The problems with the Mirror Universe and Eva McCulloch seem to be the big issues for the second half of Flash’s current season. Even after Crisis reshaped the multiverse (do the heroes know there are other worlds now?), alternate worlds keep plaguing the Flash and his friends. But this episode, a different old enemy takes center stage as Barry and Cisco undertake “The Exorcism of Nash Wells.”
We start with Eva having a meeting with her minions, Fake Iris and now Fake Kamila (this technically makes this the first episode of Flash without Iris, since only her evil twin actually gets any screen time). The evil doctor’s newest requirement is some special gadget which has made its way to Mercury Labs, run by Dr. Tina McGee (one of the characters and actresses brought back from the first Flash series). In the Pipeline, Nash Wells, with unwelcome hitchhiker Eobard Thawne in his head, rages in his cell while Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin try and figure out what to do next in their quest to create their own Speed Force. To heighten the tension, Caitlin comes up with a gadget (should have been Cisco, he’s the tech) to measure Barry’s expenditure of speed energy, since his resources are limited now. Over at CCPD, Joe meets with Singh, who we haven’t seen in quite a while, to bring him to date on the Black Hole investigation. Joe’s worried about what to do next, while Singh is concerned about possible political considerations, which is sadly believable from upper level law enforcement management.
The STAR Trio go talk to Nash, who seems to be ignorant of Thawne’s presence. They talk about the various Wells, and Caitlin makes a starting discovery. Amid banter about Fight Club, they try and work out a way to save Nash from Thawne. Nash and Cisco collaborate on an idea, but things aren’t as they seem and Thawne ends up making a break for it. Barry stops him, setting off several different kinds of alarms in the process. No matter how much he learns, Barry just can’t handle Thawne. It’s fair enough, since Thawne killed both Barry’s parents. Cisco tries to come up with a new idea, and Caitlin takes Barry to task for his lapse in judgement and temper. She’s usually the kind and gentle one, but I wonder if she and Frost are rubbing off on each other. Cisco has reached out for some help, and Cecile is willing, but taking a very different approach to the problem at hand than Cisco was expecting. They do seem to have made Cecile the comic relief/plot device character these days. Cisco’s new project gets underway with some ugly side and special effects.
In Nash’s head, we see his first meeting with Maya, Earth 719’s Allegra, and the beginning of their friendship. Moving to the present, Nash is trapped in some bad memories, which Thawne delights in torturing him with. The Fake Iris and Kamila go to Mercury Labs, a guest appearance by Tina McGee gets narrowly sidestepped, and a new villain pops up. Sunshine, yet another light-powered Black Hole operative, is the first villain with no ties to DC Comics. Getting the alert from “Iris,” Barry and Caitlin argue over who should respond, and she prevails. Somehow, which is weird considering Vibe is depowered again and the Extrapolators don’t work anymore, Frost manages to instantly show up at the fight. The fight doesn’t go well, Barry listens in on coms, and does something very rash in an effort to help. This goes so badly that both Flash and Frost get saved by the CCPD, who end up with the gadget du jour. Frost gets badly hurt, aggravating her previous wound from Dr. Light, or the most recent incarnation of that character.
With Frost down for the count in the medbay, Barry beats himself up and Joe tries to reassure him. Iris (the real Iris and Kamilla never show up, so just know it’s the fakes when I mention them for the rest of this) shows up with a dossier on Sunshine, who is yet another child of the particle accelerator explosion. Iris is a little too focused on the gadget, and Joe sort of notices, but doesn’t put it together with Wally’s warning last episode. Chastised by Joe, Iris catches up with Barry, who is sulking in the Time Sphere. Iris does a good job of pretending to be the real one and gives Barry a good pep-talk about his capabilities contrasted with Flash’s. We also get what I really hope isn’t going to be a long-lasting new mantra about metas have limits but “normal” people don’t.
Nash is really having a bad episode, as Thawne drags him down nightmare alley, as opposed to memory lane. Thawne’s torture of Nash is making the villain stronger, which Cecile feels and Cisco has to act quickly to counteract. Cisco is worried about Thawne’s imminent return. Joe and Singh get hold of ARGUS to come get the gadget, but I guess the government agency didn’t send their best and brightest, because they go down like Star Trek redshirts when Sunshine attacks again. Acting on Iris’ pep-talk, Barry, not the Flash, saves the day with some basic science applied to metahuman power. Cisco is at a loss about what to do next, when Barry shows up to try a new trick with a gadget from the show’s past. Once again getting inside someone else’s head, the team works together, with Cisco helping Nash and Barry keeping Thawne busy. After a lot of psychodrama, the heroes prevail, although it’s really rough on Nash. I frequently find the various Wells annoying, but I felt bad for him in this one. I was very amused at how Cecile played a part in beating Thawne, but the aftermath of that should have had more an of an effect on Nash.
After the fight, Cisco has immediate good news and longer term potentially bad news. There are some Harry Potter references, and then a touching scene with Cisco and Nash. Cisco has some good advice for Nash that’s hard to hear, but for the best. After the conversation, Nash has an interaction that’s apparently going to set the stage for his future life. Caitlin and Barry patch up their earlier differences, and then they and Cisco try and work out their next steps. Barry has an idea drawing on some painful past that I’m not sure is the best way to go. The show ends with Iris and Kamilla reporting in to their overlord, taking advantage of some earlier confusion which someone really should have noticed.
What I liked: While I’m hoping the Flash-losing-his-powers bit doesn’t drag out too much, it was nice to see Barry using his brain and science skills. I’m glad Caitlin stood up to Barry. I was glad to see Cisco being effective. It was interesting to see a brand new, original villain. I’m hoping this is a good new start for Nash, and he’s a bit less abrasive from now on.
What I didn’t: Central City does have another hero who is supposed to be protecting the place. Where’s Ralph? Kamilla and Iris ending up with the gadget either means something dumb happened or, hopefully, Joe is being really slick. I never followed the logic of Cisco turning against his powers, and they really need Vibe now. I’m not thrilled with Barry’s power issues, and I suspect the “Speed Gauge” is going to get old fast.
I didn’t love this episode. I’ll give it a low 3 out of 5.