Previously on The Flash, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), aka The Flash, continued to adjust to a remade post-Crisis world, this time in the form of a mental team-up with enemy Gorilla Grodd! Barry was joined by new team members Kamilla Hwang (Victoria Park) and Chester Runk (Brandon McKnight)! Meanwhile, Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) is set to return from his journey to map all the post-Crisis changes! And as for Iris West-Allen (Candace Patton), she’s got her own problems, having been trapped in a Mirrorverse by a secretly sinister Eva McCulloch (Efrat Dor) and replaced with a mirror duplicate! In this week’s episode, The Flash S6E14, “Death of the Speed Force,” Kid Flash Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) returns, and Team Flash suffers a potentially game-changing loss.
The episode opens with a shot of a helicopter flying over Central City. A pair of what appear to be rich people, both of whom speak Russian, are aboard. Suddenly the tail of the helicopter rusts over, and it starts to go down. At S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) sees the alert, and nearby Kamilla says Barry’s already on it. Barry, however, is standing right behind them with snacks in hand. Across town, a yellow blur streaks towards the copter, jumping across open space and rescuing the passengers. Landing again on the helicopter, Kid Flash dismantles the craft, bringing the pieces safely to the ground. The Flash arrives just as Kid Flash finishes, and the two embrace.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, all of Team Flash, including Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) and Cecile Horton (Danielle Nicolet), are assembled to welcome Wally home. Wally shows off the level of control he’s achieved over his powers while away, making a lotus flower out of pure speed force energy. Meanwhile, from inside a nearby mirror, Iris and Eva watch the festivities from the Mirrorverse. Eva loses control, and the image vanishes from the mirror. Iris says she’s now been there for weeks, and Eva reiterates that she’s been there for years, starting to have a panic attack about it, which in turn causes Mirror-Iris to start to wig out briefly, which only Kamilla notices. At that moment Cisco returns, and after greetings he realizes he’s crashing Wally’s party, but decides to have a drink anyway.
Later that night, the party disperses, and Barry and Wally clean up at super-speed. Suddenly Barry’s speed gives out and he crashes into a table. Wally asks if this has happened before, and Barry tells him about some previous instances, chalking it up to his body recovering from Crisis. Wally says he’s been sensing something wrong with the Speed Force, that he can project his consciousness into the Speed Force and commune with it, the way it has with Barry in the form of his mother. Lately, though, the Speed Force has been quiet, Wally says. He asks Barry when the last time he heard it was, and Barry says it’s been a while, but he blows it off and says there’s probably nothing wrong, and the Speed Force would let him know if there was
Elsewhere, at Jitters, the Russians from the helicopter are there getting coffee and being rude to the baristas. Suddenly a green wave washes over the place, and time seems to freeze in place around the woman. A green robed woman (Vanessa Walsh) enters, and the Russian woman addresses her as Frida. We also learn that the Russian woman’s name is Maria. The robed woman fires a green orb at Maria, which surrounds her. The robed woman then makes a fist, and a sickening noise is heard. She exits, time starts again, and everyone sees Maria on the floor, her body emaciated.
Shortly, Barry, Joe, Wally, and the Central City police are on the scene. Joe identifies the woman as Maria Volkova, a Russian socialite, and Wally recognizes her as the woman he saved earlier. Barry says she was 110 years old when she died. As they talk Barry says this sounds familiar, and Cisco enters and says it’s The Turtle, but not the one they know. Pulling out his villain trading card binder, Cisco says that Turtle 2.0 can create and drain potential energy, slowing things down and speeding them up at will. Joe recognizes the new Turtle as Frida Novikov, someone the C.C.P.D. busted previously. The team exits to try to devise a plan
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Nash Wells (Tom Cavanagh) finds Cisco back in his lab. He asks to hear about Cisco’s trip, but Cisco is busy working on how to stop Turtle 2.0. Nash insists on knowing if Cisco saw other people from other Earths on his journies, and Cisco says he didn’t because they would all have died already due to neurological degeneration. Nash asks what if they were already dead, which Cisco says is impossible, and Nash wigs out on him that he needs to find an answer without actually saying what the problem is. Cisco refuses, and Nash storms out, past Caitlin.
At the offices of the Central City Citizen, Wally and Mirror-Iris are catching up. Mirror-Iris tells Wally that last fall Barry and the Speed Force had “an incident”, which he did not tell Wally about. Kamilla enters, taking a photo of the siblings, and Wally asks her to send it to him and leaves. Mirror-Iris insists Kamilla delete the photo, making up something about Black Hole’s assassins using photos to track their moves. Kamilla opens the menu to delete the photo, and Mirror-Iris exits, leaving a confused Kamilla behind.
Meanwhile, at Barry’s lab, Wally arrives and asks Barry what happened with the Speed Force. Barry tells him about what happened with Bloodwork, and how he attacked the Speed Force when it tried to help him. Wally says they need to talk to the Speed Force, and Barry says it doesn’t want to talk to him…but they’re already there, Wally having them into the Speed Force. They’re in Barry’s old house, and outside the sky is green and there’s a silver lightning storm. Upstairs Barry and Wally find his mother (Michelle Harrison), the personification of the Speed Force, in Barry’s childhood bed, clearly weakened. She says the Speed Force is dying because of what Barry did.
Wally and Barry exit the Speed Force, and Wally asks just what Barry did. He lays into Barry for not telling anyone what was happening, and he says that he used to be able to see ‘a chain of lightning’ stretching centuries into the future, but now that chain ends with the two of them. Barry insists they can fix this, but Wally refuses and storms out
Heroes in Crisis
Back at the Citizen, Nash is working on some sort of goober when the electricity starts to flicker. He steps out of the office and sees the red eyes of Reverse-Flash at the end of the hall. They shoot out towards him.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry is in the Time Vault, attaching the Reverse-Flash’s tachyon enhancer to himself. He says he’s going to physically enter the Speed Force, and Gideon activates the enhancer and sends him in. He finds his mother still sick in the bed, and he asks what he needs to do. She says it’s too late, and that he didn’t hurt her — she’s dying because something entered the Speed Force months ago. Barry realizes it was because The Spectre (Stephen Amell) sent him into the Speed Force during Crisis. He apologizes, and the Speed Force forgives him for doing the right thing and says she loves Barry (which is kind of weird). She then appears to die.
At the C.C.P.D. headquarters, Wally tells Joe the Speed Force is dead. He says he and Barry have a residual amount of Speed Force in them, but they’ll eventually run out and lose their powers. Wally is pissed at Barry, and Joe tells him to ease off, and that Barry will beat himself up enough. Joe praises how far Wally has come from the moment they met, and that he has to continue to work at being the man he’s become. Joe exits to interview an informant in the Novikov case.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin scolds Cisco for not asking her for help in stopping Turtle 2.0. Cisco is annoyed and says the trip didn’t turn out as planned. He says he thought he would come back different from his adventures, but that he feels like he’s back where he started. Caitlin tells him they’ll stop Turtle 2.0, and that he should maybe stop and address his more personal responsibilities (like Kamila). He says she’s right, and asks her for help before exiting.
Meanwhile, Wally finds Barry in the Time Vault. Barry explains what he found out while in the Speed Force, and Wally says he was trying to save the universe, and he would’ve made the same call. He apologizes for reacting the way he did and forgetting that Barry was suffering too. Wally then tells Barry to do something with his guilt by taking responsibility for his actions. Just then they get an alert from Caitlin — Frida Novikov is outside the CCPD headquarters.
At C.C.P.D. HQ, time freezes around Joe West. Turtle 2.0 appears behind him, holding a glowing green fist to his throat. She tells him to bring her the informant. At S.T.A.R. Labs, they hear everything, and Caitlin says Cisco was working on a way to stop her, but he’s not there right now.
Cisco is at the Citizen looking for Nash. He apologizes to him, and Nash is steely as Cisco says they should get to work on Nash’s problem. Nash closes the door and turns to Cisco, his expression grim, and Cisco realizes it’s not Nash: it’s Thawne in Nash’s body. Thawne tries to vibrate his hand into Cisco’s chest and it doesn’t work — in Nash’s body, he doesn’t have his powers. They fight, and are somewhat evenly matched, though Thawne gets the upperhand. As he chokes Cisco, Thawne is tazed from behind by a shocked Cecile, who happened to arrive just in time.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, the serum to stop Turtle 2.0 is ready. Barry says he and Wally have to use their speed responsibly, and they take off, phasing through things as they run in a straight line to the C.C.P.D. They arrive, and Turtle releases Joe, firing green energy at the two speedsters as they race around the room. One blast hits Wally, encircling him, but Barry dodges them all. Joe reaches into his pocket and finds the serum gun, which Barry placed there. The Flash tries to get Turtle to listen to reason, but she refuses. Joe surprises her and injects her with the serum, and time restarts, freeing Wally and everyone else. The Flash and Kid Flash fistbump — the day is saved!
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry tells Mirror-Iris about what he’s been through. She consoles him just like regular Iris would, and he mopes about not being able to save anyone anymore without the Speed Force. Iris suggests maybe this is for the best, and that maybe he wasn’t supposed to be The Flash forever. Barry can’t believe she’s saying this, and Mirror-Iris says he deserves to be happy. Cisco then comes over the PA — they need Barry in the pipeline
In the pipeline, Barry finds Cisco, and Thawne in Nash’s body. Thawne says he’s going to kill Barry and everyone he’s ever loved once he gets out. He knows Barry’s going to be powerless soon — he can feel the Speed Force is dead. Cisco closes up the pipeline, and asks Barry to explain what he meant.
Back at Joe West’s house, Wally is getting ready to leave, headed out to walk to his next Peace Corps project. Joe apologizes for the way the trip turned out, but Wally’s still very zen about it. The two embrace, and Wally asks Joe to keep an eye on Iris, saying there’s something different about her than before.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry has now told Cisco and Caitlin what’s happening with the Speed Force. Cisco says they can figure out how to track The Spectre’s energy and remove it from the Speed Force, but Barry says he has another idea. He wonders, if Thawne can make a Speed Force, why can’t they? Barry asks Cisco and Caitlin to help build an artificial Speed Force.
That night, at the Citizen offices, Kamilla looks at her camera and finds that the photo of Wally and Mirror-Iris she tried to delete hasn’t been deleted properly. A filter applies, and Mirror-Iris appears as a literal mirror in the shape of a person. Suddenly Mirror-Iris appears in the doorway, the mirror gun in hand. She fires it at Kamilla, and Kamilla vanishes, consumed by mirror energy.
To be continued!
It was really great to have Wally West back, and The Flash S6E14 put him to great use, establishing him as the Arrowverse’s zen master of speed. The repercussions of Crisis are continuing to be felt on this series, and it was nice to see some of those seeds that were planted weeks and months ago finally come to fruition. Having The Flash’s deadliest enemy back is also always welcome. I’m interested to see what tricks Thawne has up his sleeve, even without his superspeed. Hopefully we’ll find out next week!