The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, this is what this week and next week’s episodes of The Flash are called and boy what a fitting title.
The episode starts with Ralph being infected by Ramsey, and in order to save him Barry must give him part of his own speed healing, which inadvertently ends up infecting him. From there, the real fun and games begin.
Barry’s dream state is a nightmare, much like the knightmare scene from Batman v Superman, in that all of Barry’s doubts and fears are reflected right back at him. He sees the possible life he could have if he doesn’t sacrifice himself during Crisis, he hears the Speed Force try and convince him that he needs to for the balance of the world. As any sane man who has been asked to sacrifice time and again, Barry demands to know when enough will be enough and he can actually have a normal life. The Speed Force which has of course taken the form of his mother Nora Allen, cannot answer. Ramsey appears to win but then Barry gets a jolt of Velocity X and something changes. When he wakes up we’re not quite sure whether Ramsey won or the Speed Force did.
Grant Gustin acted superbly throughout this episode and the viewer was engaged throughout, give this man an Emmy.
Elsewhere, Allegra discovers Iris’ draft copy for that Crisis article. It’s not completed, hell Iris hasn’t even started it yet, but with Allegra having newly discovered who her boss’s husband is, you can understand why she wants to talk about it. Unfortunately, Iris for most of the episode does what all members of The Flash seem to be very good at, she ignores the elephant in the room and keeps going. Trying to identify the man with the badge-a potential member of the Black Hole- when that comes a dead end, eventually she admits that the article is bothering her. Allegra gives a staple Flash pep talk, and we see Iris begin to write the article, after we also learn that the man they confronted has been murdered.
They’re really setting up for the back end of this season, and it’s working quite well. I’m hooked and want to know more.
Whilst Frost and Cisco are relieved Barry’s woken up and appears okay, and Frost seems to have agreed with Caitlin that with Crisis coming, it’s appropriate for Caitlin to take over medical duties, Iris has noticed something isn’t right with Barry. Here’s where Grant Gustin and Candace Patton’s chemistry comes into play, they act off of one another and there are little hints and nods that show Iris’ suspicions as the right ones.
Barry turns around and his teeth and eyes are black. He speeds away and joins Ramsey in his lair, kneeling before him, as Ramsey takes the name ‘Bloodwork.’
As an aside, Nash Wells finally finds the Monitor’s lair and there we have it, Crisis is in the can, though we don’t know how exactly he could save Barry.
This episode was great, there weren’t too many storylines being jammed in for a change, and the pacing was just right. Grant Gustin acted superbly, and the torture of emotions he was undergoing was very believable. I look forward to seeing how this plays out next week and I wonder how they set up Crisis in that back end.