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The Flash: Wednesday Ever After

“Welcome back. Let’s do this one last time.”

Destiny vs. Freewill meets Groundhog Day. Neither topic covers new territory but their use as a vehicle to explore Barry’s fear was far more interesting.

Despite all the trauma Barry has suffered, his real superpower has always been his optimism. A power that has been sorely tested over the last nine years. Yes, he has always had a hero complex. Duh, it’s why he became the Flash. However, Frost’s death and Iris’ near miss, has made his need to keep his friends and family safe a full-blown obsession. His answer is to compile every known fact he has about the future into a roadmap. A guidebook that will ensure he and Iris can live their lives together and safe.

There’s just one problem. For some inexplicable reason, Iris disagrees. Where he sees safety, she sees shackles. After all, how can you call it living if you’re just following a script? Despite this explanation, it takes Joe pointing out that safety and happiness aren’t the same thing for Barry to understand.

I know I said there was just one problem, but that wasn’t quite true. Even if Iris had been onboard with Barry’s plan, we could see that his belief in the sanctity of the guidebook was untenable. It represented the one safe version of the future and if the book was not followed to the letter, all bets were off. Which is why Barry was almost unhinged when Captain Kramer has second thoughts about his promotion.

Because it was never about the book, it was about Barry’s fear. Big Bads may come and go, but fear has been Barry’s main foe for the last four seasons, if not the series as a whole. Whenever he has acted in faith, in himself, in his team, etc., he’s succeeded. Whenever he has acted from fear, he has either failed or made a bad situation worse.

In that sense, this season seems to be more of the same. I have to assume Mercer’s fearless leader is the Reverse Flash. If true, he may have given up his dream of taking Barry’s life for himself, but he can still steal it away from the man in question.

What’s worse is he may be assisted by Barry’s friends and family. It appears Caitlin’s quest to resurrect Frost may have destroyed her as well. Another loss Barry is sure to find a way to assume the blame. And it remains to be seen if the woman left in Caitlin’s place is friend or foe.

Then there’s Joe. He talks of all Barry and Iris have been through in the last nine years, but it hasn’t been easy for him either. They are his children. Their pain is his pain, and I can’t imagine the stress of seeing them in perpetual danger day in and day out. Something even his time with CCPD could have prepared him for. No one would begrudge the man a little peace.

That said, what does Joe hope to achieve by leaving Central City? How would being apart from Barry and Iris lessen the stress? Despite them being adults, I find it hard to see Joe abandoning them. Besides, with Cecile's burgeoning meta abilities, who’s to say she won’t attract enemies of her own? Barry could probably get to her in minutes, if not seconds, no matter where they move if necessary. For that reason and all the ones mentioned above, I fail to see the advantage of distance.

In the beginning, there was the Flash. Then we discovered that there would be no Flash without Iris. After a few seasons, we learned that it’s Team Flash that allows Barry to do what he does. For the final season, we may see what happens when the Team in Team Flash is stripped away.

Where’s that Merlot? We may need it soon.

3 out of 5 exploding boomerangs.

Parting Thoughts:

Although he wasn’t in the episode, Jon Cor who plays Mark Blaine was added to the opening credits.

If someone told me that in the future they were living in my house (and I actually believed them) my first question would be “Then where am I?” Given Joe’s feelings it’s clear why he didn’t ask but you’d think Cecile might have a question or two.


Tar Pit: “You can’t win, Flash. This is the end of everything.”

Iris: “You’re planning our future without me?”
Barry: “No, I’m just cataloging it.”
Iris: “Babe, for the sake of our marriage, could you please put your smelly socks away?”

Barry: “You can’t take this back. This has to happen. The book says so.”

Iris: “Barry, did you time travel us?”
Barry: “If I did, it wasn’t on purpose.”

Barry: “I just want to appreciate every second of our lives while it’s happening with you.”
Iris: “Even if we repeat the same day forever?”

Mercer: “Flash, I was hoping you’d show up.”
Barry: “Right, cause you like fighting ever since you got roughed up over and over again at Iron Heights. Now you need to prove you’re the new big rogue on campus. Blah, blah, blah.”

Barry: “You still having fun, Mrs. West-Allen?”
Iris: “With you? Always, Mr. Allen.”

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, the supernatural, and anything with a cape.

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