The Flash: 6.14 Death of the Speedforce
Aside from a few blips in the road, season six is shaping up to be the best yet. The decision to split it into two mini seasons, each with its own antagonist was genius, and brought a surprising nuance to The Flash. While thus far this second run hasn’t had the consistent chance to shine, delivering two dull and lifeless episodes (Marathon and Love is a Battlefield), one of the best instalments (A Girl Named Sue) and finally one just meh (Grodd Friended Me), Death of the Speedforce is very much in top end, producing some truly exciting, fast paced and easy to watch television.
The reason for its success is two-fold; reintroducing Cisco back into the mix brought an ease that things may finally be returning to normal (or at least Earth Prime normal). Add to that the pleasant yet surprising return of Wally West’s Kid Flash in a jaw dropping opening sequence that had it all: the delectable yellow suit, a portrayal of new powers and fantastic special effects and you’ve got a winning combination. Admittedly, there was a concern that they may be once again tackling too much in one instalment, but the end result speaks for itself.
The return of Wally was handled perfectly; his new found spirituality was befitting of the character we said goodbye to back in season five, and the person he has grown into brings a cushion of sensibility to this episode. The new, more Zen version of Wally, who has a special connection with the Speedforce, showcases new and interesting skills, both as a Speedster and a human being. Barry’s immediate jealousy injected some nice humour. The comaraderie between Wally and Barry was electric, especially once Barry was confronted by Wally for his part played in the Speedforces’ demise, managing to keep both characters grounded in reality.
Speaking of, the Speedforce is something that has been consistently and well developed over the past six seasons. The exploration of the mysterious entity/force that gave Speedsters across the multiverse their powers has been exciting. The biggest problem was anthropomorphising it to emulate Barry’s mother; as the death of it here I guess was supposed to be heart-wrenching, but it created more of a melodramatic feel. The scene focused more on Barry, which seemed harsh given that its death affects all Speedsters; Wally, who didn’t get mourn in the same way.
The end of Grodd Friended Me teased the return of Thawne. Seeing those blurry fiery yellow eyes once again was exciting. Not only was his return short and sweet, but it added so much to the story that was never thought needed. Cisco’s past with Thawne has been just as passionate as everything else, and this episode brought with it a memorable confrontation between the two that will no doubt be seen again before the season’s end.
Elsewhere, the villain Turtle 2.0, as expected, was a disposable addition to the episode, drowned out be a far more interesting story. The slow reveal of Eve within the mirror dimension however has been a mixture of frustration and edge of the seat tension, as the Iris copy continues to execute an unknowing plan, uninterrupted…until now. Hopefully, the climax of Mirror Iris being found out plants a seed that will sprout next week with an episode focused towards this story.
There was a lot to unravel in Death of the Speedforce, and thankfully it was executed brilliantly and built upon the existing tension well. The feeling of team unity has been something that’s bothered me up until now, and although it’s still not perfect, the steps being taken to bring everyone together is reassuring that this season is moving in the right direction. The return of Wally West was handled well and the chemistry between him and Barry, both as Speedsters and brothers, was wonderful to watch. The second half of this season is turning out to match that of the first, so here’s to hoping it remains on this positive path.