Flash: Heart of the Matter, Part 2

The family reunion where no one has an excuse to be late.

Season seven of The Flash reaches its end amid the chaos of the Godspeed war. We get a resolution to that, several allies working together, an old enemy coming back, and a nice little family scene at the end. To my surprise, there was no big cliffhanger, which the CW usually does on their season finales. Since this is a season finale, there will be spoilers below for “Heart of the Matter, Part 2.”

Last episode, Impulse got himself badly wounded in a fight with the far too many Godspeeds. Now he’s in the medbay, XS is worried sick, and everyone is turning to Barry for answers. While he’s struggling on his own fantastic journey, Joe and Kramer’s attempted return to Central City is thwarted by some skirmishes in the Godspeed war. That dude is everywhere.

Inside August’s head, Barry has come face to face with the real Godspeed, not the amnesiac nice guy or the many mindless clones rampaging around. August enters into true supervillain monologue mode, giving his origin story, motivations, and generally being self-aggrandizing. The man who would be god makes some demands of the Scarlet Speedster, and Barry refuses. Pitching a temper tantrum, Godspeed tosses Barry back into the real world, where people demand answers and Barry isn’t sure what to say. When he does share August’s demands, that get he be given organic speed like the Flash folks have, instead of the synthetic type he has from his formula, XS is desperate to agree to anything to help her injured brother. Barry refuses, and sends her to go check on Impulse. After she’s gone, Jay tells Barry that he’s willing to follow the man’s lead, but hopes he has a good idea. It seems like Barry does.

Up in the lounge, August is feeling lost. It’s bad enough not being able to remember yourself, but learning you’re a crazed killer with plans to hunt down heroes is really hard to hear. Cecile does her best to give him a pep talk, but he’s not very receptive. In a similar vein, Chester goes to find Allegra. She’s still upset and full of self-blame following Esperanza’s death and her failure to get her powers back under control. Chester is kind, compassionate, and rallies her spirits with some well-chosen words.

Barry starts sharing his plan, and is bringing in reinforcements. Still no Wally/Kid-Flash or any of the other CW heroes, but he does bring in Nora the Speed Force. XS and Jay both clearly know her, and there’s a running joke about her looking like people others are close to. She heals Impulse with a snap of her fingers, and there’s a happy reunion. Bart is thrown off by seeing Jay, and the two of them trying to get a read on each other is amusing to watch. They also do a callback to an episode several seasons ago to include Iris in the fight. Out on the gridlocked highway, Joe and Kramer are trying to help save civilians. When one of the Godspeeds gets too close (although why it chose to attack Joe when they’ve been mostly ignoring civilians I’m not sure), Kramer suddenly shows she’s more than she seems. That apparently surprises her almost as much as it does Joe, and she doesn’t handle the aftermath well.

The Flash Family shows up to fight Godspeed, and everyone gets to display some cool fighting moves. Unfortunately, Barry and Nora missed something fairly obvious, and the tide turns, forcing Barry to send one of his powerful allies away. In a master stroke of great timing, Allegra pops up courtesy of Nash Wells’ teleport gizmo. She comes bearing Chester’s latest creation and manages to drive the Godspeeds off. Once again, someone comes in and covers the heroes’ retreat. This is really getting repetitious.

Unfortunately, this stunt does a lot of damage to Chester’s anti-Godspeed device, and it’s going to take a longer time to fix it than they have. Flash, XS, and Impulse argue about what to do next, with him still being adamant that he can’t give August what he wants. For some reason, they do a two minute jump back in time to show a fight between Mecha-Vibe (still hate that name), Frost, and more Godspeeds. They win, but Frost doesn’t like what Vibe did to save them.

In the workshop, XS, Impulse, and Jay do some speed repair and shave weeks off Chester’s repair time, but it’s still not enough. Barry comes in with a new plan, and everyone is surprised. Gathering everyone around, Barry and company give August a new toy to try and restore his memories and powers. Things go about as bad as you’d expect from giving a villain what he wants, but Barry has another trick up his sleeve. Flash and Godspeed end up on the roof of STAR, with more monologuing and fighting. Part of the plan works in that Godspeed recalls his clones, but Flash is taking a beating. But, there really is a plan, and Nora and Iris are working together in the Speed Force to pull a new trick. Almost out of allies, they turn to enemies, and the Reverse-Flash is reborn for a big showdown with Godspeed, leaning heavily on some themes from Star Wars. Eventually, Godspeed is taken down, Reverse-Flash pulls an entirely predictable double-cross, and Flash shows he has some surprises for his arch-enemy.

This could easily be the end, but the family theme is strong on this show, so there’s a big emotional scene, a proposal, and some planning. They skip ahead to the “following Tuesday,” a joke about when the show airs, to the West house. Kramer comes by to deliver various bits of news to Joe and then leaves. Personally, I’d be fine with it if she didn’t come back again. For the record, I figured out her power before the big reveal, and even with the same reasoning the show used. Caitlin and Frost both show up in party clothes and have an amusing discussion at the front door, talking about, but not naming, Chillblaine among other things. The party has most of the cast there, although Nora isn’t in attendance. Cisco takes on a new role, Bart shows off a hidden talent, and everyone has fun. That’s it. No one attacks, no threats delivered, no last-minute cut away to show a new menace. It’s the very rare Arrowverse season finale with no cliffhanger or developing lurking presence for next season. Part of me wonders if they weren’t sure they were coming back, even though they already announced a new season and the renewal of Grant Gustin/Barry Allen’s contract. They’ll be back next season, along with Batwoman, Superman and Lois, Legends of Tomorrow, and Stargirl.

What I liked: I’m really hoping that’s the last we see of Godspeed. And Kramer, for that matter. I loved seeing Jay again, and he got some cool moves in the fight. I was never wild about Iris as a speedster, but it was a good callback to get her more directly in the action than usual. I know it’s a recurring theme of the show, but I’m sort of glad Barry didn’t talk August into being a good guy. I get Barry has a big heart, but not everyone can be reached with a speech. The sudden return of Reverse-Flash was a good move I didn’t see coming, and Tom Cavanagh did his usual great job in the role. I get that showrunners like to show off stars’ talents even when they aren’t really show or plot related, but they made good use of Jordan Fisher/Bart and it actually made sense.

What I didn’t: I’m really sick of the cycle of “attack, that didn’t work, oh look, it’s fill in the blank to the rescue.” They need to stage some better fights. And, as I said in the last review, they could go with some non-speedster foes for a while. Green Arrow didn’t spend all his eight seasons fighting evil archers. As I keep saying, and people are probably sick of, they need some better explanations about why no one came to help from the other shows.

It was a decent finale. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5. They’ll be starting next season with a clean slate and, rumor has it, several mini-crossover episodes. I’m looking forward to those.

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