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Love in flash

The season follows Barry, a crime scene investigator with superhuman speed who fights criminals, including others who have also gained superhuman abilities.


Love In Flash

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It also finds a way to give Barry back his speed after he abandons the emotion-robbing energy of the Artificial Speed Force.

Both of these are great resolutions to problems that had plagued the team since the middle of Season 6, but the show seems to lose any concern for how they're accomplished. All that matters is the triumph over evil without it being foreshadowed or explained.

The two episodes of the season were largely concerned with activating the Artificial Speed Force, a replacement for the natural power Barry had been tapping into up until "Crisis on Infinite Earths," which caused its collapse. The Artificial Speed Force is only activated with Nash Wells' death, and comes with a major downside -- it robs Barry of any emotion.

This causes him to think in increasingly cold, goal-oriented ways, culminating with him knocking out the rest of Team Flash and pulling Iris back from the Mirror Dimensionheedless of any consequences to her or the others still trapped there. She immediately starts to have a seizure, her mind no longer able to process the real world.

Love is a battlefield

This le to the latest episode, "Mother," and sets up Team Flash to confront their darkest hour. Barry is without his speed, Iris is on the brink of death and they're without Wells, whose death might have been in vain.

Those sound like dire straits, but The Flash as a show has a tendency to undermine any negative consequences it sets up for itself. Season 3 of the show made a huge deal of how Iris was fated to die, but when the season finale arrived and Iris' prophesied death along with it, it turned out the dead Iris was actually a disguised H. The first half of Season 6 pulled a similar gambit, emphasizing that Flash was going to die during "Crisis" with no way to alter or change it.

Yet, when his final hour arrived, the Barry Allen of another Earth -- who the audience had not met before this episode -- died instead. It's clear at this point that the show's writers are fans of bait-and-switch gambits, which isn't an issue in and of itself.

Subverting expectations is a technique that works fine, but only when the "twist" has the appropriate weight. This is best achieved through foreshadowing, as even the most jaw-dropping reveals are easy to process when it's clear they were planned all along.

However, it's an issue when those twists come out of nowhere, and without much or any explanation. It can strain an audience's suspension of disbelief as it becomes increasingly clear the show is simply a road the writers are building ahead of themselves as they travel along it.

If something happens it's because it's what needs to happen for the story to progress, not the result of a linear progression of cause and effect. It's the first half of "Mother" that cranks this issue up to eleven, as a revived Harrison Wells appears to help Team Flash by explaining Barry needs to "run towards love" to bring back his speed.

This inspires the team to work on a new version of the Artificial Speed Force rooted in positive emotion instead of cold logic or poisonous hate. Why does this work?

Team Flash throws out all sorts of theories, including how Barry was the "Paragon of Love" during "Crisis" as well as the fact that Iris herself was once a speedster. And to put the cherry on top of this implausible last-minute sundae, Iris walks into the Speed Lab and puts her hands on the fusion core that serves as the conduit for the Artificial Speed Force. How did she recover from her coma after being pulled out of the Mirror Dimension? Why does this put her in a trance-like state that imbues her with the knowledge of what she needs to do?

All of these questions are put aside as she powers up the Speed Force and gives back Barry his powers. While this episode leans into the theory that emotions are what's needed to save the day, it fails to understand that it can't solely rely on those feel-good moments.

A little bit of logic is needed too -- if only just enough to hold the story together. Airing Tuesdays at 8 p. Alexander Sowa is a journalist, poet and student. He lives in Toronto, and is currently studying in the journalism program at Ryerson University.

Barry allen (arrowverse)

He enjoys superheroes, slam poetry, and Magic: The Gathering. You can find him on twitter at alexpaulsowa.

By Alexander Sowa Published Mar 19, Share Share Tweet 0. Continue scrolling to keep reading Click the button below to start this article in quick view.