The Flash – “The Last Temptation Of Barry Allen, Pt. 2”

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The Dark Flash is here. Photo taken via direct screenshot of the episode.

Please Keep In Mind That This Article Contains Potential Spoilers For “The Last Temptation Of Barry Allen, Pt. 2” and Events That Occurred Prior

What strikes me as the strongest part of the show in a long time is the structure of this first half. It was actually extremely tight and focused. The writers handled it all very well—especially given how incredible messy seasons 4 and 5 were. They were able to reasonably build to Crisis, while still maintaining a big threat in Ramsey, and also teasing future storylines without it being overbearing (Godspeed, Ramsey’s continued imprisonment, the mysterious organization, etc.). Sure, it wasn’t a flawless run of episodes—but even with its issues, it managed to hold up.

The running theme of fighting death itself held up very strongly. As Barry and the team tried so hard to fight his fate, they were attacked by a threat fueled by that very conflict. Bloodwork presence played off of everything going on very well, and provided a really good emotional structure to the story leading up to (and going into) Crisis. The show even slowed down on the whole throwaway villain of the week formula. I mean color me surprised that Allegra — and her sister — became a much more focused element of the proceedings than I would have ever thought. She even ended up being the key to defeating Ramsey. Had she simply showed up again in this latest episode to solve the problem, it would not have worked in the slightest. But thanks to the show attempting to establish her further before her big save, it works. And yes, I realize that Allegra still isn’t an amazing character with endless depth—but credit to the show for having the mindset to give her that build up. 

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The Flash Vs. Bloodwork. Photo taken via direct screenshot of the episode.

When it came to Barry and how he defeated Ramsey, they could have landed it all a little better. Unearthing his doubts is a great idea, and works really well with the themes at play. It worked—but I wish more of Barry’s plan could have been visualized. I was a little confused as to how Barry was all of a sudden in a place to have that kind of control over Ramsey. His fall to the dark side certainly seemed genuine, and there was no indication that Barry had any sort of leverage. I think had they given one more episode of breathing room for Dark Flash, it would have done wonders for the payoff and Ramsey’s defeat. 

Having Dark Flash in general was a fun ride. Seeing this side of Barry was a great change, and Grant Gustin was clearly having fun with it. You know who wasn’t having fun though? Iris. Iris had to deal with possibly losing her husband in an entirely different way. Hours before Crisis no less. It didn’t sit well with her, and it led to her making some pretty reckless decisions. It’s all extremely understandable. Iris has had a lot of emotional strain, and her actions make complete sense. Even Cisco was having trouble, though he doubled down on his determinations in a different way. At least we now know Cisco has Dark Flash safety protocols to fall back on! Iris wasn’t the only one to be reckless though—I mean did Cisco not think that Dark Flash wouldn’t show up instantly like he did when attacking Ramsey? It really should have been one of the first possibilities he considered.

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Bloodwork in all of his glory. Photo taken via direct screenshot of the episode.

The Midseason finale provided a strong horror inspired finished to Bloodwork and his villainous cure. But is it really a finish for good ol’ Ramsey? He’s still alive and well in the small containment tube tucked inside Star Labs. Not to mention his ramblings about revenge. I think it’s very likely that he will be back to tie into whatever threat the team faces next—fingers crossed for a proper Godspeed plot. Until then though, Crisis is finally here. Threatening red sky and all. There’s only one question remaining: will Barry Allen vanish in the coming Crisis?

 

Bonus Notes:

  • This episode really played into the Horror elements of it all. I mean every sequence with Cecile and Kamilla for example. Speaking of which, what a neat way to utilize her powers in a situation like that. 
  • Bloodwork’s true form was awesome. It’s a shame we got to see so little of it. 
  • So I guess Nash is going to be Pariah after all! Called it. It is really interesting though that he seemingly fell into the Monitor’s hands on false pretenses. To my understanding, Barry and the team saved him in his time of need — though he mistook it for The Monitor intervening. I guess we’ll have to wait until Crisis for some more context and understanding. 
  • So, where was Ralph for all of this? Kind of strange to keep him sidelined and all.

 

 

 

Special Note: We’ve had to resort to taking direct screenshots of the episode ourselves and/or repeated and unrelated Flash images due to the CW Network failing to provide adequate photos for proper coverage. 

 

You can catch The Flash as it airs on The CW on Tuesdays at 9pm EST!

 

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Author: Russ Milheim

I'm Russ, and I'm a nerd to the core. Pop culture is the fuel that drives me. Television, Movies, Games, Comics, and Superheroes are my passions in life. Want to talk anything DC or Marvel? I’m here for you. Like Funko Pop! figures? Those are my thing as well. The moral of the story, is that I felt Game of Nerds was the best place to try and share my love for all things pop culture to the world, and engage with people across the world.

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