The speedster war escalates on a busy episode of The Flash

David Ramsey brings a touch of the Arrowverse past as John Diggle returns

The speedster war escalates on a busy episode of The Flash
Candice Patton, Grant Gustin Photo: The CW

An episode like “P.O.W.” demonstrates pretty clearly that The Flash isn’t trying to bring in new fans at this point. Anyone who hasn’t been steeped in the mythology of the show (and the Arrowverse as a whole) would have a hard time making heads or tails out of the events unfolding this week. Hell, I’ve recapped nearly all 149 hours of this show, and I didn’t exactly find it smooth sailing either.

Picking up not long after the previous episode, this one finds the two sets of Godspeed clones continuing to clash as Team Flash tries to figure out what their beef with each other could be. Aiding in that effort is John Diggle, late of Team Arrow and now with Argus, who arrives with a new piece of Cisco-Tech called the entropy trap. The device successfully captures one of the Godspeed clones that defended Barry last week, who explains that he and his brethren are merely fighting to live against the clones who serve their creator and will die when he decides they’ve served their purpose. If Barry joins their efforts, they can defeat the other team of clones, but that would entail killing the original Godspeed, August Hart, and Barry’s not down with that.

The clone is able to escape, because he’s an artificial meta and the team didn’t account for that when applying their meta-dampening tech, so…whoops. In any event, Barry is distracted because daughter Nora keeps appearing to him in dreams, this time telling him that something has screwed up the future and their family has changed. Barry is reluctant to travel ahead to 2049 and check on Nora, what with all the timeline destruction he’s already caused, but Diggle talks him into doing it anyway because family is more important than, oh, saving the city from a dozen warring speedster clones. Not so sure that was the best advice, Dig!

Barry fails to get back to the future anyway, as the clones block his path in the Speed Force and he is flung out of it, only to find Dion waiting. He explains that while the Speed Force is busy fighting the clones, he’s occupied with keeping Iris alive because she’s shifting in and out of the timeline. I guess that’s as good an explanation as any for Candice Patton’s extended absence of late, though she manages to make a brief appearance tonight. Not that there’s time for much more than that, since the episode is juggling more subplots than it can handle.

Let’s try to hit them quickly. Esperanza, having been healed by Caitlin, is ready to seek vengeance on the remains of Black Hole, but Allegra thinks she needs more recovery time. Esperanza invites her to join the mission on the condition that there will be no killing, but Allegra elects to stay with Team Flash, at least until she overhears Diggle’s big speech about family. She arrives too late to save her cousin, who has battled to the death and now disintegrates for some reason. Aren’t you glad we spent all that time with Ultraviolet over the past few weeks?

Joe and Kramer survived the car explosion at the end of last week’s episode, but if you’re waiting for an explanation as to how that happened…well, Kramer spotted a light on Adam’s gun and got them out of the car while we weren’t looking, I guess. They catch up to Adam who believes himself to be immortal and has been working as a mercenary, justifying it by giving half his earnings to the Reservation where they grew up. He also claims Kramer is dead, so we’ll see if that goes anywhere.

Diggle is having a series of headache attacks, which somehow tie in with the green glowy thing he found at the end of Arrow, which everyone assumes is the Green Lantern ring. There’s no resolution to that here, though I understand Diggle has appeared on other CW superhero shows, so maybe more has been revealed elsewhere. Again, this is part of the problem with this episode. There’s a lot going on, and it’s not boring exactly, but it feels like a collection of footnotes to a story rather than the story itself.

In the end, Team Flash gets their hands on August Hart, though he is without his memory, and Nora returns for real, not just as a dream. But she’s got a surprise for Barry (though not for those of us who have seen the character teased over the past few months): his son, Bart Allen. In this shortened season, it feels like we just got three episodes crammed into one…and now only the two-part finale remains.

Stray observations

  • Despite her recent absence and the rumors that she’s dissatisfied with the show, Candice Patton recently signed on for the eighth season, along with Jesse L. Martin and Danielle Panabaker. (Grant Gustin was already under contract for next season.)
  • Poor Chester gets yelled at by Barry. A rite of passage for Team Flash.
  • Next week is the 150th episode of The Flash, which looks like it features nearly 150 speedsters.

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