The Flash: 6.08 The Last Temptation of Barry Allen Part 2
Dark Flash, Bloodwork, a Night of the Living Dead horror style. Hell yeah!!! After part one failed to be as explosive as the rest of the season, I entered this episode cautiously, but wow, was that misplaced. The attention to detail, right down to Bloodwork’s black ooze on the title card was superb. Never before has an episode of The Flash hit this level of darkness and managed to blend tense, edge of your seat thrills with emotional tones quite this well.
Part two wastes no time and jumps straight into the action, depicting Bloodwork’s hostile takeover of Central City using the Flash as his overpowered pawn. This was certainly an episode for the supporting cast to shine, as Grant Gustin takes a break from heavy dialogue and big moments after his excellent performance in part one. Iris and Cisco are the standouts here, as Barry’s wife and closest friend attempt to find a solution to bring him back from the Ramsey’s control. Their chemistry is electric and their presence helped steadily move the episode along.
This episode could easily have been the season finale rather than the mid-season break. Aside from the final moments bringing forth the Crisis on Infinite Earths, everything was neatly wrapped up, the main antagonist was defeated, friends were together in another cheesy self-absorbed sequence synonymous with this genre of television and the general tone was uplifting. Adapt the final sequence for Barry walking off into the sunset and that’s the entire show completed. At least if the second half of this season doesn’t live up to these standards, we have a fantastic first part to think of fondly.
The interaction between Bloodwork and the entirety of Team Flash was excellent, most notably the final confrontation between him and Flash. While the story played out in a very predictable manner, the writers and director Michael Nankin made the most of everything, delivering excitement every step of the way. The visuals this season have been superb, but more so in these past two episodes, which have gone to another level. Bloodwork’s transformation into a giant zombie muscular skeleton looked amazing and fit the episode’s tones perfectly.
I was worried that Cecil’s side story would be dull and a little pointless; thankfully that wasn’t the case here. Teaming up with Cisco’s girlfriend Kamilla to evade Bloodwork’s zombies brought its own flare of tension and excitement, with the two actresses playing on that perfectly. It was fantastic to see both side characters be utilised for something other than comedic relief. After discovering that Ramsey’s victims have to feel fear in order to be infected, Cecil using her powers to detect that and became a radar of sorts; it was genius and worked beautifully.
While Ralph was certainly missed this episode, the void was filled by Caitlin, Frost and Allegra who, while being in some super cheesy and cliched scenes, showcased their worth and how well they work together, but more importantly, it fit the narrative very well. The scenes with Nash Wells on the other hand, while understandably setting up the Crisis crossover, staggered the pacing and felt obligatory and not like something that was serving the overall narrative. The conveniences and drama were overly forced and could’ve been executed differently.
The Last Temptation of Barry Allen Part 2 is a solid midseason finale that showcases a lot of skill, brought excitement for the upcoming crossover event and has entertained throughout. Regardless of whether Ramsey’s Bloodwork returns or a new antagonist altogether is introduced, he will go down as a memorable villain who never outstayed his welcome and was genuinely menacing. It’s also a refreshing feeling to think the show is in safe hands. No matter what the crisis or the remaining season brings, this first half will go down as the best since season one.