pro wrestling fan.

• At one point Barry tells Digg he'd like to zoom to 2049 to see if Nora's OK, but is afraid of the risk to the timelin. Incredibly, Digg tells him he should go for it!

Jesus Christ! I just about did a spit take when he said that! Digg of all people should know the dangers of Barry screwing around with time. You know, Digg, the guy whose daughter was changed into a son due to Barry's Flashpoint shenanigans?

• Cecile tells Barry she's been reading Original Nora's old journal, and thinks she knows where August Heart might be hiding out. Lots to unpack here in this short scene. A LOT!

First of all, Cecile holds up the journal and says, "Iris gave it to me. Apparently, she has been looking for anything about the original August Heart. Yeah, I know, even when she’s under the weather, your girl is thinking of ways to help us."

It's very obvious from this dialogue that this scene was meant for Iris, but once Candice Patton went AWOL, the writers were forced to give her storyline to Cecile.

Cecile then confirms that this episode is somehow taking place in 2021, even though there's a metric crap-ton of evidence that sets it firmly in 2020.

See, the whole detestable Mirroverse Saga started up last year in 2020. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced the show to halt production for several months. As a result, they didn't film the final three Mirrorverse episodes until early in 2021. By necessity though, those episodes HAD to take place last year.

Then based on dialogue and other clues, the Four Forces storyline began about a month after Eva was defeated. And the Godspeed storyline started up immediately after that was resolved. 

There was no time jump at any point, which means the characters should all still be living in 2020. But since The Flash has always taken place pretty much in real time, the producers have chosen to simply ignore the evidence and decree it's 2021.

OK, I get why they're doing this— it'd be weird if the characters continually referenced the fact that they're living in the past, and some audience members might even get confused and think they're watching a rerun. All that said, it still doesn't change the fact that the show's currently happening in 2020.

Lastly, Cecile states matter-of-factly that she's been reading Nora's journal. Wait, hold up... Didn't Nora write the thing in her special "Time Language?" The one that couldn't be altered no matter what changes were made to the timeline? So how the hell is Cecile able to read THAT?

If I remember right, Back in Season 5 Sherloque Wells spent several weeks running it through the STAR Labs computer to translate it. I guess maybe Cecile found and read those files?

By the way, I STILL don't understand how Nora's journal still exists, considering she was erased from existence.  

• I know I mention this a lot, but man, Cecile is tiny!

And she'd be even shorter if she wasn't clomping around in her six inch heels!

• Barry enters the Speed Force so he can travel to 2049 and check on Nora. As he races through the vortex, his Mobile Gideon unit tracks his progress, announcing, "Now passing 2022. 2023." 

Suddenly he runs into a gaggle of Godspeeds blocking his path, and they eject him from the Speed Force. He's then greeted by Deon and Iris, who tell him to forget about checking on Nora before they both vanish.

So... Barry's stuck in 2023 then, right? That's when he was when was thrown out of the Vortex, so that's the year in which he should have landed! So how's he gonna get back to 2020? Er, I mean 2021?

Apparently the writers realized this problem as well, as a few scenes later Barry appears in STAR Labs in a flash of green energy. Green TIME energy, which means Deon had the good sense to use his powers to send his "Dad" back to his proper time.

• Welp, Deon's back. Amazingly he managed to not be annoying this week, and the writers actually managed to use him in an effective way.

Too bad the other three Forces couldn't make it to help out their Dad against the Godspeeds. I guess the show couldn't afford to bring back the other three actors?

So I gotta ask... as one of the Four Forces, is Deon doomed to wear that same outfit for all of eternity?

• After sitting out two episodes, Iris briefly returns this week and tells Barry she's become "unstuck in time" or something. She says Deon's the only thing keeping her from fracturing throughout time, which sounds like it'd be a bad thing. 

Gosh, this all sounds like something we should have actually SEEN happen, instead of hearing about after the fact. C'mon, guys! The cardinal rule of writing for TV and movies is SHOW, don't TELL!

As for Iris' "delicate condition" in which she's unstuck in time... that sounds vaguely familiar.
 See, way back in 1980s, The Flash comic featured this convoluted story arc in which Iris discovered she was actually from the 30th Century. Her real parents sent her back in time for reasons, where she was raised by the West family.

Iris was eventually killed by Zoom, and her biological parents took her body back to the 30th Century, where they were able to revive her. Barry Allen then time traveled to the future as well to live out his life there with her.

I wonder... Are the writers attempting to adapt this "Future Iris" storyline from the comics here on the show?

• Deon apologizes to Barry for abducting Iris without telling him, saying, "Look, I'm sorry, OK, I know I should have just told you what I was gonna do, THERE JUST WASN'T TIME!"

Seriously? He's the f*cking Still Force! He's literally the GOD OF TIME! He can manipulate time any freakin' way he wants, and he couldn't spare a second to speak with his "Dad" about his plan?

• At one point Digg shoots one of the Godspeeds, causing it to start glitching and lose its powers. He then explains, "Nanites, courtesy of Ray Palmer!"

Yay, Digg said the thing! Did you get that, everyone? Digg mentioned Ray Palmer, aka the Atom! Did you catch that?

• For reasons known only to the writers, the second Ultraviolet's throat operation is over, she heads out to get revenge on the Black Hole members who wronged her. Allegra then finds the aftermath of Ultraviolet's rampage, along with her mortally wounded body.

So... why does Ultraviolet's body disintegrate when she dies, like she was snapped by Thanos? Did it have something to do with her electromagnetic powers? I'm confused.

Whatever the reason, it was thoughtful of her to clean up after herself after she died. No unsightly corpse left to dispose of and nothing to explain to the authorities!

So that's it? THAT'S how the Ultraviolet storyline ends? What the hell was the point of that? Why spend two or three weeks on a redemption arc for her, only to suddenly kill her off for no apparent reason? 

Then to make things even worse, she was apparently pissed at her prima for refusing to go on a murder-spree with her. So her dying words to poor Allegra are, "I fought alone. Now I die alone." What an asshole! 

Allegra brought her to STAR, talked Caitlin into operating and restoring her voice, and stood by her the whole time. So how does Ultraviolet repay her loyalty? By implying that her death is all Allegra's fault. Good riddance to her, I say!

• So Ultraviolet's body vaporizes after she dies, but her blood remains firmly stuck to Allegra's palms. Got it.

• Cecile uses the Original Nora's journal (which should not exist) to figure out where August Heart is likely to be hiding out in our time. She tracks him down to Dayton Labs, which hasn't yet been built here in 2020, er, I mean 2021. According to the journal, August Heart worked at Dayton Labs until he was fired in 2045. 

I'm assuming this is a reference to Steve Dayton, who was a member of the Doom Patrol in the comics. Dayton was one of the world's richest men, and built a special helmet that increased his mental abilities. Calling himself Mento, he joined the Doom Patrol and eventually married Elasti-Girl, another member of the team. 

Elasti-Girl's untimely death caused Mento to go crazy for a time, but his madness was eventually cured by Raven of the Teen Titans. 

Somehow I doubt if any of this will come into play on The Flash.

Note that the sign here states that the future Dayton Labs is located on Hamilton Street. That may be another comic reference. Back in the 1980s, there was a Professor Emil Hamilton who worked for STAR Labs, and eventually became a villain.

• Nice touch— when Team Sort Of Flash encounters August Heart, Digg holds his blaster in "safe mode," with the muzzle pointed down. Just like a good soldier or cop would do.

Makes me wonder if David Ramsey was in the military at some point.

• In the third act, Kristen's traipsing through the woods hunting for Creyke. He then sneaks up behind her with his blaster drawn. Creyke's stunned though when she turns around and he sees it's her.

Wait a minute... he tried to blow up her car last week, and he's been following her through the woods all through this episode— and he didn't know it was her? How's that possible?

I thought these two grew up together and were "brother & sister?" Even if he didn't get a good look at her face, he ought to be able to recognize a person he's known all his life from behind! Not much of a tracker, is he?

The writers make a valiant attempt to explain this, saying Creyke didn't recognize Kristen because he thought she died back in the army explosion. Nice try, but I ain't buying it. 
Heavy Duty Nitpicking: Chester says the Godspeeds' appearances are increasing at exponential intervals, from eight hours to four and then ninety minutes "if they're lucky." 

OK, technically I suppose those are exponential intervals, since the definition of the word means "to become more rapid." But that's not a logical pattern. If they're reappearing twice as fast each time, then they should return in TWO HOURS, not ninety minutes.

• Caitlin performs a medical scan on August Heart and discovers a MASSIVE portion of his amnesiac brain is inactive. Jesus Christ! Look at the size of that "dead" area! It's at least a third of his brain! How the hell can he even speak or walk? How's he even alive?

Technobabble Alert! Caitlin says she might be able to restore Heart's memory by injecting him with a "nanodose of neurogenic dark matter," whatever the hell that means. There must be a sign in the writers' room that states, "When In Doubt, Explain It With Dark Matter."

• Great confusion surrounds the character of August Heart— particularly who he is and what he looks like. When we first saw him way back in Season 5's Godspeed, he had black hair and an actor of First Nation descent.

(Appropos of nothing, if you look closely at Heart's file, you can see his date of birth is August 10, 2021! He hasn't been born yet as of this review!)

The next time we saw him (sort of) was in Season 6's Into The Void. This particular Godspeed was actually a duplicate, who for some reason could only utter modem-like noises.

Since the Godspeed duplicates are clones of Heart, this one should look exactly like him, right? Wrong! When Barry unmasks this Godspeed, he's a white guy with brown hair! What the hell?

It's clear that the writers hadn't figured out the whole Godspeed arc yet, and were obviously making it up as they went along. As proof of that, Cisco says this is "the fourth Godspeed we've caught this summer and still no sign of Mr. August Heart. Just another dummy who can't communicate anything beyond modem-speak." 

Note that he refers to the copy as a "dummy," but other times they're called "drones." This and their weird modem-speak implies that they're some sort of androids created by Heart.

Of course ALL that changes here near the end of Season 7. August Heart is now an Indian man, and his duplicates are all identical biological CLONES of him.

So why all the seemingly arbitrary changes? I can kind of forgive recasting the role, as the original actor might not have been available, but there's no reason for the changes to the Godspeed duplicates though.

They can't even use Covid as an excuse, as they introduced this character way back in 2019! That means they've had TWO FULL YEARS to flesh out his storyline! So why the hell is it so vague and murky? How's it possible to so thoroughly screw up such a major fan-favorite character like this?

At this point I have no idea who the hell August Heart is, why he created an army of clones or what the hell he wants.

• In the tag scene, Barry & Iris' future daughter Nora appears in the flesh. Not a dream, not a drunken hallucination, but the real thing.

I have many questions about her presence here. Like how the hell can she possibly exist, considering she was erased from existence in the Season 5 finale. If she never existed, then how does she know about her previous interactions with Barry? And why is she suddenly acting like a manic, hyperactive elf?

There's one stupid, but simple answer for ALL these questions. This is NOT the same Nora we saw all through Season 5. That Nora truly was wiped out of existence when Team Flash altered the timeline by eliminating Cicada.

What we're seeing here is a completely NEW and different Nora. One who was conceived at a different time in the near future by Barry & Iris, yet looks impossibly identical to the original version.

Yeah, that's now how biology and genetics work, writers! Every sperm & egg are different. That's why all siblings don't look like clones of one another. Jaysis.

As for the second question, her parents must have stupidly told this Nora about the Original, which explains how she knows about that version.

And lastly, this Nora most likely didn't have Thawne as a mentor, and wasn't mixed up in a convoluted plot to help him regain his speed, which explains why she's so much more upbeat and bubbly than the original version.

• As if all that wasn't enough, Nora then introduces Barry to her brother Bart Allen, who's also a speedster and goes by the name of Impulse.

Once again the writers have made a MAJOR deviation from the comics with Barry's kids.

In the comics, Barry & Iris had twins named Dawn and Don Allen. They were both speedsters, and grew up to become superheroes who called themselves the Tornado Twins.

Comic Book Barry also has a granddaughter called Jenni Ognats, a speedster who goes by the name of XS. It appears the writers combined Dawn and Jenni into Nora.

In the comics, Bart's the son of Don Allen, making him Barry & Iris' grandson. For some reason the show's altered his lineage so he's their son. Confused yet?

Despite the changes to his parentage, the producers did a pretty good job of translating Bart to the screen. They had to do a bit of necessary race-swapping, but the costume looks spot on! And from Bart's brief appearance here, it looks like they got his hyper, impulsive (heh) personality right as well! Well done!

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